7.06.2006

Of critics and what they appreciate

The transition from studying harmless straightforward poems that accept any reasoning possible to highly simple poems which have heavy philosophical double entetre lurking in them has been really painful.

Just in case anyone doesnt make head or tail of this, I have with me an example-for-idiots:
Take the Wordsworth bloke and his daffodil-poem. Even a simple man can comprehend what he means to say - the guy was walking down something, and all of a sudden, he saw a cloud of daffodils. Quaint.

Now take the case of the plus-one/plus-two standard poems...actually poems arent branded just like that - either the poet was very close to someone in the Syllabus setting board, or someone in the latter was inspired by it (provided the inspiration was sufficient enough to make him conjure up a different meaning). All of these poems sound exceedingly simple at first glance, or sound highly uncomprehendable. Anyway, the study involves the most hated stage called 'Critical Appreciation' which relies on one's ability to see false things and hidden intentions through every word and line of the poem.

To demonstrate, take the simple rhyme: "Twinkle twinkle, little star"...let's go line-by-line:

Line 1: 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star'
Appreciation: 1)Childhood tendency to repeat words, apparently inspired by parents' efforts to make children talk by repeating words like Mum, Dad, Come, etc.
2)Children's tendency to think of everything in terms of their own diminuitive size.

Line 2: 'How I wonder what you are'
Appreciation: 1) Steadiness: the child is not in a haste to make any decision regarding what exactly the star is.
2) Childhood innocence

Line 3: 'Up above the world so high'
Appreciation: 1) Ambition of others
2) Ability of judgement of one's true position of the world.
3) Humility

Line 4: 'Like a diamond in the sky'
Appreciation: 1)The intelligent child make similies and metaphors better than adults.
2)Childhood fantasy of imagining a simple star made of molecules of 2 simple proton & 2 electrons as a complex allotrope of Carbon-12.
3)Childhood inability - not being to think of anything beyond the blue sky.

Appreciation as a whole: The poet(ess) has vividly portrayed all the common characteristics of an innocent child, while rhyming the poem in a-a, b-b style. This is a masterpeice of an understanding of the young human mind.


The last word: What if a CHILD had written this thing?

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