Saturday, July 19, 2014

Will I ever write poetry again?

I read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars yesterday morning in the gym instead of my regular read on Exodus. I was too tired--being a Friday--and found Philip Graham Ryken's Exodus, Saved for God's Glory not sinking in as I read.

I had wanted to get some time in during my lunch hour to read a few pages but I was invited for lunch by a colleague.

So after CG--where for once I said yes to a cup of coffee because I didn't mind staying late into the night reading--I got home, washed up, snuggled into bed and read for two hours till nearly 2am before I dozed off.

I woke up this morning at 5:30am. Too early but what the heck, I might as well read.

I finished the book at 8:20am.

I was crying buckets.

John Green is one of the better writers I've encountered in a very long time.

Excellent writing.

Take his poetry for instance. I attended a performance by the Trinity College Choir a few years ago. They were so good I decided I will not sing anymore. I read John Green not 20 minutes ago. His poetry is so good I now decide I will not write poetry anymore.

Just look at this:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table.
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question . . .
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

I could never write like that nor could I sing like the choristers but the thing is I am still singing. I spent time learning and practicing, and I must say I have improved.

I certainly wish the same for my writing.

But on a different note, whilst I have enjoyed his writing, I found myself thinking quite a lot about his stand and philosophy in the book. In the light of his existentialism and deism in the book, and there are many very interesting sections in there for discussion.

But I love this part: "You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers."

Anyway, I've been reading too much about death, what with Alcorn's Heaven, Lewis's A Grief Observed and the movie Shadowlands and now this. And all in just two weeks!


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