10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (V)

Hello there! Here it is, the fifth poem in our series of ten. Do you think a note you leave on the fridge can be poetry? William Carlos William experimented with poetry. Many of his poems lack punctuation, rely on erratic or unusual lineation, and generally dissolve the traditional boundaries between one thing, or idea, and another, between poetry and daily mundane life. 

 

Poet: Willian Carlos Williams

This is just to say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

 

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

 

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

 

You can read more about Willliam Carlos Williams here.

Quick fact:

Written as though it were a note left on a kitchen table, Williams’ poem appears to the reader like a piece of found poetry. Metrically, the poem exhibits no regularity of stress or of syllable count. The consonance of the letters «Th» in lines two, three, and four, as well the consonance of the letter «F» in lines eight and nine, and the letter ‘S’ in lines eleven and twelve give rise to a natural rhythm when the poem is read aloud.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (IV)

Hello readers! We continue with the publication of short but powerful excerpts from some of the most famous poems in the history of the English Language. Today we have a classic! It can be an obvious or cliché choice for many but, we can’t help it, we love this poem! The rhythm in the sentences, the anaphoras and the alliterations increasing the power of the sentiments line after line… everything builds a mesmerizing tone that’s got us absolutely smitten!

Poet: Walt Whitman

Published: 1865

Oh Captain! My Captain!

Excerpt: 

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

      But O heart! heart! heart!

            O the bleeding drops of red,

                  Where on the deck my Captain lies,

                        Fallen cold and dead.

And if you want to get goose bumps, listent to the whole poem:

Or watch this video to understand why Oh Captain! My Captain! was and is so important for American history. And, of course, we can’t fail to mention the scene from Dead Poets Society that popularized the poem.

Quick fact: 

Walt Whitman composed the poem «O Captain! My Captain!» after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. The poem is classified as an elegy or mourning poem, and was written to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. Walt Whitman was born in 1819 and died in 1892, and the American Civil War was the central event of his life. He was initially indifferent to Lincoln, but as the war pressed on, Whitman came to love the president, though the two men never met.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (III)

Hello readers! We continue with our publication of excerpts from some of the most famous poems in the English Literature.

Have you ever uttered the words «What if I had…?» or «I wish I had…?» How different would your life be if you had taken that other road, the other path or decision you didn’t take? Well, Robert Frost once wondered the same thing and decided to write a poem that ended up being one of the most renowned poem of the American Literature and key in American Culture as well.

Poet: Robert Frost

Published: 1916

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Excerpt: 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

It’s been really difficult to choose just one stanza of the poem to show here, the poem is so beautiful it should be read as a whole. Thus, we highly recommend you read it here. And you can also listen to the poem in this video from Vimeo or also in this Ted-Ed:

If you would rather read a review of the poem, we have chosen this one for you: «The most Misread Poem in America»

Quick fact:

Though Robert Frost probably wrote the poem to highlight the human tendency to look back and blame minor decisions in their life, it has since been interpreted by readers as a poem on the benefit of free thinking and not following the crowd. The last lines of the poem are hugely popular and often quoted. Its signature phrases have been used in a Ford commercial,  in advertisements for Mentos, Nicorette, the multibillion-dollar insurance companies, and even deployed during a Super Bowl.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (II)

Hello readers! We continue with our publication of excerpts from some of the most famous poems in the English Literature. Today, a poem with a monosyllabic powerful word as title, If-

Poet: Rudyard Kipling

Published: 1910

 

Excerpt: 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

[…]  

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Quick fact:

These lines of the poem are hugely popular; and the third and fourth lines of its second stanza are written on the wall of the players’ entrance to the Centre Court of the Wimbledon Championship. If— is one of the most well-known poems in the English language and it was voted the favourite poem of Britain in a 1995 BBC poll.

You can read and listen to the whole poem here, but today, we are going to recommend you to listen to the poem recited by the English actor Sir Michael Caine.

 Watch the video here

Reading a book from every country in the world!

Hello everybody! 

Do you consider yourself  well read? Anna Morgan challenged herself to read a book from every country in the world after realising she wasn’t as well read as she thought. We just love her ambition to know more about other countries through their literature and how people threw themselves into her project and started sending her books. We are thrilled to share with you her TedTalk.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (I)

Hello there! This is our first in a series of ten of the most famous poems in the English literature that we are publishing to celebrate World Book Day. We hope you enjoy this powerful poem and the related quick fact.

Poet: Maya Angelou

Published: 1978

STILL I RISE

Excerpt: 

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

[…]

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Click here to read the whole poem and here to read more about this brave woman. We also love this video about Maya Angelou from the Peabody awards.

Quick fact:

In 1994, Nelson Mandela recited this poem at his presidential inauguration. Still I Rise is perhaps the most famous poem written by an African American and it has been called a “proud, even defiant statement on behalf of all Black people”.

¡Feliz Día del Libro! – Happy World Book Day!

Reading is power!

World Book Day, also known as International Day of the Book, is an annual event organized by the UNESCO to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. World Book Day was first celebrated on 23 April 1995, and continues to be recognized on that day.

The original idea was of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, first on 7 October, his birth date, then on 23 April, his death date. In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors. In a historical coincidence, Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date.

(Source: Wikipedia)

In order to celebrate this day, we are going to publish every other day a series of excerpts from ten of the most famous poems in the English Literature and some quick interesting facts about the poems and their writers. What are you waiting for, go and check our first poem by Maya Angelou!

We would like to finish off by recommending you to visit the World Book Day website where you’ll find free audio books, reading recommendations you’ll love, Q&A articles, video books and much more!

(Above: image of World Book Day website)

¡Hola mundo! – Hello World!

Welcome to our blog!

Te damos la bienvenida al blog de la biblioteca de la EOI de La Laguna. Este es nuestro primer post, un primer post en el que te queremos informar de que mañana, 23 de Abril del 2020 Día del Libro, empezaremos una pequeña publicación cada dos días de pequeños extractos de 10 de los poemas más famosos en la literatura Inglesa junto con hechos curiosos.

Esta publicación está en español para así atender a la diversidad de idiomas de nuestra escuela pero, en este blog, la lengua se adaptará al post publicado dado que somos unos afortunados que vivimos rodeados de una gran variedad lingüística, don’t you think? Así, nuestra publicación sobre algunos de los 10 poemas más famosos de la literatura Inglesa tiene sentido que sea en inglés!