To do my live blog poetry interpretation I first looked around for difficult poets and poems, but then, as I wrote yesterday, I happened on song lyrics that seemed harder than any poem I could find. So I decided I might as well just grab any old famous poet poem I could find and see what happens. I read a poem I liked by Yeats once, and, looking around, this Swan poem showed up and I thought that was good enough for me. I like swans. I haven't read it yet. I'll give you the whole thing to read, and I'll read it too. Then I'll interpret it, on the fly, with a weak understanding of poetry, and Yeats, and actually lots of things that I'll feel free to bring into play here because I feel it will be good for poetry as a whole to be brought into the hurly-burly of the waking world and particularly of almost but not quite unhinged library blogs. To my blog readers who are poets: you may want to read this one with your eyes shut. But I do it for poetry! You can also skip down and read the poetry with my commentary right off. I'm just being polite here.
The Wild Swans at Coole
Okay, now with my commentary:
The Wild Swans at Coole-as I said, I was won over some by the title, at least the wild swans part. How confusing can wild swans be? Don't know where Coole is though assume it's a place, with swans.
-good, good, autumn trees, we get that here, super pretty. Of course it's early summer now, but I'll use my imagination!
-yes, paths, country, or wild, no sidewalks, pleasant weather...
-evening very clear and still, a lake too! I am totally understanding the poem so far. Can we stop now while the going's good? No? You okay?
-Oh! That's a lot of swans. It's not just a pretty scene on a lovely evening. It's an awesome spectacle of nature!
-So he's been counting these swans every fall for nineteen years. I think that's right. Either way he definitely likes counting, that's for sure.
-I think he roughly counted 59 swans and was sort of double checking, you know, firming up the count, when they all started flying and whirling about dramatically and noisily.
-something about the beautiful birds or his history or both is making him sad.
-okay, I've lost some of my confidence on this, but I think these 19 years have made this visit with the brilliant creatures heavier in his soul, beautiful but sad. Is it the years? I understand about the years- that bell-beat of their wings echoes the talk of time.
-The swans are intimate with the world and with each other. They remain young. I don't think our poet is jealous exactly of the swans, but they lay bare the complications of his heart and the years. Oh, who am I kidding, he is so jealous and so painfully far away feeling.
-drifting on still water we're back to the start and can finish counting, but it's too beautiful and now way too sad for that. It just makes us thoughtful, horribly thoughtful.