“Please sir… I want some more!”

In this morning’s post about poetry, Flood asked where someone might begin in the quest for good poetry.  I suggested that those interested look for poetry from across cultures, across history, and across styles.  Allow yourself to be directed as much by accident and happenstance as by willful intent to read.

As promised, below are just two poems which I love written by two different poets.  If you like them, go grab the books and enjoy some more!  If you’re interested in future poetry suggestions, please let me know in the comments… I’d be happy to oblige on a regular basis, and I’m always open to your poetry recommendations too of course!

(If you’ve stopped by Arboreality, you know I have a love for trees and nature, so I admit to some bias in my poetic loves… but of course, who among us is not biased in our artistic tastes?)

Ok, and I can’t help myself.  Here is my “short list” of just SOME of my favorite poets.  Grab one at random off the list, and look for their work.  You’ll find that one leads you to another, who leads you to someone else entirely.  This list is in no way comprehensive or complete, and poets are arranged in no particular order.

A Few Good Poets

Li-Young Lee

Sandra Cisneros

Sylvia Plath

William Blake

Walt Whitman

Jonathan Keats

William Butler Yeats

Robert Frost

Marge Piercy

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rabindranath Tagore

Jayadeva (author of The Gitagovinda)

Po Chü-i

Gladys Cardiff

Duane Niatum

Jane Hirshfield

H. D. (Hilda Doolittle)

Pablo Neruda

Naomi Shihab Nye

Jennifer Rahim

Emily Dickinson 

*     *     *

Two Good Poems

[I have removed these poems per my discussion about copyrights and fair use which you can read about on Tuesday, July 25, 2006.  If you want to read these poems, I encourage you to visit your local library and grab a copy of the books cited below!]

Li-Young Lee, From Blossoms; Book source: Rose © 1986. BOA Editions Ltd.

Sylvia Plath, I Am Vertical; Book source: Crossing the Water © 1971. Harper and Row Publishers.

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5 Responses to “Please sir… I want some more!”

  1. Flood says:

    What a coincidence that you posted From Blossoms (I’d never read it before) today. I spent some time in a peach orchard over the long weekend and only have pictures to capture how I felt about being there.

    I’m actually familiar with some of the poets on your list so I’m not feeling like I’m starting from scratch. I’m gonna pick a couple that I’ve not heard of before and hit the library.

    BTW, I love Aboreality. I also took a buncha pics this weekend of plants and trees, trying out my shutterbug side. It was fun to pretend to be a pro-photographer.

  2. jason evans says:

    I really like the line, “not only the skin, but the shade.” The depth of perception is profound, yet comfortable.

  3. JLB says:

    Flood, From Blossoms is one that really stays with me. All of Li-Young Lee’s work is like this – tactile, layered in meaning and flavor. My list does include a lot of well-knowns, but Eric makes a great point in his comment on the earlier post about the poets of the streets and the bush. Another wonderful way to expose oneself to a good diversity of poetry is to find yourself a small, local coffee shop, and sit in on an open mic night. Better yet, sit in on more than one… you’ll start to hear some regulars, and you’ll always get those folks who were there just at the right time and choose to share. This format breathes a lot of life in to poetry. Poetry written by teenagers can really blow your mind too, and teenagers often get their feet wet at open mic nights.
    Mmmm… coffeee…

    Jason, thanks for pointing that out. I know that for many people, poetry can be a turn off when it’s “too aloof” or simply inaccessible, and for many the old dead guys’ work is just too complex or rigid in language and symbolism to make it meaningful. As a poet, I strive to allow for the depth and intelligence that I desire in my work while finding a clear, comfortable point of entry for my readers. I probably have a long way to go in honing my craft, but I believe that Li-Young Lee is a master.

  4. JLB says:

    By the by Flood, I’m glad you enjoy Arboreality! I’m not a professional photographer, and I have no training save for the training from the sun, the moon, and the trees. It’s a project I’ve really enjoyed over the last year, and the best part has been sharing what I love about trees with others. I’d love to see some of your images if you’re inclined to share them!

  5. Flood says:

    JLB, I emailed you yesterday with some shots. Peach orchard and vineyard, I think.

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