19 Apr 2011

P is for Poetry.

Years ago, around the time I started my MA in English and German Literature, I discovered my love for poetry.

Shortly before, at precisely the right time in my life, the film 'Dead Poets Society' had come out. It resonated on many levels, and not just because I had spent several years at boarding school myself.

I've always preferred poets whose works breathe Power, Passion and a Pure, raw intensity. There are so many: Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, P.B. Shelley, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, Audre Lorde, William Blake and many more.

In this post, I want to share one of my favourite poems, 'Acquainted with the Night' by Robert Frost, and - for old times' sake - the original trailer of Dead Poets Society.

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

- Robert Frost

Who are your favourite poets?

Image: 'The Night at Azcuenaga' by Luis Argerich. Available under a creative commons license. © 2010, Luis Argerich.
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  1. I love that poem. I thought about doing poetry for P and couldn't decide on one. Frost is solid. Neruda is good. Shel Silverstein makes me laugh. Emily Dickinson surprises me. Shakespeare awes me. Too many good ones.

  2. I like Frost and Browning and Keats but mostly I like to find obscure poets who have self published their work. Just recently I found one such poet at a charity book sale...Once I Was A Gypsy.....Isabel Halbert-Edmiston.

  3. Loved that movie also when it came out. If I had to choose one poet, I guess it would be Christina Rosetti, although I haven't read poetry in a while and not sure how I'd feel now.

  4. Gorgeous photo!

    I adored Dead Poets Society, and Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. e.e. cummings, too.

  5. Yep, Frost is one of my favourites.

  6. That was lovely. I also love Frost's The Road Less Travelled. It hits a particular note for me.

  7. @L.G.: I couldn't have worded it better. Never read Shel Silverstein, so I'm looking him up right now. (Multitasking is such a useful skill to have.)

    @mybabyjohn: I hadn't heard of Isabel Halbert-Edmiston, so I googled her and ended up on your blog :-) You're lifting her out of obscurity!

    @Karen: There are so many poets I like that I didn't mention, Christina Rossetti being one of them. That must have been such an interesting family to live in (or around) :-)

    @Alison: And e.e. cummings. I think I've spotted a pattern: people whose blogs I like (and who visit mine) seem to like similar poets. Not surprising, really. :-)

    @Lynda: Great to hear. :-)

    @Rosalind: I actually had posted that poem in the first version of this post, but I changed it, because I had written about the power & passion side of poetry, and Frost's 'The Road ...' strums another chord.

  8. I haven't read much poetry lately but I did post a poem by Frost on my very first blog. (Not this one)

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm delighted that you love Flamenco and really understand how difficult it is to learn. I'm so sorry you can't dance now because of your back.
    Wanna buy a duck

  9. I don't have any favorite poets per se, but do like Poe. Can we call him a writing poet?

  10. @Manzanita: I so enjoyed your A to Z posts, with all the wonderful flamenco videos!

    @Stephen: absolutely, as far as I'm concerned! :-)

  11. Mine are Ondaatje and Goyette and Cohen and ...
    we are poetry sisters in the A to Zed!

  12. @Jan: great, I'll be right over! :-)

  13. I don't read poetry as much as I did in my younger days, but I do enjoy much poetry. Can't say that I can recall any specific favorite poets although I read nearly all of Yvonne Lewis's poems at Welcome to My World of Poetry. That poem by Frost is absolutely beautiful.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge


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