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Thread: The Reformed Poetry-Hater Tells All

  1. #21
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    The deep, dark woods
    Another Plath fan over here. My favourite poem by her is probably "Lady Lazarus", especially the following stanzas:

    Is an art, like everything else.
    I do it exceptionally well.

    I do it so it feels like hell.
    I do it so it feels real.
    I guess you could say I've a call.


    Out of the ash
    I rise with my red hair
    And I eat men like air.

    Powerful stuff.

    I have to admit I'm way more into novels than poetry, but I do have a few poets I absolutely love. Besides Sylvia Plath, I adore Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass is an amazing collection of poetry), William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Emily Dickinson ("A Certain Slant of Light" is probably my fave), Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, and e.e. cummings among others. Speaking of e.e. cummings: any Woody Allen fans will recognise this beautiful poem from Hannah and her Sisters:

    ETA: D'oh! I completely missed that lildago had already mentioned "Somewhere I Have Never Travelled". Ah well, it so good, it deserves to be on the second page of this thread too )

    [somewhere i have never travelled]

    somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
    any experience,your eyes have their silence:
    in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
    or which i cannot touch because they are too near

    your slightest look easily will unclose me
    though i have closed myself as fingers,
    you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
    (touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

    or if your wish be to close me,i and
    my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
    as when the heart of this flower imagines
    the snow carefully everywhere descending;

    nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
    the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
    compels me with the color of its countries,
    rendering death and forever with each breathing

    (i do not know what it is about you that closes
    and opens; only something in me understands
    the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
    nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands

    Here's another poem I love for the sheer beauty and simplicity of it. It's by William Carlos Williams, by the way.

    This Is Just to Say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    This thread made me want to read poetry again - heck, I'm browsing through my old copy of The Norton Anthology of American Literature as I type this. Thanks, Stargazer!
    Last edited by geek the girl; 12-08-2005 at 12:51 PM.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  2. #22
    Premium Member Dinahann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Small Town USA
    geek the girl, I've always loved that William Carlos Williams poem. Short, sweet and to the point.

  3. #23
    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hi, Olivia!
    Here's a great resource for poetry.
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

  4. #24
    Who Dat lildago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Cool site, phat! Thanks for posting the link.
    Getting lost will help you find yourself.

  5. #25
    skeptic rdpch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I have also been a fan of Sylvia Plath since I was a teenager. The darkness and passion of her poetry appealed to me then, and yet the poem that stayed with me most is more about the simplicity of our smallness in the presence of nature:

    Two Campers in Cloud Country
    (Rock Lake, Canada)

    In this country there is neither measure nor balance
    To redress the dominance of rocks and woods,
    The passage, say, of these man-shaming clouds.

    No gesture of yours or mine could catch their attention,
    No word make them carry water or fire the kindling
    Like local trolls in the spell of a superior being.

    Well, one wearies of the Public Gardens: one wants a vacation
    Where trees and clouds and animals pay no notice;
    Away from the labeled elms, the tame tea-roses.

    It took three days driving north to find a cloud
    The polite skies over Boston couldn't possibly accommodate.
    Here on the last frontier of the big, brash spirit

    The horizons are too far off to be chummy as uncles;
    The colors assert themselves with a sort of vengeance.
    Each day concludes in a huge splurge of vermilions

    And night arrives in one gigantic step.
    It is comfortable, for a change, to mean so little.
    These rocks offer no purchase to herbage or people:

    They are conceiving a dynasty of perfect cold.
    In a month we'll wonder what plates and forks are for.
    I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I'm here.

    The Pilgrims and Indians might never have happened.
    Planets pulse in the lake like bright amoebas;
    The pines blot our voices up in their lightest sighs.

    Around our tent the old simplicities sough
    Sleepily as Lethe, trying to get in.
    We'll wake blank-brained as water in the dawn.

  6. #26
    Best Ever Pool Runner Angry Birds Champion pikachu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Tallahassee, FL

    Re: The Reformed Poetry-Hater Tells All

    I actually don't like reading poetry but I like writing it. My best friend and I in high school wanted to be singers when we grew up so we started writing what we hoped would become song lyrics. However, neither of us wrote music to go with it so it was really poetry.

    I used to hate it when we had to study poetry in school. I would make up some bullcrap about what I thought I saw in it and the teachers ate it up, which made me have even less respect for poetry.

    I'm glad people like reading my poetry and I hope it means something to me. It means something to me because it's my own personal stories or an exercise in me playing with words but it's interesting if other people like my poetry because it relates to their experiences.

  7. #27
    Kitten time! Gutmutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Mio and Reo

    Re: The Reformed Poetry-Hater Tells All

    pikachu! Thank you for bumping this after 5 years in the deep freeze! I've never been much of a poetry fanatic other than a few Robert Frost poems we had to learn in grade school and the odd bit of Shakespeare you hear at weddings, etc. but I took a poetry class in grad school a few years ago and clarified why I hate some (references too obscure) and love others (newer, fresher forms). We also had to write poetry, which it turns out I had a knack for - although I've never written any before or since. I'm on my way to the gym right now, but I fully intend to double-post when I get back if I can find my two favorites from that class.
    Haiku poems are the exception. I write those quite often in Fun and Games.
    Count your blessings!

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