Emily Dickinson

50 Essential Books of Poetry That Everyone Should Read

It’s National Poetry Month, and you’re probably thinking: “I should really read more poetry. But where oh where do I start?” Well, sound the trumpets, because here is Flavorwire to the rescue! Click through for a list of 50 essential books of poetry that pretty much everyone should read. There’s something for everybody here, from the deeply established canonical works to riveting, important books by newer poets, from the Romantics to the post-modernists, from the goofy to the… Read More

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20 Famous Authors as Dolls

How best to prove your adoration of a particular writer? Make a doll in their likeness, of course. Or if you’re a little less than crafty, buy one. Or, you know, just look at them on the Internet. This last bit you can accomplish right now. Yes, your favorite authors have been immortalized as everything from action figures to wooden works of art to paper dolls to LEGO figurines, and you’ll find 20 of them after the jump. As an added bonus, many of them are buyable, so if you’re still looking to fill your favorite bookish friend’s holiday stocking, look no further. But be prepared for them to think you’re slightly creepy. … Read More

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10 Beautiful Poems About Death

Whatever your Halloween plans are, you can’t go wrong in taking a few minutes to sit down, crack open a (seasonally appropriate) beer, and read a handful of classic poems about death and dying. Using Russ Kick’s new anthology, Death Poems, as our source, we’ve selected ten of the best verses from throughout the ages about death and dying, and present them to you as a special Halloween/Day of the Dead gift. … Read More

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20 Poets on the Meaning of Poetry

We’ve been thinking about poet Meena Alexander’s incredible address to the Yale Political Union, in which she refers to Shelley’s 1821 essay, A Defence of Poetry. The English poet’s work famously stated, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Alexander concludes: “The poem is an invention that exists in spite of history… In a time of violence, the task of poetry is in some way to reconcile us to our world and to allow us a measure of tenderness and grace with which to exist… Poetry’s task is to reconcile us to the world — not to accept it at face value or to assent to things that are wrong, but to reconcile one in a larger sense, to return us in love, the province of the imagination, to the scope of our mortal lives.” Other poets have attempted to interpret “what is deeply felt and is essentially unsayable.” Here are a few brief definitions of poetry by famous poets. … Read More

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Your Favorite Poets’ Favorite Books of Poetry

We recently learned about legendary poet Robert Frost’s favorite books, and were surprised to notice that only two of them were books of poetry (and neither a straight collection of the stuff, at that). Nevertheless, we were inspired by his recommendations, and since it’s National Poetry Month and all, we took to the Internet to find out what books of poetry other great poets were loving, recommending, and writing about. After the jump, a few favorite books name-checked by a few wonderful poets. What’s your favorite book of poetry? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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The Fascinating, Handwritten Poems of Famous Authors

“Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently,” Jean Cocteau once said. When examining the handwritten poems of famous authors — those made popular by their texts and several famous for other art forms — there is an unparalleled intimacy that typed words cannot convey. Many of these poems were born from spontaneous bursts of creativity or late-night meditations, unsparing and instinctive in thought. Words are ostensibly silent, but these handwritten poems speak volumes about their creators. See what poets put pen to paper and revealed their inner worlds. … Read More

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Read the First Poems of 10 Famous Poets

In conjunction with the recent publication of a new, gorgeous dual-language edition of The Collected Poems of Marcel Proust, this morning The Daily Beast shared the first poem ever written by Marcel Proust (as far as anyone knows). The poem, penned when the legendary author was a mere 17 years old, reflects his struggle with homosexuality and his blossoming talent. After the jump, read Proust’s debut poem and a collection of nine other of the earliest known verses of now famous poets. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know about it in the comments. … Read More

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12 Beautiful Poems for Book Lovers

There are volumes of poetic tributes honoring love, nature, and even death, but books have frequently been a poet’s greatest muse. These deliciously meta verses reveal the magic, wisdom, and imagination that books offered each author — an intimate and endearing view most lovers of literature can relate to. We collected odes to books by 12 different writers who unabashedly shared their mutual adoration for the greatest form of the written word. Melt your heart with these literary verses, below. … Read More

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10 Books That Could Save Your Life

This week marked the release of Reality Hunger author David Shields’ newest book, How Literature Saved My Life, a wonderfully meandering meditation on reading, writing, and the reason for art. In that spirit, we offer ten books that just might save your life — some which Shields mentions in his latest, some of which are our own favorites.… Read More

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The Private Book Collections of 10 Famous Readers

Earlier this month, we stumbled across Carolyn Kellogg’s great article about Bernie Madoff’s book collection, parts of which are being sold slowly on eBay by the person who won Madoff’s books in an auction. Sure, the books someone has may not be as great an indicator of their personality as, er, some other things we know about them, but, nerds that we are, we tend to consider our libraries extensions of ourselves. So of course, we did a little digging, pouring through the collections of famous (or infamous) cultural icons and see what they were made of. After the jump, browse through our excerpts of the private libraries of everyone from Darwin to Houdini to Oprah, and draw your conclusions where you may. … Read More

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