Let's Read...Poetry?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Do you read poetry? The reason I ask is, even as an English major, I somehow avoided taking a single poetry class. I mean, I'd get all jazzed up over The Nineteenth Century English Novel and could talk for days about unconventional reads in Topics in Gender Studies but....poetry? Poems? 22 year old me just couldn't get into it.

Well, 26 year old me (thankfully) has some different interests than 22 year old me. And poetry is a newfound one.

In Tiny Beautiful Things Cheryl Strayed is asked to give one piece of advice to people in their twenties, and she says: "To go to a bookstore and buy ten books of poetry and read them each five times." This got me thinking about how little time I've spent with poems, and I became determined to change that.

I picked up these 3 books of poems for Stephen for our 5 year anniversary in January:

I am really enjoying reading each of them, especially Birthday Letters. Do you know the story of Ted Hughes? Stephen got us tickets to see a play by him, Alcestis, at American Players Theatre this October (crossing off an item on my 101 in 1001 list!), which piqued my interest. He was married to poet Sylvia Plath (who famously committed suicide, allegedly in part because Hughes was having an affair) -- and all poems in Birthday Letters except for two are addressed to her. As you might imagine, many of the poems are darkly enchanting.

I find it relaxing to read a few poems before going to bed, and realize that in the wide world of poetry -- I'm still a newbie! What poets should I check out? Any modern poets? Any old-school poets? I'm all ears!

p.s. I am also enjoying the whimsical illustrations, quotes, and poetry in Something Like Magic by Brian Andreas.

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