Friday, January 23, 2009

Poetry Tips: Poets for the Timid

Having made some connections with some shy and timid poetry readers I thought this post would be appropriate for them and anyone else out there reading this blog who wants to believe in the idea of “loving poetry” but hasn’t quite reached it yet.

There are some poets with broad appeal and I will mention a few names that can be easily found in the local libraries here in the U.S.:

Mary Oliver—known for a simple love and appreciation of nature, her poems can be spiritual, loving, and very approachable to read.

Dorothy Parker—best known for her dry sense of humor and life, her poems say what they mean.

Billy Collins—known as “mainstream” for people who read poetry, his poems are very accessible, full of wit and everyday life experiences.

The Classics:

Emily Dickinson—her poems about nature, life, love, and death are also accessible but with words you may have forgotten are in the English language such as “diadems.” She can also seem hard to pin down rhythmically because she almost rhymes at time and her lines can end abruptly. She is my personal favorite.

Edgar Allen Poe—who doesn’t remember “The Raven” when learning poetry in grade-school? He is dark and mysterious, and well worth revisiting if it has been a while.

William Shakespeare—an obvious choice but he can be difficult to read as a result of an older language. He is a challenge worth taking if you love his plays and especially if you love romance.

These are just a very few of the many suggestions I could make. I urge my regular readers to post their own recommendations in the comments section with a brief description for those new to poetry or rediscovering their enjoyment of poetry.

Thanks always for dropping in, please visit on Monday for another featured site…


Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Very solid list, thanks. I'd also like to suggest for your readers that poetry anthologies are a great way to discover who you might enjoy.

Particularly good for the timid or newbie is "Good Poems" edited by Garrison Keillor. It can be found in most libraries (and bookstores) and poem for poem can both go up against the best anthologies and also is accessible as you can get.


Poet Hound said...

Thanks for the anthology recommendations! Also, the list on your site for the best poets is a great place for beginners to go.