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Poetry Please

What is poetry? It is many things to many people. It can make you laugh, or cry, tug at your heartstrings or stiffen your resolve. There is no absolute definition, but we know poetry is more than just a group of meaningful words; it has the ability to arouse a deep, emotional response in the reader.

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The Months

Christina Rossetti was born on 5th Dec 1830, in London, the youngest of the four remarkable Rossetti children. Educated entirely at home, she spoke English and Italian with ease and read French, Latin, and German. Her first published poems were the seven she contributed in 1850 to the Pre-Raphaelite magazine, the Germ, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne. Rossetti was stricken by Graves’ disease in 1871 which ruined her beauty and brought her close to death. When she recovered, she turned almost exclusively to religious writing, publishing a number of devotional books: In 1891 she began to suffer from cancer and died, after a long and painful illness, on 29th Dec1894, in London. Continue reading

Macavity: The Mystery Cat

Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S Eliot. Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on September 26, 1888, in St. Louis, Missouri, the 7th child of Henry Ware Eliot, a brick manufacturer, and Charlotte (Stearns) Eliot, who was active in social reform and was herself a talented poet. Both parents were descended from families that had emigrated from England to Massachusetts in the 17th century. Carol Rundle wanted to share one of her favourite humorous poems which is - Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T. S Eliot. I am sure many cat lovers will smile at Macavity and even children will enjoy this poem. Continue reading

When the frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb

Known as “The Hoosier Poet” because of his birth in Indiana and poems celebrating the state, and as “The Children’s Poet” due to his appeal for young readers, James Whitcomb Riley was one of his day’s best-selling writers. Full of sentiment and traditional in form, his work features rustic subjects who speak in a homely, countrified dialect. When Riley died, Woodrow Wilson called him “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a thoughtful view of many things that other men would have missed,” and some 35,000 people filed past his casket in the Indiana State Capitol. Continue reading

The Love of October by W.S. Merwin

William Stanley Merwin (born September 30, 1927) is an American poet, credited with over fifty books of poetry, translation and prose. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin’s unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration. In the 1980s and 1990s, Merwin’s writing influence derived from his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in a rural part of Maui, Hawaii, he writes prolifically and is dedicated to the restoration of the islands’ rainforests. Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the Tanning Prize. Merwin is recognized as one of the principal contributors to poetry in the early 21st century. Continue reading

Rhapsody on a Windy Night

Thomas Stearns Eliot, was born on 26 September 1888 in the United States. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1914, aged 25, and became a British Subject in 1927. Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock in 1915 which was seen by many as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. He died on 4 January 1965. Continue reading

I see the Boys of Summer by Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer born in Swansea, Wales in 1914. He left school at 16 and became a journalist for a short time. Although many of his works appeared in print while he was still a teenager, it was the publication of “Light breaks where no sun shines”, in 1934, that caught the attention of the literary world. He became popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death in New York in 1953. In his later life he acquired a reputation, which he encouraged, as a “roistering, drunken and doomed poet”. Continue reading

On a forenoon of Spring

William Allingham, On a Forenoon of Spring - William Allingham was born in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland, and was the son of the manager of a local bank who was of English descent. In 1874 Allingham married Helen Paterson, who was a water-colour painter. Allingham produced many excellent lyrical and descriptive poetry, and the best of his pieces are thoroughly national in spirit and local colouring. His verse is clear, fresh, and graceful. He died at Hampstead in 1889, and his ashes are interred at St. Anne’s in his native Ballyshannon. Continue reading

May Day by Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale was an American lyric poet, born on 8th August 1884 and due to poor health she did not start school until the age of 14. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and married Ernst Filsinger in 1914. Her first poem was published in 1907 followed by her first collection of poems, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems. Her second collection, Helen of Troy and Other Poems, was published in 1911 and was well received by critics, who praised its lyrical mastery and romantic subject matter. Her third poetry collection, Rivers to the Sea, was published in 1915 and was a bestseller. In 1916 she moved to New York City and won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Love Songs. Sara died in 1933 due to an overdose of sleeping pills. MAY DAY Continue reading

Trout Fishing

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840 - 1922) was born in England into an old Sussex family. When he was 18 he entered the British diplomatic corps and he worked in Athens, Constantinople, Frankfort, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Argentina. After his retirement in 1872 and his marriage to Anne Isabella Noel (the only known descendant of Lord Byron), they travelled on horseback through the Mid-East and lived in Cairo. Blunt opposed British rule in Egypt and was in favour of Irish home rule for which he served a prison term. When he died in 1922 he was buried like a Muslim at the Newbuildings Estate, 16 miles away from Crabbet. Continue reading
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