Didacticism in the 21st century

At 3.45am with the rain pouring hard outside, a sentiment occurs to me: I am tired of poems trying so hard for that twist in the last line, especially when they link it to regret, love, insert huge name emotion. Welcome to the nature of the didactic style in the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen. In the past, didactic works came in the form of plays of Good and Evil, and that’s where you get your mighty Hero whom you will always side with, and the inexplicably evil Villain who is evil because he is evil. Literature has evolved, much like propaganda: didacticism now comes masked in another form, but when you know how to look out for it, it becomes much too apparent. How do you tell? When a piece of work would have stood well (or perhaps lousily) by itself, but this out-of-place line meant to tug at your heart strings and make you save it as a favourite piece of work merely by the sentiment expressed by that line gets inserted at the end.

I’m just a jaded poetry reader, ladies and gentlemen, but I do think that the last-line technique is overused and we need to do something more interesting with our art.

I present to you the work that sparked the above grumbling; apologies to the poet and poem:

“What’s So Amazing”
Nate Pritts

I have entered a cloud
& I am sore afraid;

I am standing
alone & the light

is dazzling bright.
There was a moment

when I knew the steps
I was taking would lead

where I needed
to go so I took them,

I did it,
I took those steps

& I was awake
in my own life & you

do not understand
it is not you it is me,

me wanting, me needing
something outside

to anchor this regret to.

 

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2 comments

  1. yashan · August 21, 2013

    gosh, a poem that totally reflects my current state of mind. thanks for sharing, zhixin!!

    • melodily · August 21, 2013

      your current state of mine is so emo yapi!

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