Poetry anthology recommendations please

Benny B

Well-known member
Well tempted to get ed dorns gunslinger after reading the extract in this anthology, looks hilarious. I like the fast moving dialogue and the characters
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I always feel and I feel this at the moment that I'm only just learning how to read poetry.

Modern stuff (more modern than I dunno Wallace Stevens I suppose) hasn't much grabbed me in the past, as a cloth eared reader who prefers a clear rhythm to hang onto. But of course I can see that if you get into it, as with music, the obvious stuff becomes cloying or stiff or something.

The "revelation" lately or the key to unlock has been understanding poetry as music. Not that trite, but something like that. Finding the beat etc.

I was reading Shakespeare sonnets last night and was bowled over by most of them as I hasn't been before. Not just the rhythm and technical devices but also the witty intricacy of some of the arguments and most of all (maybe cos I was stoned and it was a mild synasthesic effect) the imagery, a profusion of natural phenomena to hold love and human life up against to understand their nature. But you see I sort of knew all that was there already but only by reading it as a sort of musical score did I really feel all of that.
 

jenks

thread death
The Oxford Book of English Verse ed. Ricks

Fuck knows how it measures up to other anthologies but I dip into it all the time and am always discovering something great.

There's another anthology (Penguin?) which goes through the English poetical canon in chronological order, rather than poet by poet, which is useful for comparing poems from the same year, etc.
I like that one a lot
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I appreciate how Ricks includes nursery rhymes in there, since I feel like one of the issues I've had understanding poetry is to feel that the childish way I enjoyed hickory dickory dock is something COMPLETELY different to the way I *should* read "serious" poetry
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I always feel and I feel this at the moment that I'm only just learning how to read poetry.
Me too. It's a nice feeling of constant discovery, making inroads and having little revelations now and then when something clicks. Or even just reading stuff where you have no idea what the hells going on but letting yourself being carried along by it anyway.

I too read some of the Shakespeare sonnets for the first time the other day in that pound anthology and was well impressed. Elizabeth Browning's got some bangers as well.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Bagged a cheap copy of poems for the millenium vol 2, arrived today, flicking through it. What a feast.

Went straight to the Celan poems in there cos I'd seen Prynne was a big fan and and wow.
Look at all these excellent words that are in this one Paul Celan poem

Breathcrystal
Undreamt
Hungercandle
Heavenacid
Doorcrack
Copper-glimmer
Begging-cup
Woundmirror
Worldbeat
Shadow-break
Whitegray
Landinwards
Sea-oats
Wellchants
Sky-wrecks
Woodsong
Templeclamps
Silverglare
Heartthread
Worm-talk
Wordspoor
Daygorge
Threadsuns
Greyblack
Serpentcoach
Slickensides
Cleftrose
Northtrue
Southbright
Wordaccretion
Searoar
Contra-creatures
Beamwind
Timecrevasse
 
Last edited:

woops

is not like other people
Well they're translated German words, but still
well this is it that's an impressive list but it's a function of the translation isn't it, i mean in german you can make compound nouns out of whatever you want and it's quite normal, so the translator has made a choice to keep them as compound words where you might just as well decide to render "timecrevasse" as "crevasse of time" for example
 

Benny B

Well-known member
It's hard to say, I was thinking that myself but there might be more to it than that. Either way, it's a good translation choice.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
'Wordaccretion' is an especially apt one. May well have something to do with Celan's whole poetics of language and stuff, but I don't really know much about him and he seems like quite a hard poet to understand.
 

luka

Well-known member
hes like that, if you comare his translations with eg hamburgers, hes leaned into it hard. i think even the book is titled breathturn and breathcrystal or something.
 

luka

Well-known member
i personally cant read celan, i get more pleasure out of reading the german than the english, even though i cant understand a word of it
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Yeah, Shakespeare was a boss at sonnets
I read a critic somewhere (it might have been Auden, actually...) on S's sonnets and was relieved to find them observing how feeble many of the closing couplets are – which I'd found to be the case in many of the Sonnets I'd read (obviously not always e.g. "All this the world well knows; yet none knows well / To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell."), but thought that I must be missing something.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
hes like that, if you comare his translations with eg hamburgers, hes leaned into it hard. i think even the book is titled breathturn and breathcrystal or something.
By all accounts he was doing mad stuff with German that hadn't been done before, so even though you can bolt words together in German and it's quite normal, he was taking it to extremes, so I suppose that's why the translator has chosen to represent it in English that way. I'd have to check, but I'd wager his translations of other German poets might not have the same approach, or at least not as extreme.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
I read a critic somewhere (it might have been Auden, actually...) on S's sonnets and was relieved to find them observing how feeble many of the closing couplets are – which I'd found to be the case in many of the Sonnets I'd read (obviously not always e.g. "All this the world well knows; yet none knows well / To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell."), but thought that I must be missing something.
Once thou hast thine lector bye thee goalleline, alle thou needeth is a tappe-inne.
 

luka

Well-known member
By all accounts he was doing mad stuff with German that hadn't been done before, so even though you can bolt words together in German and it's quite normal, he was taking it to extremes, so I suppose that's why the translator has chosen to represent it in English that way. I'd have to check, but I'd wager his translations of other German poets might not have the same approach, or at least not as extreme.
yeah thats why i said to edmund hmmmm youre oversimplifying here
 
Top