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Selected Poetry Paperback – July 5, 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (July 5, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140585400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140585407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Guerrilla Reader VINE VOICE on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lawrence wrote nearly 1,000 poems during a short lifetime in which he was also astonishingly prolific in other spheres--fiction, travel writing, essays, criticism, letters and plays. Lawrence was not simply a novelist who dabbled in other forms. His characteristic vision informed everything he wrote, especially his poetry. At three important phases of his life it became the primary channel of his experience and creative energy--the first year of his relationship with Frieda, the two years in Sicily, and the last year of his life. Bringing together the best of his poetry, this volume demonstrates that 'Lawrence is a great poet in every sense including the technical ... The form is the perfect incarnation of the content, the perfect vehicle for the liveliness of thought and feeling, the freshness, and depth of perception, the wit and wisdom he has to offer.' Superb. Without hesitation or reservation, five stars.
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Format: Paperback
Sagar states in the introduction of this selection of D.H. Lawrence's poetry, "We have come to think of his poetry as something of a by-product of, or relaxation from, other more strenuous and important work". There is no doubt it was to an extent, however, what is clear is that he took it just as seriously as his other artistic pursuits. Casual readers of Lawrence may be surprised to learn that he wrote around 1000 poems in his 45-years. His poetry runs in near-parallel themes to his novels - for example, "Sons and Lovers" character Miriam was inspired by the muse of "Love Poems", Lawrence's' then sweetheart Jessie Chambers. "Sons and Lovers" focused upon the cruelty of love - platonic, romantic, and parental. Lawrence's poems from his "Love Poems" collection, "Cruelty and Love" and "Snap-Dragon" capture the same theme, albeit far more personally.
In this collection we see Lawrence's poetic skills evolve - from young rebel to world-weary mystic. It's his ability to capture emotion so clearly and concisely which is Lawrence's greatest skill. What also shines through in his poetry is a sense of playfulness - take "The Mosquito" as a case example:
"It is your trump,
It is your hateful little trump,
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear."
The poem is altogether hilarious, depicting Lawrence as a hunter of the tiny yet vicious bug, who evades his every attempt to squash it until he finally, after much effort, succeeds. Much more than this, however, it demonstrates Lawrence's uncanny ability to capture the essence of nature and its creatures, best evidenced in "Snake".
Lawrence's poems are all full of energy and spirit, technically adept, and yet not limited by form. Admittedly some of his work is too personal, leaving the reader alienated, but his successful poetry (mostly presented in this collection) transcends time and culture.
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Format: Paperback
That's the question asked by a previous reviewer, one of only three.
Suppose I offer you a poem and let you decide for yourslves:

HUMMING-BIRD
I can imagine, in some otherworld
Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.

Before anything had a soul.
While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow vast succulent stems.

I believe there were no flowers then,
In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.

Probably he was big
As mosses and little lizards, they say, were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.
We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,
Luckily for us.

[I've chosen that poem because it's short enough to type in an ammy review. Lawrence's best poems, IMHO, are in his collection called Birds, Beast, and Flowers.]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've never like poetry, this is the poet you should start with. Someone borrowed mine, so I will be ordering again
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Lawrence wrote two kinds of poetry as he wrote two kinds of Literature. One is alive, spontaneous , reacts to and connects with external reality, even brings that reality alive through sympathetic identification with it. The second kind of poetry is dogmatic, one- dimensional, opinionizing and comes at us without complexity. It is the preaching poetry.

The best poetry of Lawrence is that which flows and is fused with a kind of ongoing passion, and feeling.
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Some of this is a hard read. Book in fine shape.
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