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Favourite Poems and Poets....

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Love Slyvia Plath, favourite poem The Moon & the Yew Tree - favourite line - 'The trees of the mind are black'........


On a lighter note - I like Swinburne for romantic over the top stuff.


Don't tend to stick to one person/genre - like to try a bit of everything really

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Hi Trish, I haven't read any of Sylvia Plaths poems - though I've read her one novel, the Bell Jar, which was quite an intense experience. (Am I right in thinking it was a novel, rather than autobiographical? - I'm suddenly not sure which it was.)


I've just been lent "Birthday Letters" by Ted Hughes, by a friend who highly recommends it. Anyone else read it and like to comment on what they thought?

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Hi Claire - have left you rather a long reply on the other thread!


The Bell Jar is semi-autobiographical - a lot of those things did happen to Plath - she spent one summer work experience on a magazine - where similar events happened.


It is heavy - as is a lot of her poetry obviously. Ariel is definitely her work of genius & one I would thoroughly recommend.


Have written responses re: Birthday Letters on other thread!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to add Robert Graves into the discussion. He is one of the few writers, in my opinion who can do both novels and poetry.


His war poems are fantastic so is his love poetry.


Amother interesting poet is ee cummings - the first time I came across his work I was blown away by it as it was so different from anything else I had read. Just realised that ee cummings also manages both.


Also if you have children and want to get them into poetry try Michael Rosen and his 'There are an awful lot of wierdos in our neighbourhoold' collection. I hated reading stories aloud and much preferred reading them poems.

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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....


On poems with rhythm would like to recommend Hilaire Belloc's 'Do you remember an inn Miranda'


Link here for those of you who might be interested


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Hi belinda,


I'm never sure what I make of e e cummings. Some bits people have quoted to me have made me go Wow! - but I can never find those bits myself, and he tends to leave me a bit non-plussed. Might go back and have another look, though.


Like you, I love reading poetry to my kids as well. They tend to like even the grown up stuff, if it's short enough, and either easy to follow, or very vivid in it's images, or very rhythmic. They have to be in the right mood, though - and I tend to give them a bit of a precis first, to help them get a better grasp on what's going on! (I sometimes wish someone would do that for me, to be honest!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, started on modern poets and now everyone is off discussing their faves. How about Roger Mcgough, he has a brilliant poem about milk bottles outside a honeymooning couples door...unfortunately I cant find it! His "Let me die a youngmans death" is also worth a look.


Wendy Cope, short, pithy ,witty poems. She was born in 1945 so very last half of the twentieth century.


I do love more traditional stuff too, Andrew Marvell's "To his coy Mistress", Yeats, Thomas Wyatt (Those supposely written about Anne Boleyn).etc and Wilfred Owen.


But probably my most copied poem is Jenny Joseph's Warning makes a great 40th birthday present!! Its featured in another thread on here as well.


Just realised I have my threads crossed still it can stay here as it will fit as well as elsewhere. And those interested seem to cross threads all the time!

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  • 2 months later...

I don't read a lot of poetry. Most of the poems I end up reading are war poems in school. We studied Yeats last year but I can't stand his later poetry because he seems so self important and ignorant of how other people live.


One of my favourite poems is "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae because it's beautifully written and it has a great rhythm and sound. Sassoon is a great poet too but I haven't read much of his work.

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Frost at Midnight - Coleridge. Has everything - weather, home,a new baby, a new father, philosophy, musings - the lot! Every time I read it it's as if it's a new poem.


I studied this for part of my degree and wrote about it at length in my exam. I'm yet to really get into poetry of any sort and found the poetry parts of the studies the hardest to get into but ~ I did quite like this poem and was surprised to find it was the first one mentioned on this thread. I don't remember what I said about it now ( I can be forgiven for that, I was very pregnant in the exam!) but I do remember what a lot there was to draw on in it, and a lot of little bits I could quote. And despite my lack of love for poetry, it was my highest mark... so thank you Coleridge, much obliged.


edited to add, I've just checked in my books and I wrote about it in conjunction with A Mother To Her Waking Infant by Joanna Baillie.




(hello Claire!)

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I tell you what though, I may get shot down for this but my favourite poetry currently is on a cassette I borrowed from the library for the kids to listen to on the 7 hour journey down to South Wales last week. It was Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl. We are all still quoting funny bits from it, even my 6 and 4 year olds. And it has actually increased their vocabulary somewhat ~ Mum, what's a porcupine? What does 'jump a foot in the air mean?' Does cow pat mean cow poo? Roald Dahl is great!

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Roald Dahl is fab! Didn't know he had written poetry though - other than the bits and pieces that appear in his stories. I'd love to read them.


My kids learnt a lot about cow pats on holiday too - but not from a poem :rolleyes:;)

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It's funny, we had a cassette about Thunderbirds, a Pirate story and a story called The Emporer's Underpants as well and the poetry pipped them all to the post, every time.


ps I did post a more serious post above the one about Dirty Beasts!

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I did spot your other post - but I felt much more qualified to comment on Roald Dahl and cow pat than on Coleridge, so I thought I'd leave that for someone more knowledgable!


I have some tapes in the car with "proper grown up poetry" on them and surprisingly often the kids will ask to have them on. It's got some narrative poems about famous battles, and highway men and trains and stuff like that on, (can't remember the titles, but they are all famous ones!) and my six year old can follow enough of them to enjoy the story and he seems to like the music in the language as well. Both of them love McCavity the Mystery Cat, as well. That's their favourite.

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