Thursday, December 2, 2010

Literary Blog Hop: Dec 2-5

Welcome to this week's Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion. If your blog does not fit this description, it may be removed from the Linky List. 

How do I know if my blog qualifies as "literary"? Literature has many definitions, but for our purposes your blog qualifies as "literary" if it focuses primarily on texts with aesthetic merit. In other words, texts that show quality not only in narrative but also in the effect of their language and structure. YA literature may fit into this category, but if your blog focuses primarily on non-literary YA, fantasy, romance, paranormal romance, or chick lit, you may prefer to join the blog hop at Crazy-for-books that is open to book blogs of all genres.

Instructions for entering the Literary Blog Hop:

1. Grab the code for the Button.

Literary Blog Hop
2. Answer the following prompt on your blog:

This week's question comes from Gary at Parrish Lantern:

What is your favorite poem and why?

(Suggestions for future prompts? Email them to us at

Our answer this week comes from Lucia:

When I initially read this question, the first phrase that surfaced was by Roald Dahl.

"All you do is to look / At a page in this book / Because that's where we always will be. / No book ever ends / When it's full of your friends / The Giraffe and the Pelly and me."

Shorty after, I realized that this was technically not a poem, but a sentence from a book which happens to rhyme. Then I thought of Alexander Pope, but oh hey, I don't actually like the whole of 'Eloisa to Abelard,' nor the story behind it. As it turns out, I don't read much poetry, but tend to pick quotes out of texts I like. However, I'm happy to report I did retrieve one from my sparse memory archive of poetry, which I enjoy for several reasons, and that is 'My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun,' by William Shakespeare.

I came across this one while reading metaphysical poetry for an English class, a style which interests me almost purely for the language. For example, Andrew Marvell's poem 'To his coy mistress,' I find completely captivating simply because of the poet's choice of words. Occasionally the lines are a little baffling, but in general, I love the patterns and sounds of the language. Frankly, I couldn't care about either the subject or the meaning of the poem as a whole. Yet the reason Shakespeare's verse is my favorite, is because it hosts the same physicality of language as other metaphysical poems, including Marvell's, while being bluntly sarcastic and humorous in meaning. Shakespeare makes fun of poets' comparison's between nature's beauty and their mistress's, by implying that his mistress is as bland as a piece of dry toast. The bitter sweetness of the final two lines,

'And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.'

Meaning that in fact she is quite an ugly woman, yet the poet loves her anyway, I believe adds another, slightly more personal, undertone to the poem. Primarily, I love this poem because it's meaning and tone matches my tastes without being too fantastical, while instead supplying such elements in the style of language.

I look forward to reading what interests you in a particular poem (perhaps this will help me to discover some new ones). Which one particularly draws you in and why?

Happy Hopping!