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Old 01-06-2012, 02:46 AM   #1
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Post The MR Literary Club January 2012 Nominations

Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for January 2012!

The nominations will run through January 11 or until five works have made the list.

Final voting in a new poll will begin by January 11, where the month's selection will be decided.


The category for this month is:

Poetry


In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs five nominations - the original nomination plus four supporting.

Each participant has FOUR nominations this month. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third, fourth or fifth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.


What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!


The floor is now open!

*

Nominations through post 32:

The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - issybird, toomanybooks, Hamlet53, fantasyfan, hpulley

English poet especially known for his use of sprung rhythm and was considered an early Modern poet, ahead of his time in his use of language.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - WT Sharpe, toomanybooks, sun surfer, fantasyfan, Hamlet53

The poems of John Keats - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, fantasyfan, issybird, toomanybooks, caleb72

'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'

This nomination leaves all his poems open to reading (about 400 pages worth in total) but suggests a shorter central list of poems to read, which include:

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art
La Belle Dame sans Merci
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to a Nightingale
To Autumn
Endymion: A Poetic Romance
The Eve of St. Agnes
Hyperion
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
When I have fears that I may cease to be

Also, not as a central list, but as additional possibilities if so inclined (though any of his poems could be read):

(in spoiler tags because of length)

Spoiler:
To Hope
The Human Seasons
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
This Living Hand
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles
A Song About Myself
First Love
The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream
Isabella or The Pot of Basil
Lamia
Meg Merrilles
Ode on Indolence
Ode on Melancholy
Ode to Psyche
Sleep and Poetry
Staffa
Stanzas
To Kosciusko
You say you love; but with a voice

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - fantasyfan, sun surfer, toomanybooks, issybird, caleb72

It is one of those great poems written in simple, haunting and very beautiful language. At the same time it embodies profound feelings and themes.

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, as translated by Seamus Heaney - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - Hamlet53, sun surfer, caleb72, orlok, Bookworm_Girl

Seamus Heaney is a Nobel Prize Winner 1995. The national bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Award. Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the classic Northern epic of a hero’s triumphs as a young warrior and his fated death as a defender of his people. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed in the exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels in this story to the historical curve of consciousness in the twentieth century, but the poem also transcends such considerations, telling us psychological and spiritual truths that are permanent and liberating.

Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - HomeInMyShoes, paola

This is a book of poems addressed to Sylvia Plath, his wife, who suffered from depression and later committed suicide. There's some controversy about this book as some people have intimated that Ted was involved in or responsible for Sylvia's death.

The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer, as translated by Robert Bly - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - Hamlet53, paola

Tomas Tranströmer was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. Mystical, versatile and sad, the poems (in verse and prose) of Tomas Tranströmer have made him Sweden's best-known living writer. Robert Bly (Eating the Honey of Words, etc.) has long championed Tranströmer; his latest effort in this line is The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer. Here are the dream and nightmare images that influenced U.S. poetry in the '60s, where "Moths settle down on the pane:/ small pale telegrams from the world." Here, too, are the brief, haunting works of more recent years: "I am carried inside/ my own shadow like a violin/ in its black case."

The Withsun Weddings by Phillip Larkin - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - paola, issybird

A beautifully cynical, troubled poet.

Poems by T. S. Eliot - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - caleb72

Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a playwright, literary critic, and an important English-language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born an American he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.

The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock—started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915—is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. He followed this with what have become some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - orlok

Last edited by sun surfer; 01-09-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:27 AM   #2
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While this will be an emotionally difficult read for me, I'm nominating:

Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

This is a book of poems addressed to Sylvia Plath, his wife, who suffered from depression and later committed suicide. There's some controversy about this book as some people have intimated that Ted was involved in or responsible for Sylvia's death.

Here's what Yann Martel tells Stephen Harper about why he sent him this book: What Stephen Harper is Reading, Birthday Letters

Last edited by HomeInMyShoes; 01-06-2012 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Add a couple of links.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:27 AM   #3
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I have two suggestions:

The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer (translated by Robert Bly

Tomas Tranströmer was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. I had never heard of him before that, and I have since only managed to read a couple of his poems available online, those being very nice.

