Monday, April 8, 2013
Grammar in Poetry, Poetry in Motion
I love poetry and would like to use it in every aspect of my life: teaching, showing my love and passion for people and things, to patch up with people I have hurt or have fought with, at dawn at midnight and even mutter it in my sleepJ. Supine or mobile, Poetry in motion is what I have been called! I have used my favorite medium, literature, to teach grammar, but when you teach in this fashion to engineers, MBAs, managers and such breed of people, it can be intimidating to them and hence I refrain…My passion, twinkle in my eyes, shine on my face, spring in my step, timbre in my voice, all are sacrificed at the altar of Compromise. But I do have the Never-say-Die spirit and always have a small ray of hope reflected in every sphere of my life I am passionate about. So here goes, for the non believers, Grammar, the logic of language as reflected in poetry…
John Donne's poetry may seem complicated and like a maze of words, all strewn about carelessly in which people can get lost in meaning and the seemingly meaningless. Donne, however, like all good poets, wrote in complete sentences that obey the rules of English grammar. An understanding of grammar, then, can help us to make sense of his challenging verse and even to interpret it. Here is a poem by Donne which exemplifies this.
The Sunne Rising by John Donne
Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices,
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,
Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme,
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time.
Thy beames, so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou thinke?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long:
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Looke, and to morrow late, tell mee,
Whether both the'Indias of spice and Myne
Be where thou lefts them, or lie here with mee.
Aske for those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt heare, All here in one bed lay.