Douglas Dunn wins Queens Medal for Poetry

Many congratulations to Douglas Dunn for winning  the  2013 Queens medal for Poetry, in recognition of his lifetime contribution to literature.

I have previously mentioned  his ‘Elegies’  in relation to other writing by James Reeves and Christopher Reid and I had planned to witter-on about Douglas Dunn via his ‘Selected Poems 1964 to 1983’  which I have shelved and bookmarked ready for re-reading and no  doubt  including  ‘Elegies’ too.     Latest title and others can be bought through this link.

frosted tree
Photo by Lin Smith

I have been considering the worth of delving a little deeper when writing about the poetry/poets I have been reading or just unearthed.  My basic feeling is that I should comment on what is before me and my likes and preferences of that book with only a little pointer about the poet’s life. This may encourage readers, including myself, to find more to read both of works by and material about that poet.   I am not a critic, not really in the high literary and poetic manner, only  as a reader.  I do care about what I like and discover so perhaps I should look deeper into the poet and the work to understand my own interpretation of what I read.  Understanding what the poet says is required emotionally and no doubt logically but do you need to dig deeply into the mechanics of comma versus semi-colon and metre and or rhythm?

You can tell from this that anything I learnt when young was discarded and forgotten long ago.  I do believe you should read poetry.  If you  understand what is being said logically as well as emotionally then it is a first step.  The next is to glimpse the life of the poet and try to get a grip on appreciating the forces that worked upon them through life and pushing through your own subconscious to understand the common ground you have with the writing.

Here is where it starts to hurt in that history, history of literature and language (real and poetic) all develop out of the previous years/periods/style that rise to the concious levels either of the literate and or the populace.  And Life, let alone Art, Art of any sort, is always trying to emulate, improve and denigrate, shock and create anew.  So the spectrum of poetry follows similar patterns and you have to choose where you sit and read, or write:  on the fence-post, the fence itself or the spikes.

So, should I pretend I can be a critic for you, or rather myself as I am the one doing this for my own pleasure?   Or maybe I think that wherever I sit and dribble out my thoughts on writers I will never be right?   But then whatever I find, or believe, or say, will only be me with a sign-post saying where I have been and suggesting you have a look around.  If you are taller, shorter, etc etc your view will always be different and if you understand what you read, to a degree, like it or not, you will always be right.  Until you move on and the view changes.

But for some years now my view of Douglas Dunn’s poetry has not changed.  He remains firmly on my shelf.


Author: poetryparc2

Here goes: I read poets and around poetry and any other book I take a fancy to. I seem to have a preference for seeing the changes from the Victorian period through to the 1930's, maybe 50's. But, and a big but, I also read anything right up to current poetry/performance poetry. Sometimes my ‘historic’ preference for 'imagist' and ‘Nature' unnerves me for too much too modern. However, I do like to range over poetry and fiction, any and all periods. I also like finding (if only for me) regional or partly forgotten poems and poets. Maybe all this is too eclectic to have a themed 'Blog' but so be it....... I also write fiction that might add up to a small mole-hill one day. Plus reviewing new or old books that are relevant to my enthusiasms of Crime Fiction, the Arts, Natural History and Special Education. This is on 'wordparc'. I try to record honestly what I think but if something is too bad (to my mind, others may love it!!) then I will not 'blog'. I buy or borrow to read and review. If there is a click-through it is meant to be useful though ‘wordery’ might give me a small % at no cost to you. There, what's that if not seemingly random!

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