I bought a book in a thrift shop ” Poetry For Dummies ” —– one of those yellow books. This one is a large one .
I’m not ashamed of being a ‘dummy’ , especially in the area of poetry . A friend of mine writes poetry , and I see some poetry blogs on the internet ; but I won’t pretend that I understand any of it .
This book seems to say that it is what it is and you get out of it what you want , and it’s hard to pin down one interpretation of a poem —– and that sort of thing . What if a guy doesn’t get much of anything out of it , though ? Is that a consideration ?
I took a poetry class while I was an undergrad at UCLA . The professor was highly pretentious, in my opinion , as I recall it , and he ( contrary to the yellow book ) had one interpretation for the wordage in whatever poem . His interpretation was the right one , of course , and yours was not . That’s why he’s the poetry professor , I suppose.
One poem I remember being discussed in that class included a flock of geese flying in a V formation. The pretentious prof had some weird interpretation of what the symbolism of the V was . I don’t remember now what it was , but I suggested that the V was simply an image of how a flock of geese fly .
” Oh , no , you poor ignorant scum ! ” he said to me , or something that sounded quite a bit like that . ” It means ……..” and then he expounded at length on his (weird ) theory based , I’m sure , on his PhD training and experience . The nature of wild geese was not even a matter worthy of consideration . I had to fall back on my nescience and demur in any questioning of his evident moral and intellectual superiority in the situation .
I think that was when I decided to let poetry be poetry , and I quit going to class . I was given a D for the class in the end , despite abandoning the entire enterprise and never even taking the final exam . You might want to read into a flying V of migrating geese what you will , but my limited brain has no extra room for your particular idiosyncratic blather , PhD or no PhD.
Now you see why I thought lately that I should buy a book called ” Poetry For Dummies “. I wish I remembered what that professor’s name was . I’d check to see if he might be one of the authors of this big yellow book . That would be irony . Maybe that would even be chickens finally coming home to roost . I don’t know if that expression fits or not . And, would they be his chickens or my chickens ? I don’t know . He might get the last laugh , at least , I guess , collecting the royalties on the book.
Ah , the lessons we learn in college ! I’m not sure quite yet what that particular lesson was , but I’m pretty sure there was a lesson in there somewhere . I’ll read through the big yellow Poetry For Dummies book and let you know . I might even write a poem about it . Besides , the D for that class didn’t stop me from becoming highly successful , rich , and all of that . There were other reasons for that ; but that’s another story for some other time .