Thursday, December 20, 2007

This doesn't Baudelaire well for you...

Exterminator saw my music posting in response to his and said I should list my favorite poems. Now, I was an English major. Asking an English major to talk about his favorite poems is like asking Pat Robertson to tell you about salvation. I could go on and on. But, I am a strong person. I'll restrain myself. My all time favorite poems:

Alfred Tennyson - The Lotus-Eaters
My all time favorite poem. The lyricism of the Choric Song is so breathtaking. I love this poem.

Langston Hughes - My Old Man
This is a great little gem from Hughes. It holds a special place in my heart because of I used it in an amazing English class I taught in Albania with the Peace Corps. We had a poetry reading after that where I had the students write up poems of their own in English and some of those poems were extremely moving. I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life and this poem is a part of that.

T.S. Eliot - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
I love the moderns and Eliot is my favorite of that group. This is a great poem, top to bottom and filled with wonderful imagery. "I am no prophet—and here's no great matter;/I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,/And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,/And in short, I was afraid."

William Carlos Williams - This is Just to Say
This is a classic of modernism. It's a perfect example of a school of writing that said the emotion was in the thing and not your description of the thing.

Walt Whitman - Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking
This is a very sad poem about a boy watching two birds. One day one of the birds does not show up. When Whitman speaks from the remaining birds point of view, it is as sad as anything I have ever read.

So, that's my two cents. Thoughts?


The Exterminator said...
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The Exterminator said...

My favorites:

Shelley - Ozymandias
Yeats - The Second Coming
Dylan Thomas - Fern Hill
Matthew Arnold - Dover Beach
Ernest Dowson - Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae

Dozens of poems by e.e. cummings, including, but by no means limited to the following (these aren't titles, just identifiable beginnings):
in Just-/spring
my sweet old etcetera
i sing of Olaf glad and big
rain or hail/sam done

And, lest those all appear too serious:
Ernest Lawrence Thayer - Casey at the Bat