Thursday, December 2, 2010

POETRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (literary Bloghop)

Welcome to this week's Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase!
This blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion.
This week's question comes from Gary at Parrish Lantern:
What is your favourite poem and why?

Oh dear, me & my big mouth (That’s me!), when I suggested this, it seemed such a fantastic idea, I mean, my favourite book of poems is Crow, by Ted Hughes, which I’ve written about before, this is such a powerfully cohesive book, rampaging across the world of myth, classic literature & anything else Crow can rip open. Crow is an embodiment of vitality that challenges the supremacy of Death. Shortly after Ted Hughes's wife, Sylvia Plath, committed suicide in 1963, the American artist Leonard Baskin, in an attempt to engage the poet, asked Hughes to write poems to accompany a series of sketches. The sketches were of crows. Hughes, however, did not begin writing the poems until the mid-1960s.
This makes it hard to pick a singular poem, but for those ladies at The blue bookcase I tried.
Crows Theology.
Crow realized God Loved him--
otherwise he would have dropped dead.crow
so that was proved.
Crow reclining, Marvelling, on his heartbeat.

And he realized that god spoke crow--
Just existing was His revelation.

But what
Loved the stones & spoke stone
they seemed to exist too.
and what spoke that strange silence
After his clamour of caws faded?

And what loved the shot-pellets
That dribbled from those strung-up mummifying crows?
what spoke the silence of lead?

Crow realized there were two Gods----

One of them much bigger than the other
Loving his enemies
And having all the weapons.  Ted Hughes.

But as I said this is a collection, a cohesive whole, although the poems do stand up on their own, it works best, as a series of story-poems. So what is my favourite poem? I though about Octavio Paz something like….
Dist0811208990_01__SX220_SCLZZZZZZZ_ant neighbour
                 Last night an ash-tree
                  was about to say--
                  but it didn’t . Octavio Paz

which I love, but I’ve absolutely no reason why.
His works include the poetry collections ¿Águila o sol? (1951), La Estación Violenta, (1956), Piedra de Sol (1957), and in English translation the most prominent include two volumes which include most of Paz in English: Early Poems: 1935–1955 (tr. 1974), and Collected Poems, 1957–1987 (1987). Many of these volumes have been edited and translated by Eliot Weinberger , who is Paz's principal translator into American English.
Or perhaps one from a collection of love poems by Brian Patten. This book of poetry came to me, around the time I met my wife, I’d been sworn off relationships for quite a while (Bad breakup, Kids etc.), thinking I was being honest, but, in hindsight quite callous. When meeting anyone new I’d make it clear that this was fun, nothing more & could be nothing more, the woman who is now my wife didn’t just change that, she created a reality, where fun, breathing, her ,were so entwined nothing else mattered.
Park Note
Disgusted by the weight of his own sorrow
I saw one evening
a stranger open wide his coat 1335396m
and taking out from under it his heart
throw the thing away.

Away over the railings, out across the parks,
across the lakes and the grasses,
as if after much confusion
he had decided not to care but

to move on lightly, carelessly,
amazed and with a grin upon his face
that seemed to say, Absurd
how easy that was done.  Brian Patten
Patten's style is generally lyrical and his subjects are primarily love and relationships. His 1981 collection Love Poems draws together his best work in this area from the previous sixteen years. Tribune has described Patten as "the master poet of his genre, taking on the intricacies of love and beauty with a totally new approach, new for him and for contemporary poetry." Charles Causley once commented that he "reveals a sensibility profoundly aware of the ever-present possibility of the magical and the miraculous, as well as of the granite-hard realities. These are undiluted poems, beautifully calculated, informed - even in their darkest moments - with courage and hope." Wikipedia
Then finally a poem from a collection by Lawrence Durrell
ld collpoems  Love on a leave-of-absence came
  Unmoored the silence like a barge,
  set free to float on lagging webs
  The swan-black wise unhindered night.
  (Bitter and pathless were the ways
  of sleep to which such beauty led.)  Lawrence Durrell

Durrell's poetry has been overshadowed by his novels. Peter Porter, in his introduction to a Selected Poems, writes of Durrell as a poet: "one of the best of the past hundred years. And one of the most enjoyable." He goes on to describe Durrell's poetry as "always beautiful as sound and syntax. Its innovation lies in its refusal to be more high-minded than the things it records, together with its handling of the whole lexicon of language." Wikipedia
When I was about 16 ish, I wanted to write a novel in the style of this authors “Black Book”, I tried & with the assistance of cognac (this was vital to get that decadent real life feel), I managed about 40 pages before it died, I felt sick & I realised through a befuddled pain cloaked miasma, that this was harder than it looked . Despite that, this collection of poems, & Niki in particular, has remained with me, in fact it’s one of a few poems I can quote without even thinking about it. So by this process of elimination my favourite poem is………………
one of the above,
thanks again to the fine ladies at The Blue Bookcase & am waiting with anticipation, to see what they spring next.
The Parrish Lantern.


gautami tripathy said...

