Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Sunday Salon: New Challenges.

Here I was just mindlessly going through my Googlereader and I came across 2 of Eva's posts and now I'm signed up to two new challenges!
Clover, Bee and Reverie: A Poetry Challenge, how could I resist with a brilliant name like this! I may have a degree in English Literature but I always avoided poetry as much as possible at university and I've read very little since I finished university. But, I do enjoy reading poetry and teaching it. I love the selection which I teach for the GCSE pupils, a mix of multicultural poems, a selection by Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage and a handful of pre 19th century poems added in to boot. I think the reason I struggle to read poetry at home is because I feel I can't really get a feel for the individual poems if I read a collection in one sitting, but if I try dipping in and out I soon forget that the book is sitting there.
There are 4 levels of participation, and I'm going for the hardest one the 'Sonnet' in which you have to read 14 collections of poems, which includes completing two badges (2 collections which are connected in some way), and one at expert level (4 books which are connected in some way).
I'm thinking that my two badges will be Modernist (Ezra Pound, T.S Elliot or H.D - an area I'm comfortable in as I've studied some of the key poems and wrote my dissertation about the wonderful 'The Wasteland'), and something by The Beat Poets who I've always meant to read but never got around to.
For the expert level I'm looking at reading poets from around the world, hopefully at least one from 4 different continents (this would probably be completed using anthologies so I get a real feel for a place).
I'm hoping to revisit a few favourite writers such as T.S Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carol Ann Duffy, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Les Murray and Thom Gunn.
And I also want to try a few of these who I've always meant to get to: ee cummings, WH Auden, Philip Larkin, Dylan Thomas and Emily Dickenson.
Poetry Read:
1. Robert Herrick
2. Polish Fables
3. The Virago Book of Wicked Verse, ed. Jill Dawson

I'm also joining The World Religion Challenge 2010, as my knowledge of religion is minimal and this is going to be a steep learning curve. This challenge also has different 'paths' and I'm going for a toughy, The Universalist Path which requires reading about the 5 main religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and more books about any or all of the following: Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha'i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, Comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungiansim, Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., etc. etc. (you may also read about another aspect of one of the 5 Biggies)
Any type of book is valid whether it is fiction, non-fiction, poerty or a religious text (I may even read the Bible, something I've always meant to do). You are also encourage to find out more through movies, attending a service, taking part in a celebration etc.
I'm not really sure where to start with this in terms of books to choose, I think it'll be a case of looking at other people's choices and recommendations and sitting in the library and flicking through some books to get a feel for the way the texts are written - I don't want anything to academic. I'm really interested in reading about religions such as Wicca, Scientology and Mysticism as well as learning more about the main religions.


readerbuzz said...

No, you must stay away from your Googlereader! Two more challenges, eh? Best of luck!

Pour of Tor said...

I mostly go back to poetry when I am teaching it in my intro to lit class, but then I absolutely adore it. I agree that the problem has to do with my feeling that if I am reading it in my free time, then I should be reading in units of "a book" rather than "a poem or two" - so I tend to try to read in bulk, which is hardly ideal for poetry. I have to admit that this probably has a lot to do with my (silly) pride in the "achievement" of reading - and how do I measure that if not by the number of books I read? Hmm. Troubling. Perhaps the thing to do (I have often thought) really is to read a single poem a day, right before bed (or upon waking). Almost like a religious observance. :)

Eva said...

Yay for more challenges! ;) I'll look forward to your reviews, since we're both participating.

katrina said...

For the last two nights I've read poems whilst i'm in the bath which has been the perfect amount of time, not too many all at once and not to few

J.T. Oldfield said...

Sorry, I meant to stop by sooner to say welcome to the challenge! Also, if you haven't been by the site, the Mr. Linky is finally up for reviews!