So my 2018 reading project is poetry. Not a specific poet or style, just one poem a day for 365 days to make me just slightly literate in a subject that I’ve avoided for a long time.
I find myself enjoying it. I read the daily poem thrice daily as well as some analysis – whether an article or a video lecture or using Shmoop.com. So what have I read so far? Here’s a list up until June 30.
|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|
|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.
|February 1, 2018||Legend||Hart Crane||
It doesn’t ring with me. Or touch me. Because it’s dense or oblique?
|February 2, 2018||Voyages||Hart Crane||Better than Legend but a bit sloopy and over the top.|
|February 3, 2018||The Bridge||Hart Crane||
Reading this my mind turned to those early American Film actors who spoke like Brits.
|February 4, 2018||The Negro Speaks of Rivers||Langston Hughes||Thank GOODNESS…in ‘the vernacular’. Now THIS is a poem. 🙂|
|February 5, 2018||Song for a Dark Girl||Langston Hughes||“Gnarled and naked tree” hits me hard for some reason.|
|February 6, 2018||Life is Fine||Langston Hughes||
Fun but ok, I’m never satisfied, maybe I want a little more challenging.
|February 7, 2018||The Red Wheelbarrow||William Carlos Williams||
A word painting, you can project onto it. I like it more the more I read it.
|February 8, 2018||The Great Figure||William Carlos Williams||
Imagiste?!? I’m not sure why I’m enjoying WCW’s as much as I do.
|February 9, 2018||Spring and All||William Carlos Williams||
Took a couple reads to get the rhythem. Is he the hemingway of poetry?
|February 10, 2018||If||Rudyard Kipling||Poetry as advice column. Reminds me of Polonius.|
|February 11, 2018||This Is Just To Say||William Carlos Williams||I love these. True. Real. Peaceful.|
|February 12, 2018||Ozymandias||Shelley||I needed this today-feeling self-important in a negative way.|
|February 13, 2018||My Last Duchess||Robert Browning||
Spooky. Creepy. I wish more poems told stories. Even incomplete-good imaginative stepping off points.
|February 14, 2018||Love’s Philosophy||Shelley||Simple love poem? In trying to read deeper, I annoy myself.|
|February 15, 2018||A Grave||Marianne Moore||No good video. No charm to it. Cold.|
|February 16, 2018||England||Marianne Moore||I guess if you call it what it is – an essay, Ezra won’t read it?|
|February 17, 2018||An Octopus||Marianne Moore||
Another essay. OK. I get it but just not for me. Qouting brochures?
|February 18, 2018||Neutral Tones||Thomas Hardy||Cinematic, post-break up bitterness. Anger drips from it.|
|February 19, 2018||Silence||Marianne Moore||Readable, short, one long quote. Whatever.|
|February 20, 2018||The Fish||Marianne Moore||
I mean, I’m trying. I really am. Must be open. At least they’re rhyms
|February 21, 2018||To a Snail||Marianne Moore||Again, I feel I’m reading an essay.|
|February 22, 2018||Sonnet 29||Elizabeth Barrett Browning||Kind of hot. 🙂 She really likes the guy. Very nice.|
|February 23, 2018||To My Coy Mistress||Andrew Marvell||Fun. Beautiful. Cheeky….understandable. relatable.|
|February 24, 2018||Do Not Go Gentle In to that Good Night||Dylan Thomas||Pleading, plaintive.|
|February 25, 2018||Westminister Bridge||William Wordsworth||Very nice word picture.|
|February 26, 2018||London||William Blake||It’s a Monday. Not sure I’m up for 18th c. London’s misery.|
|February 27, 2018||[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]||e.e. cummings||Sweet, not saccarine. Approachable.|
|February 28, 2018||When We Two Parted||Lord Byron||Breaking up is hard to do.|
|March 1, 2018||No Second Troy||W.B. Yeats||
Like Neutral Tones or yesterday’s, I enjoy these harsh heart-aches
|March 2, 2018||When I Buy Pictures||Marianne Moore||Requires re-reading. First impression is “Uh?”|
|March 3, 2018||The Paper Nautilus||Marianne Moore||Understood more once I figured out what a paper nautilius was.|
|March 4, 2018||The Farmer’s Bride||Charlotte Mew||Tragic story nicely told.|
|March 5, 2018||Sunday Morning||Wallace Stevens||I like the old image of reading the paper on Sunday morning.|
|March 6, 2018||The Poems of Our Climate||Wallace Stevens||
A nice description of Buddhist unsatisfactoriness/Hedonic adaptation
|March 7, 2018||The Man on the Dump||Wallace Stevens||
This feels self-indulgenty for some reason. What’s wrong with clarity?
