Exploding Out of Me

Have you ever started reading something that just hit you with a force like a hurricane and

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

made you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance and hide in a corner, all in one moment? I’m finding that poetry, certain poetry, just hits me like that and I am slammed face first into this marvelous feeling that I want to shout out to the world, but keep quietly bottled up inside, a geyser that’s just hidden under the surface. I’d say what really started me on this journey of explosion was when I read Billy CollinsTuesday June 4, 1991.  This poem is so perfect in its artistry that you finish feeling amazed and flabbergasted and staring at the page like you just opened Ali Baba’s cave.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to a type of poetry that just sings to me.

I’ve been reading over and over, four more of Billy Collins’ books, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and I returned Aimless Love and Sailing Alone Around the Room. I keep reading them and I keep sighing with understanding and longing. Because the poems make me long for something. I want to desperately share these with someone. Read them outloud in the summer as we lie on the grass in dappled sunlight.

Along with Billy Collins, I have been reading a book of Erotic Poetry by the Everyman’s Pocket Poets.  And don’t think dirty poems. This deals with Eros and love and desire, hate, anguish and reverence for the body.

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

The poetry is marvelous and sensual and beautiful. It makes you stop and ponder and go, ‘Oh wow’. Or that’s what I do. I’m just stupefied and in awe when I finish one. You would think I’ve never read poetry. But it’s magical and amazing.

What got me started reading the erotic poetry was by reading Last Gods  by Galway Kinnell.  this is some seriously beautiful and sensual work. I suggest if you are interested in gorgeous poetry to try this one. It is magical and takes you to the heart of Eros. It makes you blush, but in a very good way. A private look at a man and woman and it’s beautiful.

This kind of poetry is much more modern than what I’ve grown up reading. Though, that being said, most of what is in the Erotic Poetry is pre 1900’s.  So, I suppose I’ve been reading the wrong things.  I’ve always been a fan of Emily Dickinson, though half the time I don’t know what she is saying. It’s the magic of it all that gets me.

Well the magic of these poets has me enthralled, craving more and wanting to scream it out to anyone who will listen.

Has anyone else read something that changed their life? Made them want to dance and sing and weep and hide? Has poetry changed your life in ways you never knew possible?


Signing off


5 thoughts on “Exploding Out of Me

  1. When I read The Great Gatsby this happened to me. Was blown away at how much the story stuck in my mind. What was odd though was that I didn’t even enjoy it until close to the end…and then I got it.

    Great post Kate! I will have to try my hand at reading some poetry. I’ll admit that I have never read much (does The Raven count?).

    • Oh my gosh, I know just how you feel about Gatsby. I didn’t read it, but listened to the audio book and I was enthralled! Th story was so tragic and I didn’t like certain things, but oh, the whole thing was amazing. That paragraph at the beginning when Nick and Tom come in to see Daisy and Jordan is there, where it’s described with the billowing curtains and the carpet like a lawn. It’s magic.
      I try to tell my father, but he mocks me because of the story, but it is because of the story that makes it entirely enthralling.

      Poetry is a very aquired taste. I’ve just recently figured that out. I have tried reading certain poetry, gone “this is horrible” only to learn to appreciate it and suddenly think it’s marvelous. I have actually never read the Raven. I like some Poe, but I have dabbled more in lighter works. If you like rhyming, stick with the more classic artists; Tennyson, Scott, Yeats (Yeats is good on it’s own), but if you want to try something a bit more modern, try Millay, Billy Collins, Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, and I’m blanking on others. ee cummings is very unique, but some is incredible too. It’s not a fast thing to dive into, but if you are looking for something particular, ask me. 🙂

  2. Rudyard Kipling is my favorite poet. Some of his stuff is long and winded, but a good portion of them are cultural, political, and moral pointing fingers that make you want to sit up and take notice, or lie down and weep. I also love Shakespeare. I get goosebumps from his Sonnets, and the plays always make me shiver in amazement at his talent.
    And speaking of talent… I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Check this out for guidelines: http://phantomwriter143.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/very-inspiring-blogger-award-moi/. Congrats!

    • Wow, thank you so much for the nomination. I will have to accept that. 🙂

      I have not read Kipling, but I should! Oh, some of Shakespeare’s Sonnets are so incredible. And bits and pieces from certain plays. Incredible stuff. I like things that make you want to lie down and weep too. It just makes you really pay attention to everything around you.

Tell Me Your Thoughts (I.E. Leave a Reply)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.