Jessie-In New Hampshire, enjoying the garden coming to life!
We all read and write a lot of prose, but I thought I would ask if you also enjoy poetry
Edith/Maddie: I was stunned and so impressed by Amanda Gorman reading/performing her “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration. But the poem I turn to most often (and have nearly memorized) is “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. It ends, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” That line speaks to a deep place in me. After a poetry workshop I took in 2001, I wrote a prose poem for my father.
Julie: Faye Snowden, a wonderful writer, pointed me to the Poetry Foundation’s site, and I signed up for a poem a day. I will confess, poetry is not a natural go-to for me, but as a writer I marvel at the beautiful economic use of words, and how effectively they can trigger emotions.
Liz: I also love Mary Oliver. Her poem The Journey was the backdrop for a huge transformation in my life and I still get chills when I read it. I also really love Rupi Kaur, a Canadian poet who shares a lot of her work on Instagram.
Barb: I say I don’t love poetry, but then I end up at a spoken word event or similar and I’m enthralled. I’d rather hear it aloud than read it. As for favorites, I must confess, the poems I memorized in childhood, the fragments still there in my aging brain, are the ones I go back to: The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, and, of course, The Cremation of Sam Magee by Robert W. Service.
Sherry: Edith, I loved The Hill We Climb too! And Julie, I think I need to have a poem a day in my life. I’ve always loved Emily Dickenson’s poem If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking. I had it on the bulletin board in my bedroom growing up. Barb reminded me of two poems I love Stopping by the Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe.
Jessie: I am feeling so inspired by your responses! Julie, thanks for mentioning the Poetry Foundation’s offerings! I have to confess, I am not someone who turns to poetry with any frequency. I admire it when I feel it is meaningfully written, but I don’t seek it out. I will say that as a child I was a huge fan of Shel Silverstein’s poems and read them to my own children. Perhaps it is time to add something new to my reading list!
Readers, how about you? Are you a poetry lover?
Yes, I wrote poetry and have my collection in the Library of Congress. My favorite poem is “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes.
Dru! You have a collection of poetry? Is it published somewhere? I want to read your work.
You are a wonder, Dru! I had no idea that you are a poet!
What? Dru Ann how are we just finding this out!
Dru, I love that poem, too.
Not much of a poetry reader. I do love the phrase Edith told us from “The Summer Day” so I will have to look that one up.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
It is something to think on, isn’t it?
Like Barb, the poems I memorized in grammar school still echo in my mind. But my grown-up favorite poets are Carl Sandburg, and Charles Olson. (I was recently gifted with a copy of Olson’s Maximus Poems which I am savoring one at a time. Magnificent! ) A favorite I discovered back in the 1960s is Keith Barnes. His book of poems, “Born to Flying Glass” contains one called “Requiem” which I love and have memorized.
What an intriguing title!
I can’t remember the last time I read a poem. It’s never been something I’ve been drawn to.
I think a lot of readers are more interested in prose than in poetry. I know that I am.
I have to say, I’m not drawn to read poetry and I sure can’t write it. But hearing it spoken, and done well, is a magical experience.
I would have to agree with you. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed it as a child. My mother used to read poems to me at bedtime quite frequently. It isn’t the same reading them to myself!
I love watching poets work through drafts of their poems. They’re amazing. I’ve been part of a critique trio for almost 20 years. The other two women are, among many other accomplishments, terrific poets. Betsy Hearne (long-time editor, book reviewer, children’s author, recognized expert on folktale variants) writes haiku and tanka that appear in international journals. Janice N. Harrington (Guggenheim Fellow, NEA Fellow, picture book author, biographer) writes award-winning poetry for adults, including a biography of artist Horace H. Pippin in verse.
Uh oh. I either left only part of a comment or erased it. If the first half shows up, yay, and here’s the second half. Watching these two labor over word choice, line breaks, last lines, titles, nuances, specificity – it’s like another language. I love it and am completely honored to witness and contribute to their editing process. (If the first half of the comment didn’t show up, quick summary is these two poets are the other two writers in the critique trio I’ve been part of for almost 20 years – Betsy Hearne and Janice N. Harrington. Give them a Google. Cool poets and people. Great friends.)
How fascinating! It would be very different to watch the revision process on something that is already so distilled!
It is, Jessie. Seeing the poem get stronger as words are cut is so cool. It’s also interesting to have a couple of poets critique mystery novels. Sometimes unnerving. 🙂
It would be a privilege to watch and also to endure!
I’m going to date myself here, but I fell in the thrall of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poetry when I was in college and I’ve never forgotten it. Same with Rod McKuen and Leonard Cohen, songs and poetry.
It is wonderful to fall under thrall of something lovely whenever it happens to happen!
I’m not big on poetry, but like others here, I remember some poems from HS that I still like a lot. The Highwayman, The Skater of Ghost Lake, Cremation of Sam Legree (once read by a friend’s father that just blew me away), Casey at the Bat, Annabel Lee, One Hoss Shay, and many others from that era. Like Kit, I’m a fan of Rod McKuen. And, of course, Jabberwocky!
What a list!
Like many others, I don’t generally turn to poetry first, but I do enjoy many. My favorite poetry is Billy Collins, former poetry laureate (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/billy-collins), and my favorite poem of his is Taking off Emily Dicki son’s Clothes.
I slso love this poem, which Paul Simon adapted for his song.
Thanks for sharing these, Avis!
Somewhat. I love Eugene Fields Little Boy Blue. https://allpoetry.com/Little-Boy-Blue
Thanks for sharing this!
And I love this one by Edgar Allen Poe. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44885/annabel-lee
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