A Poetic Costa Winner…

I have a Savidge Reads Grills going up within the next few hours which links to yesterdays post but seeing the Costa winner before I went to bed provided me with an interesting and enquiring interlude. So I will leave you all with a question or two over night (and on into the day of course dependent where you are worldwide and when you read this) and see what you all came up with.

Firstly though congratulations to Christopher Reid whose book of poetry ‘A Scattering’ won the overall Costa Award yesterday. I won’t deny that I had high hopes for the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ‘Brooklyn’ but that got Costa Novel Award so I can remain a little thrilled, a little chuffed and even a little smug that my favourite book of the year ranked highly with the judges too. Back to this years all round winner, I am pleased Reid won as the story of why it was written (it’s all based around his wife’s illness, death, the after effects and emotions) is a poignant one, I think he is a worthy winner, it is also unusually poetry too. I am not sure when a book of poetry last won this award but I gather it’s a rare thing.

I am useless when it comes to poetry and apart from the occasional re-read of Brian Pattern from my youth (Gargling With Jelly is just a wonderful book) I rarely touch it and don’t go out of my way to find it. I don’t know why it just doesn’t get to me. I wonder if it’s just because I haven’t read enough or tried enough. Since reading The Bell Jar I have wanted to try some Plath poems, is she a good place to start? Who would you recommend to get a man who doesn’t think he likes poetry to absolutely love it? I know you will come up with some wonderful ideas.

After thought – Isn’t it odd that as I wrote this post as I noticed my next read is actually a crime mystery novel written in verse, not intentional I swear, this could make for interesting reading!

16 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts

16 responses to “A Poetic Costa Winner…

  1. As long as you’re not an impressionable, fourteen year old girl, then I’d say yes, Sylvia Plath would be a good place to start (especially if you’re already interested in her). Those were dangerous poems in the hands of overly dramatic teenager girls though (and I had the pleasure of going to an all-girls school: anything by Plath was permanently checked out of the library). I actually did a post over the weekend about poetry: I’d like to learn to enjoy and appreciate it, but I’ve no idea where to start! I’ll be interested to see what ideas other bloggers come up with.

    • As far as I am aware I am not an impressionable fourteen year old girl Claire but thank you for the warning in case hee hee. Hopefully more of my readers will recommend a way forward with this post as I too struggle with poetry and I would really like not to.

  2. I have to laugh at above comment but it is so true! I know I had a Plath phase.

    I don’t read much poetry either but I’ve always loved W.H. Auden who is quite accessible.

    • I would like to try Plath especially since hearing one of her poems about the birth of her son on the radio which I found really really moving!

      I am pleased you have said Auden is accessible, he has always scared me! Maybe I will give him a try.

  3. fleurfisher

    If you are drawn to plath, then that is the way to go. I find it nigh on impossible to recommend poetry, but you could do worse than pick up an anthology from the library and see what grabs you.

  4. Bet

    I love poetry, Simon, and I think I can give you some good recommendations- hope they are available on your side of the pond. For accessible anthologies, I like Garrison Keillor’s *Good Poems* and *Good Poems for Hard Times*. Also try Billy Collins– he is usually quite funny! But my favorite poet is Jane Kenyon. Wish she hadn’t died so young…

  5. Please stop by for an award.

  6. Erika

    I will suggest Billy Collins also. Turn up his poem[ “Nostalgia” on the net and see if you enjoy it.

    My favorite poem of all times is Matthew Arnold’s “On Dover Beach”.

  7. I’m not such a poetry reader either, but I find Wendy Cope to be hilarious, poignant and easy to read. And she seems to be in a permanent battle with other poets who don’t take her work seriously.

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