Reading Dylan Thomas on his birthday
It’s after midnight, the small hours of a new day, the birthday of Dylan Thomas (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953). Since he was born on this day, I am reading his poem, In My Craft or Sullen Art.
The sensual strut of Dylan Thomas
Ah, the “sensual strut” of Dylan Thomas! I can’t forget those words of his. I couldn’t recall the poem where he wrote those words, so I searched Google and found it. It’s not one of his best known poems, but those two words from it – “sensual strut” – sum up the appeal of Dylan…
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…
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…
Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate
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…
I just can’t get Anne Sexton out of my head after reading her poem, For My Lover, Returning to His Wife. Written from the mistress’s point of view, it stays in your mind because of its unusual perspective.
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…
Sleeping with a Dictionary
I just came across a poem called Sleeping with a Dictionary. I can’t recall sleeping with but have dozed with a dictionary.
The Norton Anthology of Poetry
The Norton Anthology of Poetry is one of the best and most comprehensive collections of English poems from Old English to the present day. I was going through the poems after reading about the death of the literary critic MH Abrams. Abrams, who died on April 21 at the age of 102 in Ithaca, New…
Wordsworth and I
Today is the birthday of William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850), a poet who grows on you. He strikes a deeper chord in me now than when I was young. Many of his poems, of course, can be appreciated at any age. For example, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. I wandered lonely…