Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Pain in Poetry
I really enjoyed Professor Frank's reading and interpretations of pain in poetry. Although I'm sure the poetry is better in the original languages, I likes the idea (shown mainly in The Goat) that translators get to put their own interpretations of pain and of poetry into the work that they do. Pain truly translates into every language. Greek, Russian, and Italian sounded beautiful, but I feel sure that every person understands the pain that both Andromeke and Dido experienced. I have to admit that when I first began to understand the story of Dido I was reminded strikingly of Juliet. Would it be possible that Shakespeare simply took the story of Aeneas and Dido and made it even more tragic, and also made the man weaker than he had once been? Men were certainly not as masculine as they had been in Ancient Rome and perhaps Shakespeare was trying to feminize the hero and make love not just a woman's burden but a man's as well. Obviously the stories are not the same, but the tragedy and the pain of unrequited love to the point of suicide is present in both historic love stories. I loved that Professor Frank attributed the caution of a woman on the subject of war as wisdom rather than weakness. If given the choice, no one would experience pain. However, in Greece cleos was so highly valued that pain was not to be avoided, and the men would gladly go to war and die, not considering the pain and anguish left behind. I thought the lecture was very thought provoking and particularly loved the poem The Goat. In the future I will be sure to look up more of Saba's poems and am grateful for being introduced to him as a writer.