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  #21  
Unread 10-05-2012, 08:05 AM
Nigel Mace Nigel Mace is offline
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Well, Don, it's only anglophone because of Tony's rules. Without that constraint Hugh MacDiarmid's A Drunk Man Looks At The Thistle would surely be there, if only as my "really, really, really must submit" second posting - although it would have to jostle with at least one very English alternative, also published and conceived as a single work.
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  #22  
Unread 10-05-2012, 08:58 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Nigel, Tony actually said any language is ok for the list.
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  #23  
Unread 10-05-2012, 09:31 AM
Nigel Mace Nigel Mace is offline
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Ah.. thanks for that Andrew, although I'm a bit uncertain still, as I recall Tony's number 3 was about accepting "books of translation" - and I don't think anyone has done the "Drunk Man" in English. Now there's a thought that would have had Grieve grinding his teeth!
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  #24  
Unread 10-05-2012, 11:11 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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Well, it's not really a foreign language like French, is it? I mean is the title in English or in Scots, and if it's in Scots then what's the English translation? And what makes it more of a foreign language than what William Barnes writes his poems in? And we know, or you and I do, Nigel, that many of the words he used are 'book' words. No living Scot ever used them.
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  #25  
Unread 10-05-2012, 04:34 PM
Nigel Mace Nigel Mace is offline
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Well, John, I used to think this was more true than it truly is. Of course there were, if not inventions, at least a number of 'revivals' combined with 'coinages', mostly eloquent in sound if sometimes elusive in sense; but nobody worth listening to blamed Dylan Thomas for his neologisms. However, life in the Borders has taught me that MacDiarmid's versions of Scots owed far more to local speech than academic writers have recognised.

Anyway, having endured the blasts of derision from one of the Sphere's own 'Moderators' (an odd title in the circumstances) which my own poetry in Scots has provoked, I'm not rushing to offer the "Drunk Man" as poetry in English - and, whatever you may say - it isn't. It is magnificently different, read privately or performed on stage (Tom Fleming's tour-de-force was magisterial) it is an unforgettable experience - and a grand one, well worthy of comparison with "Tam o' Shanter" and much, much more; and, by the way, it includes translations from Russian, French and German in its sweep. If contributors to this thread haven't read it - go to it - for, whether the rules here permit it or not, it is one of the great thrills not only of the twentieth century, but of many, many others as well.
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  #26  
Unread 10-05-2012, 08:55 PM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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Default 10. Intimate Voices Tom Leonard

No derision from me, ever moderate, but I suggest that THIS is the book of poems in Scots you really need.

name a thi fathir
nuvthi sun
nuvthi holy ghostie men

Which makes me think that someone ought to have suggested a book by ee cummings who added immeasurably to the gaiety of nations.
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  #27  
Unread 10-06-2012, 12:46 AM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
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Great thread, Tony. But the first three I was going to post turn out to be taken or ineligible -- Gegory already picked "New Hampshire," Robinson's "Children if the Night" was actually published just before the century began, and Steele's "Toward the Winter Solstice" was published just after. Three strikes. I'll have to try again when I am better rested.

David R.
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  #28  
Unread 10-06-2012, 08:43 AM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
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Default 11. Mountain Interval by Robert Frost

Coming to my senses, I make what might seem too obvious a choice -- an album with a lot of "hit singles." But it is an obvious choice for a reason. And looking over it and New Hampshire, North of Boston, and others, I am close to thinking it is Frost's best. The "hits" alone would make it worthy if the rest were filler, but there is no filler here. The slyness of "The Road Not Taken" sets the tone for a volume that exemplifies Frost's ability to embed ellipticality beneath a seemingly straightforward veneer.

The whole range is represented -- from shorts like "A Patch of Old Snow" to long narratives like "Snow," from sonnets ("Meeting and Passing," "The Oven Bird") to het-met odd jobs like "The Telephone," from long, aerated lines ("Birches," "An Old Man's Winter Night") to ballad-ish stanzas like "A Girl's Garden." I probably spend more time with New Hampshire, North of Boston, and some later things, but if someone wanted to get a sense Frost in one book, I think I'd give them this.

And if you are feeling too cool for school, and too hip for a collection with a lot of "hits," or too in the know to rank this with his others, I challenge you to read the thing cover to cover and tell me it doesn't belong on this list.

Here's a link to amazon, and here's a link to the Bartleby online version.

David R.

Last edited by David Rosenthal; 12-08-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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  #29  
Unread 10-06-2012, 10:42 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Hardy's Poems of 1912-1913 is first pick. Yeats' The Tower is a near run second.
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  #30  
Unread 10-06-2012, 11:01 AM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Hardy's Poems of 1912-1913 is first pick. Yeats' The Tower is a near run second.
I'd have picked something by Hardy, but I confess I don't know his "books" well as books. Until recently, when I got a volume of complete poems, all I had were a couple of well-thumbed selected volumes.

David R.
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