The poem Asphodel, That Greeny Flower by William Carlos Williams ties into our humanities and literature class this semester. I believe the message from this excerpt that Williams is trying to send is that poetry and literature are still important today, and there is no replacement for what poetry and literature can bring to someone’s life.
In my opinion, “what is found” in poems and other forms of literature is happiness and meaning in life. Most books provoke emotions and are supposed to make the reader feel a specific way.
For example, the book The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger brought forth feelings that I would never have felt, had I just read a summary or heard a description of the book from someone else. The reason the story left such an impact on me is that with every page written, I got to know the character more and more while growing with him. I could very much relate to Holden during my angst-filled teenage years and even now, and although he is a fictional character, I felt a connection with him.
LAsI mentioned on page 6 of my journal, I was happy when Holden figured out his life and why he was the way he was, and I was upset when something bad would happen to him. At the end of the book when I found out he was in a mental institute, I was filled with emotions and it felt like it was me or my best friend too who this whole event had happened.
I could not put down the book because I was so interested in finding out what would happen next. Each new happening in his life made me feel like I was also there with him experiencing it.
I believe the difference between reading and other leisure activities is that each book is something memorable and unique, while most other activities are the same old thing all the time. Also, reading can spark and inspire interest in other topics and hobbies that you had not thought of trying before. For example, after reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, I was interested in learning about the character’s culture. As I Ase about on page 26 of my journal, the Merry Pranksters were huge fans of the Beatles. I knew that the Beatles were the biggest band during that time and that they changed the music world, but I never knew the impact that they had on people of that time. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test made me interested in listening to them for the first time in years because I had never really gotten into them. After actually listening to their albums a few times, I realized how right the Pranksters and people of the 1960s were for loving the band. They are great, and I may have never really gone out of my way to revisit their discography had I not learned about the Merry Pranksters and read about the Beatles’ influence on their lives.
Finally, “men die miserably every day” from the lack of reading and literature because I feel like many things in this world are superficial, unlike the feeling of sitting down and reading a book. Each word read on a page enriches life more than each word you hear spoken on television. A lot of television shows and movies are made in modern times simply to make a profit. With literature and other forms of expression like music and art, I feel like it is less artificial and made simply because the artist or author is passionate about it. If someone’s life is only filled with artificial meanings and feelings, they will live a much less happy and meaningful life. I truly believe that reading and writing can bring those things to life.