Poetry nerds....(or those of you who like to read poetry :) ) - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 11-13-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need recommendations. I have decided to include poetry in my life, but I am sadly unknowledgeable other than stuff I read in High School (although we did do a LOT of poetry in HS in some depth, so I was exposed to quite a bit...)

 

I'm interested in poets of the last century or two in particular. Langston Hughes, Rimbaud, Pound, Whitman...I've not ventured into their work but come across their work often.

 

Who do you like, and why?

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#2 of 17 Old 11-13-2010, 01:31 PM
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Well I am not a poetry nerd--but I have a suggestion.  

 

I am using this book (Building Poems) http://www.rfwp.com/series36.htm to teach poetry with my dd (homeschooled 5th grader).  I am learning so much myself, I am willing to bet that I could appreciate poetry a lot more NOW.  So, I am suggesting that you might get a copy of the book first -- unless you are confident in your poetry background.  

 

Even if you don't want to "teach" yourself--visit the page I linked.  Towards the bottom of the description for each level, there is a listing of poets quoted within.  You might use those lists as a starting point.  

 

Amy

 

 


Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#3 of 17 Old 11-14-2010, 04:42 AM
 
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Another good poetry resource is Camille Paglia's  Break, Blow, Burn . 

 

It's a little like a survey course in Western lit. poetry. She uses close reading to review 43 poems that she loves, from Donne to Joni Mitchell.

 

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#4 of 17 Old 11-14-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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Hrmm. I'm not a poetry nerd exactly, but there are a few poems/poets I really like. Check our WB Yeats' "Had I The Heavens' Embroidered Cloths" - or watch Equilibrium, in which Sean Bean reads it out, which is pretty awesome. :p Some of Shakespeare's sonnets are pretty cool, although out of the time period you requested. I quite like the poems of CS Lewis, Tolkien and GK Chesterton - they were all known for their prose more than their poetry, but they're really interesting. Chesterton's "The Donkey" is one of my favourites, and "The Aristocrat". Sylvia Plath's poem about mushrooms (possibly just called "Mushrooms"?) is cute too. Oh, and Robert Frost's "When you are old and grey and full of sleep" - read it out first in thrilling, romantic tones, and then read it out again in a really sarcastic, snarky, evil-ex way. It's great. :)

 

Watching Wit (movie with Emma Thompson, but originally a play) will give you an intro to John Donne, and probably induce a depressive fit as well. It's about cancer.

 

You can probably find most poems online - just search for the author and/or title you want.

 

Ooh, and William Carlos Williams ' "This Is Just To Say" is GORGEOUS. And I like some of the longer poems by AA Milne - "King John was not a good man" (forget the title) is fun.

 

So basically, if you like one poem by an author, look up his other poems! I have to admit, for someone with a degree in English I'm really fuzzy on poetry. We didn't do a huge amount of it, just bits here and there. Lots of Renaissance poetry, which for the most part I absolutely hated.

 

Oh, and Chaucer's cool. It's not poetry poetry - they're long, like stories - but the Canterbury Tales has some great moments. The Wife of Bath's Tale is a fun one to start with, if you don't mind bawdy medieval humour.


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#5 of 17 Old 11-14-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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i'm crazy about

Nikki Giovanni

Sonia Sanchez

June Jordan

Julia de Burgos

for their rhythms, choice of words, and expressions of longing for freedom

 

also Martin Espada, Eileen Myles

 

poetry like bread is an amazing collection of poets that look at social/political issues.

 

Gary Snyder (who writes a lot of great stuff that focuses on nature) and Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

i do like some earlier poets....but they are not the first ones that come to mind.

 


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#6 of 17 Old 11-15-2010, 06:33 AM
 
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Ooh, and William Carlos Williams ' "This Is Just To Say" is GORGEOUS. 

 


This is one of my favourites!  It's in Paglia's book, mentioned in my earlier post, and is a big reason why I bought that book in the first place.  

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#7 of 17 Old 11-15-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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Do you ever listen to Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" on public radio? He reads a poem a day, usually contemporary. I don't get to catch it often, but have been introduced to quite a few poets I was unfamiliar with by it.

 

Billy Collins was poet laureate in the early 2000's. He may not be the best poet around, but his poetry is entertaining and accessible. I've heard him read his poetry in person, and he had the whole room rolling in the aisles, tears in our eyes from laughing when he read The Lanyard.