|March 8, 2018||The Auroras of Autumn||Wallace Stevens||I sense (or impose?) touches of a Buddhist outlook/perspective.|
|March 9, 2018||Large Red Man Reading||Wallace Stevens||
Buddhism again? Embrace the now. The future is not reality. Now is.
|March 10, 2018||Gubbinal||Wallace Stevens||Good to say to myself when I go all negative.|
|March 11, 2018||Mid-term Break||Seamus Heaney||Again, love poems with narrative. Then art and grace are a plus.|
|March 12, 2018||Digging||Seamus Heaney||I’ve found a favorite poet possibly.|
|March 13, 2018||The Soldier||Rupert Brooke||
Boo! Pro-war. I just can’t enjoy it really. Second stanza seems…muddled somehow.
|March 14, 2018||The Good Morrow||John Donne||
Ambivalent about this one. I like the intent, not the execution fully. Maybe the language.
|March 15, 2018||Toads||Philip Larkin||This one made me smile broadly. And grimace grimly.|
|March 16, 2018||Toads Revisited||Philip Larkin||I could hear what my voice could become if I let it.|
|March 17, 2018||Refugee Mother and Child||Chinua Achebe||Tragic but didn’t hit me as hard as it should.|
|March 18, 2018||The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain||Wallace Stevens||
A writer’s poem. I like it. Something to read, re-read when I write again.
|March 19, 2018||The Plain Sense of Things||Wallace Stevens||
I’m not sure I understand fully but feel the need to revisist this poem often in the years to come.
|March 20, 2018||The Casualty||Seamus Heaney||While good, the topical, political just doesn’t appeal to me.|
|March 21, 2018||Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself||Wallace Stevens||A simple, beautiful picture of spring.|
|March 22, 2018||Porphyria’s Lover||Robert Browning||A good one…Bobby B sure was dark. Again, I like narrative.|
|March 23, 2018||Prelude: Boat Stealing Episode||William Wordsworth||
I love this. Fits with my viewpoint. We know nothing. Don’t fear it, however.
|March 24, 2018||The Garden by Moonlight||Amy Lowell||Is this about yearning for a kid? I liked “Moon spikes shafting….”|
|March 25, 2018||A Primitive Like an Orb||Wallace Stevens||Not for me. I like “The lover writes, the believer hears….” bits|
|March 26, 2018||She Walks in Beauty||Lord Byron||
My first thought seems condescening: sweet. But I don’t mean cheaply saccarhine
|March 27, 2018||The Lady of Shalott||Alfred, Lord Tennyson||
Narrative, characters, Up my alley. AND many perspectives can be taken.
|March 28, 2018||Lady Lazarus||Sylvia Plath||The Nazi stuff is a bit rough on me. Too much for her?|
|March 29, 2018||Because I could not stop Death||Emily Dickinson||I like the image this creates for me.|
|March 30, 2018||Casey at the Bat||Ernest Lawrence Thayer||
It’s Opening Day. I don’t appreciate baseball but I do enjoy stories
|March 31, 2018||The Raven||Edgar Allan Poe||Again, I like narrative. Crowd pleaser, me pleaser.|
|April 1, 2018||I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud||William Wordsworth||Just simply pretty.|
|April 2, 2018||I Died for Beauty||Emily Dickinson||How do you die for beauty? Something to think about.|
|April 3, 2018||The Loner||Charles Bukowski||I like. Future me? Who’s the loner? The old guy or the speaker?|
|April 4, 2018||Still I Rise||Maya Angelou||I like the rythym. Some of the symbols seem….awkward.|
|April 5, 2018||Annabell Lee||Edgar Allan Poe||Poe sure could rock his morbid love.|
|April 6, 2018||Sonnet 1||William Shakespeare||I find it harder to read than in the past for some reason.|
|April 7, 2018||There’s a Certain Slant of Light||Emily Dickinson||I don’t know what light but will look out for it.|
|April 8, 2018||Mutability||Percy Blythe Shelley||Good to write on a wall somewhere.|
|April 9, 2018||Bayonet Charge||Ted Hughes||This one leaves me shrugging my shoulders.|
|April 10, 2018||Sonnet 42||William Shakespeare||
A sonnet for cuckolds? Making the best of a bad situation, I guess.
