I've never been one that enjoyed poetry. There's only a few of them that I sometimes think about and that I actually enjoy reading. Poetry to me is something that is not meant to be understood properly. Indeed there are somewhere you can sit for hours and notice different hidden messages in these texts. Poetry to me is supposed to be read and only read. There's no point in reading through the lines when everyone has their own interpretation of the poem.
In prior to yesterday's class we had to read several poems in our bible (not kidding, the book's papers are as thin as the papers in the bible and there are around 2000 pages of there all about Literature etc.). In class, we had to sit and discuss what our own interpretation of the poem. I have always looked at people that analyzed these texts in class and they notice these things that I have no idea they even existed. I can read a book or an article. I get the meaning behind it, but I don't read between the lines to find things that may not even be there. I can overanalyze, yes, but not when it comes to books or poems.
So I've dealt with Social anxiety for some time now. Ever since the second year of High school, where I had close to 0 friends and I felt like dropping out because I was too depressed, I've been terrified of raising my hand in class. Even though I knew the answer, I would sit in the back and pretend that I didn't. Even though the teacher might've asked '' do you prefer x or y '' I wouldn't raise my hand on either option. Too afraid that someone might look back at me to stare into my soul. Making friends has not been easy since High School (besides from meeting my guildies but that's another story).
Now I'm at a university level and I have to be more active in class. Our teacher wants us to engage more into the discussion, he wants us to question our reading and question everything. I've had plenty to say, but too scared to say it. Most people say what I think anyway so I'm thinking to myself that '' meh, whatever '' and I move on. Yesterday, however, during our break my teacher came up to me and my little group. My group is mostly quiet so there's no wonder why he wants us to speak more. He turned to me and said (T= Teach, M=Me);
T: So Johanna, which poem was your favorite?
M: -Scared to death to say something wrong even though it was only for him- I really enjoyed reading Richard Cory.
T: Ohh? -looking surprised- Why's that? (he says with a smirk)
M: I like the meaning behind it, but after recess, I can tell you a little bit more about it.
T: I'm looking forward to that!
So everyone came back and before the break we discussed the poem Ozymandias.
T: Welcome back everyone. Now... I'd like to talk a little bit more about Ozymandias (he suddenly looks at me and smirks) Aaah, screw it! Let's go for Richard Cory. Johanna, could read it for us?
M: Eh, sure!
And I read the poem. Afterwards, he asked me why if I liked it and why. So I told him (take a look at the poem below to read it for yourself). Richard Cory created an image of himself, for others to see. On the outside he's happy and it looks as if he has everything. People look at him and see this amazing guy and they easily could get jealous of it. But then when he comes home, he's not happy. He's himself and he could probably be the loneliest guy on earth without someone knowing it. Why? Because that is the image he's creating for the world to see.
Of course, someone had to say something about it (which I was terrified of) and it was as if this person didn't get me and what I was trying to tell them. She said that it's not Richard Cory creating an image, but the ''we''-the people in the poem. To that, I had to question and say '' Yeah but, doesn't Richard have to create something in order for them to interpret him?'' I can't remember what she said after that but I was too pleased with myself to even bother.
Because you know what? I broke down an insecurity of mine and I spoke while people listened. People I'm not fully comfortable with. People that give me anxiety because I feel so outsmarted when they talk or do something. But I did it. I just can't believe it was poetry that made me talk in front to the class.