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Question of the Week - Favorite Poet/Poem

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I didn't realize that until this weekend. Had I realized early and been less busy this month, I would have been writing more poems! I have about three that are currently in process, but are not ready yet. For the ones I've already posted, I created a page that list them with links to them, and you can go to the page titled Poems: My Life as Mother at any time from the link at the top of the screen under the header.

In honor of National Poetry Month, this week's question of the week is really two questions, and you can answer either or both:

Who is your favorite poet/a poet you like? What poem would you like to share (it doesn't have to be by your favorite poet)?

I have two favorite poets, and I am unapologetic about it. One is e.e. cummings, who I first discovered and became fascinated with in 6th grade. I especially love his style (check out She being Brand, and do note that the poem is a total metaphor). My other favorite is Robert Frost. I love the way he writes and what he writes about (I can't even pick one to link to, since so many of them speak to me).

Besides my own poetry and poems by cummings and Frost, I would like to share a poem that has, with irony, been on my mind a lot since having kids: This Be The Verse, by Philip Larkin. (Please note that there is the eff bomb a couple times in that poem, so don't click that link if that will offend you.)

How about you? Do you have a favorite poet? Any poems you love? Something you vaguely remember from 10th grade english class but can't recall what it is? Share it with us! After all, I think perhaps there may be at least some poems as lovely as a tree...


Anonymous said…
i don't agree with the poem, but it's been a favorite for sheer imagery/power:

"What God Did Not Plan On" - Stan Rice

Sleep well, weep well, go to the deep well as often as possible.
Bring back the water, jostling and gleaming.
God did not plan on consciousness developing so well.
Well, tell him our pail is full and he can go to Hell.
After Words said…
I love Mary Oliver. "Wild Geese," which Biden read at the last 9/11 memorial ceremony is lovely as is "The Journey." You can find both here:
Jac said…
I love e.e.cummings too. My other favorite poet is Wordsworth. Particularly, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" which makes me happy every time I think about it, and all of his Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, which I find affect me deeply.
Becoming Mommy said…
though often considered overdone, i love "Porphyria's Lover," by Robert browning
Jan said…
Totally cheesy, but I dig both the sentiment and the imagery in this poem by Roy Croft:

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

No favorite poet. I've never really considered myself a "poetry person" (whatever that is), but I love it when words are used really well. I most often notice song lyrics, actually.

"Life's like an hourglass glued to the table." -- Breathe (2 a.m.)

"I don't know who I am without you. All I know is that I should." -- Where I Stood
Anandi said…
Thanks for sharing the Larkin poem - I love it :)
Anonymous said…
There are so many poems that I enjoy...believe it or not, Emily Dickinson was one of my first favorites. I remember being eight and loving A narrow fellow in the grass. Slightly older, Ogden Nash caught my fancy. Maya Angelou spoke at the convocation ceremonies my freshman year in college and I was in love. TS Elliot, ee cummings, Blake, and even Shakespeare have brought me comfort. As part of a family tradition (on my side) my father in law read sonnet 116 at our wedding (let me not to the marriage of true minds) and my grandmother used to recite the sonnets to me as I was a crying infant. I guess I don't have a favorite, just general love :)

The playseum sounds great. Peter and I have a memorial to attend the first weekend in May, but we are otherwise free.

MommyEm said…
I have to admit that I have not been a fan of poetry, but the poems that I have enjoyed were ones that I sung in choir. My absolute favorite is "A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns:

O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 5
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun; 10
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve, 15
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

My second favorite, although not as cheery is by W.H. Auden, which I thank "Four Weddings and a Funeral" for making me cry every time:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
caramama said…
I am loving all of these! Thank you all for sharing!

@Anonymous - That is a powerful poem! I hadn't heard it before, either, and it has such a great playful style with a deep message.

@After Words - Thanks for the link to Mary Oliver. I read all the poems on that page, and I am now going to go out and get a book of her poetry. I am loving her stuff!

@Jac - Wordsworth is a great poet. Great stuff, and very deep. I found a link to I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, for those who may not know it. That poem always reminds me of seeing fields of sunflowers stretched for miles in the Tuscany hillsides...

@Becoming Mommy - Here's a link to Porphyria's Lover which also includes some commentary below the poem itself. For those unfamiliar with the poem, I highly recommend reading the commentary in addition to the poem in order to get some insight into why the poem is so shocking. It really is a fantastic and very thoughtful poem.

@Jan - That's a lovely poem! I enjoy good love poems. I also really like to listen to lyrics as poetry. My favorite singers and bands tend to be those who basically write poetry to music.

@Anandi - I do so love This Be The Verse, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I will always be thankful to my college poetry professor who loved to read this poem with great emphasis and expression.

@Kate - Emily Dickenson is my very close second favorite poet. There are so many poets I love! I'm especially a big fan of Shakespear's sonnets. It's so hard to pick just one or two, isn't it?

@MommyEm - I wasn't sure if you'd share a poet/poem, since we've talked before about how you aren't really into poetry. Thanks for sharing some! I'll never forget when I first started reading poetry as a pre-teen; I read a book that had A Red, Red Rose juxtaposed with The Rose Family, by Frost, as examples of overstatement and understatement used in poetry. It really opened my mind to how one could use language in many ways to convey similar sentiments.

Poetry. It's beautiful and deep.

What else you got? I'm craving more!
caramama said…
And because I cannot resist sharing more poems and poets I love...

Here's one of my favorite poems, which is amazing in its imagery and word choices: Blackberrying, by Sylvia Plath.

Also, the site SparkNotes has a good section on poets and poetry, which can help explain themes, motifs and the poems themselves, if you are interested.
hush said…
My favorite poems are T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and W. H. Auden's "Funeral Blues."
I put this poem on the back page of my wedding program:


If you want to marry me, here's what you'll have to do:
You must learn how to make a perfect chicken-dumpling stew.
And you must sew my holey socks,
And soothe my troubled mind,
And develop the knack for scratching my back,
And keep my shoes spotlessly shined.
And while I rest you must rake up the leaves,
And when it is hailing and snowing
You must shovel the walk...and be still when I talk,
And--hey--where are you going?

-Shel Silverstein
Becoming Mommy said…
Hmm, I think that whoever wrote that commentary may have failed to see the forest for the trees. But then there are two schools of thought on it.

It's titled "Porphyria's Lover" for a very specific reason. Porphyria is a deadly blood disorder and many details point to the woman suffering from it. I always read it as she was released from her suffering.

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