How I found poetry again
35 or more years ago I discovered and fell in love with poetry. I was a young teenager and the television adaptation of Testament of Youth came on the box. I had not heard of the book before but I just fell in love with Vera Brittain’s story and began reading more about World War One and the incredibly moving and haunting poetry it begat.
I read Owen, Sassoon and others in a compilation but the first book I bought was Rupert Brooke’s collected works. I just adored his simple but very lyrical style.
I moved onto A.E. Housman’s, A Shropshire Lad and was blown away by his descriptive writing.
I tried out the Romantics like Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth but found them a bit too flowery for my taste.
I read and enjoyed poetry for a good many years but then life took over in other ways and I just lost interest but….
Since following Jen Campbell’s You Tube channel and especially her ‘Where to begin with reading poetry’ I have come full circle and am back in love with it all over again. This time though I’m not reading the classics but new poetry, some not published in actually book form yet but in magazines like The Rialto.
I’ve discovered that I love free form poetry and not the rhyming kind I used to read. I love the way that the poets are able to express themselves without having to spend ages finding words that rhyme. Its like flash fiction but more lyrical.
So i’ve begun buying some bits and here is my collection so far.
I have the most recent edition of The Rialto in the background with the striking orange, yellow and black cover.
The Best of British Poetry 2015
The Forward book of Poetry 2016
The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente
Ten War Poems edited by Andrew Motion
Why God is a Woman by Nin Andrews
What we Buried by Caitlyn Siehl
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
I will be reviewing them over the course of the next month or so and I cant wait to read them all.
I want to share some snippets that I absoloutely love from Sarah’s, Nin’s and Caitlyn’s poetry
This is an excerpt from ‘A Letter to Love’ by Caitlyn Siehl
The first poem I wrote that wasn’t about you
was in all capital letters,
like it was trying to compensate
for your absence
What an opening line!
This is from ‘The First Poem in the Imaginary Book’ by Sarak Kay
It it were me, when the book arrives,
I would immediately start scanning
pages to find any trace of me.
My name, references to my body,
my secrets, moments we shared.
I would pretend to be horrified if I
found evidence of myself, but really
I would pray to find even a single
And last but not least a line or two from Nin Andrew’s very clever book ‘Why God is a Woman’
On the Island where I come from
women rule. They run the country, control the wealth, and decide who
will do what, why, and when. At the end of the day, when the sun sinks
into the sea, the women leave their offices behind and go out on the
town to enjoy what is known as the women’s hour.
I want to know so much more about poetry and how its written like it is, and I reckon the only way to do that is to read, read, read. I have even begun writing my own poetry though its early days.
I hope you find some of these poems to your liking. Tell me your favourite poems or favourite poets even.