The Death and Transfiguration of Poetry

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Sagar Gohel
D. Samaha
English 2 Honors
September 30, 2012
The Death and Transfiguration of Poetry

One of the greatest poetic minds of the 20th Century once said, “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.” It was Solari’s chief aspiration to show this to the world. “The Death and Transfiguration of a Teacher” was the story of a classroom full of children that slaughtered their teacher out of the clear blue, and then, “cannibalistically disposed of her remains.”(Solari 198) The children are then individually questioned, there is an exchange of money on the part of each child’s parents, and after a while, all was, “conveniently forgotten”. (Solari 201) Solari’s use of magical realism immensely impacted the shape of the story, and shows the importance of poetry by elucidating the disarray that would follow if poetry was ever to be eradicated from society’s consciousness. “The teacher was a poet endowed with great sensitivity and a romantic temperament.” (Solari 198) At the start of the story, Solari speaks of the teacher and her plight of becoming a true poet. She describes her life from such a personal perspective that it is believed that the teacher in the story could easily be a characterization Solari herself. She went about her life trying to show the meaning of poetry in life, but she was deprived of the privilege everywhere she turned. In the story, after being completely mocked by her students, she leaves the room, looks out to the empty schoolyard and she, “thought about her Calvary” (Solari 199) and how poets no longer have a place in the world. Even the principal at the school she taught at scolded her for her passion for poetry, telling her to stop speaking of the “Subtleties they’ll never understand and they’ll never care...
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