What plays/ poetry should I read? Watch

Kater Murr
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#21
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#21
Poetry, you say? My heart is screaming Philip Larkin.
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nothingspek
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#22
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#22
Plays; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.
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Lilio Candidior
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#23
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If you wish to read plays for private enoyment... don't! Go see them instead, the way it's meant to be done! :cool:

Anyway, I'll agree that Arthur Miller does good plays, and are actually very agreeable to just read. My favourite would be The Crucible.

If you're gonna read Shakespeare, I'd recommend his histories (and Macbeth of course :p: ).

HOT TIP: Steppenwolf Theatre Company will come to London in November 2008 with August: Osage County. That thing's the greatest play this side of the millenium, trust my words!

Now, I'm really no expert on English poetry... So let me tip you of a marvellous translation of Swedish poets. C.D Locock have done really good translations on some great ones like Gustaf Fröding (1925) and a collection on 20th century poets (1929).
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rainbow drops
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#24
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#24
on the poetry side of things, i'd recommend milton's paradise lost, e.e. cummings and philip larkin. as people have said, tennessee williams's plays are fantastic, i loved a streetcar named desire and cat on a hot tin roof. maybe try some tom stoppard?
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willenium
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#25
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how has nobody said hamlet? jesus christ come on people. waiting for godot is good, but endgame is probably better. samuel beckett is the man. try under milk wood by dylan thomas, too.

poetry wise, the beats are worth a glance. you'll probably either love them or hate them. try howl and america by allen ginsberg and go from there. e. e. cummings is very good, so is pound (as someone's already said), and larkin. at the moment i am enjoying blake very much too.
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pandora7
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#26
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#26
Aristophanes - Frogs.
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sib
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#27
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#27
Blake Blake Blake
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willenium
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#28
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#28
i just read alfred jarry's ubu roi, and i highly recommend it if you want a hilarious and surreal play that will take under an hour to read
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butterfly_girl_5
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#29
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#29
Romantic!

Keats, Shelley, Byron, Coleridge Wordsworth and Blake are the 'big 6'- I like keats and shelley the most

Romantic poetry has changed my whole outlook on life

also- TS Eliot- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is amazing
also Sidney

for plays- Oscar Wilde, Allan Bennett (History Boys) and Tom Stoppard (hard but brilliant- so funny)
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butterfly_girl_5
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#30
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(Original post by willenium)
how has nobody said hamlet? jesus christ come on people. waiting for godot is good, but endgame is probably better. samuel beckett is the man. try under milk wood by dylan thomas, too.
agreed

hamelt is the best play ever written in the universe

under milkwood is definitely worth a read

I would recommend the BBC radio production of Hamlet- shakespeare is better appreciated when performed- that really goes for all plays, but shakespeare is the most complex and difficult
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JoeJBB
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#31
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(Original post by robbo3045)
I hate how everyone is so fixated with writings from the 19th and 20th century.

We do have good playwrights today you know.

Edward Bond - (Saved)

Anthony Neilson - (Penetrator)

Phillip Ridley - (The Pitchfork Disney)

Sarah Kane - (Blasted)

*Note these arent your average reads, and some of these plays are quite explicit, but are very beautiful.
Brilliant suggestion - I wasn't a fan of many previous suggestions of naturalistic plays (not a fan of naturalism, and I get especially bored with Wilde, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams), but this list is wicked Especially Sarah Kane, any of Kane's stuff is amazing.

Someone suggested Godot earlier, that's a wicked play as well.

I'd also add:

John McGrath - The Cheviot, The Stag, and The Black, Black, Oil

Heiner Muller - Hamletmachine

Jim Cartwright - Road

some Howard Barker if you want a completely new theory of what a play should be and a playwright's role, although I'm not a big fan.

And also, my favourite play of all time ever:

Timberlake Wertenbaker - Our Country's Good

J
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robbo3045
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#32
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(Original post by JoeJBB)

Timberlake Wertenbaker - Our Country's Good
Right with you! Excellent play!
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Reborn
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#33
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#33
If we are on the subject of plays I would definitely recommend "A Doll's House" and "Hedda Gabler" by Henrik Ibsen...or just generally any of Ibsen's plays (those are the only 2 ive read). And of course all the stuff already mentioned by Chekov, Miller etc. Really like all the suggestions so far


For poetry...I must admit I am quite partial to the metaphysical poets like Donne, Marvell, Herbert and Vaughan. Someone mentioned Paradise Lost: that too is also excellent tho very long and, personally, I think the devil is uber cool! Although everyone here seems to be focussing alot on past poetry: modern poetry dosent really appeal to me but I guess you could try that popular poet who wrote that onion poem...cant remember off the top of my head her name tho!

Also: Gerald Manley Hopkins!(sp?) Jesuit priest who wrote poetry at the turn of the 20th century: absolutely fantastic! Love his work! Try "God's Grandeur" Its utterly brilliant!

PS: some poets ive mentioned like Donne and Herbert have LOTS of religious poetry. Even if ur not religious I highly recommend you give them a shot because they are brilliant and religious poetry was always overlooked when i was at school for some reason even tho it contains some of the most passionate verses ive ever read. Very moving.
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ixivxivi
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#34
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#34
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard - very very very funny and generally lovely.
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willenium
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#35
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#35
also the seagull by chekhov is a masterpiece
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DJKL
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#36
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#36
Canterbury Tales, Chaucer.

I started the couse on Chaucer dreading it, five weeks later it had grown on me. Language takes a while before it starts to flow without constant checking up in the glossary, but it is worth the effort.
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Gelliant Gutfright
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#37
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(Original post by willenium)
poetry wise, the beats are worth a glance. you'll probably either love them or hate them. try howl and america by allen ginsberg and go from there.
Agreed. It would be worth reading up a bit about the Beat Generation before reading Howl (the poem, not the whole collection) because some of it might go over your head otherwise, like the references to Neal Cassady. But America and Wild Orphan are both very accessable (but would still be easier to appreciate if they're read bearing the context in which they are written in mind). Kaddish is also fantastic, but Howl is by far the best introduction to his work.

There are lots of recordings of Ginsberg reciting his poetry on archive.org, which are essential listening for anybody interested in him. It really has to be heard, not just read. I personally prefer the way Kerouac recited his poetry (especially on the recordings with Steve Allen's piano accompaniment), because he was far more subtle and calm about it, but the relentless and manic delivery of Ginsberg is still good.

As for plays, try out Euripides. Ion is one of my favourites.
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jdfan
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#38
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For poetry try T.S. Elliot's - 'The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock'
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JoeJBB
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#39
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(Original post by willenium)
also the seagull by chekhov is a masterpiece
Do you really think that? As an ex-theatre studies student, I've read the Seagull about 3 times, along with 'Three Sisters' and 'The Cherry Orchard', and studied them academically. I don't think any of those 3 are that great.

J
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Sorani
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#40
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(Original post by nothingspek)
Plays; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.
This. I love it.
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