Once in a while I like to enjoy a bit of poetry. I don’t read entire poetry books, but I like to browse through them from time to time. And of course, I have written (or tried to write at least…) my fair share of haiku’s and silly rhymes for friends’ and families’ birthday cards.
In today’s post, I thought I’d share some of my favourite poems (and poetry styles) with you. Let’s start with one of my favourite haikus, written by Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki:
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame
By the way, if you’d like to try your hand at writing a haiku, but lack inspiration… I’d take a look at this Goodreads discussion. It’s a haiku game that everyone can partake in: you have to write a haiku, but your first sentence needs to be the same as the last sentence of the previous participant. Proof that haikus are fun! And if you need more proof, just read this haiku (one that almost everybody knows), by Rolf Nelson:
Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
One of my favourite poems is by Shel Silverstein (the author of, amongst others, The Giving Tree) and is called Poet’s Tree. The rhymes are simple, but the meaning is just so beautiful. I can imagine this tree, with writers, journalists, poets, … around it and they are all tossing around rhymes and wordplay. Sounds like heaven, right?
Underneath the poet tree
Come and rest awhile with me,
And watch the way the word-web weaves
Between the shady story leaves.
The branches of the poet tree
Reach from the mountain to the sea.
So come and dream, or come and climb-
Just don’t get hit by falling rhymes.
And another one of my favourite poems is one you will all know. It’s Sonnet number 18 by Shakespeare, one of his most famous ones (but I”ll bet 80% of you only know the first one or two lines). I read it in university and fell in love with the cadence and word rhythm of the poem.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
And now, let’s finish up with … the limerick! This is a form of poetry that I love because of the musicality of it. If you read it quickly, everybody reads it in the same way because that’s the way the rhyme scheme and word flow is set up. The most popular limericks are usually dirty and raunchy, but it actually first gained popularity in children’s poems:
Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock;
the clock struck one
and down he run;
hickory dickory dock.
Mother Goose, published in Tom Thumb’s Pretty Songbook
And this is where I’m signing off. But I’d love to hear about your favourite poems? And feel free to share the most raunchy, bawdy limericks you can find in the comments.