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Thread: Who's your favorite poet?

  1. #1
    Registered User ScribbleScribe's Avatar
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    Who's your favorite poet?

    Also, please post a poem of theirs that you like, tell me why you like the poet, what topics they write about, where they're from, what century they're from and what forms of poetry they write.

  2. #2
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    Reckon I'll go with Yeats --

    for he is one of the greats.


    I kind of like his early poem, "The Stolen Child"
    which is also a song covered by the Irish group The Waterboys.
    Last edited by jajdude; 03-14-2011 at 05:41 AM. Reason: typos

  3. #3
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Dante Alighieri- Because he's probably the greatest writer to ever have existed with the possible exception of Shakespeare and his Divine Comedy may me the single greatest work of literature ever composed. Other than that...
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil

  4. #4
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    Remiss, at times.
    Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Spenser. Milton does not appeal to me. As for Dante, I don't know Italian so I can't properly gauge the "greatness" of the Comedy. However, scholars are still discovering new allusions in the Comedy that have escaped the major commentaries - e.g. the beginning of canto 17, "Ecco la fiera" means behold the beast (Geryon, monster symbolic of fraud) seems to echo [John 19:5], a popular tag for Christ, Ecce homo, meaning "behold the man". This allusion, as far as I know, was never suggested until the year 1984.

    Anyways, Shakespeare's level of humanity never ceases to amaze me.

    Chaucer... most people reading the Middle English sound like they're trying to spoon down a big tub of peanut butter, which I think is amusing. Also, he's the father of the English language.

    The only reason I might put Spenser above Shakespeare is because I prefer the epic over the play.
    Last edited by Cunninglinguist; 03-15-2011 at 01:57 AM.
    Dare to know

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    Though one, I think I can only answer by breaking it down into countries, under the name of the poet I'l post a poem of his I admire.

    English: Percy Bysshe Shelley

    The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
    The waves are dancing fast and bright,
    Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
    The purple noon's transparent might,
    The breath of the moist earth is light,
    Around its unexpanded buds;
    Like many a voice of one delight
    The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
    The city's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.

    I see the deep's untrampled floor
    With green and purple seaweeds strown;
    I see the waves upon the shore,
    Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
    I sit upon the sands alone--
    The lightning of the noontide ocean
    Is flashing round me, and a tone
    Arises from its measured motion,
    How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

    Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
    Nor peace within nor calm around,
    Nor that content surpassing wealth
    The sage in meditation found,
    And walked with inward glory crowned--
    Nor fame nor power, nor love, nor leisure,
    Others I see whom these surround--
    Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;
    To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

    Yet now despair itself is mild,
    Even as the winds and waters are;
    I could lie down like a tired child,
    And weep away the life of care
    Which I have born and yet must bear,
    Till death like sleep might steal on me,
    And I might feel in the warm air
    My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
    Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

    Some might lament that I were cold,
    As I, when this sweet day is gone,
    Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
    Insults with this untimely moan;
    They might lament - for I am one
    Whom men love not - and yet regret,
    Unlike this day, which, when the sun
    Shall on its stainless glory set,
    Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.

    French: Arthur Rimbaud

    On the blue summer evenings, I shall go down the paths,
    Getting pricked by the corn, crushing the short grass:
    In a dream I shall feel its coolness on my feet.
    I shall let the wind bathe my bare head.

    I shall not speak, I shall think about nothing:
    But endless love will mount in my soul;
    And I shall travel far, very far, like a gipsy,
    Through the countryside - as happy as if I were with a woman.

    German: Rilke

    The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
    as if orchards were dying high in space.
    Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no."

    And tonight the heavy earth is falling
    away from all other stars in the loneliness.

    We're all falling. This hand here is falling.
    And look at the other one. It's in them all.

    And yet there is Someone, whose hands
    infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.

    Italian: Leopardi

    It was always dear to me, this solitary hill,
    and this hedgerow here, that closes out my view,
    from so much of the ultimate horizon.
    But sitting here, and watching here, in thought,
    I create interminable spaces,
    greater than human silences, and deepest
    quiet, where the heart barely fails to terrify.
    When I hear the wind, blowing among these leaves,
    I go on to compare that infinite silence
    with this voice, and I remember the eternal
    and the dead seasons, and the living present,
    and its sound, so that in this immensity
    my thoughts are drowned, and shipwreck seems sweet
    to me in this sea.

