July 14, 2008

Neutral Tones, apropos of nothing

You know I love the poem "Neutral Tones" by Thomas Hardy, and I loved teaching it in Brit Lit. I always told students they should write it by hand in a blank greeting card and give it to their boyfriend or girlfriend, because handwritten poems in greeting cards are very romantic. Heh heh heh.

I could have posted the poem here in its entirety, since it must be in the public domain, but it's a little dark, and it's not like I'm trying to send a message ... because I'm really not. I just think it's a tightly conceived poem.

Richard Brautigan has kind of been a guilty pleasure for me, but I started with his best (In Watermelon Sugar) and then read the rest. His poetry, though, is a little easy--not in terms of reading, which it is, because that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to have been written too easily, which I think usually is a bad thing. It's the difference between dating easy and being easy, it seems to me. Contrast Thomas Hardy, above: he's great, but not because it came easily to him.

Still, every now and then Brautigan kind of gets at something. I like the way these two poems go together.


Anonymous said...

I just named my son's new puppy Boo. Not that this poem has anything to do with puppies or really the name Boo. But it does have to do with things unrelated to my puppy named Boo.

NYMary said...

Wow. Cool poems.