on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 29 Nov

Understanding Poetry

von: Martina Weber Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off



„To fully understand poetry (…) ask two questions. One: How artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered? And, two, how important is that objective? Question one rates the poem´s perfection. Question two rates its importance. And once these questions have been answered determining a poem´s greatness becomes a relatively simple matter. If the poem´s score for perfection is plottet on the horizontal of a graph and its importance is plottet on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness. A sonnet by Byron might score high on the vertical, but only average on the horizontal. A Shakespearean sonnet, on the other hand would score high both horizontally and vertically yielding a massive total area thereby revealing the poem to be truly great.“


This is the beginning of the preface of a textbook by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. In Dead Poets Society the new English teacher John Keating assigns the boys at the boarding school to rip out the entire page. He develops his own method of getting the pupils to write poems themselves. This is one of the central scenes. Let it fill your soul.


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