|October 1, 2018||Parsley||Rita Dove||Political gut punch. The litte knot of screams is nice.|
|October 2, 2018||The Journey of the Magi||T.S. Elliot||It’s nice when stories are retold-deepened.|
|October 3, 2018||A Supermarket in California||Allen Ginsberg||I like this more than I was expecting too. Imaginative.|
|October 4, 2018||Howl||Allen Ginsberg||I appreciate it more for it’s historic place than it’s poetic|
|October 5, 2018||They Feed They Lion||Philip Levine||It seems to get in the way of itself. Or in the way of me.|
|October 6, 2018||On the Anniversary of My Death||W.S. Merwin||Momento Mori at it’s best.|
|October 7, 2018||Why I Am Not A Painter||Frank O’Hara||Creation makes it’s own way.|
|October 8, 2018||Diving into the Wreck||Adrienne Rich||I have a hard time appreciating or finding any soul in this poem.|
|October 9, 2018||Mr. Flood’s Party||Edwin Arlington Robinson||Another depressing one from Eddie A. Very American to me.|
|October 10, 2018||The Waking||Theodore Roethke||Complex but feel it’s one I should come back to.|
|October 11, 2018||In a Dark Time||Theodore Roethke||I don’t understand each line but I feel each deeply.|
|October 12, 2018||Grass||Carl Sandburg||A simple, honest poem.|
|October 13, 2018||Traveling through the Dark||William Stafford||Dead deer story. Doesn’t do much for me.|
|October 14, 2018||Andedote of the Jar||Wallace Stevens||Wallace Stevens…again with the over my head.|
|October 15, 2018||When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d||Walt Whitman||Yeah, so he had a hard crush on Lincoln.|
|October 16, 2018||Corson’s Inlet||A.R. Ammons||I felt and understood this one and liked it.|
|October 17, 2018||Dream Song #4||John Berryman||A Berryman poem I can appreciate and identify with.|
|October 18, 2018||Yet do I Marvel||Countee Cullen||Wow! Wonderfully good, concise, biting.|
|October 19, 2018||next of course to god america i||e.e. cummings||I get it but it leaves me cold.|
|October 20, 2018||I felt a Funeral, in my Brain||Emily Dickinson||
There’s the urge to try to diagnose her instead of understand her.
|October 21, 2018||I like to see it lap the Miles-||Emily Dickinson||Exciting!|
|October 22, 2018||The Soul selects her own Society||Emily Dickinson||I like this one. All of them.|
|October 23, 2018||A narrow Fellow in the Grass||Emily Dickinson||Yikes. A snake. ED knocks out of the park. Love it.|
|October 24, 2018||My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun||Emily Dickinson||Wonderful again.|
|October 25, 2018||Preludes||T.S. Elliot||I deem this one my favorite TS Elliot poem!|
|October 26, 2018||The Oven Bird||Robert Frost||A bird as reaper? Death knell? Call to contemplation.|
|October 27, 2018||Acquainted with the Night||Robert Frost||A great brooder of a poem. Iv’e been there.|
|October 28, 2018||Fire and Ice||Robert Frost||Destructive desire is more powerful than hate? I can see that.|
|October 29, 2018||God’s Grandeur||Gerald Manley Hopkins||I’m not down with the theology but Hopkins is great again.|
|October 30, 2018||The Weary Blues||Langston Hughes||Definitely not Wallace Stevens.|
|October 31, 2018||Touch Me||Stanley Kunitz||Beautiful. Touching. Perfection|
This year my guides to what poems to read included a Yale online course on modern poetry. That was NOT a good place to start. I then moved on to poems I knew about and various top ten lists.
However, lately, I’ve just used the poems listed in a book called 100 Best-Loved Poems. It’s got all the hits. Many I’ve already read but I’d missed quiet a few. I have three more to finish in September and then I’m moving on to this blog post – the most anthologized poems. It’s a nice, broad sampling of poetry.
As normal, brief notes on each poem are provided.
|August 1, 2018||On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer||John Keats||It always comes back to Homer, who I’ve read little of.|
|August 2, 2018||Thanatopsis||William Cullen Bryant||A lot of death but I do like the final turn.|
|August 3, 2018||To a Skylark||Percy Blythe Shelley||I like, I like, I like, esp. the second half.|
|August 4, 2018||Musee Des Beaux Arts||W.H. Auden||
I like everything about this poem. The subject matter, the intent, the writing.
