Literary Blog Hop: December 2-5, 2010

The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. This week's question comes from Gary at Parrish Lantern:

What is your favorite poem and why?

Another difficult question! I don't think it is possible to pick 'just one' poem. There have been so many poems and poets that have influenced me that I cannot possibly focus on one. So instead, I am going to talk about those poets that have influenced me the most.

The first poet I came to love (and still do) is none other than Dr. Suess!  He taught me how to read, how to love books and fueled my desire to devour every book I could get my hands on. My mum used to get me to read a book to her every morning and Dr. Suess was one of my favourites. I still enjoy his rhymes.

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

~Dr. Seuss

When I was a teenage I went through a Sylvia Plath stage. I was angsty and Plath was good company. I think she is probably the best friend of a lot of teenage girls. Although I still have a respect for Plath, I no longer hold her in the same regard I once did. Which is kind of sad but understandable. It's been years since I have read anything by her though. 

I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity. 

~ from Elm by Sylvia Plath

In my senior year of school I had the most fantastic English teacher. He is part of the reason why I decided to become a teacher myself. He was so passionate about literature and poetry. His favourite poet was Coleridge, so we studied him closely. This guy loved Coleridge so much, he named his first son Samuel (that is true love!). His enthusiasm was infectious and I grew to love Coleridge too. 

And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ém woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
~ from Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge

Edgar Allen Poe has been a long time favourite of mine. I love horror stories and the macabre, so Poe is right up my alley. My mum has a big book of stories and poems by Poe and she used to read them to me when I was young. I especially remember her reading his most famous poem, The Raven. I have fond memories of Poe and he is a poet I will continue to read. 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door- 

Only this, and nothing more."
~ from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

For the past few years I have been enthralled with the beat poets. Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowsi are amazing. I love my big book of collected poems by Ginsberg.. every now and again I will pick it up and read a few poems. They make me smile, frown, think and laugh. 

I believe that all poetry is best read out aloud. So here is a video of Ginsberg reading the first part of Howl. I always felt Howl should be read a bit faster, more breathless.. almost manic.. he nearly gets there. 

Bukowski... I have conflicting feelings about Bukowski. In one respect his poetry is just amazing. It is so raw and honest. I love the way he writes. On the other hand, I was watching an interview with him once, and his girlfriend said something he didn't like so he called her horrible names and started kicking her really hard. It was disgusting.. I DO NOT agree with, or condone physical violence against women (or anyone for that matter).. so for a while there, I could not bring myself to read anymore Bukowski.. but regardless of his obvious flaws as a human being, he is a genius. 

I guess his flaws and the hard life he lived acted as a breeding ground for his creativity. I have come to the conclusion that I can love his poetry, but that has nothing to do with how I feel about him as a person. What he is like as a person is really irrelevant I guess.. although sometimes it's hard to differentiate because he more than likely wouldn't have written such brilliant poems if he was not that way he was. It certainly gives me something to ponder.

I think that about covers my favourite poets. There have been others I have studied, read, taught and enjoyed but these guys have influenced me the most. So I will leave you with one of my favourite poems by Bukowski. Enjoy.

Blasted apart with the first breath

running out of days
as the banister glints
in the early morning sun.

there will be no rest
even in our dreams.

now, all there is to do is
broken moments.

when even to exist seems a
then surely our luck has
run thin

thinner than a bloody stream
toward death.

life is a sad song:
we have heard too many
seen too many
too many

worst have been the faces:
a dirty joke that no one
can understand.

barbaric, senseless days total
in your skull;
reality is a juiceless

there is no plan
no out
no divinity
no sparrow of

we can’t compare life to
too dreary a

relatively speaking,
we were never short on

but, at best, the odds
remained long
at worst,

and what was worst:
not that we wasted
but that it was
on us:

coming out of
the Womb
in light and

stricken and numbed

alone in the temperate zone of
dumb agony

running out of days
as the banister glints
in the early morning sun.

~Charles Bukowski
All content © And the plot thickens... 2009-2011 or their respective owners as credited.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP