Top Image

Top Image

Poems on the Underground

Posted on: Monday, 13 June 2011

I was looking for poems on the Underground to add to my pinterest unashamed 'BUY ME' board (to be fair, it's more of an instruction for myself than for anyone else). And I found the above.

Oo, Hopkins. Oo, The Windhover.

Almost ten years ago (HOLY MOTHER OF GEORGE WASHINGTON!) I was given this poem at a University interview. I had ten minutes to read it and think about it sitting on a plastic chair in a draughty corridor and then had to speak to a Professor (Doctor? Surely they wouldn't waste the Professors' precious time interviewing the likes of us?) about it.

They were careful, mind. They didn't say 'Tell us what it means.' Poems don't MEAN stuff, you see. I didn't know that at the time, though. I was paralysed by the fact that I hadn't 'done' the poem. At that point in my education, I didn't realise it was wrong to say I'd 'done' a particular text.

If I''m honest, I still cringe a little when I think of the clangers I must have dropped at that interview. "Oh no, we didn't DO Jude the Obscure. We DID Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I reallly liked DOING Tess of the D'Urbervilles."

Y'see, I was still in that 'All-Literature-is-good-and-I-must-like-it-or-I'll-sound-thick' stage, too. Truth be told, I hated Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Thomas Hardy's pervy-wholesome-milkmaid prose made me want to vom.

Darlings, we don't 'do' Literature. That's what I tell my 6th formers now. In a wanky, uber-sarcastic posho accent. Then I tell them they'll meet a couple of Crispins and Lovedays at University and won't know what's hit them; and, more importantly, Crispin and Loveday won't know what's hit them. Then I tell them my story about the girl in my first seminar at Durham who started banging on about the 'dichotomy within the text' and how I thought she meant some sort of medical procedure that I'd clearly totally missed.

Oh, the shame. 

Mind you, on the whole, my 6th formers are largely more concerned with how totally rad their emo fringe looks than their University prospects, so perhaps my adolescent pain is lost on them a little.  

Anyhoo. I saw this and was reminded by how ridiculous the text choice was. And of my 18-year-old-angst. And about the fact that I barely got it was about a bird, never mind about Christ.

I shall find a much better Poem on the Underground and post it over here.  


Post a Comment

Thoughts/comments/craic? Go for your life, as my father would say.

Soz about the word verification. The spammers are driving me nuts.

Parliament Of Owls All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger