Posts Tagged ‘charles baudelaire’

A Close Reading of a Poem By a Girl

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

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While being educated upon literature, one of the most marvelous assignments I received was to conduct a close reading of a poem of my choosing. Though 99 percent of the people who associate themselves with literature nowadays probably perceive poems as mere documents that they’re coerced to comment upon in workshop, I am mesmerized by beatific poems, and I believe each one necessitates thoughtful evaluation. After all, when you see a beautiful look by, say, Calvin Klein, you shouldn’t just mumble “Nice job, Calvin” and then zip right along to the next one —  that’s inconsideration. What everyone should do is concentrate on the look exclusively in order to notice the particular shade of grey and the way in which the squiggly white stripes contrast those of the grey ones.

The same should be so for a poem.

The poem I selected to do my close reading with was Charles Churchill’s night. An 18-century poet who didn’t like gay people, Charles is often ignored, while poets like putrid pragmatist Alexander Pope are emphasized. But, really, Charles needs ten times the heed of Alexander, as Charles is ten times as terrific as Alexander.

For Charles, the greater public views the daytime as the place of hardworking humans and the nighttime as the space of a sordid species. But in his poem, Night, Charles says that daytime is much more foul than nighttime. Using heroic couplets, Charles explains why the daytime is contemptuous, calling its denizens “slaves to business, bodies without soul.” In contrast to the spiritless stupids, those who wander in the night have an “active mind” and enjoy “a humble, happier state.” Near the end Charles states, “What calls us guilty, cannot make us so.” While I concur with Charles that just because the 99 percent say it’s true doesn’t make it true, I don’t agree that the nighttime is so wonderful, as gay people go out at night a ton, and gay people aren’t a thinking bunch.

But Charles’s poem is still bold, bellicose, and abrasive, and all of those traits are laudatory, and, through my close reading, I became much better acquainted with them.

Also disseminating a decided amount of close reading are the baby despots of Bambi Muse. Baby Adolf did one on Emily’s “Presentiment,” Baby Marie-Antoinette did one about Edna’s “Second Fig,” and Baby Joseph did one concerning William’s [“so much depends”].

Close readings appear to be very vogue. So, having already summed up a close reading of a boy poet, I will presently present a close reading of a girl poet.

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Alexandra Petri and John Deming Should Probably Get Married Because They Have A Lot In Common Because They Are Both Considerably Misinformed About Poetry

Monday, January 28th, 2013

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I intentionally missed most of the inauguration of Bruce Springsteen’s boyfriend. Symbols of democracy and freedom make my tummy quite queasy. I prefer the enchantment of The Little Mermaid to the mediocrity of the middle class and the person that they pick to govern them. But a couple of days after The Boss’s “partner” was publicly sworn in, I overheard two princess friends of mine discussing a poetry quarrel that arose from this inauguration. Supposedly a poet named Richard (I’m not sure of his last name, and considering his connection to Obama, he’s certainly not talented enough to Google or even Bing) read. The poem prompted a girl Washington Post blogger, Alexandra Petri, to declare that poetry is probably dead. A poetry boy, John Deming, quickly rendered a rebuttal. After reading both, I’ve come to the conclusion that each has a very un-magical, unsupportable viewpoint on poetry.

To begin, I’d like to declare that being “dead” isn’t deplorable: it’s delightful. Sylvia adored the dead. She covered herself in concentration camp victims. Her skin was “bright as Nazi lampshade.” Was Sylvia disempowered or on the margins of culture? No way, progressive gays! Sylvia was a spitfire. She slashed her daddy and her canonized poet husband. Charles Baudelaire, one of the best boy poets ever, sought the dead too. In “Spleen (ii)” Charles boasts that his skull holds “more corpses than a common grave.” Identification with dead doesn’t disadvantage Charles either. He’s a dandy — someone superlatively superior to humans, a boy who follows his own special set of laws. The dead are special and unique. They’re much more powerful than humans. To call someone or something dead is a term of incredible endearment, and should be embraced.

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Ann Romney Should Be the Next President

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama is fit to be the president of the United States of America.

At first, my Tumblr literary corporation championed Mitt. We believed that he would cut taxes for the most moneyed Americans, thereby making it a breeze for a boy to snag a handsome millionaire so that the handsome millionaire would provide the boy with a weekly allowance that would cover straight-to-DVD Disney sequels, Snickers ice cream, and other such terrific trinkets and trucks. But, suddenly, Mitt started saying that he wouldn’t cut taxes for millionaires. Indeed, Mitt has become a centrist. Even if Mitt’s migration to the middle is merely a lie, it’s still revolting enough for my literary corporation to withdraw its support because compromise is so awfully common (not to mention unexciting).

Now, obviously, Barack Obama could never ever earn the endorsement of my Tumblr literary corporation. Obama’s trademark word is “hope.” Any thoughtful boy (or girl) knows that while there is “hope,” that “hope” cannot be realized on earth because “hope” has to do with heaven, which isn’t on earth. Baudelaire concurs. In the first Fleurs de mal poem, Baudelaire sings fondly about being an angel in heaven. Then, in the final “Spleen” poem in Fleurs de mal (which takes place on earth) hope is conquered by anguish. Yes, being amongst postlapsarian people is tediously tiring. Yet these fallen fartsniffers are the very ones that Obama plans to assist. Obama is the antithesis of Baudelaire. Obama is calm, nice, and pragmatic. Baudelaire is catty, hyperbolic, and pretty (he spent no fewer than two hours preparing his outfit for the day). Baudelaire is a performance. Obama is a person, which is the worst thing that anyone can ever be.

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Mean Monday: Baudelaire’s Preface to The Flowers of Evil

Monday, March 30th, 2009
Another Drunk French Dude

Another Drunk French Dude

 Baudelaire was sort of mean-spirited. I would have liked to have gotten drunk with him, maybe just once though, and then probably I would stay away from him. But damn, the preface to The Flowers of Evil is brilliant. The dude was a first class asshole. Baudelaire would have liked when Brian Johnson sang, “you get into evil, you’re a friend of mine:” (more…)