My Desert Island Poems

(John Keats as painted by his friend Joseph Severn, 1821)

-Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
-Shakespeare’s “Let me not to the Marriage of true minds”
-Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”
-Shelley’s “Ozymandias” (remembering Trump)
-Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
-Yeats’ “The Second Coming”
-Earle Birney’s “David” (the great Canadian poem still)
-Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
-Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

If I had been citing collections of poems by individual poets, Keats would likely have been number 1, followed by Shakespeare and Frost. In drama, the greatest poet was Shakespeare, of course hands-down. In the novel, Virginia Woolf would have been my choice as top prose poet. In film, I would have picked David Lean and Orson Welles as significant cinematic poets.

(the poetic film director Orson Welles acting ‘poetically’ as Harry Lime in The Third Man)

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