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January 5, 2013
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Poets! Who do you read?

:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
You want to be a writer, you've got to read a lot. Which seems kinda obvious, and pretty much all writers would agree. And yet! I know far, far too many novice poets who don't read poetry, except for what's assigned in class if they're in school, or maybe their friends' work.

Hopefully, this is not because they are being willfully ignorant or arrogant; rather, they don't know about all the great poetry out there waiting to be had! I honestly think this might be the case, because I didn't read a lot of poetry outside of class when I was just starting out, and some passionate recommendations were just the thing to kick me into gear.

So: questions!

1. Who are your favorite poets? What do you like about their work?

2. Is there any poem that has just stuck with you?

3. Have you ever memorized a poem?

4. Is there any poetry genre that interests you and you'd like to learn more about? (eg, Eastern, Spoken Word, Traditional Western, Free Verse)

4. If you could only recommend ONE chapbook or anthology, what would it be?

THE RULES:

*Don't promote yourself! I'm going to say this right now: If you are your own favorite poet...hot damn, I can't even finish that sentence, I'm literally headdesk-ing. Just, get over yourself. That is all.

*You can use a dA poet or a dA poem to answer ONLY ONE question. All the other answers should be from somewhere else. If you don't know any poets off this site, now might be a great time to start exploring!
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Devious Comments

:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013   Writer
1. Plath, Kerouac, Ginsburg, Snyder, Stevens . . . eh, maybe a little Whitman, Keats and Emerson thrown in.  i don't read enough.

2. sure.  i think the one that sticks with me the most is Mexico City Blues by Kerouac, because there's no way you can ever become completely familiar with it.

3. i've memorized a few lines - never a whole poem.  if i could remember a whole poem, i'd remember two:  Kubla Khan by Coleridge and Long Island Chinese Poem Rain by Kerouac

4. i'd like to explore more visual and found poetry methods, perhaps.

5. New Oxford Book of American Verse

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:iconthebrassglass:
TheBrassGlass Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
1. Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Lucille Clifton, Anne Carson, Denise Levertov, Edna St. Vincent Millay (when she's not translating others' poems), Elizabeth Browning, Emily Dickinson, Gregory Corso, Billy Collins, Margaret Atwood and I know there are some I'm forgetting. I really like things with powerful imagery and/or powerful rhythms (I like Maya Angelou almost exclusively for her rhythm).

2. There are quite a few. T.S. Eliot's "Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock", Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Renascense" and "Recuerdo", Wallace Stevens's "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", Denise Levertov's "O, Taste and See", Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay", Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses", Gregory Corso's "Marriage", Allen Ginsberg's "Supermarket in California", Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro", Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death", Robert Browning's "A Toccata of Galuppi's" and "My Last Duchess", Margaret Atwood's "Siren Song" and "You Fit Into Me", Anne Carson's "VI. To Clean Your Hooves Here is a Dance in Honor of the Grape which throughout History Has Been a Symbol of Revelry and Joy Not to Say Analogy for the Bride as Uncut Blossom"...

3. I've memorized more bits of poems than whole poems themselves, but I have managed to memorize the entirety of three: "Nothing Gold Can Stay," Robert Frost; "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," William Wordsworth; "In a Station of the Metro," Ezra Pound.

4. There's always more to learn about poetry.

5. I have four: "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman, "The Beauty of the Husband" by Anne Carson, the collected works of T.S. Eliot, and Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal" (but NOT Edna St. Vincent Millay's translation).
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student General Artist
We had to read a few different translations of Le Fleurs du Mal in my college Freshman English class, and I think it's really interesting how differently the translators approach the works. Makes me wish I learned French so I could read it myself.
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:iconthebrassglass:
TheBrassGlass Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Writing is usually best in the native language, it's true, but you're right. Each translator brings their own interpretations to the piece they're translating.
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:iconwordeea:
wordeea Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
well my list will be useless to you because it is all about french poets and references ... english is my second language and even though i "write" in both languages (and translate poems), i have read mainly french poets. furthermore, i only started writing again about a year ago after many many years of not reading much. so i am diving back in. with all that said, here's what i have been reading/liking lately

1. Who are your favorite poets? What do you like about their work?
miron, grandbois, nelligan, mallarmé, cros, hugo, beaudelaire, neruda, t.s. elliot . i like the imagery. simple words to say things.

