Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Certified Grade A Poetry Dweeb

I love poetry. Sometimes I write it, sometimes I read it. Sometimes even bad, amateur poetry can speak to me if I am in the right frame of mind. For the past couple of days I have been reading through Americans' Favorite Poems. It is an anthology of poems that people submitted citing reasons why a particular poem was their favorite.
I happen to like reading poetry aloud. I find it easier to understand and usually less abstract than reading it silently can make it seem. Last night I was reading in bed, very quietly to myself...and really enjoying it! Well, the window by my bed was open and it is right on the front porch. WTG, wandering in, well, I guess he heard me muttering away, because all of a sudden I hear, "Who are you talking to in there?" Instead of telling him to mind his own business (nice restraint self!) I just opened the curtain and held up my book. He called me a rude name and went on into the house. Sort of ruined the reading for me, because I felt self conscious after that. Still, I highly recommend reading poetry aloud if you want to try and enjoy it more. Well, perhaps that is advice that there is no big call for...
Anyway, I was also trying to pick out my favorite from the 200 poems in the anthology. And of course that choice would be liquid, because different things appeal in different moods. I did sort of winnow it down it down to a Top 8 List. No particular reason for 8...that was just as far as I could go. Interested? Ah, I'll tell anyways. You don't have to read, you know? haha! In no particular order (okay...the order is alphabetical by author's last name)-----
1. Daystar - Rita Dove (most moms will relate to this one)
2. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot (as a college student I wrote an awful, awful reply to this...I believe I still have it)
3. Invictus - William Ernest Henley (motivational x infinity!)
4. Minstrel Man - Langston Hughes (no one knows whats going on inside...)
5. Quiet Until the Thaw - Jacob Nibenegenasabe (it's nice to have something to look forward to)
6. Lady Lazarus - Sylvia Plath (everyone has a talent for something!)
7. Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas (Rage, rage!)
8. Danse Russe - William Carlos Williams (for the happy, naked genius in all of us)
Do you have a favorite poem or poet? Tell me about it and I promise to read it aloud to myself :-)


evil-e said...

I really do not read poetry and as a matter of fact I do not usually know too many song lyrics either. I do, however, prefer to write a poem or two here and there. It seems that people like what I write when I decide to do so.

Tara said...

Oh I certainly do have some favorite poems and poets...Edgar Allan Poe is my all time favorite, then Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg's "Fog" where he writes "The fog comes on little cat feet" (Of course I like that one. Hehe)..

My favorite Poe poem or Poe-em..heh..Is "Annabelle Lee". I remember reading that in college and just feeling heartbroken about the character losing his loved one. Course I loved "The Raven" too. Oh and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Coleridge was also good. Ack! I think I need to blog about this soon.

Great post, LB! WTG needs to take his nasty comments and shove up his. Well he needs to get lost.

Mrs. Big Hairy Woman said...

I have written some poetry in the past.. some pretty good and some not so good.. I haven't been in that frame of mind for quite awhile now.. Hopefully reading some will inspire me again...

Churlita said...

I don't really understand poetry. I know what I like, but I couldn't tell you why. I'm fortunate enough to live in a town with that huge writer's workshop, so I get to hear a lot of writers read their own work. Derek Walcott was one of the best readings I've ever been to. It felt like I was in a completely different place.

minijonb said...

back in the day, i really, really liked e.e. cummings (for OBVIOUS reasons)


Viki said...

I dont mind poetry - however, I like mine in hindi - I seem to get the most out of poems written in Hindi cause its such a beautiful delicate language. Love poems in hindi are some of the most wonderful things you will ever hear.
Some bollywood songs are written by poets - and obviously, they sound wonderful.

laura b. said...

Evil-E: It's interesting that you like to write poetry when you don't enjoy reading it. You must be a driver rather than a passenger. You posted a poem before and it was really good!

Tara: Excellent choices and Poe is wonderful for reading aloud :-)
And you are so, so, so right about WTG, thank you very much!

MrsBHW: Yes, I do recall that you are a poet. You should compose something about your wedding day! Surely that was inspirational...or maybe the wedding night, whichever!

Churlita: I do think sometimes poetry is more about feeling than understanding...and of course all the best stuff tends to mean different things to different people. At least thats how it seems to me. I see that we have four Derek Walcott books in the library. I will have to take a look at them!

MiniJonB: I like e.e. cummings too...but what are the obvious reasons? Remember, I am quite slow :-)

Viki: You are so fortunate to have two (or is it more?) languages to enjoy. To me, lyrics should be written by poets! I mean, the songs that I like best do tend to have clever or really lovely lyrics. I totally see what you are saying.