Classics Club: October Meme

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Even though I’ve been a very bad Classics Club member lately, I am going to try to get back in the game with the monthly meme question.

Let’s talk about classic poetry! Have you got a favorite classic poem? Do you read poetry? Why or why not? // You could also feature a poet or a book of poetry, rather than a poem.

I do love poetry, but it has taken me a long time to find the kind of poetry I most enjoy. Some of my favorite poets include Billy Collins, Naomi Shihab Nye (who I saw give a reading in college but didn’t fully appreciate at the time, unfortunately), Carol Ann Duffy and Mary Oliver, to name a few. I’m not sure they really count as “classic” poets, though, as they are mostly modern ones.

There are two classics poets that I read in school and who really stuck with me, however. The first is Sappho, whose ancient Greek poetry reads like something a modern day woman could have written. I had to read an entire book of her poetry in college and I flew through it in one night, totally enchanted.

The classic poet who taught me to really appreciate poetry, though, is William Carlos Williams. I can remember reading the following poem one day and all of a sudden I just GOT it. I understood what imagery really was and why it was such a big deal. Williams made me realize that poetry doesn’t have to be complicated and indecipherable and full of $10 vocabulary words to be meaningful and beautiful.

“This is just to say”

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Head over to The Classics Club to see what other members are talking about…

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