    Russian: Pushkin

    If I walk the noisy streets,
    Or enter a many thronged church,
    Or sit among the wild young generation,
    I give way to my thoughts.

    I say to myself: the years are fleeting,
    And however many there seem to be,
    We must all go under the eternal vault,
    And someone's hour is already at hand.

    When I look at a solitary oak
    I think: the patriarch of the woods.
    It will outlive my forgotten age
    As it outlived that of my grandfathers'.

    If I caress a young child,
    Immediately I think: farewell!
    I will yield my place to you,
    For I must fade while your flower blooms.

    Each day, every hour
    I habitually follow in my thoughts,
    Trying to guess from their number
    The year which brings my death.

    And where will fate send death to me?
    In battle, in my travels, or on the seas?
    Or will the neighbouring valley
    Receive my chilled ashes?

    And although to the senseless body
    It is indifferent wherever it rots,
    Yet close to my beloved countryside
    I still would prefer to rest.

    And let it be, beside the grave's vault
    That young life forever will be playing,
    And impartial, indifferent nature
    Eternally be shining in beauty.

    I know these are all European poets, but my knowledge of foreign poets is limited, for instance from Japan and China combined I have read but 4 poets so, choosing a favorite would be ineffectual. The same more or less goes for the orient and the Americas.

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    Cool My favorite poet?

    The Edgar Allan Poe of the 20th century: Dr. Suess.

  7. #7
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    While I was in the bathroom at Powell's Book Store near the University of Chicago, I noticed a poem by Tanith Lee written neatly on the wall facing me near the floor. There was a lot of other stuff written on those walls, but that poem still is in my mind.

    Here's a link to it: http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.c...anith-lee.html

    From the information in the blog it is from one of her novels, The Silver Metal Lover, which I haven't read.

    Since she's on my mind, at the moment she's my favorite poet.

  8. #8
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    I could never choose just one. Ever.

  9. #9
    Avada Kedavra Sleazy_Weasley's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Favourite poet.

    I would have to say definitely Yeats; in particular, Leda and the Swan or else When You Are Old, even though I studied them in English. They're quite emotive and beautifully written.
    "Okay, who wants to see me take off Snivelly's pants?" – James Potter.

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    I'd have to go with Yeats, also. My favorite of his is "The Second Coming":

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  11. #11
    Registered User missmeadowsweet's Avatar
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    I agree with shortstoryfan, there are so many amazing poets, how does one choose only one? But at least one of those amazing poets is Robbie Burns. I love the Scottish accents in his poems. Here is one I used in a book I recently finished writing:

    O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
    That's newly sprung in June.
    O, my luve is like the melodie,
    That's sweetly play'd in tune.

    As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
    So deep in luve am I,
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    Till a' the seas gang dry.

    Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    While the sand o' life shall run.

    And fare thee weel, my only luve,
    And fair thee weel a while!
    And I will come again, my luve,
    Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

    I am a bit of a romantic, but I absolutely love this. There's something simply beautiful about it.

  12. #12
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    I don’t know about picking a single, definitive favorite, but right now my current poet obsession is:

    John Donne (1572-1631)
    From: England
    Forms: Songs & Sonnets, Satires, Elegies, Epigrams, Verse Epistles
    Topics: Love, Sex, Death, Religion

    Why I like him: TS Eliot said of Donne that “[a] thought to Donne was an experience; it modified his sensibility,” and what I love about reading Donne is the intensity of experience and feeling behind the profundity of thought. Perhaps the classic idea of a poet is that of someone that’s sensitive to the aesthetic aspects of the world, and that sensitivity translates into poetry about beauty and emotion. But in Donne, sensitivity and emotion was just a means to intellectually explore the thoughts it provoked, and what it creates is a greater synthesis of these three states of sense, emotion, and thought. It’s really this depth that’s spoiled me to many other poets, and I, like Eliot, now have trouble enjoying/appreciating the romantics, which seem so shallow by comparison. As for his work, The Ecstasy maybe my favorite lyrical poem in all of the English language (It’s very close with Milton’s Lycidas).

