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National Poetry Month - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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National Poetry Month [Apr. 17th, 2007|03:50 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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It's National Poetry Month here in the USA.

Who is your favorite poet? (Your child? A famous author? That street performer?)

What is your favorite poem? (Right now or always/forever or when you were ten...)

Quote me your favorite line or stanza or whole piece of poetry...

I haven't really thought about poetry in so long that I'm not sure I can tell you what my favorites are.

Wait. No. That's not true.

I CAN tell you that my absolute FAVORITE collection of poetry in the whole universe is Going Over to Your Place: Poems for Each Other, edited by Paul B. Janeczko. It was a gift from my godmother when I turned, um, 16 perhaps? I've practically memorized it.

And... upon further thought... I think Edna St. Vincent Millay is still my favorite poet. I fell in love with her work in high school, I think. Studied her a bit more in college. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite poem, but I'll include one of my favorites under a cut here:

I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,--let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

Put a little poetry into your life!

[User Picture]From: metagnat
2007-04-17 10:16 am (UTC)
W.H. Auden is my favorite. He supplanted T.S.Eliot some time ago, who still ranks in the top ten in my pantheon of poetry in spite of unsavory beliefs.

Anyhow, we were talking about Auden. I like his turn of phrase. I like the way his poems sound when they're read out loud (I feel like they were written to be read out loud).

Here's a few of my favorite stanzas:

From "A Summer Night" -
Out on the lawn I lie in bed,
Vega conspicuous overhead
In the windless nights of June,
As congregated leaves complete
Their day's activity; my feet
Point to the rising moon

Lucky, this point in time and space
Is chosen as my working-place,
Where the sexy airs of summer,
The bathing hours and the bare arms,
The leisured drives through a land of farms
Are good to a newcomer.

From "Lullaby" -
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

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[User Picture]From: drwex
2007-04-17 10:25 am (UTC)
I'm an old-fashioned bore when it comes to poetry. My favorites are all old dead white guys: Poe, cummings, Eliot, Coleridge

The fact that they're also all drug-addled and depressing is left as an interpretive exercise for the reader.

In the room, the women come and go,
Talking of Michaelangelo
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[User Picture]From: bedfull_o_books
2007-04-17 11:46 am (UTC)

Always with the levity

Some primal termite knocked on wood
and tasted it and found it good.

And that is why your Cousin May
fell through the parlor floor today.

--- Ogden Nash
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[User Picture]From: dr_pretentious
2007-04-30 12:46 pm (UTC)
I still love the poet I wrote my dissertation about. Hilda Doolittle published under her initials, as you would too if you had a name like Hilda Doolittle. My favorite H.D. poem is "Tribute to the Angels." It's the second long movement of her war trilogy, stuff she wrote in London during the Blitz. The bombing's still going on almost every night as she writes, and every day she's still alive seems like an astonishing miracle to her. She tries to thank the angels who've protected her, and the Goddess shows up unexpectedly. Great visionary stuff, grounded in the gritty daily detail of the war. Every time I come to the part where the burnt apple tree's charred bark breaks into flower, I get weepy.
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