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.
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
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
Winter is cold-hearted
Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weather-cock
Blown every way:
Summer days for me
When every leaf is on its tree;
When Robin’s not a beggar,
And Jenny Wren’s a bride,
And larks hang singing,… Continue reading
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
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.
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
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.
Written in March by William Wordsworth, While resting on the Bridge at the foot of Brother’s Water. William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) was an English poet who helped launch the Romantic Age in English Literature. Wordsworth made his debut as a writer in 1787 when he published a sonnet in The European Magazine. That same year he began attending St John’s College, Cambridge and received his B.A. degree in 1791. In 1795 Wordsworth met fellow poet Samuel Coleridge with whom he would produce the work Lyrical Ballads with in 1798, an important work in the English Romantic Movement. Continue reading
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885) Victor Hugo was a renowned poet, novelist & playwright of the Romantic Movement in 19th century France. He is considered by many as one of the greatest and best-known French authors of all times. He was also a political statesman and human rights activist, although he is primarily remembered for his literary creations like poetry and novels. His most popular novels are ‘Les Misérables’ & ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ (‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’). He was the foremost supporter of the Romantic Movement in France and campaigned for social causes like the abolition of capital punishment.
Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 and his birthday is celebrated throughout the world as Burns Night, with Burns Suppers, poems, songs and anecdotes about Scotland’s National Bard.