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View Poll Results: The MR Literary Club January 2012 Vote
The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins 3 27.27%
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman 4 36.36%
The poems of John Keats 0 0%
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge 2 18.18%
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, translated by Seamus Heaney 2 18.18%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #31
Hamlet53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I know this has been brought up already, but is there any chance of settling on a key group of poems to discuss? Poetry takes time and I can't manage all of this in two weeks--not and appreciate it, at any rate. Moreover, the intro to the deathbed edition I'm reading says the quality of poems is uneven. I'm all for dipping into it, but at the same time I'd like to ensure I read the best/most important early. Help, please!
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Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
I was rather dismayed by the length and the variations in quality of this collection. I'm uncertain as to how to approach it and I couldn't see myself finishing it in the near future.

So why not start with one of Whitman's more famous and beautiful poems such as, for example, "When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d"—the elegy on Abraham Lincoln. This is an acknowledged masterpiece and has so much complexity of tone and meaning that it could provide a very profitable experience.

I offer this purely as a personal suggestion and it is certainly not meant to usurp the authority and decisions of whoever decides to lead the discussion.
My thoughts exactly regarding a core set of poems to concentrate on. It seems from most of what I have read about what critics have said ever since the "death bed" edition first appeared that that was for the most part not much of an improvement over the original. So maybe use the original as the core set, with a few additions such as those pertaining to Lincoln?

Thank you Sun Surfer for your post about the various editions. You are correct that my 150th anniversary is the first edition. I have also obtained the "death bed" edition as an ebook. So I am good with whatever people decide regarding the issue in my first paragraph, though I will probably limit myself for the most part to the 1st edition.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:13 AM   #32
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Hamlet53, I too am planning a similar approach. I bought a version that includes both the original and death-bed versions. I plan to read the original version, Inscriptions and select other poems as time permits. I too am interested in the Lincoln related poems.

The Walt Whitman Archive website looks quite comprehensive. Here's a link.
http://whitmanarchive.org/
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #33
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The first e-copy I downloaded was, in fact, the death-bed version {though I didn't know then that there was any other}. Hence, I've also got the first edition to use as a primary source and will use the other for "When Lilacs . . ." and/or any other supplementary poems that may arise during the discussion. {Which I very much look forward to }

Last edited by fantasyfan; 01-19-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:13 AM   #34
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Well, the nomination was made and voted in on the work in general, so I'd say read as one pleases, and when it comes time for discussion anyone can discuss any poems one wants!

I have (quickly) tried to find a list of his "most famous" or "best" poems without much success except for a very few that have mostly already been noted above.

As for me, after reading the latest posts, I have updated my plan a bit. I am buying the first edition (150th anniversary one for the notes) in addition to the deathbed edition I already have. Though I've already read a bit of the deathbed edition, I plan now to switch and read the first edition first, then *try* to read the deathbed edition, skimming over the poems that are repeats only watching for any changes.

I figure (and hope!) that with this plan, it should be around the same amount of reading anyway since I'll just skim what I've already read the second go-round, and this way I'll get the feeling for the first edition as well.

From what I've read so far, some poems are challenging (Eidolons!) but I'm enjoying it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:13 PM   #35
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As I mentioned, I've already finished the Librivox recording of Leave of Grass, and now I'm reading the Deathbed Edition. You know what? I've discovered that I absolutely love Walt Whitman! Unlike so many more modern poets, who seem to view all of life with jaded eyes, Whitman is a realist. He paints wonderful verbal pictures of the good and the bad, all the while keeping alive a child's wonder at just being alive.
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