2. Is there any poem that has just stuck with you?
jeune fille by gaston miron

3. Have you ever memorized a poem?
yes. several

4. Is there any poetry genre that interests you and you'd like to learn more about? (eg, Eastern, Spoken Word, Traditional Western, Free Verse)
fixed forms, traditional western. i like having to count and think and think and find the perfect word to fit my ideas

4. If you could only recommend ONE chapbook or anthology, what would it be?
"L'homme rapaillé" by Gaston Miron - I believe it is translated into english.
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:iconbrotherdiaz:
BrotherDiaz Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
you know...i don't have a favorite poet and to be perfectly honest i hardly ever read real poetry.

but i do have one poem that i absolutely love it is an old Japanese poem:

Though I go to you
ceaselessly along dream paths,
the sum of those trysts
is less than a single glimpse
granted in the waking world.

-Ono no Komachi
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow, that's lovely.
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Writer
I read everyone. What now XD Just kidding.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
:D
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Writer
The only poetry I read for pleasure is on dA. The only other poetry I read is for school assignments XD
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:iconfyoot:
fyoot Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013   Writer
1. Eh, I really like Keats and I really like Coleridge. I've been on a big Dylan Thomas kick lately. I like Simon Armitage's stuff a lot. I like the viscerality of Nick Burbridge, although I don't rate him technically. I like some of TS Eliot's poetry but I find some of it uncomfortable to read. Favourite overall of all time probably Keats.

2. Loads. I like poems that have an immediate impact, but I can only really judge their merit by their lasting resonance. The only poem on dA I've read that had that, for me, was ~shotgunmessiah's Khe Sanh Rivers, which someone posted at [link]

3. I know lots of sonnet-length pieces; I used to memorise them a lot at university for closed-book exams and I find it calming to recite them to myself from time to time. Keats' Ode to a Nightingale is the longest I can recite all the way through, I think, but then it was definitely worth learning. I know a Spanish one which I memorised when I was 11. I can still recite it although I no longer know what it all means.

I find it much harder to learn unmetrical pieces. I tried to learn Howl at university when I went through a Ginsberg phase, but I don't recall whether I succeeded. I certainly can't remember more than a couple of lines now.

4.Offhand I can't think of anything specific, no. I'd like to have more of a Classical grounding and knowledge, really. I know that's not necessarily what you're asking, but missing or half-grasping at allusion is frustrating.

4.I used to recommend Bloodaxe books' Staying Alive anthologies, but on re-reading I find they haven't aged well for me. The selection of writers is a little limited and eh, western-centric, which I think is probably true of a lot of anthologies. I'd still recommend them to people who don't read much poetry, though. I do enjoy the micro-anthologies fuselit books put out. They're cute and quirky.
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:icontiganusi:
tiganusi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional
1. Plath, Sexton, Lowell, Atwood, Patti Smith, Ginsberg, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Olds, Addonizio, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Dahlia Ravikovitch. They all just have a flavour. Sexton's my favourite because of her approachableness, I'd say, but Addonizio's what-the-fuckery is also nice and Rimbaud's just plain fucking Rimbaud so don't question him, brah.

2. Hmm. Whitman's "I Sing The Body Electric" has been pretty big on my mind, as have Kim Addonizio's Penis Blues, Ingrid Jonker's Times of Waiting in Amsterdam, Anne Sexton's Wanting To Die, Dahlia Ravikovitch's "Pride", and a variety of poems by Atwood.

3. "In Flander's Fields" is one of those ones everyone in Canada memorizes, I think. Also I've got some of Smith's beat poems memorized, and the entire discography of Salt-n-Pepa. Rap is poetry.

