Poetry Reading List: Five Books to Fuel your Poetic Musings

Reading poetry is a journey filled with imagination, sentiment, and lyrical expression. We list five diverse books from Kunzum’s immense collection that will help you get through whatever life throws at you today. By Paridhi Badgotri

Picture Courtesy: Thought Catalog on Pixabay

For some, poetry is a source of comfort in dreadful circumstances; others use it as a form of protest and resistance; and some others see it as a profound perspective to the world. Poetry may sound like a foreign language at first, but once you find a poet who speaks to your heart, you realise there isn’t an easier way to express the ineffable.

If poetry means something to you, or if you wish to get introduced to diverse voices, Kunzum has racks full of poets—old and new, traditional and modern. Here is a starting point—five recommendations of ground-breaking poetry books.

1. Derek Walcott: Selected Poems

Derek Walcott juxtaposes the racial injustices inflicted by colonialism at his home, the Caribbean islands, and his fascination with Western literary tradition. As a result, his poems depict a conflicted mind—following the literature of those who have marred his identity and island. Permeated by questions on love and humanity, this collection offers a great sample of his lifelong labour at the craft of poetry. 

Derek Walcott Selected Poems
Derek Walcott: Selected Poems

2. Look We Have Coming to Dover! by Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra takes you on a humorous ride with his linguistic experiment of merging Punjabi utterance with the English language. His poems revolve around immigrant families living in UK’s multicultural environment, highlighting their dreams, fears, and anxieties.

Look We Have Coming to Dover! by Daljit Nagra
Look We Have Coming to Dover! by Daljit Nagra

3. Jimmy’s Blue and Other Poems by James Baldwin

James Baldwin was one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. He continues to be a critical and popular voice for his prophetic writings on masculinity, identity, love, and race. In his informal and inviting language, Baldwin unabashedly reveals different facets of his self and society. 

Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin
Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin

4. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver

If you want to dive into the world of nature, pick up a Mary Oliver book of poems! Oliver’s use of environmental imagery is mesmerising. Her meditations on life, love, and impermanence find their muse in sparrows, owls, oak trees, and kingfishers. In her profoundly gentle way, Oliver questions what it means to truly belong to this world.

Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
Blue Horses by Mary Oliver

5. Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems

Prominent for his lyrical beauty in the German language, Rilke focussed on an aesthetic philosophy that rejected Christian contemplatives. At a time when most people drew hope from religion, Rilke found it only in poetry. His work is a transient remark on love and the depth of being. 

Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems
Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems

Related: A Short Reading List: 5 Short-Story Collections for Bookworms with Little Time

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