Poetry and Literature

duke-humfreys-library2-oxford

One of my great loves is reading, and over the years I have read hundreds if not thousands of books on an innumerable number of subjects and themes. Whilst at university, I had the opportunity to use some of the best and most beautiful libraries in the UK, but had very little time to read outside of my subject. This is where I found that poetry became useful, as slim volumes of poems were much easier and quicker to read than a novel, allowing themselves to be picked up and then left for a time far easier than a novel. As such, what began before university as a mild interest and something I enjoyed to write slowly became a large and important part of my reading. After leaving university, I have picked up novels again, and have started to read some modern classics (once I finished ‘Uysses’, which I began before starting uni!) which I hope to post updates about on here.

I had used to read historical fiction, as well as Dan Brown-esque histoical thrillers, but the former just seemed too lengthy with too many sequels, and the latter annoyed me in the way that they either twisted historical facts, or had characters showing scant regard for artifacts and archaeology. I may return to these one day, as I hope to read more Robert Harris due to the fact that I adored his book ‘Fatherland’, but for now am sticking with modern and some less modern classics.

In terms of authors, I particularly like:

  • F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • Truman Capote
  • George Orwell
  • J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Douglas Adams

…and in terms of the poetry I read, it tends to be rather modern (i.e. 20th century), sticking with some of the greats:

  • Ted Hughes (my personal favourite)
  • T.S.Eliot
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Seamus Heaney
  • W.H.Auden
  • Simon Armitage
  • Philip  Larkin
  • Louis MacNeice

I do mean to read older poets, but haven’t really been able to get into them particularly, which is in part due to the rigid structures that they often employed. Personally, I prefer free verse, as I write in this myself and feel it allows for greater and more interesting expression, using both form and language to create meaning. I will also post on here my thoughts on various poets and poems, as well as including updates on my own writing.

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