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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Intimations of Immortality

Whenever I am frazzled, bored, stressed or in need of plain inspiration, I turn to the Romantics ( Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Byron et al). In their words and verses, I derive a deep comfort. Although separated by centuries, those poems reverberate through the corridors of time and strike a chord with me each and every time I read them...

I am re-reading
Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth for the millionth time.

There are some lines that are always more attractive and memorable than others in any work of literature. But I am unable to single out such parts in this poem because I love the whole too much! A feeling of unparalleled tranquility and peace is what these verses bequeath to me time and again.

To some, poems are a schoolgirl's chore: to be memorized by rote before exams and reproduced on the exam paper for paltry marks. To me, they've been more than that. In moments of despair, in moments of loneliness, in moments seeking wisdom, in moments of joy, in moments of sheer appreciation, I hear the words whispering across centuries to posterity and I see intimations of immortality....

24 comments:

Sudhir P said...

Just the fact that we have to memorize it for the exam, makes it so disinteresting! Thank God, this poem wasnt there for exams. Or else, the whole beauty of it would be spoilt!

Zeppelin said...

good one... actually have never read this poem...

a couple of my favs which I would not say romantic, but are however inspirational...

On His Blindness - John Milton
Incident of the French Camp - i think Tennyson. please correct me if I am wrong...

dinesh said...

I've never turned to poems as a source of comfort/joy in those times you mention. I guess I am not one of those lucky ones !

Subha said...

MP,
I've read On His Blindness.I've read only very few of Tennyson's works.
Dinesh,
I've never turned to them intentionally for comfort. But I've always stumbled across them at the right moments, I guess...

As a general clarification, these poets were termed "romantics" because they wrote about emotions, nature, beauty etc....and it has come to denote an entire genre of poems.

subramoni said...

Nice poem there although I must admit, I am not a big fan of poems. Prose is more to my liking. My idea of comfort in the times you mention is to close my eyes and listen to my favorite songs. Puts my mind at ease.

Prashanth said...

hey shubha
i wish i could appreciate poetry... i ll read a few poems to see if anythin changes within me...mayb ther s some kinda joy i m missing out on...

Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Subha,I too turn to poems/poets to inspire and motivate myself. The poets vary from english to our own Bharatiar.
My favourite "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" by William Wordsworth and "Donkey" by GK Chesterton.

Another of my favourites is William Shakespeare. Have you read "As you like it". In that he says, "The world is stage , and all men are players". How true?

Priya said...

good one subha.. english poems ellam schoolodaa pochu ...
venky ,i remember that 'as u like it '. also i remember ' on his blindness' ..

Prabu Karthik said...

Tch. Too bad. English poetry is a bit over my head.

the only poems i like and have read are
"Where the mind is without fear" by Tagore.

And "Will" bu Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Needless to say, i never enjoyed peoms during school days.

Now, dont ask me if i enjoyed studying other subjects:-)

Anonymous said...

Me's not into poems, the only poems I remember are 'If' Rudyard Kipling and 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost from my school days...one has to develop a taste for them, I guess. Couldn't even read the entire poem that u posted, it's too long for me...:).

-KP.

Prabhu said...

I am neither a prose person nor a poetry person, but I always wanted to be one :(
The link u mentioned was a good read, although I understood only parts of it.

Word from this blog:
Frazzle - To exhaust physically or emotionally;

dinesh said...

Venky,

This song echoes what you said

"Medaiye, vayyagam oru medaye
Veshame ingellam verum veshame"

The song from marupadiyum !

Dinesh

RS said...

S, I am not sure if I turn to poetry only for tranquility and peace, sometimes reading poetry has the opposite effect on me too :)

Nice post.

Here are a couple of my favourites.

Chwadan said...

Hi, just stumbled across your blog and thought u might like to know that I live kinda near Tintern Abbey in Wales :)

Anonymous said...

Whenever I feel down ,I often turn to quotable quotes which would be the well of Inpirations atleast for me.

Subha, you should try reading "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and you can get a real good comfort. A good poem ! PadichuTTu sollu!

~VAsu

sb said...

You might brand me a phonetic, but for some reasons am not able to appreciate the beauty in this language. For a long time I thought I was just a dumber when it comes to literature. Fortunately it turned out that it was just this language I am kinda not appreciative of. "Adhu ennamo theriyala enna mayamo theriala enakku onnume avardhu illa, english padikkache!!"
But I do envy people who can grasp and assimilate any form of expression.

thennavan said...

Behold her single in the dorm
Yon solitary Lexington Lass :-)
Reading and singing by herself
Stop here or gently (make a) pass :-)

Subha said...

Venky, have not read "As You Like it" but of course I've heard that phrase quoted often.
KP, I think I read 'If' once somewhere...
Vasu, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" padichen..mei maradhutten po!:)
SB, I guess each language has its own beauties of expression and we are lucky if we can comprehend it fully in any one language...

Subha said...

Thennavan,
ennavo bayangarama ellam poem ezhudhareenga..nadathunga...:)

Chakra Sampath said...

hey.. when u mention the great poets, couldn't keep quiet from telling abt the fact that I live few yards from the place where Shelley lived.

thennavan said...

Subha, nadaththallai, ottittu irukken (ungalai ellaam :-)). Innum puriyallai? En latest post @ ChennaiCentral puriya vaikkum :-)

Anonymous said...

vasu @ LOL

Kay

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Poems - Used to like a couple of them but nothing could give me comfort / give me comfort.

Poems in English or Tamil for that matter don't impact me that much especially if they are in Poetic English or Tamil.

I tend to like the modern ones.

Only one poem still stays in my mind I think it was Robert Frost:

Death may come but not to stay
Even death shall pass away

None said...

ah! another lover of the romantics! keats and shelley are my faves though!

cheers!