Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry

Reading a book of poems can be such a pleasure. There’s the thrill of discovering a poem that absolutely bowls you over, the pleasure of re-reading an old favourite and learning something about the life of the poet or poets whose poetry fills the book. I derived all three pleasures from Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry, Introductions to Great Poets by Josephine Hart. Continue reading “Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry”

Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop

I just read a poem by Emily Dickinson and two poems by Elizabeth Bishop which I had never read before. Emily Dickinson’s poem is about a carriage ride with Death. Elizabeth Bishop’s poems have humour and sadness. I found them in a collection of poems where the poets are introduced by the adman Maurice Saatchi’s late wife, the writer Josephine Hart. Continue reading “Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop”

Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate

Bob Dylan

I have loved Bob Dylan from the time I heard Blowin’ in the Wind way back in the Sixties. But Bob Dylan Nobel laureate! Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature! Call me old-fashioned. I prefer to read literature and listen to music.  Dylan’s songs may be poems set to music. But I would rather read the poems of WH Auden and Dylan Thomas, neither of whom won the Nobel Prize. Dylan I will listen to. Continue reading “Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate”

A Vow and more wedding poems

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments”, is the most popular poem for reading or reciting at weddings in Britain, said the Guardian in 2011. The Poetry Foundation website has a list of wedding poems chosen by its editors, a list that includes poems like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways, John Donne’s The Good Morrow and Anne Bradstreet’s To My Dear and Loving Husband. My own favourites include more recent poems. Continue reading “A Vow and more wedding poems”