Poetry book recommendations

Tellin' it like it is....

I have a strong preference for poetry that is accessible to normal folks reading. When I finish a poem I don’t want to think ‘what was that about?’ and left feeling dumb! I do not have time to go back to school and concentrate in literature class, so instead I look for poets that make it easy for me.

That said I still like my poets to be smarter than me, more creative. I want to ‘see’ what they are talking about and feel that sense of ‘yes, I know what you mean’ and think ‘oh how clever’. I like that feeling.

I would like to share with you some of my favorite poetry books that have met these requirements:

1) Late Wife by Claudia Emersen – this is my all time favorite book, about a woman’s experience of a divorce. Powerful, brilliant, moving. Brilliant metaphors at every turn.

2) Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy – this was one of my first poetry loves, I took a workshop from Carol Ann Duffy in Ireland, goodness - it was 16 years ago! How I wish I had kept writing over these years….

3) The World Doesn’t End by Charles Simic – this is a brilliant, surreal, fun, devastating look at the absurd

4) The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins – funny, insightful, cuts through, holds up and describes the oddest things.

5) Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser – what a lovely world this poet lives in, concrete, real, he studies those around him and reflects their mundane lives with dignity

6) North by Seamus Heaney – Ok this is a little too dense for me, but the words are layered and lovely and earthy. I can feel like I am in Ireland when I read this book.

7) Anne Stevenson selected poems – a delight, she is that wise older woman who is gentle and insightful. Her poems are real and well ‘seen’.

8) The Art of The Lathe by B.H. Fairchild – This poet is a MASTER of the English language. He writes about subject matter I don’t care about in real life, but writes in such a way that makes me compelled, riveted, amazed!

9) Good Poems complied by Garrison Keillor – this is the perfect starter poetry book, he has complied a complete, easy to read, diverse look at modern poetry.

10) currently reading Small Knots by Kelli Russell Agodon, who is a visitor of my blog! – I have not finished this book, but so far I am very much enjoying her insights and sensitive observations on life as a woman, daughter and a cancer survivor. Reading this book is like being touched by a light breeze ~ gentle and feminine, but sure.

Do you know of any wonderful poetry books? If you do, can you leave me a comment? Much appreciated.

*** Disclaimer – Some of these books are like watching movies that have been awarded an R rating. I would not recommend them for children ;) ***


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