‘Greyrock Review’ editorial staff shares their favorite poems for National Poetry Month

Claire Oliver

Girls sitting at table holding up books
The authors of the GreyRock Review hold up their book. (Mackenzie Pinn | Collegian)

April is National Poetry Month and a very fitting time for the release of the 2018 edition of Colorado State University’s “Greyrock Review.”

“Greyrock Review” is a literary journal that helps to promote undergraduate student authors. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the “Greyrock Review” editorial team shared with The Collegian their favorite poets or poems. 

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Jenna Schuster is a senior English major and was the Managing Editor of the “Greyrock Review.” Although she doesn’t have a favorite poet, she said she really loves a famous poem by T.S. Eliot.

“’The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot has always stuck out to me as an incredible piece of writing,” Schuster said. “It is funny, heartbreaking and dark, all while containing a beautiful message about the passage of time. Also, no one does vivid imagery quite like Eliot.”

Do I dare disturb the universe?” -“The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock” T.S. Eliot  

Eliot was a poet in the 1920s at the time where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were just starting to make their mark. Eliot was different, but by using poetry, he unmasked the darker side of the generation that fought in WWI with poems like “Hollow Men.”

Dakota Lewis, a marketing major at CSU, worked on the magazine as the nonfiction editor. For Lewis, the anti-transcendentalist Edger Allen Poe stands out as a master of his craft.

“I love Edgar Allan Poe because a lot of his poetry is written with masterful technique, but it’s also beautiful and engaging,” Lewis said. “He deals with complex, often disturbing or depressing subject matter, but his poetry is still a delight to read.” 

Poe stands out for his darker interpretations of the human condition as well as his short stories that cause spines to tingle and flesh to crawl. His poems like, “A Tell-Tale Heart,” “Cask of Amontillado” and “The Raven” continue to fascinate due to Poe’s dark storytelling.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,/ Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—/ While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,”  –Edger Allen Poe, “The Raven” 

Rachel Schlachter, a senior English major, was the fiction editor for the magazine. For Schlachter going back into the books that shaped a generation of children was the best place to find great poetry.

“I love the words of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss! His rhymes are upbeat and heartfelt, yet he often presents meaningful life lessons in his poems,” Schlachter said. “To quote The Lorax: ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’”

Dr. Suess wrote many children’s books that have become pop culture phenomena like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Horton Hears and Who” and “The Lorax.” All of which have been made into blockbuster movies. But strip away the Hollywood flare and the books are a collection of poems made just for children and adults alike.

“The Greyrock Review” is now available in print. For more information regarding the publication visit their website at greyrockreview.colostate.edu

Alex Keenan, a senior English major, was the poetry editor on this year’s “Greyrock Review” editorial staff. Keenan goes off the beaten path for her favorite poet.

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“I love Derek Altan Walcott because his imagery is always colorful and striking,” Keenan said. “He’s just a great dude.”

Walcott is a modern poet who passed away only last year. His poems are representative of his life in the Caribbean and he has won several awards for his work including the Noble Prize in Literature in 1992.

Ashley Austin, a senior English major, was the associate poetry editor this year for “The Greyrock Review.”

“I really never liked poetry until I read poetry by Keats,” Austin said. “It’s beautiful and full of approachable meaning. He’s where I started to love poetry.” 

But when the melancholy fit shall fall/  Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,/  That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,/  And hides the green hill in an April shroud; John Keats, “Ode to Melancholy”

John Keats was an English poet who was a pillar in changing the face of poetry in the 19th century. He represents the second wave of romantic poets after William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge. His work connects with Greek myth as well as current issues of the time.

Zoe Albrecht is another senior English major and the typesetter for this years magazine.

“This is such a tough question, but at the moment, Lauren Haldeman,” Albrecht said. “I had to read her book ‘Instead of Dying’ for class and I love it. I’m sharing it with as many people as possible. I love how whimsical and honest she is in grappling with loss.” 

Book with words "GreyRock Review"
The GreyRock Review book. (Mackenzie Pinn | Collegian)

Haldeman won the Colorado Prize for Poetry this past year for her book “Instead of Dying.” Her poetry represents a more modern take on loss, as well as events occurring in today’s society.

Collegian reporter Claire Oliver can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @claire_oliver21.