Sunday, 9 October 2011

My Favourite Poem

08:09:00 Posted by Ashley Lister 4 comments
by Ashley J Lister

“What is your favourite poem?”

If you’d have asked me this time last week, I’d have told you that I was addicted to Chaucer. I’d been introduced to the Canterbury Tales in the English course I started in September and was instantly hooked. If I had to guess what caught my interest with this author, I’d say it was the way that the majority of his text, though it sounds like another language, was surprisingly easy to decipher.

If you’d have asked me the week before, I’d probably have said Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’. The piece is so evocative and has many possibilities of what the poem could mean. Is it a love poem to the late Lenore? Is it a horror story of a man tormented by a talking Raven? Or is it a man’s descent into madness personified by a speaking bird?

Also, it sounded great when Darth Vader did it in the Simpsons.

The week before that would likely have been Ashley Lister’s material – the whole reason I started to write in the first place. While I sometimes hide away in the corner (usually when he’s talking about Hermione Granger inspecting his wand or Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer clutching on to a nine-inch length of wood), I’m always proud to call him my father.

The week before that (and quite recently, it seems) would have been Con te Partiro by Lucio Quarantotto. I’d never really enjoyed the song that much until I met my partner – a wonderful person who makes me extremely happy. When we first met, we walked down Birley Street and the song played as we sat down. Suddenly, I thought the piece was amazing. When I look at the translation, the lyrics talk about going to new places with a person that they feel enamoured by. The lyrics reflect the way I feel, so it’s quite fitting.

But unfortunately, I have no solid favourite poem. What I like to read changes, just like what I want to watch on TV and what I like to eat – it depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll want to read a poem to think about someone. Sometimes I’ll want to watch a horror flick to get the heebie-jeebies. And sometimes I’ll be the greedy sod who eats all the doughnuts in the packet. Most times with the latter, actually.

So ask me tomorrow what my favourite poem is. Knowing the random fashion I’ve been taking with my favourite poems, it’ll be between “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, “If” or “Baa-Baa Black Sheep”.

Of course, I’m joking! I’ve never been a great fan of Kipling.


Lara Clayton said...

I can completely relate to this post. I also have different poems for different times , different moods - and what I choose to read is usually closely related to how I feel in that moment.

I loved the bit about your Dad being the reason you started to write - it was an 'awww' moment that made me smile :)

And you'll only be able to eat all the doughnuts if you're quick enough... I have a feeling that Spike is competing to steal that title from you.

Great post x

Ashley R Lister said...

Between Spike and Ashley it's a wonder I get to see any doughnuts in the house.

Great post.


(PS - The Raven is about a talking bird. Don't give me your theories on themes about insanity or love poetry. It's a big black parrot and it's going to peck out his eyes).

Ste said...

Well I say the Raven is an anthropomorphic personification, so there! Great post - and I completely agree. Asking me what my favourite poem is, is like asking what my favourite band is - it could go from Sigur Ros one day to Rage Against the Machine the next. And while Lara had her 'Aww' moment, I sympathise with the hiding in a corner (couldn't imagine my dad innuendoing it up like Ash!) :)

vicky ellis said...

Well said :) The whole 'favourite' question is ridiculous. My current pet hate is the set of security questions which companies are favouring which entail answering stupid questions like 'What is your favourite food?' or 'What was your favourite subject at school?' As I pointed out to a representative who couldn't care less, my favourite food changes from day to day and I had a few favourite subjects. When I came to call this company back and they asked me 'What was your favourite subject at school?' I had to guess. I got it wrong. I told the woman that the security questions are ridiculous and she curtly replied that I should write my answers down so I don't forget. I refuse to do this. Next time I call I will in all likelihood get the question wrong again. The word favourites is stupid and I vote we have it removed from the language. It breeds ill feeling between siblings and makes fools of the mutable nature of humanity. Boo to favouritism.

Sorry Ashley. I think I need a doughnut :)