Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Favorite Poems from Male Poets

In honor of the second national Poem In Your Pocket Day (which is technically tomorrow, Thursday, April 30th, 2009) I wanted to share some of my favorite poetry written by guys.

The Mouse's Tale as published in the classic story Alice's Adventures of Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is a wonderful example of emblematic verse. You have to see it to believe it. No, really. See? It's structured to look like a mouse's tail!

The poem in Carroll's original manuscript, Alice's Adventures Under Ground, was completely different, but it too was emblematic. Click here to check it out.

I've posted about The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald at both Bildungsroman and GuysLitWire. But Fitzgerald didn't only write novels and short stories; he also wrote poems. My favorites include On a Play Twice Seen, in which an audience member connects scenes to memories, and the beautifully haunting We Leave To-night, which was printed in This Side of Paradise.

I could easily ramble on here for days and share quotes from my favorite poems, plays, and songs. I want to make sure you read Fog by Carl Sandburg, which makes me think of cats and San Francisco. I'd like you to visit Robert Frost and let him introduce you to My November Guest and Fireflies in the Garden. I want you to discover what Hamlet wrote to Ophelia and run with the fairies over hill, over dale, as described by William Shakespeare. I urge you to consider the poetry of music and lyrics, such as those by Duncan Sheik.

Most of all, I hope that you hear and see the poetry in your daily life. In the words you speak. In the words that you hear. In the rhythm of your steps (to the beat of your heart).

In the rush, and the wind, and the silence, may the poetry always be there.

Who are your favorite male poets?


Colleen said...

I tend to the WWI poets - I guess because their words are so heavy with other words they know so much of what they speak. Sigfried Sassoon is at the top of the list for sure.

My brother got me the Penguin book of war poetry a few years ago and I love it.

A Paperback Writer said...

I'm not so terribly worried about a poet's gender so much as her/his talent.
My two favorite poets are Edwin Morgan (if you've never read his stuff, you are truly missing out) and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Hmmm.... one man, one woman. One gay, one bisexual.
Both incredible.

Little Willow said...

A Paperback Writer: I agree - I always say the quality of the author's work is more important to me than the gender, and I have just as many favorite female writers as male. I spotlighted male poets in this post for the sake of it being GLW and me feeling like I don't post about male authors enough!

tanita davis said...

Auden still blows me away -- another voice laden with grief and experience and who died too soon -- but I also like William Carlos Williams -- I mean, everyone should have a poet who also delivers babies. He just fit poetry into his everyday life, and his poems are extraordinary because of it.

Michael Northrop said...

Mine is Ted Hughes, hands (claws and talons) down. I honestly don't think I would be a writer today if I hadn't encountered "Hawk Roosting" as a sophomore in high school.

gonovice said...

Billy Collins - listen to his "Billy Collins Live" collection.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ted Kooser, Wendell Berry. For younger readers - Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky.

gonovice said...

Oops, I forgot some: Kenneth Koch, William Stafford, and Pablo Neruda. A lot of Neruda's are available in bilingual editions. So I can try to remember the Spanish I learned, with English translations on the facing page. Fortunately, Neruda's poetry is straightforward, and not too difficult to read. A note: Poetry is meant to be read aloud. Try it.