3 Poems X 3 Poets

In celebration of the National Poetry Month, aside from reading a lot of poems and getting into the groove of writing some of my own again, I am sharing my three most beloved poems from three of my most favorite poets. I share my favorite lines from my top 3 and top 2 choices from each writer, and the whole piece for my #1 favorites. I hope you will enjoy my selection as much as I enjoyed relishing their amazing body of work!

3. Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Although Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels, especially her dystopian fiction “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she also writes poems with fifteen published books of poetry under her belt. Her interest in myths and fairy tales, which she wrote more about in her recent book “In Other Worlds,” was the biggest influence in her poems. However, my favorite pieces from her are rather ‘earthly(?)’ and emotional contrary to her sci-fi influences.

Top 3 Margaret Atwood Poems:

3. Habitation

… the edge of the receding glacier

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

2. Variations of Love

Add lace
and you can sell
it. We insert it also in the one empty
space on the printed form
that comes with no instructions.

1. You Fit Into Me

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

2. Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda has won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Fellow prolific writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, described him as “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Love is definitely Neruda’s cup of tea. But he also wrote surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. A very interesting trivia about his writing habits is using green ink, which is his personal color of hope.

Top 3 Pablo Neruda Poems:

3. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

2. If You Forget Me ( In 2008, I attempted to translate this into our language – Tagalog.)

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

1. Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

1. Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Ah. Sylvia, Sylvia, Sylvia. Best known for her only novel, “The Bell Jar,” Sylvia Plath has garnered profound yet posthumous recognition for her poems. While struggling with a disintegrated marriage, financial difficulties, and raising two children by herself, Plath somehow reinforced her need to write, working between 4-8am. She would usually finish a poem a day. Having previous suicidal attempts, Plath sadly passed away in 1963 and two years later, her collection of poems, “Ariel,” was published.

Top 3 Sylvia Plath Poems:

3. Lady Lazarus

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

2. Lesbos

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,
Me and you.

1. Mad Girl’s Love Song

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Like it? Share this post so your friends can also rekindle (or get introduced to) the great works of Atwood, Neruda and Plath! Thank you for reading. (: Here’s a virtual donut as a token of my appreciation:

Share a post, win a friend (me), and a virtual donut (friendship bracelets are so 90s).
Share a post, win a friend (me), and a virtual donut (friendship bracelets are so 1990s). *fistbump*

9 thoughts on “Top 3 Poems from my Top 3 Favorite Poets

    1. Hey Abbie! You’re welcome. I hope you this gets your started. Let me know whose poetry you end up reading after this. (: Thank you for dropping by. Hope you can share the post to your friends if you enjoyed reading it. (:

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know this month is NaPoWri month. It just goes to show that I’ve really been slacking off on my poetry writing. Thanks for introducing me to these great writers & helping me get back into the groove of things! I really like your picks from Pablo Neruda. x

    Like

    1. I’m happy you liked my selection. Yes, Neruda is an easy favorite for everyone. (: Thank you for stopping by! Feel free to share the post to your friends. And look around the blog for more stuff that you might like. (:

      Like

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