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  #16  
Old 09-20-2021, 11:04 PM
carmona_nostra carmona_nostra is offline
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Check out Charles Bukowski.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bukowski

Pure class.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2021, 11:09 PM
carmona_nostra carmona_nostra is offline
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As The Poems Go

as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you've created very
little.
it comes down to the rain, the sunlight,
the traffic, the nights and the days of the
years, the faces.
leaving this will be easier than living
it, typing one more line now as
a man plays a piano through the radio,
the best writers have said very
little
and the worst,
far too much.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2021, 12:49 AM
Don Lampson Don Lampson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadcutter View Post
Im into my 70s now and I dont think Ive read any poetry that I have really understood and enjoyed. Im not a big poetry fan mind you, but I do feel that poetry has something to offer even to guys like me who being into my 7th decade on the planet would like to read some poetry by someone that the average Joe can understand. Every time I read poetry I always end up scratching my head and thinking to myself what the heck is he talking about or trying to say? I picked up a book of poetry by Oscar Wilde at a yard sale a while back and man I have no idea what in the world hes trying to say so I gave up on it. I was just wondering if their any poetry fans here on the forum and if you could recommend something that the average person without a degree in literature could read and enjoy. Thanks amigos.

My Rx would be Robert W. Service. He's most famous for his poems about the Klondike Gold Rush, but all his stuff is great. He had a wonderful sense of humor... Google: "The Cremation of Sam McGee", or "The Men Who Don't Fit In", and see what you think?

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  #19  
Old 09-21-2021, 07:26 AM
fumei fumei is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Paul View Post
We have a program at our local radio station where folks come in and we record them reading poetry. Often it is original work but there are readings of established works as well. This is how I learned about Billy Collins. I would recommend his work as exactly what you are looking for. He was Poet Laureate for the United States from 2001 - 2003.

Here is a page with a few samples of his work.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/billy-collins
Well, I did check him out. It made me fall in love with my computer monitor. Thanks. I really like him.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2021, 07:42 AM
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Jim Owen Jim Owen is offline
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Originally Posted by Wadcutter View Post
I’m into my 70’s now and I don’t think I’ve read any poetry that I have really understood and enjoyed. I’m not a big poetry fan mind you, but I do feel that poetry has something to offer even to guys like me who being into my 7th decade on the planet would like to read some poetry by someone that the average Joe can understand. Every time I read poetry I always end up scratching my head and thinking to myself “what the heck is he talking about or trying to say?” I picked up a book of poetry by Oscar Wilde at a yard sale a while back and man I have no idea what in the world he’s trying to say so I gave up on it. I was just wondering if their any poetry fans here on the forum and if you could recommend something that the average person without a degree in literature could read and enjoy. Thanks amigos.
I think you may have picked up a rough first go, Wadcutter. Wilde’s poem about his experience at Reading Gaol ain’t for the faint of heart.

I have read a lot of Frost, Robinson, and Dickinson. I think that Billy Collins is quite accessible.
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  #21  
Old 09-21-2021, 08:43 AM
Borderdon Borderdon is offline
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Leonard Cohen is (was) a modern day musician/poet well worth a read.
His book “The Flame” is a wonderful collection of some of his contemporary work.
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  #22  
Old 09-21-2021, 09:58 AM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Owen View Post
I think you may have picked up a rough first go, Wadcutter. Wildes poem about his experience at Reading Gaol aint for the faint of heart.

I have read a lot of Frost, Robinson, and Dickinson. I think that Billy Collins is quite accessible.
Yeah I guess I may have started out on the wrong foot. 😂
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2021, 10:11 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadcutter View Post
I’m into my 70’s now and I don’t think I’ve read any poetry that I have really understood and enjoyed. I’m not a big poetry fan mind you, but I do feel that poetry has something to offer even to guys like me who being into my 7th decade on the planet would like to read some poetry by someone that the average Joe can understand. Every time I read poetry I always end up scratching my head and thinking to myself “what the heck is he talking about or trying to say?” I picked up a book of poetry by Oscar Wilde at a yard sale a while back and man I have no idea what in the world he’s trying to say so I gave up on it. I was just wondering if their any poetry fans here on the forum and if you could recommend something that the average person without a degree in literature could read and enjoy. Thanks amigos.
I've been working on a project for over 5 years which currently has over 700 posts and nearly 600 audio pieces mostly combining other people's poetry with original music. This is all at at www.frankhudson.org

Poetry is just musical speech -- that said it's a broad field. That first part, musical, can bring pleasure and it can also bring abstraction. Music is very abstract, yet it doesn't necessarily bother us that it is so.

I know the feeling of which you speak, the "what the heck is he talking about or trying to say?" thing. Yet, some poets do seek to make an immediate description, story or point. Some do that but then have another layer intended just below that first one. Some intentionally or not aim for that "What is that?" response from the get go. Also since poetry has been written in some form of English for over 500 years you have antiquated language and usage to deal with sometimes as well. A whole lot of times I'll read a poem (and I read a lot of them for my project) and I'll say just what you say above. If there's some beautiful word-music or a phrase that catches me and grabs me I may then continue and not only ask that question but try to answer it. That attempt at understanding someone or their poem slowly can be pleasurable. The musical part of musical speech may lure you in. There's no test, no score, on that understanding.

Part of why I do my Parlando Project with music is that a lot of song lyrics, including popular songs, are not understandable in a quick read, I got it! way. We allow that because the musical part of musical speech is even more overt in songs with lyrics.

