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Old 01-01-2014, 09:16 AM   #1
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Poetry Nominations • January 2014

Happy New Year! Auld lang syne and all that. Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for January 2014!

The nominations will run for four days until 5 January. Then, a separate voting poll will begin 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 four nominations - the original nomination plus three supporting.

Each participant has four nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) 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 are now closed. Final nominations:


Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996 by Seamus Heaney - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - Hamlet53, issybird, Bookpossum, sun surfer


Nobel Laureate Seamus Heany died on August 30, 2013. A biographical sketch of Heany at the Poetry Foundation.

This interview of Seamus Heany from 2006 on the NPR program On Point was rebroadcast on September 2, 2013 any interested: Listening Back To Seamus Heaney


Kindle
Kobo


The poems of Wallace Stevens - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - issybird, Bookpossum, paola, Hamlet53


This is from The Poetry Foundation:

Wallace Stevens is one of America's most respected poets. He was a master stylist, employing an extraordinary vocabulary and a rigorous precision in crafting his poems. But he was also a philosopher of aesthetics, vigorously exploring the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. Because of the extreme technical and thematic complexity of his work, Stevens was sometimes considered a willfully difficult poet. But he was also acknowledged as an eminent abstractionist and a provocative thinker, and that reputation has continued since his death. In 1975, for instance, noted literary critic Harold Bloom, whose writings on Stevens include the imposing Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, called him "the best and most representative American poet of our time


Like Trollope, Stevens had a day job, in the insurance industry.


issybird has been looking around and sees several possibilities:

Poem Hunter has a selection of his poems in the public domain in PDF format.

Or there's the collection of all his poems. Kindle Kobo and other ebookstores, but it's much more expensive than Amazon.

The collection selected by his daughter, The Palm at the End of the Mind also is available in eformat and is slightly cheaper, but issybird's own druthers would be to get the complete collection and read the poems from his first work, Harmonium. Most of the Harmonium poems are public domain and she thinks can be read online at Poem Hunter. There are also much cheaper used pbook options.


Inferno by Dante - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - paola, Billi, Hamlet53, issybird


paola said on translations:

Well, first of all I am biased: especially the Inferno is something that is drilled into each school kid, so even if the words are difficult to understand, it is very musical, so hard to render I guess (it does rhyme). I have had a look around, and for the moment the one that seems closer "music wise" is Dorothy Sayer's translation (I've found it in Penguin).


The poems of John Keats - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, Bookworm_Girl, Bookpossum, paola


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.'

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


Keats, John: Complete Poetry, epub here at Mobileread


High Windows by Philip Larkin - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - paola, issybird, sun surfer, fantasyfan


paola said:

Another poet who also had to work to earn his keep, Philip Larkin. He is crude, but oh so effective! The Collected poems would be good, but to keep it manageable I'd suggest High Windows - a couple of the poems are available at the Poetry Foundation, otherwise it is available at Amazon uk, Amazon US, and couponable on Kobo.


The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - fantasyfan, Billi, BelleZora, Bookworm_Girl


Nearly unknown when he was alive, Hopkins is now regarded as one of the three great poets of the Victorian Era--along with Robert Browning and Tennyson. His innovative use of rhythm, imagery, structure and syntax make his poetry sound far more modern than any of his contemporaries.

Most of his poems have a religious theme but again they are anything but conventional. The "Terrible Sonnets", for instance are among the finest poetic expressions of the thin ice of belief over the pit of despair.

His poetry is available in the first edition by his friend Robert Bridges for free and there are many ebook editions--such as that by Delphi--which give good value for money.


Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - HomeInMyShoes, BelleZora, fantasyfan, Bookworm_Girl


Birthday Letters


Aimless Love by Billy Collins - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - Billi, kennyc, sun surfer, BelleZora


Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - Billi, Bookpossum


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Fleurs_du_mal)


Poems and Songs by Robert Burns - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - Hamlet53


Hamlet53 said:

Scotland's favorite son and national poet. This is a collection of 43 of his best poems and songs. For Auld Land Syne, my friends for Auld Lang Syne.


Kindle


Kobo

Last edited by sun surfer; 01-05-2014 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:41 AM   #2
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Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996 by Seamus Heaney

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heany died on August 30, 2013. I thought it would be interesting to read a collection of his poems. A biographical sketch of Heany at the Poetry Foundation.

