Selected Poems
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Selected Poems

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Lawrence wrote nearly 1,000 poems during a short lifetime in which he was also astonishingly prolific in other spheres - fiction, travel writing, essays, criticism, letters and plays. Lawrence was not simply a novelist who dabbled in other forms. His characteristic vision informed everything he wrote, especially his poetry. At three important phases of his life it became t...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 5th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1950)
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Anna  Matsuyama
My first book by Lawrence
Quite naturally some poems I enjoyed more than others. One of my favourite is Fish and I was very glad when I found on YouTube, Andrew Scott reading a fragment of this poem. I absolutely love his voice! Here it is: Andrew Scott reads 'Fish'

To be a fish !

So utterly without misgiving
To be a fish
In the waters.

Loveless, and so lively!
Born before God was love,
Or life knew loving.
Beautifully beforehand with it all.

Admitted, they swarm in companies,
They drive in shoals.
Poetry. I doubt that any of you are deliberating over whether or not to buy this poetry collection from 1966, but in case you are, or, like me, you found it on your bookshelf and decided to read it, here's what's what.

First off, this is the first volume of Lawrence's poetry I've read. Prior to this, I only knew him from "Figs," which is not in this collection, and I was prepared not to like him. Because you hear things about D.H. Lawrence, like he hates women, or he's preoccupied with sex, that...more
Whenever I read D.H. Lawrence’s Poetry
by Gerardo Pacheco

something dark breaks in me
like when the sun enters into the world
of swamps, marshes and darkness

i can feel the rays
breaking everything away
making channels through my black heart

Lawrence’s word carved channels
into my pomegranate heart
his loyal follower
Don Vandelinder
I unexpectedly enjoyed this book. I'd like to think of this as a book of poetry for men that don't know what the big deal is about women and poetry.

Okay, I could have written this better but just go ahead and read it.
Medlars and Sorb-Apples

I love you, rotten,
Delicious rottenness.

I love to suck you out from your skins
So brown and soft and coming suave,
So morbid, as the Italians say.

What a rare, powerful, reminiscent flavour
Comes out of your falling through the stages of decay:
Stream within stream.

Something of the same flavour as Syracusan Muscat wine
Or vulgar Marsala.

Though even the word Marsala will smack of preciosity
Soon in the pussy-foot West.

What is it?
What is it, in the grape-turning-raisin,
In the medla...more
Just like streaks of fire on the page,in ecstasy over the natural world and sensuality. One of my favorites, recalling the story of Persephone and Hades (a small portion below):

And in Sicily, on the meadows of Enna,
She thought she had left him;
But opened around her purple anemones,

Little hells of colour, caves of darkness,
Hell, risen in pursuit of her; royal, sumptuous

And the opening to "The Wild Common":

The quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping,
Dan Butterfass
An apparently long out of print edition of Lawrence's Selected Poems I found in a used bookstore with a valuable introduction by Kenneth Rexroth in which he identifies Lawrence as a "minor prophet" as opposed to a "major poet", qualifying that distinction with this important caveat: "Like Blake and Yeats, his is the greater tradtion."

Rexroth also contends that Lawrence was the author of some of the "greatest imagist poems ever written." After re-revisiting such classic poems as Snake, Tortoise...more
3.5 if it were possible. all gorgeous in their writing, some - being so enigmatic and intuitive - are a little difficult to understand but nonetheless pleasant to read. oddly enough if it was often these subjective ones i enjoyed more. while they are short they're still so expressive and personal, i'm almost jealous of his genius in word choice. lawrence has such a way with words i'm sure many people - including myself - could only dream of. i too frequently find myself lost in this book, and i...more
Lawrence was, in my opinion, a much better poet than he was a novelist or even writer of short stories. The sequence of love poems he wrote shortly after meeting Frieda has few equals in 20th century literature. In the months leading up to his early death at age 42 he wrote poetry of such visionary force and strangeness one is almost tempted to posit the existence of something like a "premature late style" --Beethoven, told at 40 he was dying, composing the great late quartets...
I chose to read Lawrence simply to read a wider range of poetry; I was expecting to enjoy very little of it. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Though some of his poems could be inappropriate material, I still found I greatly enjoyed his style and that many of his were not what everyone makes them out to be.

If you are worried about the content, you may need to be cautious of a few. But if you can set those aside, you may not be disappointed to fight passed them.
Ivan Labayne
and the earth is alive, and ready to shake off his fleas.
and the stars are ready with stones to throw in the faces of men.
and the air that blows good breath in the nostrils of people
and beasts
is ready to blow bad breath upon them, to perish them all

quetzalcoatl looks down on mexico

because lawrence is genius, although i guess that is insufficient a term. his words have feet and elbow and navel. and his poetry has population
Jafer Martin
Sometimes I think that Lawrence should have had a better editor. But there are some poems here that I carry around in my head.

'Afternoons in School'. I watched a professor read this to a class once when he had been unsuccessfully trying to get "his hounds" to hunt. I remember getting out early that day. 'The Ass' is another favorite.
Ned Conway
Aug 22, 2007 Ned Conway rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 20something brosephs
Good collection of DHL poems but not exhaustive...several DHL gems not included here, to my dismay.

BUT forced me to read beyond my DHL favorites...many appreciated discoveries, specifically the work from his early years.

Big fan of the "Sign of a Man Who Is..." trilogy.
Anita Joy
Sep 27, 2011 Anita Joy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry lovers
Shelves: poetry, favourites
Been lost in these pages many times. Lawrence's poetry is too often forgotten in favour of his novels despite his way with words poetically being potentially far more pleasing. This selection of poems will not disappoint! Highly recommended!
J. Lopez
Some poems were beautiful (The Mess of Love) while others seemed like excerpts from Lawrence's novels. Overall, it is a fantastic collection of poems on love, domesticity and the responsibility of submitting to one’s sexual appetites.
Three stars in spite of myself and in spite of describing a tortoise having sex (in one of the ten or so poems he has on this issue) as "spread-eagled": talk about mixed metaphors.
Bea Alden
Strong stuff! Undoubtedly a great writer, but not always to my personal taste.
(My own copy is an earlier edition than the one in the Goodreads list.)
DHL's poetry IMHO is amateurish, embarrassingly prosaic, exceedingly flat. As I said, IMHO.
John Levi Masuli
I guess this is good stuff, but not really for my liking.
Terri marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2014
Karen Werzun
Karen Werzun marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Sarah Melotte
Sarah Melotte marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Mazri marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
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David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel...more
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“I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A little bird will fall dead, frozen from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself.” 3 likes
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