Wednesday during seminar we studied poetry. We looked at Walt Whitman’s poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and examined how he used repetition to promote his message. I found it interesting how he created a rocking sensation for his reader by repeating terms and words throughout the poem. The poem had a rhythm which made it feel as though the words were moving back and forth with the waves that he was describing. I also found it interesting that that this ebb and flow was reminiscent of the movement of a boat, which is what the speaker is talking about. When I first read the poem, I didn’t pick up on this use of literary device, yet I appreciate Whitman’s ability to seamlessly weave the literal and symbolic in his poetry.
In addition to examining the literary devices used in Crossing Brooklyn Ferry we discussed the age of Romanticism and listed some of the most prominent authors, musicians and works from that time period. My favorite stories from the romantic era are the Grimm Fairytales. When the NBC television show came out last year, entitled Grimm, I became interested in the stories which inspired the show. Until then I hadn’t read many fairytales which weren’t “kid friendly”, where everyone lives happily ever after. I love the original fairytales because they’re not what you would expect. In the Grimm version of Cinderella, the evil stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to fit into Cinderella’s sipper and then are blinded at the end of the story. If you had told me this version of Cinderella when I was little I would have been freaked out. My favorite Grimm fairytale is the story of Bearskin, which also demonstrates some very PG-13 plot twists. However, I find the Grimm versions more interesting than the disney versions. The darkness of these tales are indicative of their time. During the 19th century it was important that children behave, and one way to ensure that they did this, was to scare them into doing so.