|April 11, 2018||If you were coming in the fall||Emily Dickinson||Two versions, I like the less Dickinson. Conventional, nice.|
|April 12, 2018||Sonnet 55||William Shakespeare||I like how it praises the subject and the poetry. Cheeky Will.|
|April 13, 2018||As if the Sea Should Part||Emily Dickinson||Not my fav from Em. Disjointed, almost a sketch, not complete|
|April 14, 2018||Sonnet 18||William Shakespeare||I like to read it as a eulogy.|
|April 15, 2018||The Whitsun Weddings||Philip Larkin||Wonderful. Almost perfect for me.|
|April 16, 2018||An Arundel Tomb||Philip Larkin||The last line, of course.|
|April 17, 2018||Walking Away||C. Day Lewis||
“selfhood begins with a walking away. And Love is proved in the letting go.”
|April 18, 2018||Ode on a Grecian Urn||John Keats||It would be nice to get this excited at the museum.|
|April 19, 2018||Exposure||Wilfred Owen||The oppressiveness of terrifying boredom.|
|April 20, 2018||I started Early – Took my Dog||Emily Dickinson||A bit dreamy, trippy.|
|April 21, 2018||Before You Were Mine||Carol Ann Duffy||Nice except for poet feeling bad about being born.|
|April 22, 2018||To My Dear and Loving Husband||Anne Bradstreet||Wow. This guy rings her puritan bell.|
|April 23, 2018||War Photographer||Carol Ann Duffy||This ticks so many good buttons for me. Read more Duffy.|
|April 24, 2018||The New Colossus||Emma Lazarus||The welcome is nice but the rebuf is cool too.|
|April 25, 2018||Checking Out Me History||John Agard||So go learn that history. No one is stopping you,.|
|April 26, 2018||Fra Lippi Lippo||Robert Browning||I like Mr. B’s stuff performed much better than just reading it.|
|April 27, 2018||Kamakaze||Beatrice Garland||Well told heartbreaking story. From war to a grandson.|
|April 28, 2018||Frost at Midnight||Samuel Taylor Coleridge||Beautiful, after reading some analysis & three times.|
|April 29, 2018||Follower||Seamus Heaney||Bitingly good. Sad.|
|April 30, 2018||kitchenette building||Gwendolyn Brooks||Reality Sucks. “Dream” in this context and time is hard to read.|
|May 1, 2018||Storm on the Island||Seamus Heaney||Well told poem about strong people.|
|May 2, 2018||The Rime of the Ancient Mariner||Samuel Taylor Coleridge||Epic!|
|May 3, 2018||Mother, Any Distance||Simon Armitage||Touching without sweetness.|
|May 4, 2018||Tonight||Agha Shahid Ali||It doesn’t click with me.|
|May 5, 2018||Eden Rock||Charles Causley||Seems nice but chilling the more I re-read.|
|May 6, 2018||The Truth the Dead Know||Anne Sexton||Something too posturing about this. Empty, maybe.|
|May 7, 2018||Letters from Yorkshire||Maura Dooley||I like this one, a lot. Seems pure and honest and true.|
|May 8, 2018||Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot||Alexander Pope||
Interesting…historically. Some things to say but won’t read again.
|May 9, 2018||Winter Swans||Owen Sheers||A nice positive moment. More common in life, less in poetry.|
|May 10, 2018||The Answer||Anne Finch||Like coming in half way through a conversation, a good one.|
|May 11, 2018||The Emigree||Carol Rumens||Complex language, intriguing, interesting.|
|May 12, 2018||Ballad in A||Cathy Park Hong||This seemed like a gimmick or an exercise. Dumb.|
|May 13, 2018||Climbing My Grandfather||Andrew Waterhouse||I liked this. The metaphor really worked for me.|
|May 14, 2018||Singh Song||Daljit Nagra||Nice day in the life of an indian shop keeper.|
|May 15, 2018||Under the Poplars||Cesar Vallejo||Too oblique for me. Maybe lost in translation.|
|May 16, 2018||Poppies||Jane Weir||A war poem? I guess. A son poem more so. Endless war poem|
|May 17, 2018||The Trees are Down||Charlotte Mew||Powerful gut punch.|
|May 18, 2018||Tissue||Imitiaz Dharker||
Musical but free verse. Something I really like in the pace, word choice, topic.
