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Topic: 2011 Poetry Selection

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Subject: 2011 Poetry Selection
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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For my Poetry selection I chose "Howl and other Poems" by Allen Ginsberg with a forward by William Carlos Williams.  Besides "Howl" the collection also had the following poems:

  • Footnote to Howl
  • A Supermarket in California
  • Transcription of Organ Music
  • Sunflower Sutra
  • America
  • In the Baggage Room at Greyhound
  • An Asphodel
  • Song
  • Wild Orphan
  • In the Back Real

I never read Ginsberg work before and heard only a small portion of "Howl" on NPR. After hearing that he was the brain of the "Beat" Generation I thought I would give him a go. His work was considered highly controversial and I can see why. Overall, I was not a huge fan of his work. I felt that most of what he went through was self inflicted. A half century has passed since he wrote the piece and the world obviously has changed. The world he is talking about I just don't see. Parts just seemed superficial to me. His concepts and anger are real but I just don't relate. Maybe it is a generational thing. Well I am glad that I at least read it.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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But I really enjoyed "A Supermarket in California" for some odd reason. It just struck me as funny.  Seeing Walt Whitman, lonely old grubber, poking meats and eyeing grocery boys

But I didn't read it properly. i didn't know that Whitman and Lorca as well as Ginsberg were homosexual and that the poem addresses it.  

And it's always disappointing that a poem isn't as playful and fun as you thought. Rather it's deep and boring.

 

 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Well said Tome!

 

Where is Shel Silverstein when you need him?

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Where is Shel Silverstein when you need him

 

You know, that's really strange that you ask that. I am not making this up: I was thinking the same thing earlier today. I miss The Shel.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Thanks for the review Michael. I do not read much poetry. I decided to try Pushkin for my selection.

My son and I like Shel too and Jack Prelutsky. And Billy Collins who I was also introduced to via NPR.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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And Billy Collins who I was also introduced to via NP

 

His is the only non-children's poetry book I've ever purchased and enjoyed almost every single poem.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Tome/Sheila: I have heard of Billy Collins but never read any of his works. This will change. I am not a poetry person per se and did not like the idea of even having it in the challenge. I am glad that I did at least read something because I am much more open to the idea of reading more poetry in the future.

 

As far as Shel goes he was the best. I bought some of his books this year as Christmas gifts for my nephews. The eldest nephew who is five had about opened it as one of his first gifts. He gave me a hug and thanked me and went straight to his mom and said " Can you read to me?" and she read a short poem before we opened the rest of the gifts. That meant so much to me.  

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2010
Posts: 3,673
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I love Shel Silverstein.  I can't wait until my daughter is old enough for his books.  wink

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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Mary Oliver probably doesn't count as classic yet, does she? I just picked up a book of hers at my local used bookstore and need an excuse to dig in!

Date Posted: 2/1/2011 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 9,499
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Mary Oliver is very good.  I'm reading Rumi Essentials since I love his poetry, or I should say the one's I've read.  This gives me a jumpstart on reading the rest.  However, I do have Anna Akmatova on my WL and if by some miracle happens and I get one of them, I will read her hands down.

Date Posted: 2/1/2011 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I love Rumi! I picked up a copy of The Big Red Book a few months ago, and have been reading it slowly.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,952
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Last Edited on: 1/3/13 9:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 2