I'm excited to again be a part of my favorite blog hop, hosted by The Blue Bookcase. The prompt this week is: "What is your favorite poem and why?"
It was only a matter of time before I had to talk about poetry on my blog. I have been avoiding it because the truth is that in general, I do not particularly care for it. I can feel myself tensing from the potential dissent you may be experiencing, but before you write me off altogether, I want you to know that there are some poems I do really enjoy. I have tried to avoid equating "Classic Literature" with novels because I do think some poems deserve to join its ranks. However, I do not really like sonnets, Jacobean poetry, Wordsworth, Whitman, Yeats, Dickinson... oh dear. I realize that these authors are probably quite gifted and well loved by many, but they just lack the indefinable quality that grabs me in literature. Anna Akhmatova is wonderfully Russian, and yet even she cannot bring me into a love for her poems. And I loved Shel Silverstein, of course, but he doesn't qualify as "literary" for me. I'm tempted to defer to epic poems I love like The Odyssey, The Inferno, and Paradise Lost. And while they certainly count as poetry, that's not what I'll highlight for this blog hop. Now after my lengthy introduction, I will tell you that my answer is.... SEAMUS HEANEY.
Ok, he's a poet rather than a poem, but any of his poems could be my favorite. You can check out some of them on this link. He is a master with language. The wording he uses is brilliant, full of onomatopoeia (words whose meaning match their sound) and alliteration. Sometimes a word dangles on the end of the line, like "crusting" or "striking" or "cooling" that pushes you to keep going. His poems are like paintings somehow, with delicate strokes and harsh strikes. The words he uses are also so creative. "Death of a Naturalist" is one of my favorites and incorporates words like "gargled" and "clotted" and "slap and plop." I can hear the noises of his scenes within the words themselves, and I can easily picture everything. You've got to read his poems out loud. And I think he also touches on deep and meaningful ideas embedded in the poetry. Something that may appear simple actually has a message within it through the word choice. Oh man, he's fantastic.