Friday, October 10, 2014

MOOC ModPo Poem of the Day: "Interior" by Genevieve Taggard


The MOOC ModPo Poem of the Day for October 10, 2014 is "Interior" (1935) by Genevieve Taggard (1894 - 1948) (pictured).  A link to the poem may be found here:  http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/interior.html.

Genevieve Taggard founded the journal The Measure with several other writers in 1920.  She taught at Mount Holyoke College, Bennington College, and Sarah Lawrence College.

The poem contains fourteen lines, an obvious nod to the sonnet form, and uses an intricate rhyme scheme (abacdebfedfgcb) worthy of Wordsworth.  By 1935, well past the advent of the Modernists, the sonnet form was passe, and the use of free verse nearly ubiquitous.  It is, therefore, safe to posit that this deliberate use of a rhyming sonnet during what came to be known as the Post-modern Era is meant to satirize or mock--in this case to mock the middle class and its concern with the fancy and frivolous.  The form itself becomes the vehicle for a post-modern poetic statement.

The title implies a look inward or in to, and the first line reveals that the poem will look in to the life of the middle class--a class, as the second line reveals, that prefers not to acknowledge the poverty just outside the window.  The poem goes on to mock the trivial "problems" faced by this privileged class (losing at bridge, tiresome friends), the noise of whom's complaints will be drowned out by the legitimate noise of the complaints of the impoverished "cheated people...of the streets."

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