|August 5, 2018||In Memory of W.B. Yeats||W.H. Auden||Lovely. I esp like the third stanza.|
|August 6, 2018||A Red Red Rose||Robert Burns||Why can I only read in Madelyn Kahn Blazing Saddles voice?|
|August 7, 2018||To a Mouse||Robert Burns||Perfect ending lines for me.|
|August 8, 2018||The Lamb||William Blake||Simple on it’s own, Need to read more about Blake’s philo.|
|August 9, 2018||Ode to the West Wind||Percy Blythe Shelley||I love the ambition it expresses.|
|August 10, 2018||So We’ll Go No More A Roving||Lord Byron||Byron feels old.|
|August 11, 2018||The Destruction of Sennacherib||Lord Byron||Old Testament scary.|
|August 12, 2018||Jenny Kissed Me||Leigh Hunt||Simple and happy and nice.|
|August 13, 2018||The Hollow Men||T.S. Elliot||Depressingly modernist. Haunts me.|
|August 14, 2018||Abou Ben Adhem||Leigh Hunt||Very Simple. Nice religious message.|
|August 15, 2018||The World Is Too Much With Us||William Wordsworth||A good poem to support my minimalist ambitions.|
|August 16, 2018||The Sick Rose||William Blake||Short and powerful. Blake.|
|August 17, 2018||Ode to the Death of a Favourite Cat||Thomas Gray||Sad and fun. Compelling.|
|August 18, 2018||As I walked Out One Evening||W.H. Auden||
One of my favorites so far. I like the first song’s strange comparison-haughty v mudane
|August 19, 2018||Sandpiper||Elizabeth Bishop||
This one I enjoy. I guess I like characters and narratives over poems about ideas.
|August 20, 2018||Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard||Thomas Gray||Loved the first part but goes off the rails for me a bit at the end.|
|August 21, 2018||The Retreat||Henry Vaughan||Really nice when spoken aloud…and felt.|
|August 22, 2018||To Lucasta, Going to the Wars||Richard Lovelace||A man loves by doing things, taking action.|
|August 23, 2018||Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover||John Suckling||Good advice, especially like the final line.|
|August 24, 2018||On His Deceased Wife||John Milton||A sweet nightmare.|
|August 25, 2018||Go, Lovely Rose||Edmund Waller||I really like the device of using a rose to send a message|
|August 26, 2018||Love Bade Me Welcome||George Herbert||Gross religious stuff that turns me off.|
|August 27, 2018||Upon Julia’s Clothes||Robert Herrick||It must have been a nice dress.|
|August 28, 2018||To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time||Robert Herrick||Good advice for virgins and non-virgins a-like.|
|August 29, 2018||On My First Son||Ben Jonson||Sad. Honest way to look at it.|
|August 30, 2018||To Celia||Ben Jonson||I like that she sent it back – but rejection or to share again?|
|August 31, 2018||Sonnet 14: Batter my Heart||John Donne||
“Reason, your viceroy in me” jumps out at me. Wish it did to more.
|July 1, 2018||anyone lived in a pretty how town||e.e. cummings||Seuss for grown ups.|
|July 2, 2018||First Fig||Edna St. Vincent Millay||Lovely and pround.|
|July 3, 2018||Richard Cory||Edwin Arlington Robinson||I knew this one without knowing it. Good life lesson.|
|July 4, 2018||Paul Revere’s Ride||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow||Funny how I projected “British are coming onto it.|
|July 5, 2018||Miniver Cheevy||Edwin Arlington Robinson||Mr. Robinson is a sad poet, I guess. Nice again.|
|July 6, 2018||When You Are Old||W. B. Yeats||Classic loser guy thing.|
|July 7, 2018||The Lake Isle of Innisfree||W. B. Yeats||Popular because it’s nice. I like it.|
|July 8, 2018||To an Athlete Dying Young||A. E. Housman||
Not my cup of tea. I get it but just not to my liking – the lesson, the word choice, etc.
|July 9, 2018||Requiem||Robert Lewis Stevenson||I like. Simple and perfect. Scottish.|
|July 10, 2018||Pied Beauty||Gerard Manley Hopkins||Learn to like odd things, nicely done.|
|July 11, 2018||The Windhover||Gerard Manley Hopkins||Powerful. Read more of him.|
|July 12, 2018||A Birthday||Christina Rossetti||A religious poem but I’ll read it as a love poem. Very nice.|
|July 13, 2018||I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died||Emily Dickinson||God love her. Nice scene/story.|
|July 14, 2018||This Is My Letter To The World||Emily Dickinson||Not sure what it’s about. What’s in the letter?|
|July 15, 2018||I’m Nobody Who Are You||Emily Dickinson||The big hit. Good solace while fighting my ego.|
|July 16, 2018||Lucifer in Starlight||George Meredith||A bit spooky. Maybe he’s not been knocked down.|
|July 17, 2018||A Noiseless Patient Spider||Walt Whitman||
I really can identify with this one, trying to find people to connect with.
