Poetry speaks to you either at first sight or not at all. A flash of revelation and a flash of response. Like lightning. Like falling in love.

Am reading J. M Coetzee’s Disgrace. So far, I have found the book quite depressing, but still labor through it. But it has some nice passages. I like the way the teacher teaches Wordsworth.

From a bare ridge we also first beheld
Unveiled the summit of Mont Blan and grieved
To have a soulless image on the ey
That has usurped upon a living thought
That never could be.

“A traveller grieves to see the peak unveiled. Because it is a soulless image, a mere image that has enroached upon what has hitherto been a living thought.”

8 comments for “Poetry

  1. fus
    April 26, 2004 at 6:39 am

    do catch the bbc’s profile of coetzee if possible. it will put the book in perspective for you.

    and do labour to finish the book. it is an awesome view of south africa, of humans themselves.

    • April 27, 2004 at 4:02 am

      Will try to get it. But I think I will wait until I finish the book and then get a fresh perspective. Do not want to get influenced even before I have formed a firm opinion.

  2. April 26, 2004 at 8:44 am

    J.M. Coetzee is an amazing writer. Though his novels are depressing and full of cynicism. As you mentioned some passages are simply, but magnificant. My personal fav of his is “In the heart of the country”.

    How I miss my lending library at Trivandrum. And how I wish I had time at my disposal.

    • April 26, 2004 at 11:55 pm

      Why dont you try a lending library in Mumbai? As for time, make it. Once you start, you will do it automatically.

      Actually, why dont you try buying books? Its like a long term asset. Its my dream to have a real good book collection.

      • April 27, 2004 at 12:22 am

        > As for time, make it.
        Well, I guess it is easy said than done. Anyway, my course work is getting over in couple of weeks, i guess i will have more relaxed schedule.

        > Actually, why dont you try buying books?
        I wish I had a huge bank balance. Now a days books are so heavily priced, it has become a luxury item. But I do am building up my personal collection.

  3. April 28, 2004 at 7:44 am

    I loved that book – an experience well worth having, even if you can’t help feeling sad through most of it.

    • April 29, 2004 at 6:48 am

      Just finished the book. I liked it, but I coudnt help feeling very depressed.
      The writer has amazing clarity in way he writes; he has captured the moods and the atmosphere of South Africa, especially rural Africa, and it does paint a very grim picture. I am still trying to figure out if I am disgusted by David Lurie or if I feel sorry for him.
      It definitely started with disgust, but now I am grappling with a few questions..about humans, humanity..and more, and I dont have answers.

      Reminded me of another book. Christmas Holiday by Somerset Maugham. It was a classic, but I remember feeling terribly sad while reading it.

      • April 29, 2004 at 6:55 am

        That’s one of the great things about the book – it takes us from being judgemental to trying to be more understanding, among other things.

        I’ve only read The Razor’s Edge by Maugham, should really read his other books.

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