that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
from Ulysses by Lord Tennyson
I recently discovered my high school Victorian poetry book that featured the works of Browning, Tennyson, Arnold, Swinburne, and Rossetti. I could tell from my multiple margin notations that I had no clear understanding about what the poems were about. How could I? What did I know about love, life, and loss at such a tender age?
Over the years I gravitated to the works of the modern poets and when, finally, I revisited the the Victorian giants’ work, I found them to be deeply moving and indeed transformative.
My favorite poetry books:
1. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
2. The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath
3. Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins
4. Nine Horses by Billy Collins
5. Collected Poems by Jane Kenyon
6. To Be The Poet by Maxine Hong Kingston
7. Modern Poetry edited by Maynard Mack, Leonard Dean, and William Frost
8. The Best American Poetry 1994, edited by A. R. Ammons
9. The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson, Introduction by Billy Collins
10. Robert Frost Poetry & Prose, edited by Edward Connery Lathem and Lawrence Thompson
11. Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda, edited by Ben Belitt
12. The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery by Ferns McCabe
13. The Major Victorian Poets, edited by William H. Marshall
14. William Carolos Williams Selected Poems
15. Dinners and Nightmares by Diane Di Prima and Terry Carr
16. Selected Poems of Erza Pound
17. a selection of poems by e. e. cummings, introduction by Horace Gregory
18. The Essential Haiku, edited by Robert Hass
19. The Penguin by John Lennon
20. The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe, Jay Parini, and April Bernard
Your favorite poets?
Model: Lauren DiMarco