Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My forty books. Part 2: poetry

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Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

John Donne.

Job done.

I don't read a lot of poetry - I prefer drama and prose - but I have loved John Donne since since studying the Metaphysical Poets at 6th form. I did think of a collection of the metaphysicals, but John Donne is the only one I really need (although I am now thinking I would miss Andrew Marvell and "To his Coy Mistress"). My John Donne would need to be the beautiful Everyman copy that my husband bought me as a present.

I quite like e.e.cummings, but John Donne writes the sexiest poetry. Years ago, the BBC did a poll on the nation's favourite love poem. I thought about "To his Coy Mistress," but thought it was a bit too predictable. I considered e.e. cummings "May I feel said he," which is funny and sexy but ultimately, I decided, too cynical. In the end I voted for Donne's "Elegie: To his Mistress Going to Bed.' I was also pretty impressed when this poem made the cut and was on the CD compiled by the BBC. It was also read by one of my favourite actors, Paul Rhys. Bonus.

I can't think of another poet who could write a sexy poem about being bitten by a flea. In "To his Mistress Going to Bed" he also manages to get away with using 2 words that no woman wants to be reminded of while being seduced (labour and midwife).

So I now have 5 - maybe 6, depending on the final cut - plays and 1 volume of poetry. But, as someone who reads mostly fiction, my next choices are going to be the hardest....

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