prod_982_34990My favourite poem of all time is To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell. I found it in a book of English poems when I was in the university, and I fell hopelessly in love. It was the first poem I ever intentionally memorised. Lines such as “A hundred years should go to praise thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze,” and “the Grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace,” somehow captured my heart and made me unable to forget this lovely poem.

My second favourite is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight by Dylan Thomas. The power of this poem cannot be missed by anyone who ever comes across it. Thomas wrote the poem in grief when he learned of his father’s death, and each word is a powerful expression of that grief. I also memorised this poem, though I doubt now that I can still recite it all – old age. Anyway, this poem’s masterful use of repetition, metaphor, imagery makes it easily one of the best poems ever written.

“Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, Rage Against the dying of the light.”

I was thinking recently how different this poem would be even if just one little thing were changed. If, for example. The word rage wasn’t repeated in that sentence. ‘Rage, Rage Against the dying of the light.’ It would be so different. Less powerful and evocative. Anyway, great poem.

My third favourite is Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson. An old Odysseus exhorts his companions to go on one last voyage and adventure with him. This poem is an ode to past greatness. The subject is a bit sentimental but with too much remnant of glory to be pitiable.

“You and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.”

And here…

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

There are many other poems I love. Pablo Neruda’s Love, The Charge of the Light Brigade which almost made it to number 3 spot, What Do Women Want by Kim Addonzio. A collection of my best poems would be a very eclectic mix. Eclectic, but beautiful.

Looking at my best three poems, I think I see a parallel with the genres of fiction that I like. My favourite genre is romance, no matter what anyone says, I’d drool over a Christian Grey or Gideon Cross for three hundred and something pages without regret. The chase and capitulation storylines are my weakness.

Next is literary fiction. Ah. Reading Sophie’s Choice was an experience I will not trade for anything in this life. A good literary novel both inspires and depresses. Excellence you automatically want to reach, but you just can’t help doubting your ability to.

After that is Fantasy. I get a little crazy when I’m reading a fantasy novel or series. Myth, Mages, and Guilds, oh my!! Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy had me for days until I finished the full series. The plot twists and slowly unveiled mysteries are enough to live for. Really.

So three totally different poems, and three genres I can read for the rest of my life. In case anyone was wondering. Hehe.

This should have been a post of the newest chapter of my work in progress (which has been written for weeks and just need editing), but I chose to write about myself instead, and I have no excuse apart from the fact that right now I’m being a flibbertigibbet.

Enjoy your day.

And read those poems.


Yesterday I should have gone to school as I usually do, most Saturdays,  to receive lectures in a dusty studio, with a dustier rug and tired air conditioners, but I didn’t go. I stayed at home and got lost on the internet. I should have done some writing too, but I didn’t, instead I toyed with my website.

There was also a wedding I should have gone to, I didn’t do that either, I didn’t do any of the things I should have done. The ‘shoulds‘ were weighing down on me.

Sometimes you go around doing the things you should do, 
while who you really are wastes away ans slowly dies.

Towards evening, I read a book, the power had gone out and the laptop and the phone had died, all that was left was my Kindle.

I looked for something to read. I have many books, a few years ago a huge collection of .mobi books fell into my lap, about three thousand books. I don’t know if I will ever have the time to read them all.

I tried Asimov at first, I liked the authors note, his humor was catching, but Foundation itself, I could not bring myself to enjoy, maybe science fiction is not really my thing.

Almost by chance, I started reading a book called, Awaiting Your Reply by Daniel Chaon.

I couldn’t stop reading.

That book gave meaning to my wasted Saturday  in a way that doing all the things I should have, would never have done.

© 2012 by Somi Ekhasomhi. All rights reserved