    There’s no poet that’s more challenging than Donne but no poet that’s more rewarding. His best pieces are like stubborn flowers that refuse to bloom until you take the time and effort to understand them and then they burst open into rich, unknown worlds of experience. I’ve read through Songs & Sonnets in its entirety at least 4 times, reading many of my favorites up to 10 times, and I still repeatedly return them afresh, always discovering something new in them, as if discovering them for the first time. Ben Johnson said of him “he was the first poet in the world in some things”, and one of those things was his revolutionary, unconventional use of rhythm and form, which closely foreshadows the moderns and free verse in its more prose-like appearance. But Donne’s poetic powers of those of great subtlety that unleash themselves in unexpected changes in rhythm, or powerful, carefully placed words, the condensed syntax that gains its power through concentrated compression, or his inventive structures. He also had an immense gift for metaphor and simile.

    To read Donne is to always be on your intellectual toes, aware of the density of thought and depth of emotion. Donne is a formidable challenge, yes, but he’s also one of those writers who will reward as much time and effort as you care to devote to him. Some of my favorite pieces:

    by John Donne

    TWICE or thrice had I loved thee,
    Before I knew thy face or name ;
    So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
    Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be.
    Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
    Some lovely glorious nothing did I see.
    But since my soul, whose child love is,
    Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
    More subtle than the parent is
    Love must not be, but take a body too ;
    And therefore what thou wert, and who,
    I bid Love ask, and now
    That it assume thy body, I allow,
    And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.

    Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
    And so more steadily to have gone,
    With wares which would sink admiration,
    I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught ;
    Thy every hair for love to work upon
    Is much too much ; some fitter must be sought ;
    For, nor in nothing, nor in things
    Extreme, and scattering bright, can love inhere ;
    Then as an angel face and wings
    Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
    So thy love may be my love's sphere ;
    Just such disparity
    As is 'twixt air's and angels' purity,
    'Twixt women's love, and men's, will ever be.


    by John Donne

    'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,
    Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
    The sun is spent, and now his flasks
    Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
    The world's whole sap is sunk ;
    The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,
    Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,
    Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,
    Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

    Study me then, you who shall lovers be
    At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
    For I am every dead thing,
    In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
    For his art did express
    A quintessence even from nothingness,
    From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
    He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
    Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

    All others, from all things, draw all that's good,
    Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
    I, by Love's limbec, am the grave
    Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood
    Have we two wept, and so
    Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
    To be two chaoses, when we did show
    Care to aught else ; and often absences
    Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

    But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
    Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
    Were I a man, that I were one
    I needs must know ; I should prefer,
    If I were any beast,
    Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
    And love ; all, all some properties invest.
    If I an ordinary nothing were,
    As shadow, a light, and body must be here.

    But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
    You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
    At this time to the Goat is run
    To fetch new lust, and give it you,
    Enjoy your summer all,
    Since she enjoys her long night's festival.
    Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
    This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
    Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.

    by John Donne

    AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
    And whisper to their souls to go,
    Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
    "Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."
    So let us melt, and make no noise, 5
    No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
    'Twere profanation of our joys
    To tell the laity our love.
    Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
    Men reckon what it did, and meant ; 10
    But trepidation of the spheres,
    Though greater far, is innocent.
    Dull sublunary lovers' love
    —Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
    Of absence, 'cause it doth remove 15
    The thing which elemented it.
    But we by a love so much refined,
    That ourselves know not what it is,
    Inter-assurèd of the mind,
    Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss. 20
    Our two souls therefore, which are one,
    Though I must go, endure not yet
    A breach, but an expansion,
    Like gold to aery thinness beat.
    If they be two, they are two so 25
    As stiff twin compasses are two ;
    Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
    To move, but doth, if th' other do.
    And though it in the centre sit,
    Yet, when the other far doth roam, 30
    It leans, and hearkens after it,
    And grows erect, as that comes home.
    Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
    Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
    Thy firmness makes my circle just, 35
    And makes me end where I begun.

    by John Donne

    WHERE, like a pillow on a bed,
    A pregnant bank swell'd up, to rest
    The violet's reclining head,
    Sat we two, one another's best.

    Our hands were firmly cemented
    By a fast balm, which thence did spring ;
    Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
    Our eyes upon one double string.

    So to engraft our hands, as yet
    Was all the means to make us one ;
    And pictures in our eyes to get
    Was all our propagation.

    As, 'twixt two equal armies, Fate
    Suspends uncertain victory,
    Our souls—which to advance their state,
    Were gone out—hung 'twixt her and me.

    And whilst our souls negotiate there,
    We like sepulchral statues lay ;
    All day, the same our postures were,
    And we said nothing, all the day.

