Thursday, December 2, 2010

Literary Blog Hop: Pure Poetry!

Literary Blog Hop

The Blue Bookcase has started a "Literary Blog Hop" for blogs "that primarily feature reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion."

Each week, in addition to hopping around and visiting some terrific book blogs, participants answer a bookish question.  This week's question comes from Gary at Parrish Lantern:

What is your favorite poem and why?

Lucia answers this question very well for the Blue Bookcase team, managing to tie in Alexander Pope, Roald Dahl, and metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell, before settling on one of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Ah, well . . .

I can't really rise to that level, poetry troglodyte that I am. I did fancy John Dunne in my college days, but it didn't stick.  If my charming and omni-talented friend Kirsten Rian didn't email me a poem every Monday, I wouldn't recognize one if it jumped up and kissed me on the face.

I did read an epic poem this year. I read Seamus Heany's translation of Beowulf, but that was only because it was disguised as a story.  And even then, I would not have read it if it hadn't won a prize.

However, like Lucia, I'll pick a Shakespeare sonnet as my "favorite" because it is the only poem I ever managed to memorize.  It comes in handy at weddings. In fact, if you knew me in the late '80s or early '90s, check your wedding video, because after a few glasses of champagne, I was often likely to recite it for the bride and groom:

Shakespeare's 116th Sonnet

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

23 Days to Christmas

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