Favourite Poets Besides Keats

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Favourite Poets Besides Keats

Postby FenrisWolf » Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:05 am

Keats has always been one of my favourite poets, better than both Shelley and Byron in my mind, but I wanted to know what other poets the people on this board enjoyed reading. My two favourite poets have always been Keats and William Butler Yeats. I love Yeats for a few reasons. For one thing, it was his poetry that made me fall in love with poetry in general, and for another I'm related to him. He's my great great grandfather or something, and when I was researching my family history I found out about him, read some of his work and was hooked ever since.
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More Favourite poets

Postby Saturn » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:30 pm

:roll: Here's a short list (ha, ha) of some of the poets I have read and enjoyed from the ancient Greeks to twentieth century masters:

Homer, Hesiod, Sappho, Meleager, Theocritus, Lucretius, Vergil, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Catullus, Tibullus, Lucan, Statius, Juvenal, Martial, Dante, Petrarch, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Goethe, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats (naturally), John Clare (must be read - very underrated), Rilke, Wilde, Sassoon, Owen, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and last, but by no means least, Heaney.

Yeats is also a great poet, but I have terrible memories of being forced to read him in school - the surest way of killing any appreciation of his qualities.
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There is only one other poet I like

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:41 am

The only English poet that can even compete with Keats is Shakespeare. Yeats is horrible! Yeats is to poetry as Satan is to the Universe. I'd like to see Yeats write something with a decent irony.
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Postby jfk » Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:02 am

I have to say I think Heaney is a genius. I have only read a limited amount of his work and that is his early poems. Yeats I think was on a roller-coaster....some of his work is tinghed with wonder, some is simply a stain. Pope, John Clare (the peasant poet), Wordsworth, Francis Ledwidge, Aubrey De Vere and many of the war poets are all on my list of favourites.
A beacon in the starry sky, this man so dazzling
did not fly from here in a chariot of gold,
but left our world on a melancholic wing
and fled the sorrow that makes men old.
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Clare was not a peasant poet

Postby Saturn » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:25 pm

You do John Clare a disservice to call him the 'peasant' poet.

It's true that he worked on the land and spent some of his life tilling the field, but he spent the majority of his later years confined in a mental home.
I know this is a common description of him, and you clearly mean not to put him down, but once you read the great variety of work he wrote - this label will be dismissed. He wrote some of the most touching and moving love poems of the age and no-one, not even Keats was a keener observer of nature - he seemed to be able to describe all nature with a painter's eye.

Here's a poem I wrote in tribute to him:

On John Clare
True poet of nature take a bow;
Bucolic Basileus, pastoral Prince.
Theocritus and Vergil stand aside,
Make way for the legitimate heir;
One who has transcribed the songs
And voices with quiet, careful ear.
What lofty observatory was it
From which you viewed entire
The whole of Nature’s works?

His works annotate nature in full,
Uncovering all the secret works.
All creatures have given interview
And revealed the tricks of their trade.

Dryads have whispered softly to him
Stories before they dare not tell,
Secure, in his genuine friendship.
The whole species of birds have made
Overtures, granting aerial audience,
In confidence chirping the constitution
And all laws which regulate the sky.

Others bound by education and form
Have sought to regularize, and tame
Wild Nature’s chosen eccentricities;
He, self-schooled in art as life,
Bound by the hard plough and field
Learned in a real grove of Academe,
A peripatetic tutorage, stoic lectures
In the shadow of nature’s campus.
A masters degree in art and life
Would, unrecognized, count little
In the real test of cruel existence.

T’ him every bark a hallowed papyri
Disclosed the store of Nature’s law;
A Digest of eternal codes, bound
By the green hillside and gentle mere.
This attentive straight - A student
Drank to the rim of flowing truth
And intoxicated by knowledge’s fruit,
Overconsumed by mind’s abstraction,
Never yet let bitterness to creep
In his delicate, and wreathèd mind.
Even in his hour of utter darkness,
When friends and all were torn away;
Nature poured it’s healing balm
Even in his cold, cloistered cell.

Like Jove to Danäe in gold attired,
She seemed to soothe his troubled soul:
Shining refulgent in her bright array,
Lighting where Hope had cowered
To sweetly court her return once more.
___________________

P.S. Heaney is a true modern genius - check out his collected poems for a real modern poet.
Last edited by Saturn on Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How silly of me!

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:56 am

How can I forget one of my favorite poets: ROBERT BURNS! He's one of the best poets in the Universe!

Scots Wha Hae!

