an abecedary of poetry

In college I saw a performance by Garrison Keillor and Roland Flint entitled “An Abecedary of Poetry”, in which the two performers went back and forth reciting poems across the alphabet. If you ever saw or even listened to Keillor perform you know how dynamic and delightful he was. At the time it seemed to me that having this kind of command of poetry was beyond reach, but, older now, I see it’s largely just a matter of interest, time, and application. Memorizing poetry and prose is a good thing and the alphabet is a great organizational tool. Here is my own abecedary, some of which is aspirational. My favorite poems are unquestionably those of Gerard Manley Hopkins, in part because achieving a good understanding of them requires you to read them almost enough to memorize anyway.

AAs Kingfishers Catch Fire; Anunciation; Andrea del Sarto
BBinsey Poplars
CChild Logic; Church Monuments
DDulce et Decorum Est; The Darkling Thrush
EThe Ecstasy; Ecclesiastes 3:1–8
FFuneral Blues; Foolish Questions; For the Time Being
GGod’s Grandeur
HHigh Windows; Harlem
IIt is the Duty of the Student; Inviting a Friend to Supper; Invictus; Is there a baby in the house?; Innocence Abroad
KKubla Khan; The Kraken
LLittle Abigail and the Beautiful Pony; Litany
MMusée des Beaux Arts; Mandalay
NNo man is an island; The New Colossus
OOn English; Ozymandias; On his seventy-fifth birthday
PPsalm 23; Portions of Paradise Lost
QFoolish Questions
RRomans 12; A Red, Red Rose
SSick; The Second Coming; Sonnet 116; Sonnet 23 (Milton)
TTo What Serves Mortal Beauty?; To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing
VThis Be the Verse
WWhen I Consider How My Light is Spent; When Great Trees Fall; The World
XI Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark Not Day

I intend to add links to each of these as I find time and interest to write about them.