North Yorkshire Library Service Book Group discussion

The Humans
This topic is about The Humans
12 views
The Humans > Emily Dickinson and poetry

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Victoria Turvey-Sauron (radiantwrites) | 53 comments Mod
There is so much talk of Emily Dickinson in the book, and how much of the meaning of life and humanity is in poetry but in hers in particular (and the book resonating with me in so many ways) that I've been out to buy a small collection of her poetry.

I'm wondering whether there are any poets that have a similar significance to anyone in this group, and wonder why the narrator/author considers that it is specifically poetry (rather than prose) that can contain meaning in this way?

I feel like saying something about Shakespeare's use of prose versus poetry. It is used to reveal certain ways of thinking. Iago speaks in lots of prose, for instance, when he's evilly ranting, but will then switch to verse when he is trying to smooth over/manipulate Othello.

Emily Dickinson clearly thinks of poetry as being essential to her: "They shut me up in Prose/As when a little Girl/They put me in the Closet/Because they liked me "still"."


Matthew Jones (matthew_jones) | 49 comments I have ambivalent feelings about poetry. It’s difficult to shift the memory of classroom agonies where a bored teacher demanded an analytical response to some dense verse that 15 year old me just didn't “get”. And of course I wasn't allowed to just enjoy a poem or be moved by it. So I still have a chippy sense that poetry is difficult, esoteric, elitist -
surely I can’t say I like poetry until I've read and understood all the metaphysicals, the romantics, the transcendentalists, the modernists, the post-modernists and all the other ists…

But then sometimes I’ll stumble across a few lines in an anthology and think “well, that’s perfect…” Which I think is what the book was getting at. The ability of one of those peculiar humans to distill vast and complex experiences into an image, or a rhyme or just a few lines and connect with another peculiar human. Or even a peculiar alien...

Enjoy the ED collection - I hope 646 is in there. One of those perfect ones.


Rhiannon | 5 comments I havent read any ED poetry, but reading this book has certainly made me want to.
For me, i think a poet that i found had a big impact was dylan thomas. I loved the way he played with sounds and rhythms... like in under milk wood. But also, in poems like do not go gentle into that good night, there is a kind of claustrophobic, angry, tension that becomes almost tangible. I always find it amazing the way poets can communicate emotion so strongly within the apparant limitations of "poetry". Not that dylan thomas was a great one for following rules!


Victoria Turvey-Sauron (radiantwrites) | 53 comments Mod
'But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.' from Brave New World, Aldous Huxley. An alternative suggestion for what it means to be human?


Victoria Turvey-Sauron (radiantwrites) | 53 comments Mod
The "medical humanities" and poetry as medicine: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk...


back to top