Moving along in this series on poets from my life, we come alphabetically to the four I will highlight in this post. To see the entire list, you may go to Sundae with Nuts. Soon, I will be creating a new page for Cor Novus devoted to links to all the articles in this series.
The four reviewed here are;
- Robert Frost,
- Allen Ginsberg,
- Robert Herrick, and
- Joyce Kilmer
I really like Frost a lot. He became widely known in the early 20th century and recited a work at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. He was an American poet as American can be. He wrote with a voice that was easily understood and conversational in tone. The title of this article and this excerpt belong to frost. It is perhaps one, if not THE best known of his works.
The whole poem, only about twice as long as this excerpt begs reading. Follow the link and you will see it. But there is another poem of Robert’s that I want to include here and I still have three other poets to do. The second of which, Allen Ginsberg, is another favorite of mine. Here’s one more from Frost. This one is reprinted in its entirety.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Allen Ginsberg is described by poets.org as
As the leading icon of the Beats [Beat Generation], Ginsberg was involved in countless political activities, including protests against the Vietnam War, and he spoke openly about issues that concerned him, such as free speech and gay rights agendas.
He was a poet of MY generation. He carried freedom of speech and freedom of thought to a new level. His premier work Howl was banned in 1956 for obscenity. After numerous court trials the charges of obscenity were defeated but not before it became an icon in and of itself, bolstered by the publicity of the ban.
It is a long poem, but worth the read. It reads with an intensity and rawness seldom seen.
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking
for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking
in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating
across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw
Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs
Robert Herrick was, like John Donne, another English churchman from the 15th-14th centuries. Most of Herrick’s works were originally published under Church title and authority. He is best known for
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Joyce Kilmer was an American poet and journalist. He served in the U.S. Army and was killed in World War I. His poetry celebrated the beauty of nature and is perhaps best expressed in the iconic