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Category: 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Anne Sexton

    Anne Sexton

    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 […]

  • TS Eliot, ‘mixing memory and desire’

    Today is the birthday of TS Eliot (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965). I still remember how strange and romantic it felt when I first read The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock in my last or penultimate year in high school. Let us go then, you and I,When the evening is spread out […]

  • The metrical foot: Foot and meter in poetry

    I just came across this poem by Coleridge explaining metrical feet, the unit of measurement in poetry. He wrote it for his son, Derwent.  A metrical foot is a set of syllables, usually two or three, only one of which is normally stressed, as in the words, po´-em and po´-et-ry. The first syllable is stressed […]

  • Poetry Please: The 10 most popular poems

    Here are the top 10 on Poetry Please, the 10 most popular poems on the longest running poetry programme broadcast anywhere in the world, according to the BBC. Started in 1979, the BBC 4 programme presents poems requested by listeners. It reaches two million listeners a week. The top 10 list is from the book, […]