Unfortunately this book is not available as an ebook; in fact it appears no collection of his poems are. More about Tranströmer and his poems from Amazon:

Quote:
Mystical, versatile and sad, the poems (in verse and prose) of Tomas Tranströmer have made him Sweden's best-known living writer. Robert Bly (Eating the Honey of Words, etc.) has long championed Tranströmer; his latest effort in this line is The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer. Here are the dream and nightmare images that influenced U.S. poetry in the '60s, where "Moths settle down on the pane:/ small pale telegrams from the world." Here, too, are the brief, haunting works of more recent years: "I am carried inside/ my own shadow like a violin/ in its black case."
(Amazon link)


Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (translated by Seamus Heaney)

I do specifically nominate the Seamus Heaney (also a Nobel Prize Winner 1995) translation of Beowulf.

This is available as an ebook (Inkmesh Result) though it is rather pricey. It should also be easily obtainable as a used paperback or in public libraries as it was a bestseller when it was first released. More about this book from Amazon:


Quote:
The national bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Award. Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the classic Northern epic of a hero’s triumphs as a young warrior and his fated death as a defender of his people. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed in the exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels in this story to the historical curve of consciousness in the twentieth century, but the poem also transcends such considerations, telling us psychological and spiritual truths that are permanent and liberating.
(Amazon Link).

That's three good suggestions (IMHO) so far.

Last edited by Hamlet53; 01-06-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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I'm a little rushed right now and will follow up later, but I'd like to nominate the works of the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. He's especially known for his use of sprung rhythm and was considered an early Modern poet, ahead of his time in his use of language. His works are in the public domain.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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I'd like to nominate Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. The bad news is that it's a very large book. The good news is that you can download the audio version free of charge (as are all their works) at Librivox. After all, isn't listening the best way to encounter poetry?
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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^Sometimes the way the verse is placed on the page and the shapes of the words is as important, but with Whitman I think listening would be a good option.

The benefit of the book I nominated is that it is shorter (198 pages) and we could savour each poem more and still fit in plenty of time for things like The Illiad or The Odyssey.

I have to research the other nominations a little before seconding as I want to not waste my votes. I'm thinking that getting any nominee to five might be tough this month.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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I will second Leaves of Grass and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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I'll third Leaves of Grass, would love to finally read it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Well I have a hard copy of Leaves of Grass on my shelf. I would not mind reading once more some of my favorite poems, but probably not the entire book when I have so many other books to fit in.

I will third Gerard Manley Hopkins. It is available free as an ebook at at least three sources according to Inkmesh : Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Short too, at about 100 pages according to Amazon.

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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I nominate the poems of John Keats.

Quote:
'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'
Similar to last month's winner, I'd like to leave all his poems open to reading (about 400 pages worth in total) but suggest a shorter central list of poems to read, which include:

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art
La Belle Dame sans Merci
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to a Nightingale
To Autumn
Endymion: A Poetic Romance
The Eve of St. Agnes
Hyperion
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
When I have fears that I may cease to be

Also, not as a central list, but as additional possibilities if so inclined (though any of his poems could be read):

(in spoiler tags because of length)

Spoiler:
To Hope
The Human Seasons
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
This Living Hand
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles
A Song About Myself
First Love
The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream
Isabella or The Pot of Basil
Lamia
Meg Merrilles
Ode on Indolence
Ode on Melancholy
Ode to Psyche
Sleep and Poetry
Staffa
Stanzas
To Kosciusko
You say you love; but with a voice

Last edited by sun surfer; 01-06-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #11
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I second the poems of John Keats and fourth the works of Hopkins.

For my last choice I'll nominate "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is one of those great poems written in simple, haunting and very beautiful language. At the same time it embodies profound feelings and themes.

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Old 01-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
...For my last choice...
The number of nominations allowed per person is raised this month to four, so you still have another!


ETA since no one has posted below me yet - I'll also use a nomination to second Beowulf.

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:44 PM   #13
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I would have loved to nominate anything by Ungaretti, but there is nothing available in ebook format, so I'll begin by seconding Birthday Letters
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
we could savour each poem more
Yes! Poetry is hard and poems need to be taken slowly. It's been a long time since I've really torn apart a poem and I'd love to brush up my poetry-analyzing chops.

I'll third Keats as I continue to cogitate on the possibilities.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #15
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I'll use my fourth and final nomination to support The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
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