Monday, March 4, 2013

My favorite poets so far

So, let me begin to tell you of my favorite poets so far. These are not all the poets I love but the relatively less popular ones whom you must read for pure delight and amusement. Most of the poets I mention here don't use heavy vocabulary and I feel their joy lies in that. Consider it as a post on my favorite quotes or poems, the kind that catch your eye and you want to quote them often. Also, I am not telling you why you should read them. I will only tell you how I found them.

Rilke, Lorca, Pessoa, Brautigan, Dunn

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
So, I was absolutely, hopelessly in love and wanted to write beautiful words to someone when I was in school. I used to be a big fan of Ruskin Bond and one of my favorite Bond poems is It isn't time that's passing by (Read it here: ruskin bond | Tumblr). I vaguely remembered the last few lines:
 

"This was your song:
It isn’t time that’s passing by,
It is you and I."

I guess something that draws me into poems is the idea of a broken situation. I also believe that the best love stories usually have no ending and that once you get to know someone, you can never get to un-know them really. Similar with love, once in love you can change the manifestations of concern but the relationship never ends. That's Rilke for me.
Here are my favorite lines that I hope will initiate you into reading him:

"For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
Which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
 Because it serenely disdains to destroy us.
Every angel is terrible"

Rilke reads: Duino Elegies, Letters to a young poet


Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)
You find your poets in the most unlikely destinations, like recently I've been finding my music in television serial scores. Someone told me they learned Spanish only to read Lorca. Curiously, I looked him up and found the most beautiful Oxford Press book on Gigapedia with Lorca poems and parallel Spanish text (See here: Selected Poems: Federico García Lorca). Someone actually printed the book and gifted it to me. Someone else has my copy and Gigapedia is dead. Here is a mashup I wrote with a Lorca poem: Absent Soul|Yellow mouldy tattered paper. Also, you should know he loved the moon and lilies. The most dreadful Lorca metaphor:

"Death laid its eggs in the wound"

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
This Portugese poet is a crazy find. Pessoa wrote his works under at least 81 different names. I heard someone talking about him at the dinner table and was so intrigued I had to look him up. If you are hopeless in a way that you have come a full circle and are jaded, Pesso will sing your song. That's what he did to me at least. At times when I am restless, I feel like him. Read:

"Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my  imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I  continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else,  that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with  another set. And the show I'm attending is myself."

There is this wonderful blog that has many of his poems. You might want to start here: Poems of Fernando Pessoa


Richard Brautigan (1935-1984)
I discovered Brautigan on my way to Haiku. He is a minimalist poet from America. I have multiple Brautigan favorites but here's something so darn cute.

Boo Forever: 
"Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a top,
I'm haunted by all
the space that I
will live without
you. "

If you liked this, read It's Raining in Love, I feel horrible, she doesn't and Love Poem

Stephen Dunn (1939)
To be honest, Stephen Dunn isn't my discovery. I read a few lines posted by a friend and was so moved that I knew I had to look him up. I found him very recently and kept forgetting his name until I wrote it down. Here are the first lines that drew me to him:

"Tell your lovers the world
robs us is so many ways
that a caress is your wayof taking something back"

I think what Dunn does most beautifully is chop them sentences really hard, just where they are meant to. It's like a crisp dish, just warm enough, living up to every dream you might have had of how it tastes.
If you want to read more, try If a Clown and Testimony

That's all from me. Happy poetry reading :-)

2 comments:

SRUTHI HARIDAS said...

Hi,
I have nominated you for the popular Liebster Award!!
http://sruthiharidas.blogspot.in/2013/03/my-first-blog-award.html
Blogfully,
Sruthi

Mind Butterfly said...

I started reading Pessoa after coming across this post of yours sometime back. I was reading him again yesterday and thought I should tell you that I really enjoyed reading him. Rilke is one of my all time favorites :) I am looking forward to reading the others you have mentioned here...Happy Poetry Reading