Thursday, May 9, 2013

the days go by here I stay (poetry & me)

In response to Dr. Burton's post.

My first really moving experience with poetry was also as a 16- or 17-year-old, in a college-level French Literature class, reading Apollinaire. Last year, when The Paris Review published him in translations, it sort of felt like a secret was being stolen from me. My favorite was "Le pont Mirabeau."

Beneath the Mirabeau bridge
Flows the Seine, and our loves
Joy always comes after pain
Let night come, toll the hour
The days go by here I stay

I knew nothing of either love or heartbreak as a high school senior. I, too, am somewhat amazed that I would be so struck by a poem at such a young age.

William James says that adolescence is when a lot of our interests and manias really come to the fore—religion, chemistry, poetry, sex. I think poetry is powerful to teenagers because of its raw emotive power.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with William James. I think that's when our understanding of abstract thought deepens, and we become more aware of ourselves and our ability to think and feel with that same abstractness.