Context in writing is a lot like context in real life, baby. May I call you baby? Too bad I did it anyway. Anyway, context can be a royal pain in the arse. Take this for example:
“I shot the queen.”
Now that hardly seems necessary.
“I shot the queen a look.”
Oh that’s different.
“I shot the queen a look of disgust.”
That’s not a nice thing to say of the queen.
“What do you care? You’re American.”
These are the kind of awful misunderstanding we get when we write. These kind of issues arise in real life too. But it’s different when you’re reading. It’s unattractive when you’re reading. These kinds of things can make your readers wanna jump off a cliff for some reason. This kind of thing happens to the best of us though.
As the great romantic poet (he was really good with the ladies) John Keats said “I would sooner fail.”
Okay I admit I took that slightly out of context. But in turn, I added new context. Aren’t I clever. I could have America’s budget problem solved in no time. Don’t take that out of context or congress might get testy.
Anyway, peace out and don’t propagandize the poetry.
Further Readings of No Particular Context
- The Poetry of Life: How poetry makes things happen – or not (peaceandbread.com)
- abstract / abstraction / – tell it slant/ (poetunderconstruction.wordpress.com)
- Poetry In The Trenches (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)