4. If I'm interested I learn. Fuck excuses. Wikipedia and then read, read read!

4. "The Other Voice: Twentieth-Century Women's Poetry in Translation". It'll introduce you to some winners like Ravikovitch, Etel Adnan, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Venus Khoury, Odette Aslan and Ping-Hsin. Also it's diverse in voices and styles. Hard to find IRL but Amazon usually has a few used copies.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow, some dark lit going on there. Very cool.

:D "the entire discography of Salt-n-Pepa." Why not?
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:iconitzala:
Itzala Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
1. Lately I've been listening to folk ballads rather than reading much poetry, but my tastes change. In a few weeks I'll have something different in mind.

2. Faithless Nelly Gray has stuck with me since I first read it. The first stanza is what always pops into my head, but the whole poem is full of morbid humor that I find very endearing.

3. I memorized a section of Annabel Lee for a class in middle school, but at the time I disliked Poe, so I promptly forgot it. I appreciate him a little more now, but I think inflicting him on me early poisoned me against his poetry.

4. Lately I've been all about traditional English language poetry, but I think I'd like to look at more modern verse.

4. Did you know you have two 4's? Nothing springs to mind.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Oops! Well, a little late to fix it now. Thanks for the catch, though.

And hey, Poe's not for everyone. I honestly haven't read a lot of his work; nothing against it, it just never really piqued my interest.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
1.  Eliot, Plath, Hopkins, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Merwin, Keats, Whitman, Ginsberg, Desnos, Trakl, etc.  I'm generally drawn to strong imagery, heavy use of allusion, free verse, and striking juxtaposition of sound/images.

2.  Too many to pin it down to one.  More when I was younger.  Offhand, one that comes to mind is "The Drunken Boat": [link]

3.  I can conjure large sections of "Prufrock" and lots of other Eliot, along with the other mentioned, among others, but not a full poem.  At least not reliably.  I can get close with "The Raven."

4.  I'd like to know deep image and Surrealism better than I do.

5.  Norton anthologies are generally good for general overview, though that often limits you to English language.
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:icontiganusi:
tiganusi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional
Your list needs more Anne Sexton.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
I always felt kinda meh about Sexton.
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:icontiganusi:
tiganusi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional
Why is everyone so meh to her. >:C
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
I dunno, I actually thought I would be into work because I like Plath. Maybe that's what ruined it for me? It was OK, just didn't push any buttons for me.
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:icontiganusi:
tiganusi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional
Yeah, her and Plath deal with similar themes but Plath has a colourful-er flavour about it.
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:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Writer
Ginsberg. . . yes.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Good point about the language limitations. I often don't realize how biased I am towards English just because I live in an English soeaking country.

"Prufrock" is such a classic. I remember my English teacher reading the whole thing aloud in class, and everyone just fell silent--almost the reverent quiet of a church in prayer. Don't think anything like that had happened in that class before or since. Eliot is just a master.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
Admittedly, I'm limited to English translation, since my grasp of most other languages is nil. I can muddle through German, though my grammar is now abysmal from lack of use and my vocabulary is limited. People like to harp on German being unpoetic, but having looked at Trakl, Benn, Rilke, etc. in the original, it can be quite beautiful and sonorous. As much as French or Spanish.

I'm a big fan of "The Waste Land" and "Ash Wednesday" as well. Been one of my favorites since high school. I had a teacher who loved him too, along with Hopkins, who had a big influence on his style (as did the Symbolists).
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I might just buy "The Wasteland." I've checked it out from the library four times now, and I'm still sad every time I have to return it.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
A copy is fairly cheap and worth owning IMO. Now, if only I still had that copy of "Howl," I lent to a friend 15 years ago...
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:iconjuliusonsteroids:
juliusonsteroids Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
1. Margaret Atwood and Don McKay. I like their imagery and diction, and how neither of them are prone to being long-winded. There's a precision to their work which I admire.

