Who is your favourite poet?
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Author:  des2 [ Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:28 am ]
Post subject:  Who is your favourite poet?

The Nation's favourite poets seem to be TS Eliot and John Donne: ... -poet.html

For once, I agree with the Nation!

What about you?

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:24 pm ]
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I don't know that I have a favourite as such - many favourites, perhaps depending on my mood. Sometimes I like Eliot; at other times I can't be bothered. Donne is always a favourite. So are the war poets. Plath always excites. So does Sexton...I could go on and on.
I like old ballads too, and narrative poems.
Good to see that poets are still polled and still valued.

Author:  Ray [ Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:25 pm ]
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cummings for
me - brill

Author:  Bob Lock [ Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:04 pm ]
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Dylan Thomas

I just love - Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:21 pm ]
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Nice ones , Bob and Ray.

Lurkers, come forward and name your poet!

Author:  Ray [ Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:21 am ]
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Gentle is great, I agree, but Death Will Have No Dominion is my favourite Thomas.

Quite the Duffy fan as well, I have to admit, though that may be seen as too current and fashionable! World's Wife is excellent.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:50 pm ]
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For Ray = from The World's Wife

Mrs Icarus
I’m not the first or the last
To stand on a hillock,
Watching the man she married
Prove to the world
He’s a total, utter, absolute, Grade A pillock.

Medusa A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy
grew in my mind,
which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes
as though my thoughts
hissed and spat on my scalp.
My bride’s breath soured, stank
in the grey bags of my lungs.
I’m foul mouthed now, foul tongued,
yellow fanged.
There are bullet tears in my eyes.
Are you terrified?
Be terrified.
It’s you I love,
perfect man, Greek God, my own;
but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray
from home.
So better by for me if you were stone.
I glanced at a buzzing bee,
a dull grey pebbly fell
to the ground.
I glanced at a singing bird,
a handful of dusty gravel
spattered down
I looked at a ginger cat,
a housebrick
shattered a bowl of milk.
I looked at a snuffling pig,
a boulder rolled
in a heap of shit.
I stared in the mirror.
Love gone bad
showed me a Gorgon.
I stared at a dragon.
Fire spewed
from the mouth of a mountain.
And here you come
with a shield for a heart
and a sword for a tongue
and your girls, your girls.
Wasn’t I beautiful
Wasn’t I fragrant and young?
Look at me now

Author:  Ray [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:00 am ]
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I love the phrase "We wade through blood for our sleeping girls" from Queen Herod (I think), and pretty much all the poemsbut pygmalion's bride and queen kong most of all.

I was inspired by this conversation to buy some more cummings at the weekend:

who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

Author:  Mike A [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:57 am ]
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Not sure I have a single favourite. Of more recent poets, Brian Patten is one that I can often relate to, and whose ear for subtle rhythm I admire. Of the war poets, Wilfred Owen is the one that moves me most, even though he's apparently considered less 'modern' or innovative in technique than some of the others. I like Walt Whitman a lot - suspect he would be in the top ten in the US.

It's quite shocking that Shakespeare wasn't in the top ten - but perhaps because people always think of the plays ahead of the sonnets.

Author:  iansales [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:56 am ]
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Wilfred Owen
Bernard Spencer
John Jarmain
Terence Tiller

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:17 pm ]
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Ray wrote:

I love the phrase "We wade through blood for our sleeping girls" from Queen Herod (I think), and pretty much all the poemsbut pygmalion's bride and queen kong most of all.


My favourite line is

The Boy Next Door. The Paramour. The Je t’adore.

Don't know why - it makes me laugh!

Author:  Journeymouse [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:02 pm ]
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I have to admit I'm in the Dylan Thomas (not related) camp. At least, he's the first poet that springs to mind when people ask. I love the rhythms of his work. They also work best when read by a fella with a deep, sonorous voice, hopefully with a touch of the valleys to it ;) Under Milk Wood, my favourite piece, is not a poem really, either.

Other than that, the only thing that springs to mind straight away is Edward FitzGerald's translation(s) of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám:
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

I'm not really well read enough to be able to consider various poets' work. In fact, the next name I'd add to my list of favourites is (amongst other things) a songwriter: Kris Kristofferson. His lyrics are amazing. The voice ain't great but his way with words is great:
First verse of Best of All Possible Worlds

I was runnin' through the summer rain tryin' to catch the evenin' train
And kill that old familiar pain weavin' through my tangled brain
When I tipped my bottle back I smacked into a cop I didn't see
That policeman said Mr Cool if you ain't drunk then you're a fool
I said if that's against the law then tell me why I never saw
A man locked in that jail of yours who wasn't just as lowdown poor as me
Well that was when someone turned out the lights
And I wound up in jail to spend the night
And dream of all the wine and lonely girls in this best of all possible worlds

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