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Make New Friends, But Keep the O-old…

February 6, 2009

…one is silver and the other gold! Anyone else sing that song in Girl Scouts? Well, I think it applies just as well to poems as friends. And after reading Frances Mayes’ The Discovery of Poetry: a Field Guide, I’ve definitely discovered some new favourite poems. I thought it’d be nice to share links with you all, as well as the first two lines to get you interested. (Of course, I’m always on the look-out for more great poems, so feel free to link to your favourites in the comments!)

And I can’t leave out my old favourites, who I’ve loved for years:

Have your own favourite poem? Please share!!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2009 8:21 am

    Such good poems! The Yeats (The Second Coming) is one of my all-time favorites. The first of the new-to-me poems I read from this post was the Adrienne Rich. LOOOOVE it. Thanks for sharing these, Eva! I can’t wait to read some more.

  2. February 6, 2009 8:32 am

    I’m not a big poetry chick (I plan on tackling some of this issue in April), but I always love Christina Rossetti’s poems when I read them. You should give her a try!

    Lezlie

  3. alirambles permalink
    February 6, 2009 11:01 am

    Great post–I so want to spend more time with it later! I love the few Pablo Nerudo poems I’ve read, thanks for the reminder that I should seek out more.

  4. February 6, 2009 11:44 am

    Such great choices! The poem I always think of when I’m asked this questions is…

    Sonnet 17 – Pablo Neruda – http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/N/NerudaPablo/17Idonotlove.htm

    The last two stanzas get me every time.

  5. February 6, 2009 11:46 am

    If you’re fond of Neruda, try “Ode to My Socks” — http://www.forks.wednet.edu/FHSMAIN/LangArts/sanchez/Ode%20to%20My%20Socks.htm — you might want to look for other of his “Elementary Odes,” which are by far his most playful and delightful poems; they were written specifically for newspaper publication (hence the long, narrow format designed to fit within a single newspaper column) in the 1950s and 60s following the completion of his huge 400-page epic poem “Canto General.”

  6. February 6, 2009 11:47 am

    Poems thus far have been a strange beast to me, but there are some lovely ones in your list. :)

  7. February 6, 2009 11:48 am

    That is the only song I remember from Girl Scouts!

    You picked some great poems. Have you read the anthology Good Poems? It’s edited by Garrison Keillor and is filled with some lovely poetry.

    One of my favorite poems is “Hummingbird” by Raymond Carver. I once posted it on my blog.

    http://1330v.blogspot.com/2008/06/read-thon-mini-challenge-hour-13.html

  8. February 6, 2009 11:52 am

    Here are links to several more of Neruda’s “Odes”:

    My personal favorite, “Ode to the Onion” — http://foodmuseum.typepad.com/food_museum_blog/2004/07/pablo_nerudas_o.html

    Here are links to several others; for some reason, these are all food-related although the majority of his “Odes” aren’t: — http://sunsite.dcc.uchile.cl/chile/misc/odas.html

  9. February 6, 2009 11:54 am

    Awesome list! I’m reading a poetry anthology right now (slowly but surely) and I”m loving the experience. Thanks for these recommendations…

  10. February 6, 2009 12:05 pm

    So many wonderful poems; some faves already, some new. You have reminded me that I need to read more Neruda, for starters.
    Thanks!

  11. February 6, 2009 1:04 pm

    HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS!!!! Oh Emily Dickenson, I would have come and visited with, and taken tea in your dark room and not commented on the dingy curtains.

    The best poem of my life, which I will reproduce for you here in full, is by W C Williams.

    This is Just to Say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    saving
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

  12. February 6, 2009 1:05 pm

    ALSO, look up ‘This Living Hand’ by John Keats. One of my profs threw it up on the overhead to make some point or other, and I forget because I was so distracted by the HAUNTING TERRIFYINGNESS of the poem.

  13. lena permalink
    February 6, 2009 1:06 pm

    i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings

    probably the most touching thing i’ve ever read in my entire life.

  14. February 6, 2009 1:37 pm

    What a fun list. Thanks for this.

    Rilke is my favorite poet, overall. “The Moon And The Yew Tree” is my favorite Plath poem. I also love “Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back In,” by Raymond Carver. A lot of people aren’t familiar with his poetry…and “Somewhere I Have Never Traveled” by e.e. cummings definitely gets my vote for most romantic poem.

