Dominic's Reviews > Riders to the Sea

Riders to the Sea by J.M. Synge
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's review
Jan 30, 11

bookshelves: classic-literature, drama
Read in November, 2010

Poetry. Definitely worth a few rereadings...

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Zoe (new)

Zoe I don't see it. But I think this is all tangled up with my issues with classics. It was fine and all, but not "poetry" and DEFINITELY not something I would reread unless assigned. What about it speaks to you?

message 2: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Well, it might also be tangled up with "poetry" as well. I don't get it. Does that make me an ignoramous?

message 3: by Elliot (new)

Elliot I'll be rereading this sometime soon! This is a puzzling play, and I want to spend a little bit more time with it. The language (folk poetry? is that a fine categorization?) is beautiful, and the play itself has this enthralling bleakness.

It really reminded me about how much I love Yeats and how I need to get back into reading him, as it turns out.

Oh, those dark turn-of-the-century Irishmen!

message 4: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Elliot, you'll like James Joyce, then, if you haven't already read him.

Dominic When I think of this play, I keep coming back to Percy Bysshe Shelley's poetic image of dead leaves being thrown around by the West Wind. In one sense, there is something hopeless and bitterly sad about being just a leaf at the whim of a storm, and yet there is something wondrous about being so-a-part-of-nature, that the energy of the wind becomes the energy of our existence. I think Maurya, in her incredible tragedy and despite her lack of education, realizes more about the tenuousness of the human condition than many characters in fiction. There is a lot to learn here; and like a poem, it gives me pause for a moment, again and again.

And about the "classics," I say bah! If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. The classics are classics because they speak to lots of people and say something profound. While that doesn't mean they have to speak to you, I promise that with a little digging and a little faith, you might find a "classic" speaks to you, too!

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