Poetry Is Ours And We Should Own it
Start writing a post

I wrote an essay this past week on an Oscar Wilde poem. And it wasn’t easy. I’m an English major so naturally, others assume writing comes easily to me. Which, sometimes, it does. But not in this case. I didn’t have difficulty planning and outlining my essay, but I did have difficulty articulating what exactly I wanted to write. Wilde is not an easy poet to understand. Anyone who has ever read him would probably know that one couldn’t grasp his work in entirety at first glance.


I think where my trouble stemmed from was that I did not full understand the poem and with that, I did not know where I wanted to take it. As my professor said, “Remember, you read the poem but the poem also reads you.” And she’s right. I read the poem and it told me its thoughts and secrets but I also told it mine.

The poem in question was “The Harlot’s House” and as I began researching it on JSTOR and MLA, I realized not too many writers have written about it. It has vastly been used as a reference, rather than a point of study. So that wasn’t too helpful. Sometimes I feel like writing about things that have never been written about before is like surfing a rainbow: you’re getting all that you can handle at once. Poetry and I, like that of Wilde, have a love/hate relationship which can be explained in a simple quote from someone who no one knows, “Truth is like poetry and most people hate poetry.” In other words, I know it’s there and I know it’s important but sometimes I just want to hide from it like a cat under a couch.


I wound up writing about the conceit of the poem and what it suggests about human nature and the emotional disconnect that can arise after visiting something like a harlot’s house. If you haven’t read the poem I would encourage you to do so and then write your own essay and contemplate your own thesis. Because that’s what is so wonderful about poetry: It’s all ours. No one owns it and no one can take it away from you. Once you’ve read it, it’s inside of you like some food you just ate or a lung or two.

Even though I had trouble writing the essay, I still did it and once I did, I wasn’t satisfied because I knew I had missing a few key components of the work by Wilde – mostly because there was so much jam-packed into it that writing a coherent essay on every asset of the poem would have created an incoherent work. But there is one thing, if anything, that I learned from Wilde’s poem that maybe I didn’t appreciate as much as I do now: It’s not what is said, but how it’s said that make the difference. As an English major I should have known that more forwardly. I think I knew it and always did but maybe I just wasn’t giving its rightful day. But then again, I could be wrong.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1844
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303943
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190567
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92732
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286102

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172244

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments