Sunday, March 26, 2006

A short excerpt from a conversation in Biology class...

Biology Teacher: "Pan, I like the questions you ask in the class, you think in a special manner."
Pan: "umm...does that mean in a good way or bad way?"
Biology Teacher: "I just mean that you're a special person... different from everyone else, you know"
Pan: "Ah, I'm different then, and special!"
Biology Teacher: "Yes, that's exactly the word for it, different"
CB (random unimportant guy in class): "What he really means is that you're such special person Pan, that you should go to a special school for special people who think in the special manner that you do"
Biology Teacher: "Exactly..."
Pan: "What...?"
Biology Teacher and CB: "Nothing...absolutely nothing."

Fine, now I'm abnormal...*drama queen sigh* why me? Is this because I'm left handed? Is it because I'm a socialist sympathizer? Is it because I'm obsessed with ducks? Is it because I'm paranoid about neatness and organization to the extent that I can't write on a sheet of paper unless it has margins on both sides? Is it because I can't roll my tongue like most people and for some reason everybody has to pick on me for it? Or is it just because I'm attracted to gay men who are English teachers? I'm not too sure actually...
On a completely unrealted note, I snapped at my Maths teacher and am feeling guilty about it because he didn't deserve my blatant rudeness, even though he was being rather irritating.
On another unrelated note, went shopping and drove TPF absolutely mad due to my whinging and indecisiveness. I don't think she likes me anymore.

Hair, Bad Photography and a Night Out

Last night was 'La Notte Bianca' in Milan, which means that the whole city including the shops and public transport were open up all night and there were exhibitions and concerts held everywhere in the city. Its supposed to be a great night with food stalls everywere and concerts and of course, people.
Random Sidenote - This is a special post because for the first and the last time you are all going to see TPF's hair. Well, we all know how much she is obsessed with it and yesterday it was looking so spectacularly fabulous that I just had to take a picture of it and beg her to let me post it, so next time when she has a hair post, we all what to imagine. Oh, by the way, a special prize to anyone who can give it the most fitting colour description because we certainly can't decide what colour it is.
We all decided to go out to have some fun. It was TPF, Micky, Anorexic Stick Insect, Alternative Junkie and me. Obviously from the above description you can make out that I dont have much regard for Anorexic Stick Insect, who has been anorexic for more than a year now and who had forced herself to throw up in my wash-basin at a party last year and I still havn't gotten over it. Every time I use my wash-basin all I can think of is Anorexic Stick Insect throwing up in it (ew!). Alternative Junkie is alright, she annoying sometimes and pardon me for mentioning it, but rather stupid because all she does is keep telling people how alternative she is and how alternative music defines her life, but she's nice and which is what ultimately matters.
So instead of mentioning the evening in detail I shall just mention the small rather insignificant details that made up the evening/night. So the night consisted of bad Italian rappers who TPF knew and liked on the Mtv TRL live show that was going on in the main square. I'm never going to stop making fun of her for liking them. Italian Rap is the worse than German humour (and no offence to all the Germans out there, I'm sure you're all great people but you're not exactly known for your sense of humour, are you?). The Mtv TRL was going on and I have never seen so much crowd in that square in my four years in Milan. The place was full of wannabe Italian Punk Rappers. It was disguesting really. We also saw the Russian? Lesbian group Tatu who came to accept a random award. We were rather disappointed that they didn't even kiss or anything. The least you can expect from a lesbian band is a random making out session on stage to make the show interesting. We also saw Duncan James from the the English boy band Blue. I must say, whatever qualms I may have against Blue, Duncan James is rather attractive. Anyways, this is my artistic version of the main square in Milan known as Piazza Duomo where the TRL was being held. Sorry, I know its a really bad image but if you saw the crowd there, you'd be surprised how I even managed to get the picture.
Then TPF and I really wanted to go for a photography exhibition by Helmut Newton but after learning that you had to pay 9 euro to see the exhibition everyone else flatly refused. I wish we could have seen it. What can be better than watching photos of naked women? Naked women and landscapes!
We somehow managed to cross the main square thanks to Alternative Junkie who is used to moving through crowds of concert people because she goes to Alternative concerts ever so often. I was in a terrible mood and was pmsing and TPF was mad at me for snapping at her. Fortunately, TPF and I can never stay really mad at each other for more than 10 mins so it was alright. We then had a random wannabe American rapper asking TPF for a cigarette in a weird rapper like manner in Italian, so it was even funnier. TPF always attracts the weirdest of people. She should really do a post on this guy in a disco who came up to us once and told her 'Hi, I'm Louis, Louis like the king of France'. That has to be the worst pick up line I've ever heard.
We then decided to walk towards the castle because there were some exhibitions going on there. Milan has a huge castle near the centre of the city, which is rather beautiful. Here is a pictures I took on the way. Its just me being artistic again but I quite like it. It doesn't show much but its rather pretty because it look like a painting rather than a photograph. The best part of the evening was this street singer who gave us an average rendition of the Carole King's fabulous song You've Got a Friend. He wasn't a great singer, but he sang such beautiful songs, that you didn't really care about his vocal talents but his music. He also sang John Denver and I love John Denver, he's one of my secret favourites. He's not someone a teenager and publically admit to like, is he?
We finally reach the castle and unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the castle because it was too dark for photographing. We sat on a nice bench and were looking at the crowd and then suddenly Anorexic Stick Insect and Alternative Junkie start making joints and smoking. Argh, don't I just hate people who desperately want to be cool. But it was beautiful sitting there in the grass listening to a distant jazz tune someone was playing in open air. I know, I didn't particularly enjoy the company I was with, but at that time, I really didn't care and enjoyed myself. There was a funk, kind-of-rock concert of an unknown American? band going on that we went to watch. It was great. I liked the music, it wasn't too heavy but something you can keep on listening to without concentrating too much on the music or the lyrics. We also were flirted with by a group of guys who thought that kicking a football at us was a very intelligent way to make us like them.
There were also those funny float things that kids jump on and inflatable slides for children, and I hereby feel the need to protest against the age limit to these things. Seriously, I don't think its right to restrict people from going on them. We had the ardent desire to go on the inflatable slides. It looked like to much fun. So TPF took the onus of asking the person in charge of the slides the age limit and this is how the conversaton went -
TPF: Is there an age limit for people to go on the slides?
Kid younger than TPF who was in charge of slide: *weird look*
TPF: *waiting for a response trying to look as if what she had asked is something completely normal*
Kid: umm *clears his throat* ten
Kid: *random awkward noise*...I mean kids younger than ten years old, not older.
TPF: Ah, I get it now (leaves trying to look nonchalant)
Anyways, I had to leave by midnight. The others stayed on and did umm... I'm not really sure what they did, but in any case, I wasn't thankfully there. I cant say that I enjoyed the company I was with too much, but then again that's just me becuase I'm just a misfit in normal human society. I'm sure everyone else had a great time. Hopefully I never have to go out again with Alternative Junkie and Anorexic Stick Insect because school ends in two weeks.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lack of Sexual Identity Much

I've had a quite a different childhood from most other people. I grew up in Bombay and my parents sent me to a strict all-girls convent school, which is not that strange a thing to do in India, even though we are not Christians. I never realized until I came here the perception people have of convent schools. Its true it was a rather strict religious school, but I can assure you that we weren't brainwashed to follow a set of beliefs that we did not want to or flagellate every time we did something wrong. Yes, we prayed thrice a day, but it was something that I had unconsciously done since the age of 5 till I was 14 and it never seemed to be such a big deal. Also the prayers made us lose 5 mins of each lesson after break and before going home, we used to gladly welcome the praying. We also had quite a strict uniform system and other rules regarding nail polish, jewellary, make up and hair and other stuff. But then again, school in India gets over at 15, and so hair and make up didn't matter at all until the last 2 years or even less.
So the main problem with single sex schools is that people complain that they don't get enough interaction with members of the opposite sex, which is quite true according to me. Surprisingly it was not the case with me. The children in the apartment block where I grew up were only male, apart from 2 girls, one of them was 4 years younger than me, so I never interacted with her and the other was 2 years older than me and I was too young for her to bother with me.
So here was a strange case, I used to spend all day in school with only girls and my evenings with only boys. I grew up to be quite a tom boy. I had short hair for a long period of time, I used to play games like cricket and football, climb trees, walls and other dangerous precipices, make fun of the horrible old woman who used to chase us with a broomstick (I know, we were terrible, I still feel guilty about the old woman, she continues haunting me in my dreams). At that time, the difference between our genders was never an issue, I was a part of the group.
As we grew older and became teenagers, I started consciously realizing that I was not a part of them. I still remember the exact day when I realized that I couldn't always be like them and do the things that they did. I think this was when I was about 11 or 12. One evening I saw that my friends were not following our normal routine evening game of cricket in our yard but were going somewhere else.
Me: "So guys, what are we all doing today?"
Male no.1: "We're going to play today in the other building with the older guys"
Me: "Oh, alright, lets go"
Male no. 2: "umm...actually, you can't really come with us"
Me: (surprised) "Why not?"
Male no. 1: "Well we are playing a serious game today and the other guys with whom we are playing are really old; some of them are in university. You're a girl and so you're not allowed to enter that place"
Me: (speechless)
I admit it, I was wounded. I never saw it coming or realized how different I was from the others. But from that day onwards, it was an unwritten rule that when we played amongst ourselves I could always join in, but when they played with the older guys, I wasn't allowed to do so. As time passed, I got less and less interested in sports, they got more and more into it. I was introduced to the joys of literature and definitely preferred reading to sports. Of course, we were still good friends. Most of the times our routine involved was playing cricket till it got dark and then after the game, we used to sit and chat or play some other neutral games that did not really require light. This routine worked out to be great till the day that the infamous Strumpet moved in the apartment block next door.
The Strumpet as I fondly like to refer to her, was exactly my age, in my grade but in a (thankfully) different school. The Strumpet greatly changed everything because every male I knew was in love with her. She refused to hang out with any of us or acknowledge my presence because she was too good for me. I disliked her immensely and I have to admit the feeling was quite mutual. She always looked at me as if I was a piece of umm... bird poo. The Strumpet also happened to be the hottest 13 year old I and all the males around me had ever seen. Every time I used to tell my friends how much I disliked her, their reply was always the same, "Well, you are just jealous, all girls always hate other girls."
Well, one day the guys were busy discussing the various anatomical parts of the Strumpet's body and were being generally annoying and male:
Me: "Guys, this is not exactly the kind of conversation you should have in my presence"
Male no. 1: "why not?"
Me: "umm...its embarrassing to discuss female anatomy in front of me because I'm a girl"
Male no. 2: "Not really, its not like you're a real girl like the Strumpet or her strumpetty friends" (sorry, I substituted the word 'strumpetty' for the actual word that he really used, but I couldn't resist)
Me: (speechless)

So I was 'the girl' when it came to playing cricket with the older guys, (not that I wanted to, but it was still unfair) but I was not a girl when it came to discussing pretty girls.
As time passed, I grew out my male friends because I started hanging out more with my female school friends, school became difficult and I hardly got time to go out, realized that you actually had to study in order to pass a grade (seriously, till 4th grade I never realized that you had to study to go to the next grade!). I also preferred reading in my free time. Then, at 14 we moved to Italy, so I left Bombay forever. Two years ago at age 16, I was in Bombay for holidays, I obviously went to visit my old friends and I still remember how strange was my first conversation with my old male best friend. Firstly looking at a boy who used to be as tall as my shoulder before I left two heads taller than me with a stubble and a deep voice was quite a shock.
Me: "wow, you sure have changed...!"
Male no.1 (deep voice) : "Not as much as you, you look so different."
Me: "Well, I'm almost 17 now... you've become so tall, its weird. I preferred you when you were shorter than me, it felt much nicer"
Male no. 1: "You look really pretty now, with long hair and everything and no school uniform and braces"
Yes people, I was acknowledged to be pretty by the same male who refused to view me as a girl 4 years ago. I think that was the nicest thing any male has ever said to me and I was content for 3 whole seconds before he had to go and ruin it.
Male no 1 (continues): "But you've gained some weight, haven't you?"
Me: (speechless)
The conversation slowly turned towards Strumpet:
Me: "How's the Strumpet?"
Male no.1: "She has become quite a slut, you were right, she is not that pretty, just easy"
Me: *evil cackle*
Male no. 1: "She always hated you for hanging out with the guys you know, she was so jealous of you"
Me (surprised): "She was jealous of ME? I think it was quite the other way round"
Male no.1: "Well, you were always so cool and unapproachable when you were here because you always hung out with the guys. She never had the courage to speak to you because you always looked at her as if she were beneath you. She was so glad when you left, she told me. We used to go out for a while before I dumped her. She was rather irritating"
Me: (speechless)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'(left handed) Workers of the world, unite!'

I have always felt as if I'm a part of this secret 'leftist' organisation; left handed that is, not left winged (sorry TPF! I couldn't resist). I'm not really sure if it makes a huge difference whether you're left handed or right handed, but I don't know, I feel special, as if I'm a part of this cool minority.
When I was younger I used to have a whole lot of problems. To tell you the embarrassing truth, I still have a lot of problems with household appliances and everything else really. It is traumatizing for a child not to be able to use a pair of scissors efficiently till the age of at least 8 or 9. I remember when we used to have 'paper craft' lessons in kindergarten, everyone else used to be having a great time and used to be showing each other the things they had made at the end of the lesson; then there was me, sitting in the corner still trying to cut the paper.
I should also tell everyone about the countless ink smudges I have borne on my school notes because I write with my left hand. I happen to be a 'neat-freak' as TPF eloquently put it once, when it comes to paper smudges, doodles, bad highlighting and other disruptions like a change in the colour of the ink or a change in the type of pen or anything else that messes up the uniformity of the writing on my notes. So the ink smudges affect me a bit more than one would imagine. Fine, I'll admit it, I'm paranoid about ink smudges, I hate ink smudges and everytime I see one, I feel like tearing the paper and re-writing everything.
Keys, wow, now that's a big one now. I still have problems with opening doors with keys. The main problem is that I can't open a door with my right hand, nope, it just doesn't work, I've been trying for the last 18 years, it just doesn't. When I use my left hand to open the door, I always end up turning the key the wrong way. So my main way out of this is that I keep turning the key in random directions till the door opens. Cutlery is another problem. When I was little my poor mother spent years teaching my how to hold the knife and fork properly in the correct hands that they are supposed to be held. I took ages to learn. Actually, I still have problems using my knife, my right hand ends up having a muscle pull after every time I have used the knife for dinner and I don't think that happens to most people. I also hold the spoon in my left hand, by the way but that's not as too bad.
If all this wasn't bad enough, I'm also terrible in directions. Well I'm not bad in perceiving the way in my head but I just take time to distinguish the direction left from right on the road. I have to think which side is left and which side is right and can't say it from the top of my head like most other people. That is why I'm such a bad navigator.
But then there are the advantages. You get people you've known for years come up to you and tell you 'Oh, you're left handed, I never noticed, how weird!'. But despite all this abuse by the 'right' dominated society, we still manage to live and survive without protesting against all the problems we have to face and why should we must face all these problems, one might ask? All because we use the right side of our brains to think! But now I think we have borne enough, the time has come to act and speak out against the inustice of the 'right' world. Therefore, my dear brothers and comrades, I call upon you to unite, rebel against the 'right' injustice and form a global political party that constitues of a highly exclusive 'left' group of people. Our motto will be: '(left-handed) Workers of the world, unite!' (Although that might sound a little familiar and might cause some confusion with a whole other group of people that want to unite (Sorry TPF!), it still it makes a good slogan and serves our club purposes) and we shall slowly and steadily take over this world. Its true that we are outnumbered, but we have the element of surprise and intelligence on our side. Together, we shall form a 'left' society which is based on liberty, equality and fraternity for all 'left' people and execute the others in order to purify our race.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

An absolutely random inventory...

*sigh* this has been a hectic week. Actually no, let me rephrase, this has been a week like any other I've been having since the beginning of this year. Of course, I've still managed to enjoy myself because after going through the same old routine for a whole year now, I think I know how to find some little pleasures even in the most tiring of weeks. So let me begin.
MONDAY - crap, absolutely crap. It was cold and windy and terrible. My practice Italian oral exam went so bad that my teacher did not even bother giving me a mark, just a disappointed look and then a whole tirade that came after the look about how bad I was and how the final oral exam was on Wednesday. I obviously panicked and prepared a beautiful oral for Tuesday. Amazing English class where we studied Gift of the Gorgon and I drooled at Dave's rear, as I usually do.
TUESDAY - Practice Italian Oral went much better because it wasn't improvised this time. Had an argument with my Biology teacher about evolution, where he kind of admitted that I was right. (Remind me to make a seperate post on this sometime, I'm rather passionate about it!). More than amazing Gift of the Gorgon lesson. Drooled over Dave once again, and wondered if he may not be gay after all, then had a random 10 second conversation with him about Hugh Grant in underwear after the lesson and changed my mind about his gayness (gaiety to be grammatically correct). Symptoms of a sore throat started developing.
WEDNESDAY - Final Italian Oral early in the morning. Was rather cranky all day because I had a terrible terrible sore throat and had kind of lost my voice. Italian teacher made me bloody do the same oral 3 times because she forgot to press the record button on the cassette recorder and due to this stupid oral exam, I even missed English class. Thankfully she let me listen to it (my recorded voice). I sound male because of my throat. The examiner is so going to think I'm male :( (The oral obviously went well after repeating the same thing 3 times, by the way). Realized that my Biology teacher was still into this girl he used to date for a while, 20 years ago, who had dumped him. She is this famous evolutionist's daughter, by the way. Oddly felt really really sorry for him. He is a nice person. Crappy teacher but a nice person.
International Evening Night - School event, where people bring food from different countries. The school cafeteria is transformed into a restaurant and we're served by waiters (volunteer students, of course) dressed in costumes and there's a big performance prepared by some of the students. Had a terrible terrible waiteress who starved us. Harry and I had to sneak into the food area to steal dessert because terrible waitress didn't get it for us. TPF wasn't there because she had gone to see a stupid football match between Milan and Bayern Munich. Made funny videos on my camera.
THURSDAY- Sickness became worse. Now had a sore throat combined with a cold. TPF decided it would be a good day to get all testy on me and randomly not speak to me and sulk. Was rather annoyed about the whole thing... Only thing that saved the day was Dave, as usual. Made fun of random woman on the bus with TPF. She was sitting right in front of us and (hopefully) couldn't understand a word of what we were saying because it was in English. She was so creepy and twichy and just weird and kept on looking at me...
FRIDAY- Sickness worse than ever. Sore throat had deteriorated into a cough and still had a cold. Couldn't smell anything, including this smelly boy in our grade who you can smell from a radius of a floor. Should have stayed at home and not gone to school but being the nerd that I am, I couldn't stand the thought of missing school for one whole day. Was annoyed at TPF for sulking on Thursday, decided that it was my turn to sulk. Didn't speak to her for half a day then got bored and decided to speak to her and now we're cool. Decided on a topic for our Philosophy presentation which I'm randomly excited about and TPF thinks I'm just sad, which might be true. But, Philosophy research is so much fun!
So yes, that was my week, it was not a very eventful week I guess but that was about it.
Anyways, I forgot to mention a whole lot of stuff that didn't have a particular day but was eventful this week in any case, starting from: the throngs of school work and practicles that I did, the even more throngs of school work that I didn't do and should have done, the amount of time I spent in break at school oggling at boys playing football (in shorts!), wondering when did Plug get so cute and how in the world could I have missed his cute rear, teasing TPF about Juzie, whining to everybody I could think of about my illness, losing my favourite Kermit (yes, the muppet frog, does anybody have a problem with that?) ruler that I've had since 7th grade and then accusing everybody I could think of for stealing it, finding the Kermit ruler in my maths book the next day and pretending to still be annoyed at the people who I accused of stealing it, having my maths teacher trying to unsuccessfully grab my Snickers bar out of my hand for no reason at all (I think he wanted to either test my reflexes or he was just trying to be funny and not succeeding! nobody, I repeat, nobody steals my chocolate), rolling my eyes over Harry fighting with the Chemistry teacher AGAIN, having several of those Chemistry lessons that make you wonder why you voluntarily chose to study that subject at a higher level in the first place, teaching a sum to my maths teacher who couldn't understand how to do it and still doesn't get how to do it, learning about panspermia; which is rather cool by the way, reading fanfiction, writing fanfiction, nagging TPF about her sleeping habits, nagging TPF about her last minute homework habits, nagging TPF about her lateness, forging a late note because I was really really late one morning, blowing up a can of Coke that I forget in the freezer, giggling loudly in Biology class every time someone said homo erectus, wondering whether I was giggling about the word homo or the word erectus (I know its really silly, but I'm a teenager, you can't expect me to be mature and responsible all the time. And this was even funnier than the time in Biology when we studied synaptic clefts and synaptic shafts, so don't look at me that way!), finding myself doodling the the word 'PAN' instead of my own name on my bag (my blog persona is really getting to me!) and blah blah blah.
Hope everybody else had a better week! :D

Friday, March 03, 2006

What immortal hand or eye/ Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

I wrote this post ages ago but I wasn't sure whether it was appropriate for me to post it on a blog. I came across it in my files a few days ago and thought, why not. Anyways, I'm not sure what this post is going to turn out to be but I am not trying to offend anyone through it.

I read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman three years ago and was overwhelmed by it. I was about 15 at that time and I don't think I understood all of Pullman's implications in the book and the symbolism very well. To tell you the embarrassing truth, I saw it like a normal, fantasy series like the Lord of the Rings (which is still one of my favorites) or anything else in particular. But then last year I was first introduced to The Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake and then later on Paradise Lost by John Milton because we were studying both the books for school. Suddenly, it all started making sense to me. I started understanding the full extent of Pullman's implications and was blown away by series itself. It quite strange actually people actually label this series under Children's Literature because I really don't think its meant for children and wouldn't recommend anyone to give it to their children.

Sometimes, as TPF said in one of her previous posts, literature has the habit just makes you feel strange and give you a certain desire, but at the same time an inability to continue reading. When you read a certain line or a specific paragraph in a good book, it affects you in such a way that you start feeling queasy and almost lightheaded. I think, I had that feeling all through The Amber Spyglass and it just made such an huge impact on my mind because it is such an intense book. It is basically a recreation of the famous 'Fall of Man' with different symbolic characters and a twist in the tale. I also get the similar feeling when I read certain poems by Blake or certain parts of Paradise Lost. My very favourite lines in Paradise Lost are the lines from where Philip Pullman got the title for His Dark Materials:

Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage,

I do understand that most people will find it hard to understand what is going on but I beg you to re-read them several times until you start getting the hang of what they mean. The key to understanding Milton is re-reading and trying to understand it in small bits, rather than the paragraph as a whole. After all, its only in English. Oh, by the way, the 'the wary fiend' that Milton talks about is Satan (if you hadn't already understood that), who is standing at the edge of hell looking into the land of Chaos that he has to pass before reaching Earth in order to tempt Man. Its rather interesting that Milton has aptly named the mansion in hell that Satan and his followers build for their meetings 'Pandemonium'. Its oddly fitting isn't it? What I love about Milton that he's explored a very different side of the famous story that almost everyone, Christian or non-Christian knows - 'the Fall of Man'. Don't get me wrong; he hasn't changed or misrepresented any facts. The story is an almost similar replica to the one told to us in the Old Testament, but with different implications. How can I explain it without being confusing? Paradise Lost is narrated from a different point of view, with Satan being the anti-hero of this epic poem.

'With Ambitious Aim against The Throne and monarchy of God
Rais'd Impious War in Heav'n, and Battel Proud'

The above quote is another one of my favourites. In Paradise Lost, Satan is the main character and God, one the other hand is seen as daunting and intimidating ruler, like in the Old Testament really. I mean, most of Book III in Paradise Lost actually describes a Lord Of The Rings kind of battle scene between Satan's army and God's army in heaven with weapons and the works. Of course, as we all know that God's side wins.

I love William Blake just as much actually. I can't believe that he actually wrote poems about his fascination with Hell and got away with nobody killing him:

'As I was walking among the Fires of Hell,
Delighted with the Enjoyments of Genius'

Blake was a poet much ahead of his times. He clearly believed himself to be the living embodiment of the spirit of Milton. Some of his poems in The Songs of Experience can be linked to the 'Fall of Man' and its future consequences as they are presented in the Old Testament and in Paradise Lost. The poems in The Songs of Experience may not seem linguistically complex for us to comprehend. This is because Blake's simplicity in language contradicts the complexity of his ideas. Most of his poems can be interpreted at different levels from a one-dimensional stories to multi-dimensional messages and we eventually realize that the seemingly simple content of his poetry is much more sophisticated than what it initially appears. One of my favourite Blake poems is A Poison Tree because it can just be understood at so many different levels:

A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunnéd it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole.
In the morning, glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

William Blake also happens to the only man according to me who could have summed up in an unbiased way the entire 'The Fall of Man' in just 4 lines:

The sexes sprung from shame and pride,
Blowed in the morn, in evening died;
But mercy changed death into sleep;
The sexes rose to work and weep.

I do adore his poetry so much. Of course, I cannot end this post without mention his most famous poem, The Tiger, from where the title of the post comes from. It is a wonderful piece of work with implications that one would find almost inconceivable especially at the time when it was written.

I obviously not being a scholar or an expert cannot be arrogant enough to claim to understand even half of Milton or Blake's ideas, but whatever little I have understood from their work, I can say that I love them very much.

PS: This is long, I'm sorry. I do get rather verbose when I'm feeling particularly fangirlish.