This past weekend I saw The Raven, a movie where a rampant killer murders in similar fashions to the literary work of Edgar Allen Poe. I really liked the way it was filmed- it was twisted, but good. I may or may not have teared up in the end…it sparked emotion and that’s what I liked.
It’s no secret that I enjoy reading, but something that is not well known about me is that I immensely enjoy poetry. It’s not really something I offer up during dinner conversation…it’s a bit of a secret love. “Hi my name is Lauren. I like dogs, long walks on the beach, and reading ee cummings late at night before I go to sleep.” just isn’t how I would start a conversation.The only person (who I’ve met so far) who would understand that kind of behavior is my sweet friend Caitlin. We bond over things like Shakespearean love sonnets. (She’s a fantastic writer and the editorial intern for The Wacoan).
In high school, my favorite lessons often involved poetry. For all you Plath lovers, it’s where I learned that life is never bad enough to stick your head in an oven…though it does make for an interesting story. I loved reading poetry in both my British Literature class and American Literature class. There’s something about poetry that just gets me.
Have you ever taken the Love Language test that is included in the book “The 5 Love Languages” ? Author Gary Chapman names five different ways to show love: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation are pretty close, but Words of Affirmation wins out for my personal quiz. This means that I relate well with words; If you tell me something, I’m going to believe you. While this gets me in trouble sometimes, I’ve come to terms with it and consider it a gift. The downside of this feeling is that I can also be hurt easily by words from someone who voices things differently than they used to. This is why I like poetry so much…I like feeling. (There is often a similar effect on song lyrics for me.) Poetry is emotion put to paper, often times more eloquently put than the person actually feels, yet if written correctly, you will empathize with them and be moved by their work.
Another movie (besides the Raven) that I enjoy for its poetic inclusion is Midnight in Paris. Though it made me mad because I couldn’t force myself to like Rachel McAdams’ character (a first), I loved it for a million other reasons. Owen Wilson’s character got to go back and speak to the greats!…Hemingway, Cummings, Fitzgerald!
Think what it would be like if people still spoke like them. I wonder how appalled they’d be at what society had come to…they’d probably sit down and write about it. After all, as Hemingway said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” F. Scott Fitzgerald said “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” That’s the precisely the way I feel! I didn’t start a blog so I could ramble, but so I could share. I don’t share deep, dark secrets or feelings online, but I do have a notebook and a file on my computer where I write. I believe it’s a lost art. Releasing my feelings by writing about it them one of my favorite things to do- it helps me organize my thoughts and doesn’t have any negative repercussions.
The beautiful thing about poetic literature is that you often find that you’re not the only one who has felt a certain way…so if you feel alone in the situation, you’re not alone at all. Even in the book of Psalms in the Bible, you can relate to the poetry that David wrote. Fitzgerald believed that too, but he says it in a much more voluble way:
“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’d write something to put a bow on this post, but Fitzgerald pretty much summed up my thoughts.