Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Life and Poetry

Lately I've been doing my best to stay productive. Orchestral pit work, just like any other job, can get extremely exhausting. So after a three hour rehearsal and a three hour show my arms are not the only thing that need a break. But one thing that I've realized is that while a break is all well and good, you also need to push past the exhaustion in order to live a healthy and productive life. So that brings you up to date on my week. 

I made the decision to be productive. Shocking, I know.

The first thing that I started with was shutting down my Hulu tab (there's practically nothing on in the summer anyway!) and picking up a book. A few different books. The first one I picked up, Betsy and the Great World, was sent to me by my younger sister. I had emailed her a list of things that I needed sent to me from home and on that list I included "a novel of your choosing. I trust you". I am very happy to say that she proved me right and this book was exactly the right read for this week. I hadn't read it in quite a few years and it had such a different feeling than the last time I read it. Now I'm the same age as the protagonist and have had my own adventures in Europe which makes this book twice as exciting.

The second thing I picked up was my beautiful antique book of Keats' poetry. I made it my goal to get through the entire thing before the end of the summer. "A beautiful goal" as my dearest friend called it. I think people see me as a poetry person but I'm not sure why. I struggle grasping the meaning behind a poem just as much as any other person. But I think the thing that keeps me loving this art form is the need to wallow in it. It's not straightforward or shallow - it's something that gains more meaning after years. All in all I think reading poetry is a wonderful process. 

So, in honor of my most recent endeavor - here is a poem. Wallow in it. 


ON DEATH - John Keats

Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,
And yet we think the greatest pain's to die,


How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare to view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.


One last thought and link before I leave you. I stumbled upon this interesting article today regarding reading and understand poetry. The author writes:

"It comes to you slowly. . . .
You read it, 
work out some details, 
get lost, 
come back again later."