Monday 11 April 2016

Poetry Month Celebration

I've just spotted this wonderful month long poetry appreciation group over at The Edge of the Precipice with Hamlette.

My relationship status with poetry is complicated but hopeful. It is also a very neglected relationship.

This seems like the perfect chance to do something about that!

Hamlette has provided some questions to get us thinking about our relationship with poetry. So let's see what issues come to the surface.

What are some poems you like? 

Straight away I'm a little stumped.
I like bits of poems. 
You know, those random snatches of poetry made famous in a movie or a book.
Like Auden's Funeral Blues in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Or The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes thanks to Anne Shirley's exciting recitation in the 1985 movie.
A Robert Frost poem was used to help solve a murder in the cult TV series Roswell - the words /And miles to go before I sleep/ will stay with forever.
And I will always love Shakespeare's, Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More because of the Branagh/Thompson version of Much Ado About Nothing.

I love the first line of Keats' Ode to Autumn, which I've been thinking about today thanks to our weekend drive through the Blue Mountains

/Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness/

As a true-blue Aussie I will always love sections of Banjo Patterson's The Man from Snowy River, the final stanza of Five Bells by Kenneth Slessor and Dorothea Mackellar's My Country
(the above links will take you to my previous reviews of these poems.)

What are some poems you dislike?

I'm not so fond of the epic poems.

Are there any poets whose work you especially enjoy?  If so, who are they? 

Thanks to studying their works for school, I have learnt to love Andrew Marvell, John Donne and Judith Wright. Dorothy PorterRobert Frost and T. S. Eliot I discovered on my own!

Do you write poetry? 

In my younger days, yes, yes, yes.
It was angst-filled, heart-breaking and rather pathetic.
But it made me feel better at the time and now provides me with a curious record of my break-up history!

Have you ever memorized a poem? 

My Pop was famous in our family for his ability to recite the poems he learnt at school up until the day he died. In his honour I have tried to remember and recite some of my favourites over the years.
When I was a child, I learnt The House That Jack Built off by heart (my Pop could recite the harder version - The Domiciliary Edifice Erected by John.)

I used to be able to quote Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More, but only the hey nonny nonny's have stuck with me.

For fun, and to prompt my memory, here's the whole of it...

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
    Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more
    Of dumps so dull and heavy.
The fraud of men was ever so
    Since summer first was leafy.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey, nonny, nonny.

Do you prefer poetry that rhymes and had a strict meter, or free verse?  Or do you like both? 

I'm open and eclectic.
My main criteria for liking poetry is that it moves me somehow.
It could be because of the association.
It might be thanks to my mood or the power of a good teacher.
I also love poems for their beauty and for their ability to be "elegant distillers of language" (I heard that phrase in a conference years and years ago, but failed to write down who said it).

I'm also a fan of the verse novel.

Do you have any particular poetry movements you're fond of?  (Beat poets, Romanticism, Fireside poets, etc?)

I do have a thing for the metaphysical poets and I love the simple beauty of haiku.

It's not too late to join in Poetry Month and share the love. 


  1. I'm with you on the snippets! Really enjoyed your thoughts on poetry here, Brona.

  2. I used to sing "Sigh No More" to my babies as a lullaby! I love Patrick Doyle's setting for it.

    I have the first several stanzas of "The Man from Snowy River" memorized (the movie version is my favorite movie of all time), and I want to memorize the rest because it's so delightful. "There was movement at the station, for the word had got around that the colt from Old Regret had got away and had joined the wild bush horses -- it was worth a thousand pound -- so all the cracks had mustered to the fray." Oh, I adore it!)

    Robert Frost is my favorite poet <3

    Thanks so much for joining it! I really enjoyed your post :-)

    1. I imagine babies would love the 'hey nonny nonny's' too :-)

      And I'm delighted that an Aussie poet (& movie) are loved all round the world (it was one of my favourite movies for a long time too).

    2. I have a whole book of Patterson's poetry, which I dip into from time to time. I also bought this great mp3 a while back, of Jack Thompson (Clancy in the movie) reading "The Man from Snowy River." Now that is a pure delight <3

  3. This is a really fun meme and I enjoyed reading your answers. I'd be honored if you would take a look at mine, too.
    My Poetry Answers


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.