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2018 Reading Project – Poetry

January 31st, 2018 · No Comments

My 2018 reading project is not a particular author or writer but the vast field of poetry. I’ve never ‘gotten’ poetry but I have a feeling when I’ve tried it I’ve not been mature enough to enjoy it. Or open minded enough. Or simply taught well.

So I found a Yale lecture of Modern poetry and I’m starting there. The goal is one poem a day. I started before the New Year and am simply recording quicky “first impressions”. Here they are so far:

Date Read Poem Poet First Impression
December 19, 2017 Dulce et Decorum Est Wilfried Owen Asshole people
December 20, 2017 Mowing Robert Frost Just about working. The job is the poetry.
December 21, 2017 Out, Out Robert Frost Working is dangerous. Poem for the workshop
December 22, 2017 Birches Robert Frost Very Nice.
December 23, 2017 Home Burial Robert Frost Sad. How do people live after death of a kid.
December 24, 2017  Nothing read
December 25, 2017 Directive Robert Frost This poem makes me feel dumb, or young. Or both
December 26, 2017 The Road Not Taken Robert Frost Honest about old men.
December 27, 2017 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost Sweet, lonely. One to keep going on.
December 28, 2017 The Gift Outright Robert Frost USA! USA! USA!
December 29, 2017 The Song of Wandering Aengus W.B. Yeats Romanitc fantasies can be nice.
December 30, 2017 Mending Wall Robert Frost
IF it doesn’t make sense, stop doing it. Nom atter what people say.
December 31, 2017 A Coat W.B. Yeats Yes! Paint this on a wall somewhere
January 1, 2018 The Fisherman W.B. Yeats Yes, Mr. Yeats. People are idiots.
January 2, 2018 Easter, 1916 W.B. Yeats I know too little history
January 3, 2018 The Second Coming W.B. Yeats Scary, disturbing
January 4, 2018 The Magi W.B. Yeats Glorious after re-reading in it’s antipathy to people
January 5, 2018 Leda and the Swan W.B. Yeats
I know too little mythology.Final question reminded me of the Crosses…did they know what they were doing?
January 6, 2018 Sailing to Byzantium` W.B. Yeats I identify with it a bit too much.
January 7, 2018 In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz W.B. Yeats
Again, I know too little history. I enjoyed more once I educated myself.
January 8, 2018 Charge of the Light Bridage Tennyson
Sad but….juanty. The juanty glorifies too much for my taste. Not to reason why….to hell with that.
January 9, 2018 Two Songs from a Play W.B. Yeats
No video Fourth stanza…buddhism, hedonic adaptation. Round and Round
January 10, 2018 Vacillation W.B. Yeats
A mountain that can’t be climbed at work. Excerpts are nice advice
January 11, 2018 Crazy Janes Talks with the Bishop W.B. Yeats
Sing-songy. It took me a re-read. But I like the philosophy of Crazy Jane.
January 12, 2018 Lapis Lazuli W.B. Yeats I needed help again but good poem for bad times.
January 13, 2018 Channel Firing Thomas Hardy I liked this a lot. Poems with characters
January 14, 2018 In the Time of the Breaking of Nations Thomas Hardy “Time marches on….” Not sure I agree with this poem.
January 15, 2018 I Looked Up from My Writing Thomas Hardy
Hardy scolding himself….your life can’t/shouldn’t stop because another’s does.
January 16, 2018 Adlestrop Edward Thomas
A dialogue..Kind of reminds me of a Hemingway short story. I think I’d like to read more of him.
January 17, 2018 Blighters Siegfried Sassoon Angry much?! at the home front. Good image.
January 18, 2018 Louse Hunting Isaac Rosenberg A different WWI horror. Free verse, hard to get at for me.
January 19, 2018 Strange Meeting Wilfred Owen
Going to Hell…Wonderful. I like poems with narrative, honestly. Old habits.
January 20, 2018 Garden Hilda Doolittle
I like the idea of imagism…I need to get comfortable with the execution.
January 21, 2018 Sea Rose Hilda Doolittle I don’t find the repetition of words intensifiying, just limited.
January 22, 2018 Oread Hilda Doolittle Seems older, Romantic era? Again with the word repetition.
January 23, 2018 In a Station of the Metro Ezra Pound
1st thought- WTF? Second thought: It was only my expectations that gave me the first thought, not the poem.
January 24, 2018 Jewel Stairs Grievance Ezra Pound/Li Po
Repeat words again. No lover in the poem just the notes. A scene, an image.
January 25, 2018 River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter Ezra Pound/Li Po
The heart-hurt of 15. A way to access the fading memory of that, poetry.
January 26, 2018 The Seafarer Ezra Pound
Showing off over clarity? This made me colder….funny thought: he’s a whiner? If the sailing life is cold and lonely, get off the boat.
January 27, 2018 Canto I Ezra Pound Homer again. He’s at the root of it all, no?
January 28, 2018 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S. Elliot
How’s a 22 year old write like this? Cut’s too close to the bone for a man of my age and history.
January 29, 2018 The Waste Land: Burial of the Dead T.S. Elliot This poem is going to be a long, symbolic, allusive slog.
January 30, 2018 The Waste Land: A Game of Chess T.S. Elliot
I read a Christopher Hitchens Atlantic review calling this poem over rated….yeah. Agreeing right now.
January 31, 2018 The Waste Land: Parts 3,4, & 5 T.S. Elliot
Exhaustive and exhausting poem. It’s what people like me hate and what I need to learn.

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