So, for my UCO course ENG 2653 English Lit. since 1800, I’ll be posting an article each week related to the class. I thought I’d start this week by just talking about my impressions of the 3 works we’ve read this week: selections from Songs of Innocence by Blake, Michael by Wordsworth, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.
I’ve never been much of a poetry reader. I’ve dabbled in writing it (the kind of bad middle and high school poetry that all would-be writers simply must attempt) but I never read much of it. This was my first encounter with all three poets, though of course, I had heard of them in passing before. They were all much easier reads than I had anticipated. What struck me the most about the poems was the diverse writing styles that could create so many different levels of possible meaning. In discussions with the class, everyone came up with something different to read into the poetry.
Random thoughts: Blake’s poetry is the simplest in language, but probably has the most possible interpretations. Wordsworth’s poem was probably the most boring to me, but also the most emotionally striking. Coleridge’s epic was a quick read despite being the longest work, and I think it might be my favorite of this bunch because it carries the best imagery and characterization, which is something I look for in all types of writing.
I think my general avoidance of poetry springs from the fact that it can be interpreted in so many ways. I prefer writing types that make the meaning clear and concise for the reader without them having to google twenty thousand things to understand even a quarter of it. But I guess that’s just personal preference.