Anthologised poems, Xu Zhimo Poetry Festival and the Indian Parliament and Poetry – Poetry News Roundup 2nd August

Today we bring you the most anthologised poems, the Xu Zhimo Poetry Art Festival and the popularity of poetry in the Indian Parliament.

The Most Anthologised Poems

For many people poetry can be something of an intimidating experience, and whilst the benefits of this type of expressive writing are many it can be hard to know where to start. The editor of Lithub, Emily Temple, has created a list of the most anthologised poems; the greatest hits of poetry list, as some might like to call it.

Using 20 poetry anthology books, that only contained English language poems, published in the last 25 years, she looked for poems that had appeared three or more times. The resulting list contained poems that were from international, American and English language poems, and covered all time periods.

The most anthologised poem that Temple found was The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams; this short but rather poignant piece of literature was included no less than eleven times. There were also multiple entries from such heavy weight poets as Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost.

2017 Xu Zhimo Poetry Art Festival

During the third Xu Zhimo Poetry Art Festival, held at Cambridge University’s King’s College,   the Lifetime Achievement award – Silver Willow was awarded to poet Jidi Majia, who hails from China. The committee felt that Jidi Majia was one of the most worthy Chinese poets and possibly the most famous one of an ethnic minority who had been active in modern world poetry circles.

The theme of the festival was “Cam River, Cambridge” and around 200 calligraphers, scholars, writers and poets gathered from across the globe to read poetry and exchange ideas at the bank of the River Cam. The venue itself is significant to the festival as this is where Xu Zhimo wrote the well-known poem
The festival has been running since 2008, and a stone with an inscription of Xu Zhimo’s most well-known poem takes pride of place under the shade of the willows by the side of the river to commemorate the poet who is an alumnus of the King’s College. This is, in fact, the first time that King’s College has set up a memorial stone for one of its alumni, and in recent years it has become a must visit place for hordes of Chinese tourists.

Poetry in Parliament

When you think of poetry, parliament probably isn’t top on the list of places that you would expect to hear it but that is exactly what has been happening in the Indian Parliament this year. In fact, data shows, and yes someone really has been checking, that 106 poems and 26 couplets have been read out in the Lok Sabha (House of the People) this year alone, in the period up to April 12th. Furthermore, it would appear that the most popular time for poetry is during the budget sessions, with the 2017 budget session seeing 37 poems and 5 couplets being quoted.

And it seems it is just the politicians who have turned to poetry even the Prime Minister has turned to poetry; quoting Urdu poet Nida Fazli in one of his speeches.


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