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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #109)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:46 PM

112. If you're just

getting started (and bravo for reading aloud - poetry is an oral form and should always be read aloud when possible), I'd suggest an anthology.

Poetry has so much variety - there's something to appeal to every taste. My tastes are eclectic; some days I want the purity of more classical forms and some days I enjoy the word chase of modern free verse - admittedly not often for the latter.

My first anthology was an old edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse - the 1919 version. My grandmother; who recited poetry to us kids almost from the point we were hatched; gave it to me when I was about twelve or thirteen. It is a true anthology - ranging from medieval to modern (1919 at that point), with a selection as broad as they could make it without creating a book too heavy to lift. An excellent starting point and it did inform my tastes as an adult.

My favorite poem is probably this ditty by Leigh Hunt - because it requires nothing from me but a smile. Try reading it out loud and you'll find yourself grinning, too.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss’d me.

--- Leigh Hunt

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