13 oct. 2003

How I did and what I learned: poetic language is relational; its value does not inhere in its words but resonates with other languages and the world itself. Sure, some poems are so luminous that it seems as though their value was intrinsic: some of the poems by Wyatt, Niedecker, the anonymous lyrics, were in this category. Dramatic or narrative verse, whether by Shakespeare, Browning, or Fletcher, cannot be fairly judged, the way LZ has things set up. The entire exercise favors lyric luminosity. Since I knew the Tempest ,I had an easier time responding to Ariel's lines, whereas with Lear, a play I haven't seen or read for years, a single speech did not resonate as much.

I performed at about a B level on identification. I got some easy ones, but placed a few excerpts in the wrong century. My grades stand up pretty well. Even the Crabbe piece that I over-rated is not all that bad. My low marks for "great poets" came only with Shakespeare's Pericles, and Browning, and a two-liner by Byron. My grading of Swinburne is wholly justified, in my mind.

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