Scots What Hae wi' wallace bled,
Scots wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
or to victory!
I'm surprised no one in this forum has brought up Burns, we should put a paper bag over our heads due to the shame that overwelms us.
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Postby vango » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:42 am

keats is my favorite, of course
i like melanchony presented in his poems.
and i also like Eliot. although people always focus on his "the waste land", i prefer "the love song of J.Alfred Prufrock"
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I just don't get Burns

Postby Saturn » Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:08 pm

:? Try as I might, I simply am unable to understand the fuss made over Burns.

I know he is the national bard of Scotland and all that, and I know how well regarded he was by Keats and others, but his work, with it's impenetrable local dialect is just well, impenetrable.
I know he wrote also in 'English' dialect and some of those are quite good, but overall I am at a loss to discern why he has earned such a great reputation down the centuries.

However I am willing to be proved wrong, and would welcome any suggestions for reading editions of Burns/specific poems that might change my mind on this, but I don't anticipate changing my view.

Remember, we should not always follow Keats tastes in all we read - he may have been mistaken at times - has any actually read any of Hunt's verses, or Chatterton, or Rowley?
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Be Proven Wrong

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:41 am

The problem is you have to learn how to hypothesize things that are not always going to be handed to you in a simple formula! Too often our mathematics is taught from the standpoint of memorizing self-evident axioms, postulates and definitions. When in fact mathematics should be taught from the standpoint of physical action in the universe. For example, a point should be taught as the intersection between two lines that are generated with a straight edge and compass or with folding a circle.

To understand Burns one must take a certain action to generate Burns' point. That action doesn't consist in the memorization of what some professor says about Burns as a self evident axiom but it is a process of discovery and hypothesis.

To help you understand Burns I would start with A Man's A Man, Scots Wha Hae, and Auld Lang Syne. These are profound poems that are rich with ideas.

We twa hae (two have) run about the braes (valley),
And pou'd the gowans(flowers) fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit(our feet have done a lot of travelling),
Sin' auld lang syne (since the days of long ago).

I'm by no means giving a literal translation of this part of Auld Lang Syne but I do want to demonstrate a few things. What Burns is building is an irony. What is important is what is not written. What he is basically saying with But we've wander'd mony a weary foot, sin' auld lang syne: is that it's been so long since we walked together on the hillside! However it's done with powerful poetic ability. And irony and ideas being conveyed without saying them is the skill of a true poet!
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Heard Melodies

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:44 am

Heard Melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter!
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I do UNDERSTAND Burns

Postby Saturn » Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:53 am

Boy, I thought my answers were sometimes pretentious. I think you really take the biscuit for mystifying replies. No offence, but have you been reading Plato or something?

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't understand Burns' dialect (in fact it is very close to my own Northern Irish one and he is almost as revered here as in his native land), but I just can't see why he is ranked so high in the literary cannon.
A great ballader and song writer I grant you, but not in the same league as profound intellects like Shelley, Shakespeare, Milton etc.

However, just to show my appreciation of his talent, I'll give my favourite pieces of Burns, where I think he rises above the common to the sublime:

I
Oppressed with grief, oppressed with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I set me down and sigh;
Oh life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road
To wretches such as I!
Dim-backward as I cast my view,
What sickening scenes appear –
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom;
My woes here shall close ne’er
But with the closing tomb!

II
Happy ye sons of busy life
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard
(Even when the wished end’s denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward);
Whilst, I, a hope-abandoned wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You, bustling and justling,
Forget each grief and pain;
I, listless yet restless,
Find every prospect vain!
Despondency, An Ode, 1-28.

and:

“But pleasures are like poppies spread –
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed –
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white, then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
Nae man can tether time or tide…”
Tam O’ Shanter, 59-67.
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Poets

Postby DreamingofKeats » Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:51 pm

My favourtie poets are these:

John Keats
Antonio Machado
Friedrich Hölderlin
Alexandr Pushkin
Christina Rosetti
Sylvia Plath
González Torices (don't remember his name)
James Clarence Mangan
W.B. Yeats
Rubén Darío
Rainer Maria Rilke
Alfonsina Storni
Joan Margarit
Giacommo Leopardi
Safo
Seamus Heany (?)
"In a drear-nighted December..."
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Postby Saturn » Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:25 am

Good list - why no Shakespeare???

You can't like poetry and not at least appreciate old Shaky in my opinion.
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Poets

Postby DreamingofKeats » Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:54 pm

I think I have read sth by Shakespeare, but I don't like him one bit. I don't doubt him to be a great poet, but I prefer Romanticism.
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Postby David » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:32 pm

Dear DreamingofKeats,

Don't forget that the pillars of english romantic poetry have been erected by Shakespeare!
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