Suggested Reading for both LOVERS and HATERS of Poetry

Originally posted on May 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM

This post is going to be short and sweet, for two reasons. 1) People who hate poetry will think looking up even their 4 poets is a chore, and 2) even people who love poetry will be busy with these epic (read: long) poems I’ve lined up for them!

So without further ado, suggested reading:

For People Who HATE Poetry

1. Shel Silverstein: start with A Light in the Attic
1. down to earth, simple, fun, easy – for kids and adults alike
2. Billy Collins: start with The Art of Drowning
1. down to earth, beautiful, contemporary – for adults
3. Dr. Seuss: start with Green Eggs and Ham
1. silly, rhymed, fun, easy – for kids (but loved by adults everywhere)
4. T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
1. silly, rhymed, fun, bizarre – for lovers of cats (basis of the musical Cats)

For People Who LOVE Poetry

1. “The Wasteland,” by T.S. Eliot*
1. dark, wonderfully depressing, and bleak, with enough allusions to keep you busy for a year
2. “The Bridge,” by Hart Crane
1. the exact antithesis (in message) to Eliot, considered by many to be the greatest American epic
3. “Paradise Lost,” by John Milton
1. composed in blank-verse, old-timey, and beautifully written, this epic might make you rethink your preconceptions about the story of Adam and Eve
4. “The Iliad/The Odyssey,” by Homer
1. translated over and over again into English from the original Greek, these are classics that require a study guide but are well worth the effort

Find yourself somewhere between love and hate? Try suggested readings here, here, and here.

Happy reading!

*Don’t be misled by Eliot appearing on each list. Most of his work belongs solely to those who adore poetry and want to work for it; The Book of Practical Cats is a strange misfit that is completely unlike any of his other poetic works.

Share this:
This entry was posted in Advice for Poets and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.