5 Poems to Get You Into the Halloween Spirit

It’s spooky season time! If you have read any of my blog posts this month, you’ve probably noticed that I love Halloween. With Halloween, comes a lot of spooky content that is sure to get you into the spirit. Whether you are a movie fan or a book lover, there’s something for you. There’s more than movies and books to get you into the Halloween spirit, though. Throughout history, there’s been enough spooky poems to make even Edgar Allen Poe happy. I’ve found a few that will get you into the spooky spirit!

  1. “The Raven”– Edgar Allen Poe

It wouldn’t be a spooky poetry list without mentioning Mr. Poe at least once. This is one of his most iconic poems. It also includes one of his most iconic lines, where a raven speaks the words “Nevermore”. This is a great poem to check out if you are in a mood for a spooky story. It channels the eerie feeling of a foggy Fall evening. The mood that Poe does so well, and it prevalent in almost all of his poems. If you want to continue down this eerie aesthetic, Poe is the perfect place to start. If you want to read more of this poem, check out the link in the poem’s title.

  1. Goblin Market”– Christina Rossetti

“Goblin Market” is a different kind of vibe from “The Raven”. This poem reminds me of old fairy tales like those written down by the Brothers Grimm. There’s a mixture of a seemingly light-hearted character and a dark situation. The poem tells the tale of two sisters who come across a goblin market. It is said that those who eat the fruit of the goblins are never the same, and yet one girl is still tempted to visit these mysterious creatures. If you are a fan of that Grimm vibe and goblins, this is a poem for you. It’s spooky factor falls in the risk of this tale instead of straight horror. Still, it’s worth a read during this season. If you want to take a safe trip to the market of goblins, check out the link in the poem’s title.

  1. “Song of the Witches” from Macebeth– William Shakespeare

Like Poe, my list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this poem from the scottish play. This poem is what people imitate when they pretend to be witches. Shakespeare’s influence can be seen through the witch costumes  and bubbling cauldrons we see on Halloween night. His poem also is a bit more light-hearted compared to the others on this list. Maybe not in the context of the play. Outside of the murder plot, this poem is a fun thing to recite when you’re passing candy to children. Bonus points if you are dressed as a witch. Even if we can’t trick-or-treat this year, you can still enjoy the fun side of Halloween with this poem. If you want to read the full version of this spell, check out the link in the poem’s title.

  1. “Mary’s Ghost: A Pathetic Ballad”– Thomas Hood

Now we take a sharp left from more light-hearted to super dark. If you aren’t a fan of bones or graves, turn back now. This poem was written by Thomas Hood in the 1820s. During this time, there was a surge of medical students robbing graves to study anatomy. There were even a few students who decided to make their own corpses. In this tale, Mary is the poor victim of one of these grave robbings. This poem goes a bit into what they have done with poor Mary’s bones through the eyes of her ghost. Her ghost appears to a young William, who has to wake up to all this terrible news. Not a fun way to wake up, I’m sure. This poem has a good mixture of dark Regency era history and a bit of spooky vibes. If you want to take a trip into the darker side of history, check out the link in the poem’s title.

  1. “Ghost House”– Robert Frost.

Last but not least, this wonderful poem by Robert Frost. We’ve talked about witches and skeletons, now it’s time to hit on another common symbol of the spooky season; the haunted house. This poem does an awesome job of painting a picture of this decrepit house. It feels like you are walking through an old house full of dust and creaky floorboards. What remains is something that feels eerie in the dark, even if it was once a lovely house. This poem is told from the point of view of a mysterious presence, who may not be alone. It’s an interesting spin on spooky old houses and the ghosts that live within them. If you want to visit this eerie house, check out the link in the poem’s title.

Have you read any of these poems? Is there a poem you love to read during the Halloween season? Let me know in the comments below! I’m sure many of you will be thinking “what about this poem” or “how could she forget this amazing work?” Well friends, I might have a solution for you. This is only part one of my poetry list. It was so hard to narrow it down to five, that it ended up being ten wonderful poems that I had to split up into two parts. In two weeks we’ll be taking another trip to spooky poetry land, so get ready! Any spooky poetry recommendations are still encouraged, of course. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and happy reading!