My project generally must use work from before 1925 (poets or their rights holders are either wary or uninterested in their work being performed with music, and pre-1925 work is in the public domain.) I've got multiple examples of most of the pre-1925 poets suggested upthread performed, sometimes with acoustic guitar.

Poets who I like from that era who usually have some kind of accessibility on first read (and quite often if you let them sink in and brew, more layers underneath):

William Butler Yeats. Beautiful word music! There are pieces where he's being puzzling or referring to esoteric symbols (Yeats was more into the occult than Jimmy Page) but most readers get pleasure on their first reads or listens.

Carl Sandburg. Sandburg has longer poems in a Walt Whitman of the early 20th Century mode, but I also like the short Imagist poems that sometimes ask you to consider something after you've read a poem of less than 10 lines. For example, did you every ask yourself, what kind of cat is the fog like in his famous cat's feet poem? I'd suggest short poems if you want to test if "understanding slowly" may be something you want to try.

I strongly suspect Woody Guthrie wouldn't have been Woody Guthrie without Sandburg. And Bob Dylan sought him out at the very time his songwriting was exploding.


Robert Frost. A great example of a poet many think they get on first reading but often has something sly to say on further reflection. I certainly thought "Oh, I get it!" right off as a teenager with Frost -- and I thought him trite and full of simple homilies in my youthful foolishness because of that.

Edward Thomas. Less known in America than in the UK. Trivia is that he's the guy Frost's "The Road Not Taken" was written about. A knowledgeable nature poet who draws lessons from nature.

Someone mentioned Emily Dickinson above. Like Frost the poem you think you enjoy quickly often rewards second thoughts or questions.

Sara Teasdale. Once had a considerable readership early in the 20th century, and then fell out of fashion. Complicated short love poems. Edna St. Vincent Millay is another from that era. One of my most popular posts this summer compared Millay to Joni Mitchell.

Langston Hughes. Takes Whitman and Sandburg forward from an Afro-American's viewpoint then prefigures Gill Scott-Heron. Has profound points but generally wants to be clear about his message.

Claude McKay. Like Hughes thought of as a "Harlem Renaissance" poet, but was originally from Jamaica. His love poems are generally sad, but it's a lovely sadness.

There's a search box on my frankhudson.org blog site to let you easily find my presentations of the above poets.

One last thing to suggest (besides -- shameless plug -- listening to my performances of these poets with music) is to that when you open a poetry book, to read the poems you think you might like aloud. Poetry can't be effective silently.
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Last edited by FrankHudson; 09-21-2021 at 10:54 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-21-2021, 10:25 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I studied Advanced level English literature, and read mostly the 20th War poets, Owen, Sasson, Brooke, Graves etc, but whilst some are remarkable, few are entertaining.

Another book of the '60s which I loved was *The Mersey Sound" McGough, Henri, Pattern -still wonderful, delightful and funny.
Ivor Cutler - weird, and hilarious (must be read in a Scots Accent!) Much on CVD and download.

Another Brit - Henry Normal (light but perceptive).

Dylan Thomas of course, (essential reading)
Leonard Cohen.

mmm, and I wouldn't call myself a poetry fan.
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  #25  
Old 09-21-2021, 01:46 PM
godfreydaniel godfreydaniel is offline
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Originally Posted by GCWaters View Post
Try the compilations that Garrison Keiler put together
Heres a website that was started by Keillor. Lots of great poems and other interesting info (use the archive to access posts from other years):

https://www.writersalmanac.org/index.html%3Fp=4988.html
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  #26  
Old 09-21-2021, 02:47 PM
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Two of my favorites traditional poets are Langston Hughes and Gary Snyder.

I've always really been drawn to song lyrics as a form of poetry too, so many examples there as well. Jason Isbell has done some great lyrical work in the last few years (Speed Trap Town, Yvette) but there are many, many more. As a high school English class project I dissected Pink Floyd's Animals album from a lyrical perspective.
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  #27  
Old 09-22-2021, 03:02 PM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
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Thanks again amigos for all the great recommendations and suggestions, I really appreciate it.
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2021, 09:06 PM
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Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you are in your 70s, then you are in your 8th decade.

For quite some time, my favorite poet has been Gary Snyder (see my sig)... easily accessible (though there's depth if you take the time), he writes in some places about the importance of plain talk.

Though, if you're looking for lyric, rhyming poetry, it's probably not the thing.
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  #29  
Old 09-22-2021, 10:22 PM
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Frost, of course.

e.e. cummings. Whitman. Bukowski. Sandburg. William Blake. Ginsberg. William Carlos Williams. Gary Snyder. Thich Nhat Han. William Butler Yeats.

Oh, and Rumi, for sure.

Here's a great book. In addition to Rumi, a poet named Kabir was a fantastic mystic poet from the same era. Robert Bly translated them into very easy English.

https://www.amazon.com/Kabir-Ecstati.../dp/0807063800
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  #30  
Old 09-23-2021, 04:00 PM
dirkronk dirkronk is offline
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e.e. cummings [/url]
Good choice...BTW, I often use the lowercase version of his name too, though scholars point out that he actually used the standard upper/lowercase for his own name most of the time, saving the all lowercase type for his poetry.


cummings was a fave of mine in high school and college, along with traditional Japanese Haiku (which I found closely aligned).

I did hear James Dickey recite his poetry in person back in college. Enjoyed it but never became a big fan.

What took me a long time to come around to were the sonnets of Shakespeare. If you can look past the tendency to "read the rhymes" and see the conversational breaks in the composition (use the same trick in his plays...it works!), he's a lot easier to understand and enjoy than you may think. Also, take him in small doses at first. But give him a shot. Plenty of riches there if you look for 'em.

Cheers,

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