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I am a snob... looking for TOP SHELF POETRY

I am a downright snobby, prissy, elitist poetry princess. I will only read top shelf poetry, otherwise I'll do without.

Everyone claims they know about good poetry like they know good music. But even good musicians can have crap songs.

I like Neruda, T.S. Elliot (now there was a snobby poet, and rightfully so!), I don't know enough about Rilke. I like Sufi riddle poems. Hell, I like riddles, but I know most books on em.

Choose your favorite poet.
Choose *ONE* work of theirs, no longer than the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Reply here.
Tell me why *this* is your only choice.
Paste the poem in (URL if copyright is an issue)

And let the discussions begin!

No, your favorite poem can't be a song. And squares and rectangles are both parollelograms.

Edgar Allen Poe - dch4
Mary Oliver - raenshadoe*
Kerouac - rasputinaxp
Arthur O'Shaughnessy - lucide13

*Gold Star



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
Asking a writer/former English Major to choose their favorite poet is a bad thing to do. I ran through my list of favorites and finally settled on this one.

At the end of the da, I still heavily identify with the Romantics and, as the years go by, much more with the American Romantics than the British Romantics. This poem I enjoy because of the fantastics elements as well as the simple fact the rhyme scheme and rhythm resonate with me.

Author: Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Jun. 20th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Honey, I'm a *snob* because I have my BA in English! I hated reading all that crap. So I'll only read the best now.

Which is why I'm asking for top-shelf. And as Poe goes, yup... that's the one.
Jun. 20th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Speaking on the poet I just quoted a few minutes ago further up in your journal...

I can't say I'm a poetry snob. I haven't read enough of it to consider myself literate in it. But what I look for in a poet is someone who _moves_ me. Mary Oliver doesn't have a precise rhythm or all that much rhyme, but the way her words flow and the, the turns of prhase, and the subject matter speaks to me.

I'm sure it doesn't speak to everyone. And that's okay. *smiles*

This is not my favorite of her works, but its maybe a better example of _why_ she's my favorite poet.

Five A.M. in the Pinewoods

I'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needle and knew
they eneded the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deepers woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them - I swear it! -

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
So this is how you flow outward,
So this is how you pray.
Jun. 20th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
See, I was hoping that the restrictions I put in place would prove that education isn't necessary to find the best...

And you just proved me right.
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Jun. 21st, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
url? img?
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Jun. 21st, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Got it! Stunning... that one is gonna take some thought....
Jun. 21st, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Victor Hernandez Cruz - The Problem With Hurricanes
My favorite poet is actually Whitman overall...but this poem is an enduring favorite. I'm also partial to the Song of Songs and the Rubiyat of Omar Kiyam (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). I first encountered this poem back in high school; the poet came to the school and read it himself. I've had it up on my wall and enjoyed it since...Something about it both amuses me and is really meaningful, I guess.

Problems with Hurricanes
by Victor Hernández Cruz

A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it's not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I'll tell you he said:
it's the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.

How would your family
feel if they had to tell
The generations that you
got killed by a flying

Death by drowning has honor
If the wind picked you up
and slammed you
Against a mountain boulder
This would not carry shame
to suffer a mango smashing
Your skull
or a plantain hitting your
Temple at 70 miles per hour
is the ultimate disgrace.

The campesino takes off his hat—
As a sign of respect
toward the fury of the wind
And says:
Don't worry about the noise
Don't worry about the water
Don't worry about the wind—
If you are going out
beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things.
Jun. 22nd, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

Wiki only has the first stanza so here is all of it.

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Jun. 22nd, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)
Re: Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy
So the why is four fold. First it is the most uplifting sad poem I have ever read. Second, it implies that we control our own destiny which is something I firmly believe in. Third, it places poets on a pedestal, deftly and with craft showing the world why the pen is mightier than the sword. Fourth, it is mentioned in 2 of my favorite movies.
Jun. 22nd, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy
Yay! I love that one, but never knew who it was by!!!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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