People lying in the woods, eating sandwiches?

I came to my meagre appreciation poetry because of the movies. I don't feel that any effort was really made in my education to encourage us to read or enjoy poetry... off the top of my head, I can't remember ever reading any in school. So when I was growing up and especially in my first year of college, poetry was something to be feared - something written by Jewel and angsty college freshmen and other people with no talent.

Not having had that basis in school, I have to say that my poetical education is very limited, extending mostly to Poems Which Are In Some Way Perhaps Tangentially Related to John Hannah. Funeral Blues is, of course, one of my favorites. When John was making Pandaemonium, I read a biography of his character, William Wordsworth, and discovered that Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a lot more interesting than Wordsworth, what will all of the fluttering, dancing daffodils vs. drugs and fast thick pants.

Unfortunately, most of the good poetry recordings I have are on cassette rather than in digital form, but I can offer you the following lovely ones:

  • W.H. Auden - XX (Funeral Blues) - read by John Hannah in Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Pablo Neruda - Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines - read by Andy Garcia on the soundtrack to Il Postino
  • Groove Armada - At the River - I have included this song for the stupidest reason that I can think of: I heard it around the time that Pandaemonium came out in the theatres and misheard the lyrics as "If you're fond of Xanadu..." (which I am). But I like it and I hope you will too.
  • What are your favorite poems or poets? Who and what should I be reading?

    srah - Wednesday, 13 October 2004 - 11:15 AM
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    Comments (13)

    gravatar alfie - October 13, 2004 - 12:55 PM -

    I always changed it to spastic pants....

    gravatar srah - October 13, 2004 - 2:10 PM -

    I knew there was something funny about those pants.

    gravatar srah - October 13, 2004 - 3:43 PM -

    My favorite Amazon review of Jewel's book:

    "beautiful, like the birth of stardust. as brave as a flowering cactus."

    gravatar Aunt Pam - October 13, 2004 - 6:16 PM -

    Poetry? Ah, along side of music and books, tis the stuff of life! I submit two for you

    Had I the heaven' embroidered cloths
    Enwrought with golden and silver light
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because your tread on my dreams.
    W.B.Y.
    and then this lovely morsel. . .

    I ASKED no other thing,
    No other was denied.
    I offered Being for it;
    The mighty merchant smiled.

    Brazil? He twirled a button,
    Without a glance my way:
    But, madam, is there nothing else
    That we can show to-day?
    E.D.

    gravatar Matt S. - October 13, 2004 - 9:59 PM -

    Rabbie Burns, if you like broad Scots (err, the language/dialect, not big people from Scotland).

    gravatar Amy - October 14, 2004 - 7:41 AM -

    The cow is of the bovine ilk,
    one end moo, the other milk
    Ogden Nash

    gravatar katie - October 14, 2004 - 8:53 AM -

    Your comments box is stupid. I want to post a comment, but it keeps telling me the content is "questionable" and it won't let me post. Wah.

    gravatar srah - October 14, 2004 - 8:56 AM -

    That's what you get for posting about ph0t0s-1nc3st.c0m!

    gravatar katie - October 14, 2004 - 8:58 AM -

    One of my favorite poems is Mont Blanc by Percy Bysshe Shelley (husband to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein).

    gravatar katie - October 14, 2004 - 8:59 AM -

    Another must-read classic poem is Astrophel and Stella by Philip Sidney. I studied this one in college. Trust me, it can be picked apart and analyzed to death. It's also very good to boot.

    gravatar katie - October 14, 2004 - 9:02 AM -

    One of my absolute favorite poets is T.S. Eliot. Don't ask me why, because I don't know.

    gravatar katie - October 14, 2004 - 9:02 AM -

    Mwahaha! Comments box, I defy you!

    gravatar Josh - October 14, 2004 - 10:26 AM -

    Robert Frost is both distantly related to me, and near to my heart. My favorite is Two Tramps in Mud Time, but most of his stuff is pretty good, especially if there's a bit of New Englander hiding in your little Midwestern brain, like me.

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