Poems that move
Valerie Bloom - 22 May 2006
It is hard to give a definition of poetry, as evidenced by the debate during John Mole's residency on the Archive, but it might be easier to pinpoint good poetry if we had an idea of what we expect from a good poem.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde was the first poem which reduced me to tears, but close behind was Thomas Hood's Sally Simpkins Lament. In the latter case they were tears of laughter and I am unable to read it with a straight face. Neither is on the Archive unfortunately, but they can be found on the web. I tend to rate a poem by the degree to which it moves me. What about you? Do you want to be shown a side of the subject you've never seen before? Do you expect a strong rhythm or do you want to be moved to tears or laughter? Have you ever read/heard a poem which changed your thinking? What exactly do you want from a poem?