Arduity: examples of difficult poetry.


The following are examples of difficult poetry. The list is by no means comprehensive and it is intended to add more poems following suggestions from site users. If there are any that you think should be included, please e-mail John Armstrong at the address at the bottom of this page. The list is alphabetical (by poet) and in no way should be read as an 'order of merit'.

John Ashbery: from 'Europe'; from 'The Skaters'; and 'The System'.

Paul Celan: 'Go blind'; 'Ashglory'; and 'Templeclamps'.

Geoffrey Hill: from 'A Precis or Memorandum of Civil Power'; 'Scenes from Comus'; and 'In Memoriam: Gillian Rose'.

John Matthias: Two excerpts from 'Trigons; and one from 'Laundry Lists and Manifestoes'.

Charles Olson: two poems from the 'Maximus Poems'; and 'For Cy Twombly'.

Jeremy Prynne: from 'Streak~~~Willing~~~Artesian~~~Entourage'; 'Word Order'; and 'As Mouth Blindness'.

Keston Sutherland: two excerpts from 'Stress Position'; and 'Sonnet 18'.