lamebook.com went perfectly with something that's been running around in my head for a while now. I recently picked up a book of poetry at the library and have been unable to return it since. It's a great collection of all the old faves: Shakespeare, Keats, Yeats, Blake, Tennyson etc. Not to say that I'm not a fan of modern poetry. I love slam poetry, I love free verse; whenever I set out on any kind of poetic endeavor, it's always free verse. But let's talk about the old stuff.
I admit I've never been a fan of Shakespeare. I took a course in college on all his literary works and I swear the only thing that got me through it was Sparknotes; I just couldn't grasp the language. But the first time I read and really understood Hamlet's to be or not to be soliloquy, I had to pause for a minute, it was practically spiritual.
Likewise, Yeats: the Second Coming, or Tennyson: Flower in the Crannied Wall, Blake: Auguries of Innocence, Shakespeare: Sonnet 94.. I could go on but I won't. I swear, every one of them gives me chills.
Or let's talk romance. Case in point, Shakespeare: Sonnet 97, or better yet, Sonnet 116. Or John Donne: The Good-Morrow, Edmund Spenser: One Day I Wrote Her Name, Elizabeth Browning: How do I love thee?
You just don't get poetry like this anymore. Let's allow the romantic in us to imagine, for a minute, that each of these poems was written to some lucky lady. And then I think of the boys I know, and can't imagine any one of them writing anything so beautiful. Sure, I've had letters written to me that made me go all gooey, and my ex even wrote me a song, but when you look at not just the depth of emotion, but the beautiful use of language, the allegories, the wit and perception that are such a part of the poems of yore, your modern man can't hold a candle to it.
And it really makes you wonder, is romance dead? Have we, with all our social norms and 'advanced ways', programmed the romance out of us? Roses are cliche, poetry is for pansies, and the most expensive gift trumps the most thoughtful gift. Or maybe language is dead? Why say "I love thee to the level of every day's most quiet need, by sun and candlelight" when a simple ilu is so much faster and only 3 characters long? I can't help but look scornfully at the girls who get giddy over a <3. How easily pleased we are..
It's a little hard not to feel a wee pang of regret for the romance of times gone by.