  15. February 6, 2009 3:04 pm

    Here are several others I frequently recommend:

    “A Display of Mackerel” by Mark Doty — http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/698.html

    “Life Is Beautiful” by Dorianne Laux —
    http://www.pshares.org/issues/article.cfm?prmArticleid=4985

    “The Hummingbird: A Seduction” by Pattiann Rogers —
    http://www.spirituallyfit.com/volume2/issue4/stories/pattiann_rogers.htm

    “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch —
    http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/109.html

  16. February 6, 2009 3:46 pm

    The Colonel” by Carolyn Forche is when I became a Forche fan. I had purchased a copy of the The Country Between Us not knowing the poet. After reading her, I’ve shared several copies to friends.

  17. February 6, 2009 7:32 pm

    Thanks, Eva. I love poetry, don’t read enough of it.

  18. February 6, 2009 8:38 pm

    “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great” by Stephen Spender

    I think continually of those who were truly great.
    Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
    Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
    Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
    Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
    Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.

  19. February 7, 2009 6:25 am

    Wonderful lists, Eva! One of my favorite poems is posted on my blog right now, being read by one of my second graders!

  20. February 7, 2009 7:37 am

    I love poetry, and I’m happy someone else enjoys Neruda as much as I do! My absolute favorite poem is ee cummings’ “in Just”:

    in Just-
    spring when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman

    whistles far and wee

    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s
    spring

    when the world is puddle-wonderful

    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far and wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

    it’s
    spring
    and
    the

    goat-footed

    balloonman whistles
    far
    and
    wee

    It reminds me of Spring and makes me really happy. :)

  21. February 7, 2009 8:44 am

    “Optimism” by Jane Hirshfield

    More and more I have come to admire resilience.
    Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
    it turns in another.
    A blind intelligence, true.
    But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs–all this resinous, unretractable earth.

    ____________________

    “Tea” by Carol Ann Duffy

    I like pouring your tea, lifting
    the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
    so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

    Or when you’re away, or at work,
    I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
    as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

    I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
    and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
    for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

    Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
    I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
    but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

    as the women harvest the slopes
    for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
    and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

  22. February 7, 2009 12:33 pm

    ee cummings:

    you shall above all things be glad and young.
    For if you’re young,whatever life you wear

    it will become you;and if you are glad
    whatever’s living will yourself become.
    Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
    i can entirely her only love

    whose any mystery makes every man’s
    flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

    that you should ever think,may god forbid
    and(in his mercy) your true lover spare:
    for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
    called progress,and negation’s dead undoom.

    I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
    than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

  23. February 9, 2009 4:11 am

    Andi, thanks! Isn’t that Rich poem awesome? I’ve always really liked her when I came across her. :)

    Lezlie, thanks for the suggestion-I’ll do that!

    Ali, Neruda makes me want to learn Spanish. :D

    Lu, thanks for sharing! That is a truly beautiful sonnet. *sigh* I assume you’ve seen Il Postino, which feautures Neruda as a character?

    Hedgie, thanks! That poem was a ton of fun-I loved the image “two long sharks/of lapis blue/shot/with a golden thread,”

    Olga, poetry has never been my ‘thing’ either-that’s why I’m making more of an effort this year!

    Vasilly, it’s the only song I remember from Girl Scouts too. That anthology sounds great-I’ll see if my library has it. I remember reading that poem during the read-a-thon: it’s a great one!

    Hedgie, thanks for every more of them! :)

    Rebecca, no problem. Which anthology are you reading?

    DS, you’re welcome!

    Raych, I feel the same way. ;) I love the poem you shared!! Of course, now I want to go eat a plum right now. Instead, I’m off to look up the Keats. Ok, I’m back, and that is SO CREEPY. In an awesome way!

    Lena, I think cummings and Neruda wrote the best love poetry ever. I would seriously melt if a guy ever sent me one of their poems.

    Priscilla, thanks for sharing your favourites! My favourite part of the Plath poem was “It drags the sea after it like a dark crime;”. How powerful! And the last lines of the cummins were breathtaking. :)

    Hedgie, thanks for even more links!! :D

    Susan, I definitely want to read more Forche.

    Gavin, that’s how I’ve always been. This year, I want to read more poetry. AND I want to memorise more!

    Frances, that one was in Discovery of Poetry! It’s a powerful one. :)

    Robin, thanks for letting me know!

    Jessi, that’s one of my new favourites too. :D I’m an April baby, and Spring is such a great season!

    Dark Orpheus, thanks for sharing-I loved them both, but especially “tea.” I have to memorise that one.

    Claire, so many cummings fans! He was incredible. :D I love how this poem begins; what a good life philosophy.

  24. March 21, 2009 2:04 pm

    I like pouring your tea, lifting
    the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
    so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

    Or when you’re away, or at work,
    I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
    as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

    I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
    and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
    for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

    Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
    I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
    but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

    as the women harvest the slopes
    for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
    and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea

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