Today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. For the past three years I’ve taken a break from Semicolon and from blogging for the forty days of Lent. I’ve been blogging since October 2003, and I plan to continue blogging. I just feel that this break is a good time of rest and reevaluation for me and for my family.
I will continue to post the Saturday Review of Books each week, but I may not be able to read your reviews until after I get back in April. I also have a few posts and re-posts and links set up to come online on certain dates while I’m gone.
Last year I conducted a Top 100 Hymns Poll during the spring and summer. I had such a great time counting down all the favorite hymns of all my readers, so I decided to try something similar this year.
I thought a Top 100 Classic Poems Poll would be a great spring/summer project. I might learn something and be encouraged in my own quest to learn and appreciate poetry. You might learn some new poems or be reminded of some classics. We all might enjoy visiting and re-visiting the best in English poetry together.
Here’s how I think this poll/journey is going to work:
1. Make a list of your top ten classic poems of all time.
Classic: judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.
For the purposes of this poll the poems you choose should be poems that are no longer under copyright protection. Anything written before 1910 (1923?) is most likely no longer under copyright. Anything written after 1910 (1923?) is probably still protected by copyright. I’m putting this restriction on your selections for two reasons: first, this way the poems in our list will be truly classic, judged over a period of time. Second, if we restrict the list to poetry that is not under copyright, then I can freely share the poems that are chosen here at Semicolon.
2. List these poems in your order of preference. So your #1 poem would be the one you like the best, and so on. I will be giving your first choice 10 points, your second choice 9 points, and so on.
3. Submit your list to me at sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom. Write “Poem Survey” in the subject line. I’d rather you didn’t leave your votes in my comments here because it’ll be easier to tabulate all the votes if they’re all in my email (plus I want everyone’s votes to be a surprise). Deadline for votes to be sent to me is midnight, March 26, 2010.
4. If you like, you can submit a justification for each poem (tell me why it’s a favorite). Or you can send me a link to an audio or video version online. Include the title or first line of the poem and the name of the poet. At the end of March I will tally up the totals, and I will pull from the submitted pieces why one reader or another liked a particular poem (naming the reader, of course). That way we’ll be able to hear from a whole bunch of people about why they love one poem or another. I will then count down from 100 to 1, over the course of Poetry Month (April), May and into June, the top choices of what folks feel the best classic poems of all time are.
Thanks in advance for your votes/nominations. I’m going to enjoy this little exercise, and I hope you will, too.
Oh, and if you don’t mind, I would appreciate your publicizing this poll on your blog. I’d like to get at least 100 nominations or lists for this survey; more would be even better. If you want to post your top ten list on your blog, that’s fine. Just be sure you send me a copy.
Finally here are a few links to help you as you observe Lent, waiting and watching for our Lord’s Resurrection Day: