We had just received our English textbooks (along with all the others, of course) – so I decided to see whether the literature section this time around was any better. The stories were not really out of the ordinary – one from Saki, one that I’d read before from Satyajit Ray – but what really struck me was the poetry. One by Shakespeare, a sonnet, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and a few others that would not, in my opinion, appeal to individuals (we can’t all ourselves children anymore, but we’re not yet adults, and ‘adolescents’ just didn’t seem to fit – so we’re individuals) of our age.
This line of thinking led to some curiosity. What sorts of poems would individuals around my age like? So I asked around, and got five recommendations, which I supplemented with five of my own:
ABCD… (as a joke – I returned the favour by prominently writing in the list “On request (person’s name)”)
Television, by Roald Dahl
Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
The Seven Ages, by William Shakespeare
My five were:
An Introduction to Dogs, by Ogden Nash
Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll
The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll
Macavity, the Mystery Cat, by T.S. Eliot
Fire and Ice, by Robert Frost
This made for a reasonably good list of poems, but I doubt many individuals of my age would enjoy reading more than a few of these. I was struck by the fact that other than the Charge of the Light Brigade (and maybe ABCD), all of these poems were in our textbooks at one time or another. (Yes, even Television – the NCERT can take the fun out of anything.) The conclusion? Many of my peers have not read much poetry outside their textbooks. Not even fun poetry like the three great nonsense poets (Lear, Nash, Carroll).
So, if you have any suggestions other than these ten poems, tell me and I’ll add it to the Unofficial Anthology 2014 (which is such a good title I can’t believe it’s only been used once [excluding the 2014 in the title]).