This interview of Seamus Heany from 2006 on the NPR program On Point was rebroadcast on September 2, 2013 any interested: Listening Back To Seamus Heaney


Kindle
Kobo
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #3
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Heaney sounds good to me. Seconded.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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I'm going to nominate Wallace Stevens. This is from The Poetry Foundation:

Quote:
Wallace Stevens is one of America's most respected poets. He was a master stylist, employing an extraordinary vocabulary and a rigorous precision in crafting his poems. But he was also a philosopher of aesthetics, vigorously exploring the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. Because of the extreme technical and thematic complexity of his work, Stevens was sometimes considered a willfully difficult poet. But he was also acknowledged as an eminent abstractionist and a provocative thinker, and that reputation has continued since his death. In 1975, for instance, noted literary critic Harold Bloom, whose writings on Stevens include the imposing Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, called him "the best and most representative American poet of our time
Like Trollope, Stevens had a day job, in the insurance industry.

I've been looking around and I see several possibilities.

Poem Hunter has a selection of his poems in the public domain in PDF format.

Or there's the collection of all his poems. Kindle Kobo and other ebookstores, but it's much more expensive than Amazon.

The collection selected by his daughter, The Palm at the End of the Mind also is available in eformat and is slightly cheaper, but my own druthers would be to get the complete collection and read the poems from his first work, Harmonium. Most of the Harmonium poems are public domain and I think can be read online at Poem Hunter. There are also much cheaper used pbook options.

I acknowledge that these are US-centric options and I have no idea what's available in other venues.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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I'll third Opened Ground
and second Wallace Stevens. (Preferably via Poem Hunter as my library doesn't have him.)
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:40 PM   #6
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I have been very frustrated: really wanted to suggest Montale or Ungaretti, but I got so disheartened in reading the translations, that it just won't do. You will have to learn Italian :-)

So coming back to English, I will nominate another poet who also had to work to earn his keep, Philip Larkin. He is crude, but oh so effective! The Collected poems would be good, but to keep it manageable I'd suggest High Windows - a couple of the poems are available at the Poetry Foundation, otherwise it is available at Amazon uk, Amazon US, and couponable on Kobo.

I will third Wallace Stevens.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #7
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I'll third second Larkin. I had a hardcover of High Windows ages and ages ago, I wonder if it's still kicking around here somewhere?

ETA: Paola, I was kinda hoping you'd nominate The Inferno.

Last edited by issybird; 01-01-2014 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Fix nomination
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:21 PM   #8
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I'll fourth Heaney.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'll third second Larkin. I had a hardcover of High Windows ages and ages ago, I wonder if it's still kicking around here somewhere?

ETA: Paola, I was kinda hoping you'd nominate The Inferno.
How could I not comply I was so focused on modern authors that forgot the dad of my own language! So yes, let me formally nominate Dante's Inferno - that would be tough going for non Italians, but there is bound to be plenty of good translations. I will look more into that later (after looking at a couple of Montale's poems in Arrowsmith and Galassi's translations, reputed to be the best, my heart sank - we've got to accept that some poets are, sadly, untranslatable...)
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:52 AM   #10
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I second Dante's Inferno.

I nominate Charles Baudelaire: Les Fleurs du Mal
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Fleurs_du_mal)
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:16 AM   #11
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Poems and Songs by Robert Burns.

Scotland's favorite son and national poet. This is a collection of 43 of his best poems and songs. For Auld Land Syne, my friends for Auld Lang Syne.


Kindle



Kobo

Last edited by Hamlet53; 01-02-2014 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
How could I not comply I was so focused on modern authors that forgot the dad of my own language! So yes, let me formally nominate Dante's Inferno - that would be tough going for non Italians, but there is bound to be plenty of good translations. I will look more into that later (after looking at a couple of Montale's poems in Arrowsmith and Galassi's translations, reputed to be the best, my heart sank - we've got to accept that some poets are, sadly, untranslatable...)
This was nominated and made the vote for poetry month last year (Still strange to say that. ). I don't recall what the rules are regarding that for this literary club. If it's not a problem I will third it.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:22 AM   #13
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Fourth Wallace Stevens.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:44 AM   #14
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No disrespect intended for M. Baudelaire or Robbie, but after having goaded Paola, my last nomination has to go to fourthing Dante.

I don't think we have any rules about renominating here; the main club has a six-month rule.

Paola, I'm very interested in your assessment of the Divine Comedy translations. Every now and then I check and they all seem flawed in some respect. The most recent translation (that I've read about), by Clive James (!), was well-reviewed in the NYT. I read Ciardi in college and I think that one is still held in good repute.

ETA: I'm ashamed to say I've never heard of Montale or Ungaretti, which I shall have to remedy despite poor translations.

Last edited by issybird; 01-02-2014 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:37 AM   #15
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I'd like to 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.'
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


Keats, John: Complete Poetry, epub here at Mobileread
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