Sunday, April 3, 2011

April is...

National Poetry Month! And in honor of that, I've created a list of 10 books of poetry. You should be able to find these, or similar titles, at your local library.

1) The Best Poems of the English Language- selected and with commentary by Harold Bloom. Anthologies are a good place to start exploring poetry, it gives you a taste of several different poets, kind of like tapas.
2) She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey through Poems, selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy. Themed anthologies are another good place to start, as all of the poems will be about the same subject. 3) The collected Poems of Emily Dickinson- for those that like to dive into the deep end there are collected works. Usually organized chronologically, these collections show the growth of the poet. P.S. One piece of trivia about ED's poetry, you can sing any of her poems to the music of The Yellow Rose of Texas or the theme to Gilligan's Island. Go ahead, try it. It works.
4) Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot-

5) The Poetry of Robert Frost-

6) The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay- 7) Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke- okay, technically not a poem, but it keeps popping up on things poets should read so I thought I'd include it here too. 8) The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg-
9) Leaves of Grass by Whalt Whitman
10) Poems by William Wordsworth-

And finally, because the calendar says it is spring, despite the weather, I'm posting one of my favorite poems, by Wordsworth.

The Daffodils

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills,When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;Beside the lake, beneath the trees,Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way,They stretch'd in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:Ten thousand saw I at a glance,Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thoughtWhat wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.

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