Re-read Idylls (I love…

Re-read Idylls (I love parts of it, but Tennyson's obsession with women and sin drives me a bit mad) and then read the five Robert Browning poems on my list -- I can't believe I haven't read anything of his before. He's really good -- often quite funny. Check out his "My Last Duchess" -- bitingly sharp, that one. It may seem a bit opaque at first, but if you stay with it, it all comes chillingly clear. Good stuff.

I'm not sure I quite get "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" -- I kept expecting there to be a reason why our narrator was so furious at the other monk. Did I miss something? I'm going to poke around some crit and see if I can figure out more clearly exactly what's going on with that one. But any famous poem that starts out "GR-R-R-" is pretty neat in my book. :-)

Actually, now that I think about it a bit more, I suspect our narrator doesn't actually have a good reason. Being stuck in a Spanish Cloister your whole life is plenty reason enough for developing unreasoning hatreds and seeing your own faults in everyone around you (or one particular person, as in this case).

2 thoughts on “Re-read Idylls (I love…”

  1. If you want a Browning poem to send a chill up your back, read Porphyria’s Lover. It brings gasps of horror out of my students. (Read it aloud with mad sanity and reasonableness!) And you are right about the Cloister. What a great poem of petty jealous evil. Then when you have forever, if you like Browning, get his magnum opus, “The Ring and the Book.” Fantastic! It kept me up nights when I was a sophomore in college.

  2. Read something not on my list? Okay, just for you, GAC, I’ll read it before I go to sleep tonight. But now I have to go scrub the bathroom. I don’t know why, I just do.

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