03 January 2006

Dissection & Digression



I used to love essay writing in school (didn't all bloggers-to-be?). At least as long as we could decide for ourselves what to write... Around the age of 13 we were supposed to have meaningful exchanges on "pros and cons of VHS" (yes, I'm that old!), "why women are as good as men" (I mean, really old!!) etc.

AND we had to do poetry analysis. Which I absolutely and totally loathed. Abhorred.

I loved poetry, I actually read quite a lot of poetry even at that age, but analysing it..? (My friend Børge could tell you largely about my struggles with having to analyse anything - but then he has a degree in literary science and has read a zillion books, so he'll just have to bear over with me... And I think I just might have improved since back then, at least I hope so!) Anyway, I digress...


Well, having learnt nothing from this horrid experience, I went on to study English. Literature, amongst other things. Where we had to do - you guessed it - poetry analysis... Or dissection, as it felt like.

But this time I was old enough to do it my way.


I remember sitting in the study hall* reading a poem by Robert Graves: Welsh Incident. I loved it! So naturally, for once, I studied it properly, learnt about rhythm and stanzas and hidden meanings and whatnot and wrote a brilliant essay, right? Erh...

Admittedly, for the next 4 hours solid I sat buried in a pile of books. But on Welsh, Welsh accentuation, The Differences between Northern and Southern Welsh et al. I read it semi-loud to myself (to much discontent from people around me!), then read it aloud for my friends over dinner. They were not amused...

But such digressions make my day.

In fact, that one made a whole week! :) And when I later travelled to Wales, and saw the signs for Borth, Tremadoc, Penrhyndeudraeth, not to mention Criccieth, I practically grew wings...

The essay? Oh, the essay... My teacher was so nice, she didn't have the heart to put me down to where I should have been, I guess I was ok. I can't remember the grade, but the poem and Wales I always remember! No wonder I've got such a soft spot for you, Sam...

*I had been at university for 6 months, occasionally wondering where those stairs were leading, when I was told the study hall was up there. Incidentally, I flunk my first exam that same term. No connection, probably.

3 comments:

Børge Skråmestø said...

I loooved analyzing poetry in school!

:-)

Rarity said...

I didn't love it in school (it has do be done properly and our
teacher was simply not up to it)

But I learned to love it at uni. Poems that gave no meaning what so ever became fantastic after we sat down and really worked with them a few hours.

PS I never knew you flunked anything... I always felt sorry for you when you had to be the one to tell me *I* had flunked that exam we studied for toghether - remember?

(WV: kelrph - sounds welsh to me...)

Scholiast said...

I remember well, Rarity - our mutual friend K made the grade with honours, I passed ok, you and the last friend didn't do quite as well... But hey, there are so many other things to life, right?