Favourite Individual Collections
Daljit Nagra - 23 February 2011
I enjoy reading slim volumes of poetry, especially individual collections. I find this an easily manageable thing to carry around with me both physically and mentally. I feel it gives me the transitory workings of a poet's mind and a snapshot of their obsessions at a given point in their life.
Gaining some control over an individual collection helps build my confidence about reading poetry. I enjoy the idea of having absorbed a whole text to some degree. Good poets will usually work from a certain place in the dictionary and have particular textures and themes that may tightly or loosely bind the collection.
I wonder what your favourite collections are, the ones you find yourself frequently dipping into? I'll list some of my favourite volumes at the moment and then I'd like to read about your favourites and why you like them. Perhaps we can inspire each other to try out books we have yet to read.
Soem of my favourites (in no order)and some reasons:
James Fenton - Out of Danger (mix of gritty political verse and stark love poetry)
Jo Shapcott - Of Mutability (emotional depth, beautifully structured poems)
Stephen Knight - Dream City Cinema (exciting experiments with form)
John Ashbery - Houseboat Days (incredibly rich poems)
Seamus Heaney - North (dense geographical diction)
Derek Walcott - Omeros (grand, insightful about post-colonial states of being)
Jorie Graham - Erosion (complex, philosophically themed observations)
These are just a few of my favourites at the moment, but I'm sure if asked in a few weeks time I'd probably pick very different books.