For reasons that I won’t go into here, I have just spent the last two days writing a formal “critical review”. I can’t say I enjoyed the experience and I was delighted to take the opportunity to sneak out to watch a firework display last night. As the local secondhand book shop was having a late night opening, I decided to pop in on the way home and delay my return to my desk even longer.
I didn’t find anything to help me with my MLA citations, but I found a delightful book called Pattern Poetry, first published in 1926, which offers up all sorts of interesting possibilities for comment and critique on well-known and less well-known poems.
In the image is Tennyson’s Break, Break, Break! followed by a fascinating selection of tasks for the reader:
Later in the book come the opening lines of Longfellow’s Hiawatha. The reader is asked:
And after Browning’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin we are asked to consider:
This is all so much more fun than the critical analysis that I am supposed to be doing. I’m running a poetry workshop next week and I’m very tempted to have them all drawing pictures and gossiping about the private lives of the poets.
2 thoughts on “critical moments”
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
Can I suggest that you’d need a whole workshop on the private life of Oscar?
It’d be an excuse to run a series of workshops.
Except, of course, I think (grosso modo) that the private life of the poet should not be brought into the discussion of the poetry.