Raef: a sample of influential poets

This was tough. I saw Patrick’s post and I was like ‘well i won’t post THAT many, maybe 5 or 6’ but then when you start going along the bookshelves…maaan, you can’t help yourself! Good thing it got to 1 AM so I had to stop, eh? Sorry that it’s so messy. I tend to think more in terms of poets than specific poems, so consider the stuff below just as examples, but it’s these guys for sure (and many more).




SHIRA ERLICHMAN – Daddy’s Parking Lot Sermon
(I read this at Fire&Dust on Thursday, brought a female poet to the mic to celebrate International Women’s Day in advance. Of course, didn’t do it justice.)



Like a typical Coventry writer, I’ve worshipped the entire works of Philip Larkin for a long time now (even his shit sixth form verse), so it’s tough to choose. Let’s just say this one, because I remember it teaching me how small a moment you can capture and amplify in a poem, and I’ve never yet managed to transform something this small into poignancy:

As Bad as a Mile

Watching the shied core
Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
Shows less and less of luck, and more and more

Of failure spreading back up the arm
Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
The apple unbitten in the palm.


John Keats – Ode on Melancholy

Carol Ann Duffy – Stafford Afternoons

Allen Ginsberg – A Supermarket in California


Sylvia Plath – The Bee Meeting

Charles Bukowski – Bluebird Poem

Seamus Heaney – Digging


And finally, I discovered this, flipping through his collection on a bus ride home. See, it’s not just me – others have waded through the sewage-tide of immaturity too! 😀


Wouldn’t it be funny
if The Finger had designed us
to shit just once a week?


all week long we’d get fatter
and fatter and then on Sunday morning
while everyone’s in church






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