 

My three favorite American poets, though, have to be Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg and H.D.  You'll probably will remember "A Dream Deferred" from high school if you pick it up, and Carl Sandburg's "Jazz Fantasia".  H.D was a modernist, so a contemporary of Pound. Her poetry is every bit as beautiful as Pound and Elliot, but with a definite feminine viewpoint. I love her collection "Sea Garden", which is just full of these lovely flowers which look delicate but are tough enough to stand up to the sea. love.gif

 

If you're interested in moving into poetry in translation, some of the most haunting poets I know have to be Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova and Bella Akhmadulina.

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#8 of 17 Old 11-16-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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Pablo Neruda is a breathtaking 20th century poet. There's an excellent and concise collection of his work called The Essential Neruda.

 

If you're interested in something very contemporary, I recommend Quiver by Susan Somers-Willett, from 2009. It's a collection of her poetry about science, with a focus on physics and the personal lives of famous scientists. Her poems about Einstein and Marie Curie are so tender and personal, they're amazing.

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#9 of 17 Old 11-16-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone - this is perfect! It's just what I'm looking for!! :love

 

In my current bookshelf, I have:

 

Neruda (LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!)

Dickinson

Margaret Atwood's poetry

Blake

Wordsworth

Tagore (LOVE!!!)

Rumi

Angelou

Aurobindo's Savitri

Keats

Some small press poets, including Joanne Arnott, a dear friend of mine (I MCd some poetry readings at City Hall and bought their books :) )

cummings (mostly from when I was a teen :) )

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#10 of 17 Old 11-16-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

i'm crazy about

Nikki Giovanni

Sonia Sanchez

 


yeahthat.gif

 

Also Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich.   Naomi Shihab Nye.  Suheir Hammad. Wendell Berry's "A Timbered Choir."  Mojha Kahf's "Emails from Scheherazad."  Mahmoud Darwish.  Yehuda Amichai.  Judy Grahn.   Lucille Clifton.   Anne Sexton.

 

I'll stop now because I could probably sit here thinking of favorites for forever.  lol.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 11-17-2010, 06:08 AM
 
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i like the romantic poets in particular: byron, shelley, keats, etc. 

i like to pick an era and explore. 

this is a cool website, btw.


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#12 of 17 Old 11-17-2010, 06:09 AM
 
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:D Had to smile at this - I also have a few cummings books from high school. love.gif I might just look for them on the shelves now - brings back a lot of nice memories.

 

BTW, I just checked, and there is a great website for A Writer's Almanac - you can download podcasts and see the full text of poems he has read online, and search by date read, title, or poet: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/.

 

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cummings (mostly from when I was a teen :) )



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#13 of 17 Old 11-17-2010, 07:31 AM
 
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I second Billy Collins.  I love reading his work, and I enjoy listening to him read his poetry.  It's great.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Collins

 

He edits two poetry anthologies.  They might be a good way to expand your poetry horizons.  Poetry 180 and 180 More are the titles.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Poetry-180-Turning-Back/dp/0812968875/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1290007872&sr=8-8

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#14 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Thank you so much for recommending this book. I just picked it up, and can't put it down. I must say, I hesitated because Paglia's egotism and public persona drive me nuts, but wow, it is a great book.

 

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Another good poetry resource is Camille Paglia's  Break, Blow, Burn . 

 

It's a little like a survey course in Western lit. poetry. She uses close reading to review 43 poems that she loves, from Donne to Joni Mitchell.

 



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#15 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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can I humbly suggest including contemporary spoken word poets?

 

Climbing Poetree - Being Human

Sarah Kay - B (has one swear word in it, but seriously a beautiful poem)

Truth Is - In your name (the justice poem) 

Adriel Luis - Slip of the Tongue

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#16 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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Thank you so much for recommending this book. I just picked it up, and can't put it down. I must say, I hesitated because Paglia's egotism and public persona drive me nuts, but wow, it is a great book.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Another good poetry resource is Camille Paglia's  Break, Blow, Burn . 

 

It's a little like a survey course in Western lit. poetry. She uses close reading to review 43 poems that she loves, from Donne to Joni Mitchell.

 


 


Yeah, Paglia isn't shy about her opinions, is she? In the case of her reflections on these poems, though, I think her passion for them makes really intriguing reading. Glad you are enjoying the book, thanks for letting me know. It's always nice when a recommendation hits the target!  

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#17 of 17 Old 12-19-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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"The poem that changed America" ... Howl, by Allen Ginsberg.

 

And then anything else by Ginsberg. 

 

 

 

 

 


Warning:  He's the anti-Keats.

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