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Sunny Sharma

Poetry, like wine, is an acquired taste. In my experience, people either love it or dismiss it as pretentious; there is very little middle ground. Absolutely, there are incredibly flowery poets out there (one only has to Google Shakespeare) who are trying to be grandiose. I greatly prefer I the beauty in Wordsworth’s poetry, in that it is elegantly simple, and anyone can feel the emotions he is trying to convey on paper. “Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey” is a perfect example of Wordsworth’s masterful ability to bring us to this particular moment in time, years and years ago. My favorite passage is on page 111, “Wherever nature led;more like a man/Flying from something that he dreads, than one/Who sought the thing he loved.” In just one line I see the inner reflection, almost turmoil, that Wordsworth has over understanding his past self, the last time he was at Tintern Abbey. It is a feeling that is universal, to spend so much time grappling with what once was, with who we were, “I cannot paint/What then I was”. This poem is not about Wordsworth describing Tintern Abbey (in fact there is not a line  describing  the abbey) but about the relation between a physical place and who Wordsworth was the last time he was there. In this poem not only can I visualize the “mountains,by the sides/Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams” but I can also feel how “like a roe/I bounded”. Wordsworth is completely raw and emotional with the reader, without sounding contrived or affected, achieving what I believe is the ultimate goal in any kind of writing.


Are there any possible connections between Hacking and his work regarding the indeterminacy of the past?

Why is Wordsworth’s poetry still read? Is there any value in continuing to do so?

Penelopiad-Blog Post 1

Even though I really did enjoy reading Homer’s telling of The Odyssey, I was extremely excited to read Margaret Atwood’s version of events, through Odysseus’ wife, Penelope. Penelope struck me as a complex character, who is not given enough attention in the Odyssey. She is clever and resourceful, yet is still expected to listen to “the men of the house” and she spends her time weeping over her missing husband. When I started reading this novel, I was expecting it to be typically Atwood; that is, feminist. While there are aspects to the novel that can be considered feminist, Penelope herself is not intrinsically feminist. Penelope is a subjective narrator, who fails to see the double standards between her criticism of Helen, and her own actions. For example, Penelope blames Helen for the death of soldiers in Troy, and she feels that Helen has had a negative effect on her life. However, Penelope can be blamed for the death of the maids, whose help she elicited in spying on the suitors. I do believe that Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad accomplishes what it sets out to do, to give a voice to a character who was considered secondary to the great hero Odysseus.