Food for the mind?

I love poetry.  I love reading it from those lovely slim volumes it often comes in, or from the heavy, thin papered volumes that are many years older than I am, and that’s old!

The 821s seem to be a less visited section of the library at times, but I urge you to venture there, as you will find stunning imagery, beautiful language and use of rhythm and rhyme that takes you out of the hum drum of daily life in a way that only great poetry can.

The library shelves have a huge variety of poetry, from the classics of English prose, such a Tennyson or Wordsworth, to the great New Zealand poets, Hone Tuwhare, Sam Hunt, Owen Marshall and Lauris Edmond to name a mere four, through to contemporary global poets discussing the problems of today’s society through their work.

Iggy McGoven is an Irish poet and writer. His new collection, Safe Houses, is yet to arrive on our shelves, but we do have  The King of Suburbia, which I enjoyed immensely.

Jessica Le Bas’ latest collection, Walking to Africa provides insight and understanding of the journey and experiences of a mother whose child experiences mental illness. In an interview on the Mental Health Foundation website, she said, “I’m excited to publish a collection of poetry that legitimises the nature of mental health continuum, as a part of what it is to be human, individual and different.”

Alison Wong must be riding high after being named the 2010 fiction winner for the New Zealand Post Book Awards for her first novel, As the Earth Turns Silver.  Her book of poems, Cup, which I  enjoyed reading, mixes poems of family, daily life, heartache and renewal.

I have always loved Owen Marshall’s writing, whether fiction or poetry, and his second collection, Sleepwalking in Antarctic and other Poems was no exception. This was inspired by a trip he took to the great southern continent in January as Antarctic Arts Fellow.

What do you love about poetry, what do you loathe about it even? Who is your favourite poet or maybe you can share a favourite poem perhaps.

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