|May 19, 2018||Death||Donald Revell||
This went right over my head. Modernist wihtout the cool allusions
|May 20, 2018||Remains||Simon Armitage||This left me cold. Third person experience. Made to order.|
|May 21, 2018||Fern Hill||Dylan Thomas||
I found the language inpenatrable to what it’s supposed to convey.
|May 22, 2018||Sonnet 43: How Do I Love Thee||Elizabeth Barrett Browning||One of the hits. Always good. For a reason.|
|May 23, 2018||The Darlkling Thrush||Thomas Hardy||Take joy wherever you are. Nice.|
|May 24, 2018||Dover Beach||Matthew Arnold||Gothic-feeling beauty and desolation and despair.|
|May 25, 2018||Sonnet 116||William Shakespeare||Perfection.|
|May 26, 2018||Remember||Christina Rossetti||Lovely.|
|May 27, 2018||The Listeners||Walter De La Mare||Spooky in a great way. I want to read more of him.|
|May 28, 2018||Song of Myself||Walt Whitman||Got half way through it. It deserves more than a day.|
|May 29, 2018||O Captain! My Captain||Walt Whitman||Walt knocks it out of the park.|
|May 30, 2018||The Idea of Order at Key West||Wallace Stevens||I wrestle with him and he always wins.|
|May 31, 2018||Middle Passage||Robert Hayden||I like the mix of cold fact entries and the horror of it.|
|June 1, 2018||One Art||Elizabeth Bishop||I really like this one. Light love poem, ironical.|
|June 2, 2018||Memories of West Street and Lepke||Robert Lowell||I like these snapshot poems.|
|June 3, 2018||And Ut Pictura Poesis Is her name||Ashbery||I read a bit about him. At least it doesn’t make me angry.|
|June 4, 2018||The Dry Salvages||T.S. Elliot||Again with the modernist. It was made new.|
|June 5, 2018||Ulysses||Alfred, Lord Tennyson||I can see coming back to this one again and again.|
|June 6, 2018||Sonnet 29||William Shakespeare||Perfection to me in this place and this time.|
|June 7, 2018||Invictus||William Ernest Henley||Something to live up to. Read more of him.|
|June 8, 2018||Pioneers! O Pioneers!||Walt Whitman||A cousin to Frost’s The Gift Outright?|
|June 9, 2018||On the Stork Tower||Zhihuan||I love the ‘imagist’ simplicity of the the thought.|
|June 10, 2018||Horatius at the Bridge||Thomas Babington||Manly Poem!!|
|June 11, 2018||The Builders||Longfellow||Good advice….rhymed.|
|June 12, 2018||A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning||John Donne||A Ron Swanson-y Love Poem.|
|June 13, 2018||Poem From Iron Heel||Jack London||I can’t decide if I like this or not. I’m leaning toward not.|
|June 14, 2018||Opportunity||John James Ingalls||
Nice in a way, but end bit not really true. It knocks more than once
|June 15, 2018||Character of the Happy Warrior||William Wordsworth||Tiring of these “earnest” poems. Line breaks would be nice. 🙂|
|June 16, 2018||Ode 1.11||Horace||Good for my stoic sensibilities|
|June 17, 2018||The Tiger||William Blake||Classic one that I had trouble with in junior high. Nice now.|
|June 18, 2018||On His Blindness||John Milton||Life was hard then yet he still found solice and then produced.|
|June 19, 2018||A Psalm of Life||Longfellow||So far my favorite ‘earnest’ poem.|
|June 20, 2018||Death Be Not Proud||Donne||I like the thought of teasing death.|
|June 21, 2018||Church Going||Philip Larkin||Wonderfully Larkin. And rings true to me.|
|June 22, 2018||Fog||Carl Sandburg||Perfection. Been with me a long time.|
|June 23, 2018||Chicago||Carl Sandburg||As Bravado as the city.|
|June 24, 2018||The Emporer of Ice Cream||Wallace Stevens||Let be be finale of seem sticks with me.|
|June 25, 2018||Poetry||Marianne Moore||A good lesson.|
|June 26, 2018||Jabberwocky||Lewis Carroll||Silliness can be good.|
|June 27, 2018||Kubla Khan||Samuel Taylor Coleridge||Ethereal poem and a light touch on my mind.|
|June 28, 2018||Gunga Din||Rudyard Kipling||I like story poems.|
|June 29, 2018||Anthem for Doomed Youth||Wilfried Owen||I know it’s his most popular but doesn’t affect me as deeply.|
|June 30, 2018||Recessional||Rudyard Kipling||What a downers dude.|