Wednesday, October 27, 2010

happy winter, i mean!

apparently posting fall pictures taunts poor old mr. jack frost: this morning i woke up to...

one thing i do love about winter in provo is that i study better. something about scarves and sweater vests and gray wet winter outside makes me perfectly okay with spending hours reading literary theorists in the library.

which is what i attempted to do tonight. kant. immanuel kant. i find his name fitting--his writing is anything but "can-do"able.

here's the problem with the man: i know what all of his words mean, but strung together they make no sense whatsoever to me. example:
Now there are but two kinds of concepts, and these yield a corresponding number of distinct principles of the possibility of their objects.
i read that sentence three times, then read the sparknotes version of it twice. i still have no idea what he's talking about.

as i'm re-re-reading kant, dude in the library walks up and says, "that looks hard. from across the room i thought you were reading a dictionary." i laugh. i show him a page. he says, "is it english?" at first i thought he meant, "is it for an english major class." no. he meant, "are those words in english." beats me, kid! the next time he passed by my table, he didn't stop--he merely waved and whisper-screamed "DON'T GIVE UP! WHATEVER YOU DO!" thanks library dude.

and that, you see, is when i made my breakthrough of the day. after forty minutes (= two paragraphs) of kant, i began wandering the library in search of something better--something i kan do. there's a poem i keep in my planner, one that i reread quite often (aka: every time i find myself bored somewhere). it is called "ithaca" by constantine cavafy. to this day, i have not delved farther into cavafy than the rereading of this one poem. so tonight i decide what better way to postpone the inevitable kant but by diverting my attention to a poet! surely my professors (and twain, for that matter) would be proud. and then it hit me--somewhere between PA 5610 .K2 and PA 5610 .K3: the TRUTH behind the master's program. all the classes, all the impenetrable texts--they're not the content the professors are trying to teach us! they're just the impetus! the impetus for so overburdening us with the density of theories and criticisms and analyses that we run to tolstoy and wordsworth and homer for sweet sweet solace! my education is teaching me not to love saussure and barrett browning and semenza (heaven help that man), but to find what i love as i seek refuge from the oppression of the incomprehensible!

cavafy, you are one that i love.
thoreau, you too. but please don't be offended that
i love emerson more.

willy, the way your stories find a way into every construct of truth fascinates me.
hemingway, bless your soul for your simple sentences.
milton, don't worry: paradise lost is on my bookshelf for a reason. i'm saving you because i think i might love you and i don't want a class to ruin that. so you i will keep secret until i can read you all to myself.

eliot, i will fight for your wasteland to the death. (despite derk's derisions.)
clive staples...clive staples. well what can be said of you, other than you are the first to be read when i go home every christmas.


  1. also, poems change lives - and that one just changed mine.
    i think it is wonderful that you have something like this that you carry around. carolyn carter you are a hero.

  2. I do also enjoy winter for the sake of scarves and hot chocolate. however, when it comes too early, i feel like jack frost is eating my face rather than nipping at my nose. too bad i have to study chemistry all winter rather that the warmth and wonder of words.

  3. I just found your blog and I love it!

    I have also been fatigued by the readings for class... Thus I am finding refuge in Auden poetry :)