Tuesday, 4 June 2013

You've Got to Pick a Poet or Two


Shamelessly borrowing from Fagin for the title of this post, but it seemed to fit the purpose perfectly! You all know how much I adore books and literature in general, vintage books even more so, but quirky little volumes like these are dream finds for me. Edgar Allan Poe sums up my thoughts on poetry 'Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words' - whenever I need to escape into language it is the ideal distraction. Getting lost in rhyme and meter comes so easily and before I know it I'm swept away on a lyrical tide, all woes long forgotten. On a good day poetry is a dappled light filter over an already pretty picture, on a bad day a transporting mechanism that takes me elsewhere entirely. So many people write poetry off after exhausting, analytical sessions in GCSE English and I can't say I blame them - the life and rhythm are reduced to bullet points and bludgeoned slowly to death. Try picking it up once again when the memory of those agonising double periods is dulled though, and I'm sure you'll find something with a brand of magic that appeals to you. Because that's what it can do - pick out beauty and wonder, love and loss, a huge range of human experience and give it breath in a way that moves you. I've always thought that music is what feelings sound like, whereas poetry is emotion on paper. 

My iPhone is fantastic, having Shakespeare's entire body of work in an app is great, but it really can't touch the charm of these two little books. If you've ever read Sense and Sensibility you'll know that Willoughby has plenty to answer for, but I do have to appreciate a man who carries sonnets in his jacket pocket! 


23 comments:

  1. I love these books too jem - often buy them with the intention of carving them up and collaging them into artwork - but when the scissors are poised I don't have the heart ! Hope you are well.. Love and blessings
    Annie x

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  2. These are amazing you always find such amazing stuff Jem! your a true magpie and I agree with everything youve said on poetry its just a great escape! x

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  3. Beautiful books.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  4. You are so right about the way poetry is tackled in GCSE, it kills the beauty of it! These books look wonderful :)

    www.ciderwithrosiebee.blogspot.com

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  5. These books are so so beautiful! I struggled to enjoy reading a book durig my A Levels - so stressful!
    Sophie
    x

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  6. beautiful books!
    Agreed! I hated poetry at GCSE & even more at A level.

    Charlotte xx

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  7. I'm a big fan of poetry - my Dad has a collection published and runs a poetry magazine, if you're interested. Boy1 likes it too, but Mr FHCS has the more usual reaction after struggling with it at school. Love the illustrations in that Keats collection.
    xx

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  8. Lovely books - there's just something special about old paper and print!

    I agree about the way they teach poetry; I was also someone who got turned off by poetry at school. Since growing older though, I've found I love Edward Lear's nonsense, and modern day Cornish poets Anna-Maria Murphy and Charles Causley (sadly no longer with us) are both brilliant at spinning a yarn. x

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  9. Such pretty books! xx

    www.satinandsouffles.com
    www.satinandsouffles.com

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  10. You can never have too many editions of Shakespeare. The Complete Works on the bookshelf is a weighty tome, and the iPad/iPhone editions are handy, but you can't beat little treasures like these.

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  11. Ah yes,a redeemable quality of Willoughby's there; more men should carry sonnets - or any book at all really - in their pockets. These books are beautiful. X

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  12. Oh yes! *adds pocket poetry books to wishlist*

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  13. Jem, there is a second hand book shop down the road from my office and I can never pass it without thinking of you. It's so wonderful! But difficult not to spend half my wages there every month because, you know, it's London and the other half goes on rent...

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  14. That Keats book is so pretty that I want to cry.

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  15. I adore your books! My daughter is a writer and a teaches college and she would love your books.
    Lovely post, as always.
    Linda

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  16. I have total book envy right now, those copies are gorgeous! I really want to get back into poetry, I think you're right about people getting a little jaded about it because of studying it to death at school! Love Shakespeare though :) xoxo

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  17. There's nothing like a pretty slim volume of poetry to whole away a pleasant June afternoon in the garden . . . .

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  18. Gorgeous books. I'm a helpless poetry obsessive... I think my desert island luxury would be an enormous poetry anthology (as long as it was beautifully bound, like these books here!)

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  19. Beautiful! As hard as I try, I can't imagine really reading on a nook or kindel. There's just something about the physical book...
    http://whiteoakshobby.blogspot.com

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  20. Gorgeous photos and books - I have a whole bookcase filled with vintage books like this and I can never resist buying new ones!

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  21. I love books too! Thanks for showing a great interest to the books. I didn't expect someone to love them so much. It's a rare gift nowadays. I wonder how many of them you have in your collection.
    Kate

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Thank you for leaving a note, they make my day! :-)