This lecture was a great one to end off the semester because it really shows the universality of pain; no matter who you are you experience pain. Pain can be translated into different languages by people of every origin. Although, some translators do a better job than others, it shows that people from all over the world experience pain and it’s no different than anyone else. Also, some can find similarities in their pain to others and relate to people in which they have no other commonalities. For instance, Andromache and Dido were both very different characters, yet their pain on multiple levels show that they may have experienced very similar feelings. Scholars may argue with this, but the lecture made a strong point of conveying both women experiencing multiple levels of pain.
I found it very interesting how the poem about the mother’s son dying sounded so beautiful when read in its original language. It sounded like a beautiful song, so it was weird to think that it was about her child being killed. During the lecture we discussed that the mother was finding comfort in knowing that her son died for a reason during political struggles. Although this may be the case, I found it intriguing that a poem about death could sound so beautiful and songlike. Even though we may not understand the poems in foreign languages, I liked hearing it because it gave the poem something more. The original language that the poems were written in definitely has a sound that cannot be replicated when translated into other languages.
Also, poems are great because you can find multiple meanings in them. There is no right or wrong answer. You are able to interpret what you get out of reading the poem. In novels or short stories there is usually a general theme or something the author wants you to take away from the reading. The same might be true with poems, but there is also a lot of room for self interpretation due to the ambiguous meanings.
This is true in the poem “The Goat.” At first reading through it I wasn’t sure what the author was trying to convey. Then after reading it a few more times some key words hinted me in the right direction (sorrow’s eternal, unchanging voice, Semitic face, creaturely existence). These words helped to convey that there is was something more than just one’s personal pain, it was everyone’s pain, from animal to human. The beauty of poetry is that someone may find a different meaning in the poem and that’s fine.
Poems like “The Goat” are important because they show us that even though we may feel at the time we are the only ones suffering, that’s not the case. All of life suffers and has to deal with life’s struggles at some point or another. Poems may help us to deal with our pain and find refuge in knowing that we are not alone.