Category Archives: Poetry

On Beauty

These days, welcoming the Spring and celebrating Women’s Day, we are looking through the shelves of the library reflecting on the subject of beauty. “Beauty is but skindeep”, “beauty will save the world”, “apperances are deceptive”, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”… Are there any books to help us?

Homer, “Iliad” 6c28dfcb4d790bb4a29f2ea627008cdb

Of course! The most famous legend about how a war started. Beauty! Is it the root of the evil? The Trojan war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest”. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, “The Iliad” tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

Oscar Wilde, “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”2325167

The question of selling your soul for the eternal beauty. But who are you inside, are you still a human being? What’s the good looks worth? In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde’s most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind.

OnBeautybookcover.jpgZadie Smith, “On Beauty”

A 2005 novel by British author Zadie Smith takes its title from an essay by Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just). The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American family living in the United States. On Beauty addresses ethnic and cultural differences, the nature of beauty, and the clash between liberal and conservative academic values. Not only does Zadie Smith’s work focus on physical beauty but it also looks at the concept of beauty itself and its value. Throughout the work many of the characters look at beauty in different ways or some, like Monty and Howard, fail to look at the beauty in anything,  even in the materials that they teach in their art history classes.

“In Search Of Paradise: Great Gardens Of The World” 61Y+0VaaqyL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

For many of us, beauty is associated with nature, something, that was not created by humans, something that existed forever and is still a mystery for us. This book is a survey of the great gardens of the world, presented through photographic images and the descriptions of the garden designer and writer Penelope Hobhouse. Here you will find the oases of the Middle East, the gardens of Chinese scholars, Japanese sages and Renaissance humanists, French baroque gardens, the English landscape garden of Capability Brown and his followers.

William Shakespeare, Sonnets

9780099518860-us.jpgO how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly
When summer’s breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo’d and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.

Advertisements

March – Poetry Month in the Library

Traditionally, in March, as the 21st is the International Poetry Day, we pay special attention to it at the library. We have a large collection of modern poets’ books. Here are some of them.

Paul Muldoon (b. 1951) Paul-Muldoon-007

He has published over thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize.

“When your lobster was lifted out of the tank

to be weighed

I thought of woad,

of madders, of fugitive, indigo inks…”.

(from “Something Else”, Meeting the British, Faber&Faber, 1987)

 

Owen-Sheers_2924461b

Owen Sheers (b.1974)

is a Welsh poet, author, playwright and TV presenter.

“I was seven when I first saw her,

a basket of cherries filling her embrace,

red gloss and green stalks piled high,

some paired; marbles of blood wishboned together.

She was my grandmother’s twin,

right down to the wrinkles etched over her eyes…”.

(from “My French Great Aunt”, Blue Book, Seren, 2000)

Simon Armitage (b. 1963)

is an English poet, playwright and novelist. On 19 June 2015, Armitage was elected Oxford Professor of Poetry.

simon_armitage_credit_paul_wolfgang_webster

“If you could eat frost, you might think

it would crunch like an apple. You might think

that it forms in fruit like a snowflake forms

in the air. Crisp and clear. Not so.

Frost in the flesh of an apple runs soft

and brown…”.

(from “And You Know What Thought Did”, Zoom! Poetry Book Society Choice, Bloodaxe Books, 1999)

To be continued.

The Rhymes Of Dylan Thomas

4b0a84b7-8ce1-4219-9084-d6519fcaf228

Do you love poetry? What was your first acquaintance with this magic world? In this entry we united first poems in the life of many english-speaking children and complicated, not-so-easy-to-read works of Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet and writer, 1914-1953).

It is difficult to categorize Thomas’ works. He is said to be influenced by James Joyce, Arthur Rimbaud and D.H.Lawrence, modern symbolism and surrealism.

His major theme was the unity of all life, the continuing process of life and death and new life that linked the generations. This is reflected in the patterns of his poetry. He never wrote with strict verse forms, showing that poetry is life itself and it doesn’t always obey the rules.

Thomas once confided that the poems which had most influenced him were Mother Goose rhymes which his parents taught him when he was a child: “I should say I wanted to write poetry in the beginning because I had fallen in love with words. The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes and before I could read them for myself I had come to love the words of them”.

In 2014 biopic “Set Fire To The Stars” Dylan Thomas is portrayed by Celyn Jones and his literary agent, John Brinnin, by Elijah Wood.

In the library: