Who was the first poet from your homeland you discovered and how were you introduced to him/her?
I think Edgar Allan Poe was the first "native" poet I discovered. I was introduced to him by a typing course that made me type a part of "The Raven" over and over again. I later came across Poe again during a poor excuse of a High School English course. One of the few things I got out of this class was the experience of reading "Annabel Lee" for the first time. I now read quite a lot of poetry and Edgar Allan Poe is a favorite.
I am an American. However, I am also of Polish descent and I would like some day to track down works from my family's homeland.
Want to share your story?
Music had a major influence for me. I started discovering the poetry within the lyrics and that was how I became interested in poetry. I then started reading poetry written by Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson. Their poems are so passionate and are relevant to the real world. Great question!
The first poetry I ever read was the Complete Works of Robert Service. The book was my dad's and I found it on the book shelf. Robert Service continues to be my favorite all time poet.
I was introduced to H.W. Longfellow's The Children Hour while attending a three room country school that was located in Fort Valley, Virginia. I was in the sixth grade at that time. I had to memorize and recite it for the class. I did so well that I was asked to select a poem for the following day. My second selection was A Good Name by Shakespeare. I often use it as my "sound check" at my live performances.
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
Robert Louis Stevenson - A Child's Garden - was one of the first books of poetry I read. I read this as a young child then later went on to his novels which were exciting and beautifully written. Anthologies were also a big favourite of mine. I discovered Shelley, Tennyson, Byron, Wordsworth and Shakespeare and many more!!! I love a good anthology.
Now I have hundreds of poetry books!
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