Preparing for Europe: Part II

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post may not be suitable for children under the age of 17. Please proceed reading at your own risk.

I graduated from Wheaton College as the first to major in English with a concentration in Poetry. In addition to writing poetry, I also studied it and analyzed it and broke apart words, lines and stanzas and wrote pages and pages about a single piece of work.

My favorite poet (until about a month ago) has been Lord Byron. I mean, seriously, how could you go wrong with words like:

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies:

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies

Or how about…

So we’ll go no more a-roving

So late into the night,

Though the heart be still as loving

And the moon be still as bright.

I always loved his simple rhymes and meter, so easy to read with a constant beat. And how he talked about beauty and love? It could make any girl look upon this master with dreamy eyes. Well, me at least. That is one thing about me that some of you may not know–I could fall harder in love with someone because of their talent than because of their looks. One of my high school beau’s was a creative writer. We met in a creative writing class and he serenaded me daily with a new page of prose or poetry that I hung up all over my bedroom walls. I was head over heels for that guy because of his words. Granted I was dramatic in high school (as well as young and stupid) and burned the pages when we broke up, but it was great while it lasted.

When I was watching the Country Music Awards, I was awestruck by Jason Aldean singing Big Green Tractor. He’s not super hot, he has a boyish cuteness about him and the curly hair that I can only imagine is as soft as silk, but the way his mouth moved to sing that song–that totally did it for me. My heart skips a beat whenever I hear that silly song…the images in it of him taking a girl riding on a tractor around his land instead of off to the movies our out to dinner is kind of ridiculous, but I think that is why I am ga-ga over him. He made something so simple sound super SUPER romantic.

Anyway, back to Byron…

So, last month I tivo’d a documentary-type movie about the life of Lord Byron and when I finally got around to watching this three hour melodrama, I was utterly disgusted. It started with Byron living abroad in Greece, intimately engaging with young men. Then when he returned to England, Byron had a secret, sexual love affair with his married half sister and it is portrayed that she birthed a daughter from the affair. Then the half sister insisted that she and Byron stop their unholy meetings before someone found out and she made it her mission to find him someone to marry.

After the wedding, Byron continued to treat his new wife like dirt, despite her being totally enamored by him and his creative talent. He even sodomized this poor girl (which was a big no-no with the Church of England and was lawful cause for a divorce). She was so young and innocent and did not know what he was doing to her. After she birthed a daughter to Byron, he sent her and his new child away to live with her parents and then it all came tumbling down.

Byron’s wife explained to her parents what he had done to her in the bedroom and almost immediately divorce proceedings were under way and Byron fled England, going back to Greece.

He was a disgusting man who not only had an incestuous relationship with his half sister, but fathered illegitimate children and did not take responsibility for any of them.

After he died, England refused to bury his remains at Westminster Abbey in London, where other noted poets are buried. But over 150 years after his death, a memorial stone was placed on the floor of the Abbey, which I saw and lovingly touched (gag me!) when we were in London for our honeymoon.

Now, I’m the first to tell you that after studying poetry at Wheaton, the personal life of the writer does not matter. It is his/her talent, words, style, rhyme, rhythm—nothing else matters. But, I was so disgusted by Byron that I am turned off of him, probably forever. Every loving rhyme was about his half sister, whom he claimed was the only women he ever loved. Vomit.

So my mission in the next five months is to find a new favorite poet. I had my mom send me the 2000 page Norton Anthology of Poetry that I studied while at Wheaton. I made a list of every poet in the Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey and flagged them in my book so I could read and study their works:

  • Robert Browning
  • Geoffry Chaucer
  • John Dryden
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Samuel Johnson
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Edmund Spenser
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson

I anticipate by being moved by more than one of these great men and hopefully after reading the rhyming verse, I feel that flutter that once belonged to Byron and currently resides with Jason Aldean.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Poetry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Preparing for Europe: Part II”

  1. Lisa Kennard says:

    Oh those naughty boys! I love Mozart’s music. A few years ago I read a book called “Mozart’s Women.” It detailed his life and how he was obsessed with other women, and his wife. At a young age he was paraded around with his talented sister and for the rest of his life, he had an odd relationship with his father…he could never gain his approval…he worked hard and created astounding operas and great works of music, but he was an odd duck who supposedly have a sex-feddish. If the Amadeus movie is to be believed, MOZART WAS A WHIMP! Sometimes, it may be better no to get too in-depth with a creators inner motives/demons…

Leave a Reply