2. "Evening Hawk" by Robert Penn Warren. It came up on an AP exam, so it's pretty much burned into my brain. That, and I was happy to discover the poem.

3. No.

4. Maybe Oulipo. I know a little about them and we did a unit on it in Creative Writing class, but it's not enough. I know they're a group and not a genre, but...hm. That still counts, right? =P

5. New European Poets. It introduced me to A LOT of poets that I'd never heard of. I'm ambivalent about translated poems, BUT I recognize that when you translate, even though something is lost, something else is gained.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
"when you translate, even though something is lost, something else is gained." I love this attitude.

I'd never heard of Oulipo before, but I Googled it and they sounds really neat.
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:iconjuliusonsteroids:
juliusonsteroids Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
2. Can't believe I forgot to list this, but "Do Unto Others" By Daniel Johnson. Incredible poem.

I suppose this means it's coffee time.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Haha! Coffee away.

I am having so much fun with this. I just looked up the "Do Unto Others" poem and it's perfectly haunting. Thanks!
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:iconmadoldhag:
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. I am fascinated by meters, rhymes and how the different languages and language styles sound. And how language changed through the centuries. My list of favorite poets would sound really odd ... :lol:
2. A love poem in Medieval German, author is unknown.
3. Yes, I had to in school. In 3rd grade I even got an A for reciting some poem about winter. Later I had to memorize some verses in Baroque German, Latin and Medieval German. Actually, I started to love that stuff.
4. Haikus. And I'd wish that I could read more different languages, old and new, so that I could read some works in the original language. Especially poetry always looses when it gets translated.
5. No. I rather go and search for a particular poem or poet. It is very unlikely anyway that you would find all my personal favorites in one book ...
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. Poe and Whitman are some of my favorites, Poe for the format and ring of the poems and Whitman for the meaning behind them. I also really like Don A. Hecox because he writes free verse, but it isn't very flowery or pretentious; they're portraits.
2. The Abbot of Canterbury. I don't know who wrote it, but I remember my sister reading it to me when I was little and every time I would laugh so hard. Everything about the situation is just amazing. There's also another poem here on DA; I'll have to look it up real quick to get the author. It's called Catch an Angel, by :iconmierren:
3. Oh yeah. I memorize poems for fun, sometimes. The Jabberwocky, a bit of Winter: A Dirge, by Robert Brurns, and bits of Shakespeare just because.
4. Spoken Word, probably. I doubt I'd be very good at it, but I've seen a lot of people do it and it looks like something I'd really enjoy.
5. I would recommend Portraits of News and Leeward Islands (yes by Don Hecox).
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You know, :iconelocutionists: is a great group to join if you're interested in Spoken Word. They're gearing up for a competition soon. Also, Anis Mojgani is a really great spoken word poet, so if you want to start somewhere, maybe start here: [link]

I might order the Don Hecox book. It's too bad it's out of print :( Still, there are copies floating around online.
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's out of print?! I didn't know that. I got the copies as a gift. They're super awesome. Thanks for the link; I'll check it out.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconthenaughticallife:
TheNAUGHTicalLife Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Writer
1. Who are your favorite poets? What do you like about their work?

Frost! America!

2. Is there any poem that has just stuck with you?

No. Coleridge quotes are always great, though.

3. Have you ever memorized a poem?

No, but it's lame but I wish I did.

4. Is there any poetry genre that interests you and you'd like to learn more about? (eg, Eastern, Spoken Word, Traditional Western, Free Verse)

I'd actually like to learn more of the merits of eastern fixed verse.

4. If you could only recommend ONE chapbook or anthology, what would it be?

Tennyson.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Eastern poetry has always interested me too! We've never done a unit on it in school. Lately I've been looking up and reading a lot of Renga and Tanka poetry, which are kinda cool.

America!
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
1. Who are your favorite poets? What do you like about their work?
Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, John Betjeman. In each case they have something that was original to them.

