I’ll admit that the last two months have flown by, especially October due to settling back into university. Although in September I read ten books, but by the time we get to the end of this month, it is likely I will not have read any more than four or five. Unfortunately, out of these fifteen or so books very few of them have been particularly memorable and therefore I won’t be writing a ‘Best Books of 2018 So Far’ for the last two months.
So, instead, I am writing a little bit of a favourite post which will include a couple of books I’ve enjoyed as well as some other stuff – be warned, there is going to be a very loose structure to this post.
Since going back to university my life has been consumed by poetry. One of my compulsory Creative Writing modules is Poetry and quite a few of my English modules have started off by looking at poetry. I can’t move without a poem being somewhere.
I’m never been someone who outright hates or dislike poetry. I think when I was younger I just didn’t quite understand it fully. To me, poetry was just words on a page which conveyed a message – occasionally I would notice a simile or metaphor – but other than that, it was just okay. However, as I grew up and began studying literature more, I was introduced to poetry which I could appreciate and even enjoy. That’s not to say however that I am an avid reader of poetry.
Recently at uni some points have been made about poetry which really made me think and started a conversation in my head. Why do people not necessarily appreciate poetry in 2018? And does poetry have a placed and in what forms?
Let me explain what I mean by this.
When talking to people about writing poetry for my uni course, I seemed to get a lot of “well it can’t be that hard” or generally making fun of poetry (think very poor and immature rhyming) and I believe this is a common misconception. I think poetry has a reputation of being easy to write and a matter of pouring your feelings out onto the page. However, I believe that effective poetry is A LOT more than that.
Poetry, to me, is about getting a meaning or a story told in a concise way whilst also using effective imagery etc, and therefore, a lot more than just spilling feelings onto a page. To me, every word in a poem has to have earned its place. I’m not one to enjoy poetry with a lot of natural imagery (it just isn’t for me) and with a lovely message at the heart of it. The more “real and raw” a poem is the more likely I am to enjoy it. One of the fascinating features of literature in general is the way in which it can comment and critique society and poetry is a fantastic way to do it.
But, does the kind of poetry I like have its place in the 21st century? I mean, obviously my answer to this is yes – of course. I don’t want it to die out but I have yet to find some recently published poetry which achieves this. I have read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur and The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace and I didn’t enjoy them. Sure there were some poems in there which I thought were more than “alright” but those poems were few and far between.
Maybe I need to search a little bit harder to find the kind of poetry I do enjoy in 2018 and maybe in the future I’ll come back with a blog post screaming “Look! I found some!” but until that day my mind will be an endless discussion on whether poetry should be as hard to write as it is or whether it should be as simple as feelings on a page?
The first play by William Shakespeare I learnt to love – and, yes, it was a matter of learning to love it. It’s one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, but well worth getting to know as I feel there is a lot to talk about and discuss. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly an easy play to summarise concisely, but I am going to have a go for you.
On 1st October 2018 I started my second year of Creative Writing and English at university. If you asked me a few years ago I would have told you that I absolutely was not going to university, so part of me is pleasantly shocked that I have gotten to this point.
Already, however, there have been a few changes – big and small – to university life both on the course side of things and living. Basically there have been changes that I have acknowledged which I thought would be interesting to discuss.