Thursday, April 1, 2010

Frontloading National Poetry Month

In years past, this blog has devoted April to providing a sort of anthology of poems I like. since I'm going to be away for most of April, that's not going to happen this year. Instead, I'm going to make two very loud recommendations here at the start of the month, with the hope that anyone who crosses paths with this blog during April will be inspired to submerse hirself in good reading.

So I say to thee: If you have not read Paradise Lost, or haven't read it since you were an undergrad 25 years ago, this is the time to lose yourself in what is perhaps the most staggering piece of poetry in English.

And if you're one of those people who reads around in old stuff for a living and/or is continually reading Milton, then you should read Louise Gluck's The Wild Iris, ideally cover-to-cover in one sitting.

They're more or less the same text, anyway--just written 300 years apart.


Lisa B. said...

I will take your advice about Milton.

I will second your advice about The Wild Iris. It is fantastic.

Moria said...

Ahhhahahahahaha. Haha. Ahhhaha. Ha.

Only you. ONLY you. In April, at the insane center of the most horrifying time of term, you and only you could suggest that one take some of one's abundant spare time to read what could without much argument be called the most difficult poem in the language. Only. You.

I love you.

{NB: not that I don't agree with you, and certainly not that I think PL can't be read headlong in a rush. It's just, well. Only you.}

Renaissance Girl said...

Moria--Are you saying you DON'T read Milton for kicks? And clearly, anyway, you fall into the Gluck-recommendation category. That won't take you more than a couple of hours.

Also, I'm on leave as of 4:45pm today. So April doesn't seem all that damned cruel to me this year....