2. Is there any poem that has just stuck with you?
Stevie Smith's "Not Waving But Drowning".

3. Have you ever memorized a poem?
As above :]

4.
Is there any poetry genre that interests you and you'd like to learn
more about? (eg, Eastern, Spoken Word, Traditional Western, Free Verse)
I am looking forward to exploring Traditional Western more.

5. If you could only recommend ONE chapbook or anthology, what would it be?
Let the poet choose - James Gibson
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
I like the discussion in here but the claim that you have to read alarms me. My most loved inspiration Stevie Smith purposefully avoided reading poetry to keep her voice pure and original, which it did, and she was highly influential.

Just a thought :)
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I love "Not Waving But Drowning" :heart: And I admit that I haven't read a lot of her work. That being said, I find it really hard to believe that she didn't read poetry. I Googled some phrases in relation to that, and I couldn't find any articles or bios that said she didn't read poetry, to "keep her voice pure" or for any other reason.

Not saying you're wrong, it just seems like a fact that would be very prominent in her bio were it true, since it's the polar opposite of all other major poets.

Most poets become poets because they love poetry. They find it a beautiful, provocative medium and they read as much of it as they can. That's how they grow--everyone is transformed by the people around them; it can't be avoided. Being changed isn't something to be afraid of :)
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I read Richard Brautigan and Charles Bukowski. I like Brautigan because he is gentle, and I like Bukowski because he is rugged. Their poetry teases me constantly but I have never memorise any of it. I would like to learn free verse. Also, I cannot choose between both men, both have their qualities.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Haha! He's right, it suits you. I actually have a graphic of Bukowski's poem "Excuses" as my laptop background right now. Kind of a motivational poster, I guess.
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:iconthenaughticallife:
TheNAUGHTicalLife Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Writer
You would read Bukowski.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yeh, he's a bastard just like me.
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:iconthenaughticallife:
TheNAUGHTicalLife Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Writer
Shitty writer, amazing poet.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
He has his qualities.
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:iconofonesoul:
OfOneSoul Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
1. Who are your favorite poets? What do you like about their work?

William Butler Yeats, as cliche as it may seem, is my all time favorite poet. He is the only man who has ever been able to write romance the way that I think it. Basically, he writes the way that I love - only a true poet can do that. :drool:

I also adore Edgar Allen Poe for obvious reasons. :stare:

2. Is there any poem that has just stuck with you?

The Two Trees by William Butler Yeats. When I read this poem in the front of an Amelia Atwater-Rhodes book in high school - I copied it off the internet, printed it, and hung it over my computer desk. Since then - its brilliance and imagery has not been forgotten. I bought a book of poetry for the solemn fact that this poem was in it. :jawdrop:

3. Have you ever memorized a poem?

In an attempt to be edgy & cool in high school, I memorized Edgar Allen Poe's Alone. That final line always got me -

"From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view."


To this day - I do not regret my angsty, teenage self. :heart:

4. Is there any poetry genre that interests you and you'd like to learn more about? (eg, Eastern, Spoken Word, Traditional Western, Free Verse)

Definitely Spoken Word. I've recently joined #Elocutionists as a contributor for this exact reason. :nuu:

4. If you could only recommend ONE chapbook or anthology, what would it be?

A Poet to His Beloved
The Early Love Poems Of
W.B. Yeats :iconsupertighthugplz:
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeats! I sympathize. I legit had a schoolgirl crush on Yeats in sixth grade. :heart: The poem "He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven" was in our English textbook, and I circled it in purple gel pen and drew little hearts all around it. When the scholastic bookfair finally came to our school (did they have those at your school?) I used my little book-money envelope to buy a tiny paperback of his poems illustrated.

Some girls crushed on fictional vampires. I crushed on a century-old poet. *NERDGIRLS4LYFE* *highfive*

You know, if you like Yeats' style, may I recommend Mark Doty as a contemporary analogue?
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:iconofonesoul:
OfOneSoul Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the recommendation - my dear! I'm adding it to my NEED TO READ list. :iconlachoirplz:
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Do it!
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