11 August, 2010

White Literature: Lord Byron

Posted by Socrates in literature, poems, poetry, Socrates, White thought at 1:13 am | Permanent Link

The famed poet Byron (1788-1824) had a flair for words, you have to admit, even if you aren’t a fan of poetry:

[Website].


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  7. 13 Responses to “White Literature: Lord Byron”

    1. Donald E. Pauly Says:

      Full disclosure here, I say that a good poet is a dead poet. The definition of a poet is a useless person.

      Charles Darwin, of Blessed Memory, wrote in his autobiography how one of his friends told him that he should read Shakespeare. He stated that he had tried to do so, but it nauseated him.

    2. Tim McGreen Says:

      I read Prometheus, Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in college, but those early Romantic poems are a little too febrile for me. Maybe if I had lived back then, or in Elizabethan times in the case of The Bard, I would have a better appreciation for those works. Lord Byron was so enamored of Classical Greece (which is laudable) that he went over there to help them fight for their independence from the Turks. But he wound up getting a fever and died.

    3. Tim McGreen Says:

      Shakespeare’s best play, of course, is The Merchant of Venice. If it gets performed at all, the Jews make sure the despicable Jew character of Shylock is always presented as a misunderstood victim of anti-Kikeism, instead of the greedy, obnoxious Hebe that he plainly is meant to be.

    4. Donald E. Pauly Says:

      I concur on the Merchant of Venice. I also loved the Taming of the Shrew. It was the only movie done by the Jewish Princess Elizabeth Taylor that I liked. I recommend that everyone rent the video.

    5. steven clark Says:

      I like Byron, and read a lot of his poetry some years ago; always found him more amenable than Jane Austen…I just don’t get into her twittering regency prose, although I recognize her genius. Byron talks and shows the world.

      I love the Merchant of Venice. I remember reading it on military duty in a foxhole, machine gun by my side. I’ve seen a couple of good productions with a fellow actress doing a great Portia…but you have to rememeber with ALL critics it’s Shylock, Shylock, Shylock.
      Also, don’t forget Mel Gibson as Hamlet. He was pretty good.

    6. Susan Says:

      Well, I love the Romantic poets. Byron and Wordsworth are probably my two most favorite of the genre.

      I’ve posted a lot of my favorite poems over on the Phora in the Poetry thread. A lot of poetry lovers seem to like the same kind of poetry.

      Of course, then there’s Steve b who showed up to insult everyone. What a putz.

      Haven’t seen him around in a while. Maybe he died. What a shame that would be. lol

    7. Dave Says:

      I read some of it and I just don’t know. I don’t dislike it. Kind of neat looking guy though. Poetry is as strange to me as dancing is.

    8. Tim McGreen Says:

      Very interesting comments here. I especially like the “twittering Regency prose” remark by Mr. Clark. This site certainly attracts well-read people!

      But don’t forget William Blake and Samuel Coleridge when it comes to must-read early 19th century English poets.

    9. steven clark Says:

      I didn’t mean to especially demean Ms. Austen. I love all the film adaptations, but it takes me weeks to get through her works. Blake especially is evocative, and also Keats. See BRIGHT STAR if you can. Excellent film of Keats.
      Another writer I like is Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), the first American writer. He wrote a series of gothic novels that are very forceful, like ORMOND, EDGAR HUNTLEY, ARTHUR MERWYN. He explored a lot of philosophical and psychological facets, and Poe considered him a source of his ideas, as did Hawthorne. Especially in ORMOND, where his hero (in a Vincent Price kind of way) is tied in with the Illuminati. Fascinating, and it’s a cut above LAST OF THE MOHICANS.

    10. Susan Says:

      I agree that Byron is certainly not the best example of romantic poetry. Actually, Wordsworth I think is my favorite.

      Yes, there are some classic writers that I simply cannot slog through, but film adaptations of their works are marvelous. All of Austin’s works on film are exquisite, especially the lesser known and seen Persuasion. See it and enjoy it! It is delicious.

    11. Virgil Says:

      I recommend the verse translations of Homer by Alexander Pope and of Virgil by John Dryden; they are some of the most sublime works of english litterature.

    12. Richard Brodie Says:

      Donald says:

      “Charles Darwin, of Blessed Memory, wrote in his autobiography how one of his friends told him that he should read Shakespeare. He stated that he had tried to do so, but it nauseated him.”

      So now let’s look at the full context. Here is the complete relevant quote from Darwin’s autobiography – in Darwin’s words, not Donald’s:

      “Up to the age of thirty or beyond it, poetry of many kinds gave me great pleasure; and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that pictures formerly gave me considerable joy, and music every great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry. I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts; but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive.”

      So Darwin recognized that his deteriorating capacity to enjoy the “higher tastes” of painting, music, and poetry was not because of the deadness of art but rather because of his own tragic, increasingly deadened ability to appreciate it.

      Donald further states that:

      “a good poet is a dead poet. The definition of a poet is a useless person.”

      And if one has become sufficiently brain dead, as Darwin laments that he had become, then to such a withered intellect poets would indeed be quite useless. I certainly hope that Donald can become healed by following the advice implicit in Darwin’s final words:

      “If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the part of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept alive through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.”

    13. Donald E. Pauly Says:

      Richard Brodie Says:

      And if one has become sufficiently brain dead, as Darwin laments that he had become, then to such a withered intellect poets would indeed be quite useless. I certainly hope that Donald can become healed by following the advice implicit in Darwin’s final words:

      “If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the part of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept alive through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.”

      As Reichminister Goebbels, of Blessed Memory, would point out, a good
      propagandist never fears to take a quote a bit out of context. I didn’t do all that bad for remembering from 40 years ago. I will take my beating like a man but this didn’t make me love poets a bit more. I’m glad that those brain cells are dead. The ones for music appreciation are still working fine.