So You Want To Read… (Poetry)

Posted 1 April, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! šŸ™‚

Happy April! I decided to do this post earlier than usual because it is National Poetry Month and thus for this month’s So You Want to Read… I will be featuring poets. I do read poetry on occasion, but I’m not a big reader of it or anything. It is an art I’d like to read more of, hence my goal at the start of 2015 to read more poetry collections, but I understand that it’s not for everyone: it is something to savour more. Nonetheless, I thought to spotlight on a few poets for those who may be interested in checking out some poetry this month, especially for starters who want some more accessible poems šŸ˜‰

  • Federico Garcia Lorca — Hands down my favourite poet ever. I forgot how I first encountered his works–it was from coming across one of his ghazal poems, but I don’t remember where I encountered it on the internet–but I was immediately intrigued. It was haunting, but the imagery his poems evokes were fascinating. Reading his poems, I love how simple and short they are, but filled with imagery and emotion, with longing and despair and love. I have his poems in the bilingual edition (with original Spanish on one side; Collected Poems (review) for example), which is cool and adds to the experience.
  • William Shakespeare — His sonnets, of course šŸ˜› I finally got around to reading the whole batch last year (review) and was amazed at how diversified they were. We studied a few when I was in high school, but it was interesting to read his poems as a whole. I think they’re a great place to start, especially as some of his love poetry are very famous.
  • T.S. Eliot — For a more modern flavour, I can finally see why some have said that T.S. Eliot embodies the confusion of the early 20th century. Indeed his poems do evoke that sense of aimlessness that came about around the period of the world wars, and touches on the feelings of uncertainty and doubt. The Waste Land and Other Poems (review) is a great collection worth checking out.
  • Emily Dickinson — I only finally gotten around to reading her collected works recently (review to be posted later this month) but I’ve often encountered her poems here and there and in miscellaneous collected poetry volumes. The themes she touches on are varied–on love, on life, on the passage of time, of nature–and the different styles she’s embodied are pretty interesting. Not to mention her poems are pretty short so it’s easy to pick up a poem or two here and there šŸ™‚
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning — Another poet whose collected works I only got around to recently (again, review to be posted later this month). Her style is different from Emily Dickinson’s but the passion and focus of her poems in Sonnets from the Portuguese are wonderful, with a few well known ones you’ve likely encountered elsewhere šŸ˜‰

I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading some poetry! What do you guys think? Do you read poetry often? Who are your favourites? Whose works would you recommend?

Edit: For emerging poets, check out Versopolis, supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme. The platform aims to spotlight and provide exposure for new European poets.

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6 Responses to “So You Want To Read… (Poetry)”

  1. I love poetry, and always look forward to other readers’ recommendations. I read some from T.S. Eliot and like the style, so I’d have to try the book. I recommend Pablo Neruda!

    • Oooh, Neruda! I’ve read a poem of his here and there but I haven’t read his collected works yet. Should do that at some point šŸ™‚

    • He is! I’m going through a bit of a Shakespeare kick at the moment, just blazing through his plays, and it’s amazing how much humour is in his work even when the plot is pretty serious xD

  2. Ula

    I don’t read poetry, it’s too confusing sometimes, especially the modern poetry. I think I wanna start it, to try it, so I may just read some classics, I feel like I could handle those better. We read some national classics at school and those were pretty good. šŸ™‚
    While on the subject, I am a part of the project if you wanna check it out, it’s on emerging poetry, and I think it’ll help me get into poetry more. šŸ™‚

    • In that case I hope this list helps! šŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the link, the platform looks fantastic & great for new poets; that’s really cool that you’re part of the project *nods*

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