Last night's poetry meeting was rather unusual for our group: instead of everybody reading up on and presenting poems on a set subject we discussed in detail, two very long poems and one of medium length.
Robert Browning's "Childe Harold To The Dark Tower Came" was the first.
To appreciate it one must read it aloud, savouring each dark allusion, making the most of the horrors and fearful scenes Browning's rich language evokes.
He took the title from "King Lear" where Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, sings:
Child Roland to the dark tower came,
His word was still "fie, foh and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.
Christina Rosetti's "Goblin Market" came next.
I'm not particularly fond of this poem, I don't really do homilies, finger-wagging "be good" stuff, or else. That said, this poem must also be read aloud to get the full fruity flavour of it, particularly the long lists. One could become intoxicated on words here.
D.H. Lawrence"s "Snake" was the last poem.
And what a poem it is. one can, and some do, read all sorts of meanings into it; and why not.
I love the surface of it too, perhaps even more than the allegorical depths; you can feel the heat, with the volcano smoking in the margins of the picture, see the man come out in his pyjamas, watch the snake and feel afraid of it, and finally, give in to mankind's petty and vindictive nature by hurting it.
An exhilarating evening.
The next subject is Greed and Gluttony. Any ideas? I'll certainly have fun researching it.