Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unusual Request: Favorite Poets

In between posting on management, ethics, politics, economics, life, and signage, it makes sense to have a post on poetry.

I love poetry. Still have memories of elementary school when we were required to memorize and recite poems in front of the class. Some classmates would meet the minimum number of lines and then stop. As a result, I never heard anyone complete "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."

I also recall quoting Longfellow once and getting a sneer from an English major who thought the old guy was over the hill and that a few lines from "Howl" would have been much more sophisticated.

Anyway, some poets I've especially enjoyed are Yeats, Wordsworth, Wylie, Sandburg, Longfellow, Larkin, Auden, Robert Browning, Hughes, and Kipling.

Which ones do you like?


John said...

I always imagined that in retirement poetry would be one of my guilty pleasures, but now that it's here I find neither the time nor inclination to follow through. Having grown up in the era of turgid information I am intoxicated by today's endless flow.
But your question brings to mind my favorite poetry discovery of the last few years, Thomas Lux's "To Help the Monkey Cross the River."
I put up a post about it three years ago which now comes to mind.

There is more enjoyment in the mp3 of the author reading before a live audience than in the words of the poem itself. The program is long but I drag the time tab ahead to 42 minutes for the fun part.

Lou's Ann said...

Wow this takes me back to fifth grade when I stood up to proudly recite this famous poem to my class. I also never completed the entire poem. As a new student in a Milwaukee school, the snickering began when my heavy New England accent pronounced the words much differently from my peers, and continued in outright laughter when I said the word "Middlesex" to a group of 5th graders who had just come to be aware of the meaning of that last sylable. Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, in Middlesex County the words had real meaning for me as I had lived in and had been to visit the famous countryside and neighboring towns and landmarks mentioned in that glorious poem and wanted to share some of that history with my new classmates. I often wondered why the Teacher did not step in and quiet the mob as my pride turned to obvious humiliation as I chugged through the long poem deciding to end it before the whole story of that historical night had been told in proudly remembered rhyme and verse and the word "Middlesex" had to be recited again let alone the reference to the "crowing of the cock." Of course I never had the stomach for public speaking again. Thanks for the memory!

Larry Sheldon said...

Robert Service is my favorite read voluntarily, followed by my daughters (some of the work is pretty good--on my web page winch evoke Baltimore's Inner Harbor every time I read it).

After that, Poe, I guess. I'm not really a connoisseur.

Rowan Manahan said...

Shakespeare for love. Nash and Belloc for fun. Frost for poignancy.

John said...

Robert Service rings this bell:

"Embedding disabled by request"

Too bad, because this guy is great!

jenn b said...

I like (the late) William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye, Pablo Neruda and Emily Dickinson.

Anonymous said...

Reading Robert Frost is like a walk in the woods with a friend.

Michael Wade said...

What great responses! Many thanks to each of you!

Not only will I be checking out the poets (How could I not have listed Frost?), but I especially enjoyed the humor. Flashes of fifth grade recitation time.

The mention of Robert Service triggered memories of my mother reading his poems.

And Rowan reminded me of what may have been a line from Twain: Heaven for the climate. Hell for conversation.