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Poetry > Ways into Poetry

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message 1: by Sally (new)

Sally | 9 comments Just thought I'd recommend a few books that poetry virgins might find useful as a way in. Ruth Padel's 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem is great. She does a close reading of wide variety of poems, helping the reader into the world of the poem and the art of the poet.52 Ways Of Looking At A Poem: or How Reading Modern Poetry Can Change Your Life


message 2: by Sally (new)

Sally | 9 comments Staying Alive, ed Neil Astley, from Bloodaxe Books, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Timesis a great anthology, easy to dip into. Some poems are more challenging than others, but there's a lot of very accessible stuff in there. Brilliantly chosen and edited.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian | 2991 comments Mod
Sally wrote: "Staying Alive, ed Neil Astley, from Bloodaxe Books, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Timesis a great anthology, easy to dip into. Some poems are more challenging than others, but ..."

This is a great new thread, Sally. Thank you. I am familiar with Staying Alive - I believe it is the sequel to Being Alive (which I haven't read). Some moving and powerful poems in the collection. A wide range of ideas and themes covered. I'll have a look at the book in your first post too.

I love Ariel - though that is certainly challenging. I also read Ted Hughes Birthday Letters, which is also very poignant.

A friend recommended a podcast featuring Pablo Neruda and so I also read some of his work last night. Cant make my mind up whether I like it or not. I think I prefer more subtlety. His work is very in your face. I did however like the quirky nature of his poems - like "An Ode to Clothes" - taking the ordinary and exploring it, and I enjoyed the lyrical, almost musical nature of his work.


message 4: by Sally (new)

Sally | 9 comments Ariel and Birthday Letters are both fabulous collections, though I think Birthday Letters is a bit patchy. I love Ted Hughes' Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow.
I like Neruda, but haven't read him extensively. I wonder how much music we are missing by reading translations. I liked his 'Ode to an Onion" though!


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian | 2991 comments Mod
Sally wrote: "Ariel and Birthday Letters are both fabulous collections, though I think Birthday Letters is a bit patchy. I love Ted Hughes' Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow.
I like Neruda, ..."


He is quirky. Odes to all sorts of everyday items and occasions. In a way, he reminds me a bit of Montaigne and his essays. I think he had a section called "On Clothes" as well - maybe Neruda took some inspiration from him.


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