My Poetry Book Collection

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Happy World Book Day everyone! I hope you're all snuggled up with a book and a nice hot drink during this cold weather. There couldn't be a more perfect time to sit down, get cosy and read. The snow is making me feel like I'm in an episode of Gilmore Girl's (my dream). Therefore, in honour of World Book Day, I thought I would share with you my small poetry collection. I don't have all my poetry books with me as I am currently at university and could only bring so many books with me but I love poetry, so I thought it would be fitting to share my favourite collections with you.

Ariel and Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath

Firstly, I have two Sylvia Plath poetry collections, Ariel and Selected Poems. My favourite poems by Plath are 'Tulips', 'Poppies in July', 'Daddy', 'Cut', 'Ariel' and 'You're'. Plath's poems are dominated by images of death, suicide and sadness. Her poetry is an insight into her mind. However, I was told recently (by my literature lecturer) that getting caught in a biographical reading of Plath's poetry can limit your interpretations of her poetry, and I have found this to be extremely true. Sadly, this is hard to avoid as her work is forever going to be clouded by her history of mental illness and unfortunate suicide, as well as the fact that most of her work was published posthumously. However, once you try to put aside the context of Plath, you can allow yourself to read the poems in many different ways! I definitely recommend that you give this a go.

Of the two, Ariel is my favourite collection, as it is classic and to be honest, I just love the art on the front cover. I highly recommend reading some of Plath's poetry as it is full of metaphors and symbolism. If you enjoy reading strong imagery within poetry, then you should definitely pick up one of her collections!

Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christina Rossetti

Secondly, I have Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christina Rossetti. Of this collection, I had only read a few poems but most specifically 'Goblin Market'. I studied 'Goblin Market' at A-Level, and I extremely enjoyed it. I found the themes and symbolism within the poem interesting, as well as the context surrounding Rossetti (she was part of the Pre-Raphaelite literary movement). As well as this, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar (famous for The Madwoman in the Attic) argue that the poem is about the exclusion of women from the male-dominant artistic world of the Victorian period. So, if you are a fan of their work, you know 'Goblin Market' is worth reading.

Therefore, there is a lot to analyse and interpret within the poem, so if you fancy sitting down and analysing symbols, metaphors etc. you will certainly enjoy this. If you enjoy 'Goblin Market', it is definitely worth purchasing a collection of Rossetti's poems.

On Love by Charles Bukowski

Next, I have On Love by Charles Bukowski. This is the only collection I have that I am yet to read, so I am extremely excited. I don't actually know much about Bukowski's work, but I have heard a lot of positive comments about his work. I first became aware of Bukowski through Lucy Moon's video on poetry. She praised his writing and I am a hopeless romantic, so I thought this collection would be perfect for me. I also want to try and read more optimistic poetry, so I thought this would be a good place to start. If you enjoy Bukowski's work, please let me know!

Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake

Next, I have Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake. Besides Plath, Blake is one of my all-time favourite poets. If I'm being honest, I'm not a huge fan of Romanticism. I do enjoy it from time to time, but I don't tend to go out of my way to read novels, poetry etc. from the Romantic period. Therefore, I found it quite shocking when I first read Blake and really enjoyed his poetry. This is most likely because his poems are separated into Innocence and Experience poems. Innocence being more Romantic and idealistic, whereas Experience is much more dark and realistic. My favourite poems from this collection are 'The Sick Rose', 'The Garden of Love' and 'London', all of which are from the Experience section of the collection.

This edition of Blake's poetry is incredible as it includes Blake's original illustrations for his poems. On the left-hand side the poem is printed, and on the right-hand side, the original illustration is printed. This is helpful when reading the poems as it allows you to visualise the symbols, imagery and metaphors within the poem, in the way that Blake intended. Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a Blake collection, I highly recommend you buy this one!

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Finally, I have Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Like I said in my video, this poetry collection is pretty much unavoidable. This isn't to say it is bad, because it is far from it. It's simply to point out that, although I love it and highly enjoy it, I do think it may have been a bit overhyped. The collection is separated into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing.

Themes of gender, race and many more are extremely present with the poems. It almost reads like confessional poetry, as it reads like a diary. The sketches within the collection beautifully illustrate the messages within each poem, and they are extremely moving. The poems emphasise the importance of self love, sometimes over the love of others, which is extremely empowering to read.  If you are interested in feminism, race, self-love, healing or anything similar to these, it is absolutely worth your time (and money).

So, this is my small, but growing, poetry collection. I hope I have inspired any of you to read more poetry as I love it. So like I said at the beginning of this blog post, grab a hot drink, get into your comfiest clothes and snuggle up with a book while watching the snow out your window! I also uploaded a video on my channel and I hope you enjoy the rest of World Book Day!

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