In my head I have a bunch of ideas for post, and I do want to at least try to make better book reviews this year but time just disappears. Where did my week go? (I spent it reading Ferrante and watching the Crown on Netflix that’s where).
What I do manage to be consistent with is my poetry reading, it has come to mean a lot to me. I’m not sure I understand poetry, I don’t know that much (I think) but that also means that I feel rather free in reading it. Some poetry I read little by little, some I read from cover to cover (which is how some poetry is meant to be read). On that note, about learning more I do want to recommend the episod about Edith Södergran from Swedish pod “Bildningsradion” if you understand Swedish, and my long time fave podcast “In our time” has episodes about Anna Akhmatova(this week), Pushkin and Byron (in the archives)(and the one about Beowulf is also very good).
Speaking of Byron, I did get a slim volume of some of his poetry sent to me by a friend so I read that. Enjoyable as that was two things are worth mentioning: 1. I’m probably more fascinated by Byron the person than the poet. 2. The best bit of the collection of poetry was the high level snark of the introduction.
The reson for his extraordinary popularity as a poet on the Continent of Europe remains something of a mystery to the English reader. Romantic rhetoric was the fashion of the age yet the greatest poets, such as Wordsworth and Shelley ,escaped it…The frequent insincerity of Byron’s sentiments, combined with the inferior poetic technique of his lyrics, harmed him in his native lands.
-from the introduction
Ouch. Prior to the lambasted I had read the critically acclaimed; Danish poet Olga Ravn’s collection Den vita rosen (the White rose; my translation) which is meant to be read in one go. I cannot say I understood it but I did enjoy it. Poetry, for me, is interesting because it challenges how I read and how I take in text and that is something to be considered. It can be an excersice in form, which tells as much as the words put together.
Now I will get back to Ferrante. I’m obsessed I tell you.