Being a poet, I can’t imagine my life without poetry. I live and breath it. I have loved to read a lot of poets and poetry over the years and still find something new every day. I have gone through phases liking, poets, and moving over to the the next. So many yet to read.

Thanks for this question.

Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

Anonymous said...

I like that short Octavio Paz poem. Seems almost like a short existential joke. I feel a bit out of my depth in these conversations as I don't spend much time thinking about poetry. But, there is some great stuff out there...

Bellezza said...

Whoa, that Crow poem is quite cynical! So sad that he could not see God for him, but only a second one against him. Which, I fear, is many people's interprestation of God/faith/religion.

I think you had such a great suggestion for this week! I've loved the posts on poems I've read, all of them, and they are really expanding my knowledge in this genre which is weak for me.

Red said...

I can't say I'm familiar with these poets but I love the Park Note one by Brian Patten. I may need to check out more of his stuff.

Melody said...

Oh my, I think I actually liked those poems...all these years of dutifully attempting to like poetry and all along I was just reading the wrong poets?!

Thanks for the question, but even more for the post. Now I have a direction to go with poetry.

Amy said...

I need to re-read Crow, it's been too long. Have you read Hughes' collected letters? I'm just a few pages in, but very interesting so far.

bibliophiliac said...

Oh, so this is where the question began--and I see you also had a bit of trouble choosing just one poem! Ted Hughes is an interesting poet and literary figure. He has a poem about a hurt hawk--can't recall the exact title--that I quite like.

Em said...

I should really take the time to read more poetry...

Rachel said...

I had a book of poems by Ted Hughes but I could never 'get into it' so I gave it away on bookmooch. Crow sounds interesting though.

Great topic by the way! I got a little 'too' enthusiastic about this question and ended up writing a stupidly long post.. but I enjoyed writing it. So thanks! :)

Susan (Reading World) said...

Great question for the hop! Your love of poetry really comes across and inspires. I want to read more poetry now.

Toni Wi said...

ooh I like your post. I've never read those poets, so thank you for introducing me to them! I think I'd be more interested in Brian Patten, but Crow looks like a good read too. hmm, excited :)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Thank you for sharing these poets with me. I tend to stay away from Ted Hughes (somehow blaming him for the death of the beautiful Sylvia), and so I've never read any of his poems. I can see from reading this poem that I've missed something. Thank you.

JoAnn said...

You've given me several new-to-me poets to look into... thanks!

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Gautami,like yourself poetry has been a part of my life for as long as i can remember.

Hi Pete,if interested the book is Octavio Paz Selected poems (Bilingual Edition- Charles Tomlinson) & to wet your appetite

I draw these letters
As the day draws its images
And blows over them
And does not return.
ps, not all short.

Hi Bellezza,
I think more anger and angst, than purely cynical, his wife (ex) had died, & he was coping a lot of the blame & grief for it, whilst trying to raise his children.

Hello Red, The book mentioned is a good place to start & was one of the first books of poetry I wrote about on the Parrish Lantern.

Hi melody, Crow is a good place to start with Hughes, it's Dark, bitter,and very funny, hope you find some good poetry on your journey.

Hi Amy, no but they sound interesting and I will track them down, at the moment I'm Rereading The Birthday letters, as a direct result of this Question I posed.

Hi bibliophiliac, yeah sorry that was me, & as you've realised I had trouble with my own foolishness. Ted Hughes had a collection of poetry called Hawk in the rain (1957) could be where the one you're thinking of comes from.

hello EM, as should I, it's only when posing a question like this, that I realise & remember how much poetry has meant to me.

Hi Rachel, Crow is a really good read & not very long. You think you got enthusiastic, what you see is the edited version of a post I started at 5.30 am.

Thank you susan, it was through thinking about the question, then trying to write and narrow down my choice, that reaquainted me with my joy in poetry.

Hi toni, thanks for your comment. I wrote a post (one of my first) called "Consensus of neurons" that described my relationship with crow,& how much it means to me.

Hi ReaderBuzz, I have a different view on the hughes/Plath relationship. I know he left her, had an affair, but he also supported her & to be honest she had mental health problems long before he was on the scene, also a lot of her reputation is based on work her work he got published, in fact after her death he devoted about 3years compiling her work for publication. for his perspective on the relationship give Birthday Letters a go, this revisits the fraught territory of his first marriage with searing honesty and tenderness.

Thanks JoAnn, hope to find some new poets myself on this Hop.

@parridhlantern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bookaddict4real said...

Hi thanks for stopping by my blog."Phenomenal Woman" is written by
MayA Angelou. I will have to check out Octavio Paz.

The Literary Nomad said...

Loved the Octavio Paz poem - I am intending on reading his novel, The Labyrinth of Solitude when I get to Mexico in my challenge. I was excited to see you are currently reading Illustrado as I am as well and very much enjoying it.