The Power of Poetry

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Poems really can influence your world…

As January draws to a close I’ve been looking back at poems that have influenced me in some way.  After writing a few of my own poems, I’ve found a new appreciation for great poetry.
A poem can capture so much about the subject with a few words, through the mood or feeling. I want to share some of my thoughts about these with you and perhaps hear your comments.

If… by Rudyard Kipling

Probably one of the most famous of all poems, has to be a favourite; it’s strong, uplifting words are based on a masculine ideal.

Reading it at a time when you are feeling low and not certain of the way forward; can help you feel stronger and find purpose.

Jabberwocky (from Through the Looking-Glass) by Lewis Carroll

You have probably all guessed by now that one of my favourite authors is Lewis Carroll and the classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

On first glance Jabberwocky appears to be written in strange words, but you can get the general sense of the words from their sounds. Although a number of the words have been adopted and are now in the dictionary. Jabberwocky has a enchanting quality about it that’s unusual.

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

As we approach Valentines Day, Love’s Philosophy expresses love in a magical and dream like way. It appears to be more about the fantasy of being in love than reality. Shelley originally wrote it for a young lady he admired. He was obviously smitten by her!

Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

A poem by Shakespeare had to be part of my list in some form. In this sonnet, Shakespeare writes a more mature love sonnet describing marriage and includes words used in the marriage service. Sonnet 116 is a favourite poem for couples to choose to recite at a wedding or civil ceremony.

Twelve Songs by W H Auden (Stop all the Clocks)

I’ve always admired this poem it’s a favourite of mine. It’s a love song about two gay men. The dramatic tone and descriptive words are immensely striking. It’s popularity rose when it was recited in the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’; in the funeral service.

What do you think of my selection? What are your favourite poems and why?

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