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Selected Poems

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  722 Ratings  ·  30 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 ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 5th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1950)
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Feb 18, 2017 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Many of these poems were too sexual for my tastes in poetry, but I suppose I should have expected that from the author of Lady Chatterly's Lover. There were quite a few poems with themes of death, oblivion and humanity, which I mostly enjoyed, but I wasn't a fan of the tortoise sex and elephant sex and whale sex....
Aug 12, 2011 Punk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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
Anna Kļaviņa
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.
Mar 01, 2011 Salma rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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,
Mar 20, 2012 megan rated it liked it
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
Aaron Meyer
Jul 05, 2016 Aaron Meyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
For many years I have perused this book of selected poems over and over again. I never get tired just opening the book at random and reading whatever is before me. Though I do have many favorites like "Whales not weep not," "The Man of Tyre," and "Self-Pity," there is just so many interesting poems in this book. They cover a wide variety of experiences rather than being bogged down in the same thing, much like my own writing which is probably why I enjoy Lawrence so much.
Feb 12, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it
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...
Oct 01, 2010 Gerardo rated it it was amazing
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
Anita Joy
Sep 20, 2011 Anita Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Don Vandelinder
Mar 16, 2012 Don Vandelinder rated it it was amazing
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.
Samuel Coulson
Oct 11, 2016 Samuel Coulson rated it it was amazing
Read this when I was a young teenager, inspired a lifelong interest in poetry.
Nov 22, 2016 Eadweard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
And at last I know my love for you is here;         
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight,         
It is large, so large, I could not see it before,         
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,               
Troubles, anxieties and pains.        
You are the call and I am the answer,         
You are the wish, and I the fulfilment,         
You are the night, and I the day.               
What else? it is perfect enough.               
It is perfectly complete,      
Jeanne (Such a Bookaholic)
This book was a wonderful experience. I enjoy reading something else from on author that I love. I have never ready poetry from him before. Some parts weren't my cup of tea, some I adored.
Dec 14, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked 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
Owen Lucas
Feb 20, 2016 Owen Lucas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Some of the poems in this collection rank among the most astonishing and beautiful I have ever read, and would easily earn a five-star rating. Particularly, the more lyrical of the animal poems, and the incredible poems Lawrence wrote in his last days, such as "Ship of Death". Then there is a middling class that are are meandering, obscure, and have a strange, conversational style that doesn't lead to much in the way of imaginative versification.

However, a smaller group still are not only incre
Dec 13, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it
What a collection! it contains some poems that may make little impression on you (or that may even make a thumbs-down impression.) But ahh! It also brings some all-time-favorite, bookmark-so-you-can-reread-at-will poems. Nature poems, workmen's poems, erotic poems, and one completely dear poem about "Baby Running Barefoot."

I admit that before encountering this collection, my general impression of Lawrence was: testosterone-and-sexual-braggadocio-rich. After reading these poems, I see that-- well
Dane Cobain
Mar 21, 2014 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the more interesting poetry collections that I’ve read of late – Lawrence, the man who’s best-known for Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Sons and Lovers, is an excellent poet, as well as a strong writer. Here, we watch him develop from a youngster who dabbled with rhyming poetry to a cynical old man, who wrote in free verse and used his art to show his disdain for the world.

In fact, I never knew that Lawrence was such a gifted poet, able to cover all sorts of subjects with a flair. I’l
Dan Butterfass
Sep 27, 2008 Dan Butterfass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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
Ivan Labayne
Jul 07, 2013 Ivan Labayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 04, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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.
Sidney Gaskell
Feb 09, 2015 Sidney Gaskell rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Overall very good. For me it was best around the middle, starting from the "creatures" section 'Mosquito', the Tortoises section especially. I also liked many in the Pansies 1928 section; 'Fidelity', 'Nottingham's New University', 'Self-Protection', and 'Won't it be Strange -?' is particularly interesting, it seems to be about a woman who gives birth to a bird.
Michael Spendelow
Definitely some confusing and odd poems from D. H. Lawrence's extensive collection; particularly ones wherein he uses dialect to influence the meaning (i.e. 'Violets').

Despite this, the poetry contained within is, as one would expect from Lawrence, on the whole of a superb quality and well worth reading.

Not my favourite poet (nor author) but still a jolly good one!
Ned Conway
Aug 22, 2007 Ned Conway rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Ryan Williams
Jan 16, 2016 Ryan Williams rated it really liked it
Trust not the anthology that has space for Prufrock but not Lawrence's 'Snake.'
Oct 27, 2011 Peter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DHL's poetry IMHO is amateurish, embarrassingly prosaic, exceedingly flat. As I said, IMHO.
Bea Alden
Aug 05, 2008 Bea Alden rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
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.)
John Levi Masuli
Oct 18, 2012 John Levi Masuli rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I guess this is good stuff, but not really for my liking.
Doug Daley
Doug Daley rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2012
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  • Selected Poems
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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.” 9 likes
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