prompt #13 revisited

whoops. just realized i didn’t even answer yesterday’s prompt! see, too wordy!

there are many poems that i’ve come across that have just awed me by their use of language. i love words and to be able to convey such emotion or imagery in words makes me swoon, actually. but the one poem that sticks in my mind, even to this day, is a short, well-known poem that gave me such a hard time in high school. i can now recite it ’til this day because i had burned these words into my memory, trying desperately to figure out what the heck it meant. for someone who danced hula and was acquainted with the figurative vs literal meanings of songs, i was so clueless when it came to english poetry. i took everything so literally, and when pressed to find out what the figurative meaning was, i would just stare at the words, running them through my mind over and over and over but feeling so naive and not seeing what it was that my classmates could see. how could they figure these things out, and i just saw words conveying the perfect literal image in my mind? it’s why i began to hate analyzing poetry, because i could see how i sucked at trying to find out what it was really about, when i was just taking it for face value, and because everyone else was better at it than me! so naturally, i hate it! 😛

okay. before i go off track again. the one poem that sticks out in my head, i seriously took as literal. and i guess that could be one interpretation of it. but my teacher wanted the deeper meaning, and she called me on it, when i happened to make the dreaded mistake of making eye contact with her in a class of silence. man. i was not able to answer. another student did, though, and then it dawned on me. OH! so embarrassing. then i reread it over and over, with this new information in mind, and could see what it meant. and then i left it at that.

a few months ago, i came across it online, and read some of the comments about it, hoping to see that i wasn’t the only one who was so ignorant about the double meaning. that’s when i read all these *other* interpretations. what? really? wow! no way? but each interpretation did have some truth to it, and i could see it in the words. then i started to think how brilliantly crafted the poem was. in only 51 words, he was able to create all these different responses, different themes, different analyses, and with those 51 “simple” words, he has sparked debate about what it truly means. then it made me think. did he mean to do that? did he really put these words down to spark discussion and analysis? did he choose his words so carefully because he knew that it could mean this AND that? or was it just a simple thought he wrote out in 2 minutes? i mean, i used to always think, why are we trying to find the hidden meaning of this poem, when maybe, all the poet wanted to do *was* to convey how beautiful the mountain is, and not even meaning love or a woman or anything? maybe it really *is* about a mountain? you know? it made me wonder. when he chose those 51 words, was it deliberate? i mean, i’m sure it was, but … you know. did he realize there were double meanings? does he know of all these different interpretations? or did he mean it just to mean one thing, and everything else was wrong? but still, it does bring up all these other arguments and it’s fascinating. all of that from 51 words. wow. i wish i could do that!

anyway, i came to really love the poem. a person with a simple mind like mine can enjoy it as much as someone searching for the deeper meaning. it’s great for what it says, how a child may understand it, if you read it to him, but then when you start peeling back the layers and seeing its heart–whatever it may be, whatever *you* see in it–and realize that it’s talking about something entirely different–wow. and on top of all that, i just love the lyricalness of it. the use of long vowel sounds, and the alliteration, and the rhymes–it almost sounds like a simple nursery rhyme like “hey diddle diddle” or “twinkle, twinkle little star,” adding on to its presentation of being about simple things, when it’s really disguising (or is it?) something else. hmm. now i’m wondering about “twinkle, twinkle little star”! could that be hiding something else?!?! 😛

gee. i have so much to learn.


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