    If any, so by love refined,
    That he soul's language understood,
    And by good love were grown all mind,
    Within convenient distance stood,

    He—though he knew not which soul spake,
    Because both meant, both spake the same—
    Might thence a new concoction take,
    And part far purer than he came.

    This ecstasy doth unperplex
    (We said) and tell us what we love ;
    We see by this, it was not sex ;
    We see, we saw not, what did move :

    But as all several souls contain
    Mixture of things they know not what,
    Love these mix'd souls doth mix again,
    And makes both one, each this, and that.

    A single violet transplant,
    The strength, the colour, and the size—
    All which before was poor and scant—
    Redoubles still, and multiplies.

    When love with one another so
    Interanimates two souls,
    That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
    Defects of loneliness controls.

    We then, who are this new soul, know,
    Of what we are composed, and made,
    For th' atomies of which we grow
    Are souls, whom no change can invade.

    But, O alas ! so long, so far,
    Our bodies why do we forbear?
    They are ours, though not we ; we are
    Th' intelligences, they the spheres.

    We owe them thanks, because they thus
    Did us, to us, at first convey,
    Yielded their senses' force to us,
    Nor are dross to us, but allay.

    On man heaven's influence works not so,
    But that it first imprints the air ;
    For soul into the soul may flow,
    Though it to body first repair.

    As our blood labours to beget
    Spirits, as like souls as it can ;
    Because such fingers need to knit
    That subtle knot, which makes us man ;

    So must pure lovers' souls descend
    To affections, and to faculties,
    Which sense may reach and apprehend,
    Else a great prince in prison lies.

    To our bodies turn we then, that so
    Weak men on love reveal'd may look ;
    Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
    But yet the body is his book.

    And if some lover, such as we,
    Have heard this dialogue of one,
    Let him still mark us, he shall see
    Small change when we're to bodies gone.

    by John Donne

    STAND still, and I will read to thee
    A lecture, Love, in Love's philosophy.
    These three hours that we have spent,
    Walking here, two shadows went
    Along with us, which we ourselves produced.
    But, now the sun is just above our head,
    We do those shadows tread,
    And to brave clearness all things are reduced.
    So whilst our infant loves did grow,
    Disguises did, and shadows, flow
    From us and our cares ; but now 'tis not so.

    That love hath not attain'd the highest degree,
    Which is still diligent lest others see.

    Except our loves at this noon stay,
    We shall new shadows make the other way.
    As the first were made to blind
    Others, these which come behind
    Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
    If our loves faint, and westerwardly decline,
    To me thou, falsely, thine
    And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
    The morning shadows wear away,
    But these grow longer all the day ;
    But O ! love's day is short, if love decay.

    Love is a growing, or full constant light,
    And his short minute, after noon, is night.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 03-30-2011 at 10:15 PM.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  13. #13
    Registered User Judas130's Avatar
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    to borrow from Eliot's conception of a 'classic' writer in relation to Virgil, there are - according to Eliot - two things that a writer can boil down to:

    i) the work realises the genius of the poet
    ii) the work realises the genius of the language

    Unfortunately, most of my favourite poets fall into the first. Donne and his metaphysical look-what-I-can-do mentality is just too attractive. Donne is fearless. Shakespeare - due to the work of evaluation, national canon-making, scholarship - has fallen into the first also. Byron - fantastic - definately hard for many to read without reading the 'author' behind the text: Byron is playing with you when you do this. Byron takes his celebrity and he savages it. Brilliantly satirical, ironic, etc.

    Pope. so boring to so many. but i'll always cherish him for Eloise to Abelard.

    My favourite poet is Marlowe.
    "Truth is not an unveiling which destroys the secret, but the revelation which does it justice." - Walter Benjamin

  14. #14
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    ^ I don't recall reading that from Eliot (genius of the poet VS genius of the language), though I'm curious as to his reasons behind the separation and his categorizations. I can't imagine a poet realizing his own genius could do so without realizing the genius of the language, because poetry boils down to the art of language, and how you could express personal genius through an art-form that's about language without it capitalizing on the language escapes me. Shakespeare, especially, had an unparalleled mastery of language in all its forms.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  15. #15
    Pro Libertate L.M. The Third's Avatar
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    Someone simply has to mention the genius of Emily Dickinson before we go any further! I never have one favorite poet for long, but my most recent obsessions have been Donne and Milton. Older favorites that I haven't read much of lately are Wordsworth and Tennyson. And I have a strong feeling I'm going to become especially fond of Browning and Yeats.

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