Reading Response to Romanticism and Baudelaire's poem, "To the Reader" (60 points)

Due: Thursday, Feb. 2, 11:59 pm

Length: About 350 words (one long paragraph in double-space)

*Penalty for late submissions: one day late (10 points off); two days late (20 points off)

Writing instructions

1. Please put quotation marks around the poem title, "To the Reader" (this is an MLA style)

2. Do not use expressions, such as "I think," "I feel like," or "we see" in analytical reading responses.

3. Please use an MLA in-text citation when you cite a quote. Put the line number in parentheses –(e.g.) The poet-speaker says "Our sins are stubborn" (line 5).

4. Please make sure that your interpretation of the poem is well supported by textual evidence (at least 2 direct quotes – one or two lines only) and your ideas are connected and consistently developed throughout the paragraph.


                   Relationships between Opposed Pairs

good ——————————– bad/evil thoughts

A beggar ————————— his lice

spiritual love ———————– physical love

positive emotion —————— negative emotion

Inspiration/creativity—————Boredom as the human Devil


*Note: Do not summarize the poem stanza by stanza. Please answer the questions in the prompt of the reading response.

Reading Response for Baudelaire's Poem, "To the Reader" (1857)

How does the romantic poet Baudelaire depict opposites/opposed pairs (such as pleasure and guilt, good and evil) in the poem? Why are the poet and the reader drawn to two conflicting desires (e.g. "clandestine joys")? Does Baudelaire view the poet's/the reader's inner conflicts of having opposite desires negatively? What do you think Baudelaire is trying to convey through coexisting yet conflicting desires within the poet and his reader? Why does the poet call Boredom a "beast"? Does the poet connect the beast/ Boredom to the root cause of the human's evil desires, or does he view Boredom/the monster as a negative force that stirs humans to act? Does Baudelaire deny the negative side (e.g. evil thoughts such as immoral thoughts and behaviors) within the opposed pairs, or does he view it as inherent in man's nature, complementing the opposite pair? Why does the poet-speaker call the reader his "twin"? Please make sure that your analysis of the poem is logically connected and supported by textual evidence (at least two direct quotes).