Real Poetry

reviews, tips, and personal/local writing

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Summer Reading (Book 2) – Walt Whitman’s America

So as I talked about before, I went to check out Walt Whitman‘s birthplace on Long Island last week.  The house itself was cool to see, but I found the small exhibit concerning the nine different iterations of Leaves of Grass the most interesting portion of the tour/visit.  So much so, in fact, that I bought myself a biography to start reading for this summer.

A Statue of Walt Whitman admiring a butterfly

I’ve never read a biography before, so this is a new type of reading, but so far it has really held my interest.  I’ll openly admit both before reading what I’ve read so far and visiting his birthplace, I really had little knowledge of Whitman or his writing.  For those who don’t know already, I’ve learned that Whitman was not only a poet but also worked with newspapers and for a few years was a school teacher around Long Island.

I’ll save more of my discussion of this book for after I finish it this summer and write up a review.  I hope everyone out there is doing well and enjoying their summer.  Stay cool everyone whose around a heatwave like myself today.

Stephen R.

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Alfred, Lord Tennyson – “In the Garden at Swainston”

This week’s poem comes from a collection of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poetry my grandmother gave me to add to my collection of old books during my visit to New York.  The book itself I have only glanced through, but one poem in particular stood out from the other’s I’ve read.  The short, three stanza poem contains some very powerful images and I’ve returned to the poem several times during my stay.

Tennyson's Poems, Alta Edition

The poem conveys a strong sense of loss from someone truly meaningful to the speaker of the poem.  What stands out to me though, is that this is not a poem about the one person this speaker loved but rather the three people he has loved separately but in some way equally.  The only defining difference is that the person lamented in this poem is the “last of the three.”

In the Garden at Swainston

Nightingales warbled without,
Within was weeping for thee;
Shadows of three dead men
Walk’d in the walks with me,
Shadows of three dead men, and thou wast one of the three.

Nightingales sang in the woods;
The Master was far away;
Nightingales warbled and sang
Of a passion that lasts but a day;
Still in the house in his coffin the Prince of courtesy lay.

Two dead men have I known
In courtesy like to thee:
Two dead men have I loved
With a love that ever will be:
Three dead men have I loved, and thou art last of the three.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Really brief catch up. More to come.

So unfortunately, I spent the past week at a house with no access to Internet on my computer. I spent the past week reading and checking out various things, including the Arboretum on Long Island that I took several pictures of that were on my twitter feed. I’ve also been trying to visit with my grandparents most days and got an old collection of Tennyson poems as a gift.

Path through the woods at the Arboretum

I’m going to keep this particular post short because honestly I’m tired. I just wanted to have a brief update on why I haven’t posted. I hope you are all doing well.

Stephen R.

Quick post while traveling

Hey everyone, I don’t really have time to put up a poem for this week, mostly because my poetry books are not in the hotel room with me. I still wanted to put up a quick update. I’ve been driving all day today and most of yesterday making my way through the states up to New York. The biggest thing of note was just how green everything really is compared to Texas lately.  Just endless monotonous roads sided with tall green trees.

I may try and have a poem of the week up on Thursday, but for now I’ll just write out a quick Haiku in one draft:

Driving all day can
fray the nerves.  But only if
you don’t have music.

Hope everyone’s week has started well,

Stephen R.

P.S. I’m planning to check out Walt Whitman‘s birthplace at some point this week.  In honor of that, I’ll have a post concerned with him in the coming weeks.

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