|July 18, 2018||I Hear America Singing||Walt Whitman||Joyous!|
|July 19, 2018||Crossing the Bar||Tennyson||One hell of a swan song.|
|July 20, 2018||The Chambered Nautilus||O. Wendell Holmes||I like this one a lot. Good guide.|
|July 21, 2018||Old Ironsides||O. Wendell Holmes||Eh, this left me a bit cold.|
|July 22, 2018||To Helen||Edgar Allan Poe||It always seems like Poe is reaching/straining to show off.|
|July 23, 2018||Barbara Frietchie||John Greenleaf Whittier||I like story poems…..USA! USA! USA!|
|July 24, 2018||The Children’s Hour||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow||Joyous about fatherhood.|
|July 25, 2018||The Village Blacksmith||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow||Nice character portrait.|
|July 26, 2018||Concord hymn||Ralph Waldo Emerson||Eh, cold history.|
|July 27, 2018||When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be||John Keats||The romantics could really….overdo it.|
|July 28, 2018||La Belle Dame sans Merci||John Keats||I read this with images of Pre-Ralphalite paintings in my head.|
|July 29, 2018||The Owl and the Pussy Cat||Edward Lear||Simple and fun.|
|July 30, 2018||Introduction to Poetry||Billy Collins||I’ll try to keep this in mind.|
|July 31, 2018||Ode to a Nightengale||John Keats||Romantic-y but I do like it.|
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.|
So my website got itself a bad case of the malware.
Besides time and a slight amount of money spent to fix it, the only downside is I’ve lost data from March of 2017 forward. What bothers me the most is I l ost all my thoughts on the Dickens novels I read in 2017.
They were David Copperfield, Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friend. My thoughts on Twist and A Tale of Two Cities survived.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film adaptation of Oliver Twist.
So I assumed it was about a poor orphan making good int he work.
But I was wrong.
What Oliver Twist, the novel, is is a crime novel.
Oliver Twist, the character, just serves as the McGuffin for the story of the London underworld.
Oliver isn’t much of a protagonist. He just hopes around being cheery and sometimes pitiful. The most gumption he offers up is asking for me. And that’s in the first few pages of the book!
The action is really with Monks, Fagin, the Dodger, Bill Sykes and the dreadfully done murder of Nancy. And that bit about the suicidal dog!?!?
I’ve a giant biography of Dickens sitting on my bookshelf at home that I’ll get to reading sometime and there I’ll try to figure out why Oliver is not only the title character but even in the book.
So I have been fearful of Dickens. At some point I tried him and became intimidated.
Then a couple Christmases again I read the Carol and this year decided that if I could do Tolkien and Austen, I could do Dickens.
Am was pleasantly surprised.
I started A Tale in December thinking I’d just wet my toe in him before making my 2017 reading plan ‘official’ but within a few days I was 25% done and on my way.
Why I thought it was going to be a tale of geopolitical intrigue, I’ve no idea. Why I thought the language difficult, no idea. Archaic in some spots but with a Kindle app to refer to, not difficult.
The overall impression I got from the book was how amazingly plotted it was. There’s not a scene or character in the book that doesn’t figure in the climax and ending in some way. There’s no waste whatsoever. I’ve read supposedly complicated spy and crime fiction that wasn’t tied together so closely.
By the time I started Northanger Abbey, I was done with Austen. Having read five novels in 2016, her insular, unimaginative world was reaching claustophobic proportions for me.
That’s why I was surprised that Northanger Abbey became one of my favorite novels. Supposedly written before the others maybe it was youthful energy that drive me to the end.
However, I think what it had over the others is a better sense of humor and a lightness. What Austen lacks in imagination, her protagonist, Catherine Morland, seems to have. The immature Catherine sees the world through the lens of over-wrought, Gothic novels. She’t not stupid, just….imaginative.
I’m having a heck of a time giving a good gosh darn about any of her characters.
Austen wrote about what she knew, I guess. But what she knew is just so boring. Didn’t she desire to know more? Like her servant’s names?
She also seems to lack anything close to empathy for anyone other that a young woman looking for a boyfriend. Most of the supporting cast of characters seem like cartoons. Many – especially the middle aged married couples – are unlikeable. But I’d like to get some insight into their lives. She must have known them?
Anyway, done. On to the last novel of Austen that I’ll be reading….Northanger Abbey.
At least I finished Emma. There were times when I had doubts if I would. As the novel crossed the 100,000 word mark and I still had 50,000 to go, I really had to buckle down.
Emma is a busybody who disrupts people’s lives but rarely her own. After those 150,000 words, the 20-year old finally falls for the 37 year old long time family friend who we all new she’d end up with when the old dude started negging her in the first few chapters.
I know I’m not the intended audience and I should maybe broaden my romantic novel horizons but, man, does this novel go on an on over not very much.