In other news, a lovely blog called The Edge of the Precipice is hosting a celebration for National Poetry Month, which happens to be April. This poetry tag is part of that party, and because I love poetry, I'm going to spend some time filling it out.
What are some poems you like?
As regular readers of this blog know, I love poems of almost every description. I particularly love a good epic poem: Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, Beowulf, and The Song of Roland are among my favourite epics.
If you want just one excellent non-epic recommendation, I recently made the acquaintance of Milton's Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity and it was unbelievably good.
What are some poems you dislike?
I don't like Wordsworth's daffodil poem and poems of that sort generally (so, I'm not a huge fan of the Romantics. I know!). I find TS Eliot's and other people's free verse very difficult to like. And if I'm never asked to read another piece of inspirational doggerel in public it'll be too soon.
Are there any poets whose work you especially enjoy? If so, who are they?
My favourite poets are undeniably GK Chesterton, James McAuley, and Christina Rossetti. I also enjoy Tolkien's poetry, CS Lewis's poetry, and Dorothy Sayers's poetry.
Do you write poetry?
I've been known to! (See some of my older efforts here and here). Normally I don't, unless inspiration strikes. The last bit of poetry I wrote was a stanza for Pendragon's Heir (at the end of chapter 6), where inspiration was very much lacking. I used GK Chesterton's The Crusader Returns from Captivity as a template for the scheme of rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration; and beat the thing till it sort-of fit.
Have you ever memorized a poem?
Yes--GK Chesterton's The Last Hero was definitely one, though there have been others. Most recently, James McAuley's almost haiku-like Late Winter is one I delight to remember.
Do you prefer poetry that rhymes and had a strict meter, or free verse? Or do you like both?
Generally I much prefer rhyming or blank verse to free verse, especially as the latter tends to be either bad or comprehensible only after great effort. But I did once stumble across a couple of poems by a woman named Vera Pavlova, which I loved:
I am in love, hence free to liveDo you have any particular poetry movements you're fond of? (Beat poets, Romanticism, Fireside poets, etc?)
by heart, to improvise caresses.
A soul is light when full,
heavy when vacuous.
My soul is light. She is not afraid
to dance the agony alone,
for I was born wearing your shirt,
will come from the dead with that shirt on.
I've usually enjoyed the Metaphysical Poets (John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell), and it's a safe bet that if any of the Inklings or their associates or forefathers wrote poetry, I love it.
What about you? Who are your favourite poets? Who've I missed?