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Favourite Poems and Poets....

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I only dabble a bit in reading poetry. I don't think I'm quite up to a detailed discussion of a specific book - but I'd love to know what other people's favourite poems and poets are, and a bit about why you like them.


Who knows, you might get me started on something I wouldn't otherwise have tried - that would be cool!

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Sounds well worth a look - I shall go and seek it out. The only Coleridge I know is Kubla Khan - which I love. It's like the beginning of the most wonderful, exotic fairy tale you've ever heard, set in the most enchanted kingdom. Plus it's all the more intriguing because it's unfinished.


(Ok, I also enjoy it for the part it plays in "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams - very funny :D )

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I love Kubla Khan too. Will look at the Douglas Adams book - loved Hitchikers Guide. For a love poem try The Sun Rising by John Donne. The thing is poetry is so personal and often tied into the reader's own experience. Why don't you just get the Oxford Book of English Verse and go with the flow. While you're at it there are lots of modern poets to like as well.

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Cool, Granny Weatherwax! What do you like about them?


Why don't you just get the Oxford Book of English Verse and go with the flow. While you're at it there are lots of modern poets to like as well.


I've got something similar right by our loo, (or is that "too much information"!?) - I've found the best way of finding new poems is in the car, though! I've got a couple of audio books of poetry collections, "The Nations Favourite....." type things - and if something catches my attention, I go away and look it up!

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Nah, I just make them queue up ;)


My favourites at the moment:


Bits and pieces of Emily Dickenson. Especially There's a Certain Slant of Light and Tell the Truth but Tell is Slant - they give me such shiver of recognition, somehow.


I love The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock as well. That's one I first heard in the car - and the line:


"In the room the women come and go,

Talking of Michaelangelo."


just intrigued me to bits - and I had to keep listening to it again and again until I worked out what on earth the rest of the poem was about! Well worth it - but much of the rest of TS Elliot sails way over my head *shrugs*

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Like many people I first studied poetry at school and thankfully Eliot was on the syllabus! I don't pretend to understand all that he wrote, as this would be a life's study in itself. Many of his poems work on a literal level or with a little understanding of some of his references.


I particualrly like his 'heavy metal' stuff - 'The Waste Land' and 'The Hollow Men', early poems like 'Prufrock', 'Portrait of a Lady' and 'Preludes' and some of his minor poems such as 'Eyes That I Last Saw in Tears' and 'Landscapes'


Oh,and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
The thing is poetry is so personal and often tied into the reader's own experience. .


'Timothy Winters' by Charles Causley has been my favourite poem for years...probably because I used to work with deprived and disturbed children. That may also be the reason that I like 'Lies' by Yevgeny Yevtushenko.


I find that I am in danger of setting out on quite a long list here, so will recommend two smaller anthologies: 'Poetry Please', and 'More Poetry Please', both being favourites from the radio 4 programme of the same name.

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I remember "Timothy Winters". I came across it again a few years ago and read it to my kids, and almost burst into tears. I think it's the matter of fact way it describes his life.


I also like Wilfred Owen:

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

-Only the monstrous anger of the guns (Anthem for Doomed Youth)


He sums up the horror of war for me.

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I find that I am in danger of setting out on quite a long list here, so will recommend two smaller anthologies: 'Poetry Please', and 'More Poetry Please', both being favourites from the radio 4 programme of the same name.


I love Poetry Please - I didn't realise they had published anthologies. I can never seem to find the program on the Radio 4 Listen Again thing, though - which perplexes me. :confused:

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One of my favorites is Hiawatha. I love the rhythm of it. I actually think that the rhythm of it is the stuff of genius. "By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shinning Big Sea Water," I also like Evangeline and The Wreck of the Hesperus.


I love poetry. Usually, I like the way it captures a certain truth clearly in a few words or in a phrase. Sometimes the poet just describes something in a way that you see in your mind's eye and the power of the vision is palatable.


I like Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled (I always think of it when I see two a fork that breaks into a new path) and Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. I like The Daffodils by William Wordsworth. I love Tennyson's Fragment and Said the Rose by George Miles. Loves Philosophy by Shelley, Love by Roy Croft, Friendship by Dinah Craik, If by Kipling, Outwitted by Markham. I like Edgar Guest.


There is one by Robert Browning, I think about a woman who gets strangled by her lover with her own hair. I like that one.


I like the Raggedy Man by James Whitcomb Riley. I like Robert Louis Stevenson, Robertson Jeffers, Robert Browning, Emily Dickens and oh SO many others.


And then of course there is UNKNOWN - quite often I find a piece I really like that was written and found with no one to credit it too! AND don't forget Mother Goose!

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One of my favorites is Hiawatha. I love the rhythm of it. I actually think that the rhythm of it is the stuff of genius. "By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shinning Big Sea Water,"


The rhythm is absolutely hypnotic, isn't it. Amazing stuff. There's some wonderful spoofs of it out there too, using the same pattern. Have you come across any of them? One about a wedding photographer sticks in my mind - I wonder if I can drag it up on the net somewhere....

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WH Auden 'As I walked out one evening' is one of my favourites. Briefly its about love and death, of course those two poetry classics. No matter how much you love someone and want to be with them, death will part you and life will go on. I suppose it is a sad poem but I love its imagery and the change from feeling the warmth of love and summer to coldness and winter through the stanzas. I could go on but I agree poetry is personal as are interpretations.

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Gotta be David Herbert:


Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;

Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see

A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings

And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

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I'm not that into poetry, but I do love Yeats 'He wishes for the cloths of heaven'. It's my favourite love poem I think. Or 'When you are old', it's really sweet.


Shakespeare's sonnets have a lot of truth in them, I feel as if I can really connect to them. I know some people think Shakespeare's a bit overrated, but I think he's just as relevant today as ever.

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Kipling may be out of flavour, but I don't see how that can detract from his greatness. I couldn't separate him from Wilfrid Owen or DH Lawrence as Number One.


But I would like to mention George Crabbe as another English Great. I got into him from the opera Peter Grimes, but Crabbe's poetry is truly wonderful. He's as English as Turner or Constable's paintings, and just as beautiful.


I have no love for Shakespeare the playwright, but some of his sonnets aren't too bad. Should I invest time in Will the poet?

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