Considering how much I prattle on about poetry and literature I finally thought I would share my favourite poets. It is no surprise to those who know me well that I find as much solace in books as I do my friends or food – they cannot talk back or try to talk you out of the second box of potato waffles. Literature affects everyone and reaches all from every walk of life. Words are a very powerful thing, whatever form they take.
- John Donne
Whether it be poetry or prose which tickles your fancy, John Donne is your man. He is proclaimed as one of the greatest writers of all time and remains fondly loved even though he died hundreds of years ago. His influence was strong, both before and after his death, continuing his growth in popularity despite the numerous years since his last publications. He is neither crude or inept, instead, introducing subjects of the incredibly romantic and delicate in all aspects of life that his work encompasses – Donne values marriage, love, and friendship above all things and illustrates sorrow in a way which makes your heart sing. You go, John. You go.
- Philip Larkin
Another discovery of my A Level dabbles in the realms of literature was the man some know and despise, as Sir Philip Larkin. Larkin, in his essence, is the opposite of Donne – his cynicism and contrast in thinking are almost quite enough to give you whiplash – but this does not affect in any way shape or form the quality of his work or the subject matter of it. larkin approaches the ideas of poverty, adultery, heartbreak and the general annoyances of society with such a candid outlook it is almost hard not to empathise or agree wholeheartedly with his ramblings.
The king of poetry and prose since the 1600’s. Whether collaboratory or singularly written, Shakespeare’s remaining works prove wholeheartedly how he is one of the highest regarding writers of all time from around the world. Plays, sonnets or poems – each illustrate values of life which capture your interests and heart in equal measure as well as tickle your funny bone ever so slightly, especially if you have an odd sense of humour. If you prefer older literature, check out his sonnets and poetry.
- Rupi Kaur
Rupi. The modern-day queen of artistic literature. There are very few people I know who have not heard of her, or at least read her work. She is as equally talented as she is beautiful, both emotionally and physically. Kaur has the talent for exhuming an understanding of the human mind as both a bystander and a friend, – her tranquil writing style combined with the all too raw emotions we are all familiar with makes her pieces simply amazing. A poem for every mood, every mind and for every person. What more could you ask for?
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race and the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” – Robin Williams