5 Classics I Actually Enjoyed Reading in School

Somehow, we’ve reached the time when the school supply section is back in stores. The fresh smell of college-lined paper is in the air all around us. Unfortunately, this time is more complicated than back-to-school last year. But whichever way this situation plays out, the time of learning is almost back. As someone somewhat fresh out of school, I still have a vivid memory of the long nights of studying and homework. One of the things I both dreaded and looked forward to was the reading. I’m sure this isn’t a surprise, but I was the person who would read extra books on the summer reading list. But not all books you read in school are fun, especially once you get into the classics. There were many that I read with a tinge of annoyance. But, it was surprising to find that a few of these classics were good and interesting to me.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. The Alchemist– Paulo Coelho

My sophomore year of high school is not a year that I remember well. There are gaps in the time frame that I have to ask others to fill in. But I can’t forget the feeling of reading this book. The Alchemist is like many stories. A young man goes on a quest to find a treasure far away. During his journey, he learns more about the real treasures of life. It sounds like many of the hero’s journey stories that you read in school. The fascinating thing about this simple story was its impact. Everyone in my class felt excited to talk about the story, excited to read another chapter. Many of us finished the book early because we were so captured by the story. To me, this novel is a classic because of its simplicity. We can all put ourselves in the shoes of that shepherd boy traveling the world. It didn’t have dark themes or a tragic ending, but still managed to get its point across to a group of sixteen year-olds. It was a light in a sea of darker novels. Someday, I want to read this book again and again to capture the feeling it gave me all those years ago. If you want to learn more about this book, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. The Odyssey– Homer

Reading this classic was enjoyable for a few reasons. First, my love of Greek of mythology. When the gods I loved to read about growing up popped up, I loved discussing their sections of the story. Also, it’s a fun mix of a road trip story and a hero’s journey-style quest. I was starting to enjoy these types of stories around the time I read this, so it was perfect timing. The most important thing, though, was not the story itself. They say that teachers change your outlook on a subject. For me, that was the case with this book and my freshman honors English teacher. Mr. Barlew had a great way of explaining stories to make them more applicable to modern readers. This was true for The Odyssey. While it’s full of adventures, the language can be a bit hard to decipher. Mr. Barlew used creative ways of teaching to make this story more fun to read. This included acting out the final battle between Odysseus and Penelope’s suitors. Picture a group of fifteen year-olds play-fighting in a library with yardsticks. Needless to say, that rocketed this classic into my top ten. If you want to learn more about this classic tale, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. Sense and Sensibility–  Jane Austen

This classic is the only one on the list that I read in college. Sure, I was familiar with Austen’s work, but I hadn’t read any of it until my second semester of Freshman year. I had heard the title of this story before, but I knew little to nothing about the characters. What drew me to this classic was the sister dynamic. I have a sister, and even though we aren’t exactly like Elinor and Marianne, it was easy to relate to them. Also, I’m a bit more of a hopeless romantic than my sister, so I felt their dynamic on a deep level. I read a moment where Marianne was being a bit dramatic about something and thought “oh look, it’s me”. After reading the book, we also watched the movie. It stars my favorite almost name-buddy, so I knew I would love it. I love Emma Thompson, and it was fun to see Alan Rickman out of his Snume. This movie did add to my love of the story because of the actor’s ability to bring their characters into being. Emma felt like Elinor, and Kate excelled as Marianne. Sometimes watching the movie version does help you appreciate the story more! If you want to dive into Austen’s tale, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. The Things They Carried– Tim O’Brien

When I first saw this story on the list of reading for my I.B. English class, I was a bit skeptical. For me, stories involving war can go three ways when I read them. The first results in a very sad Emily who is just depressed about life now… thanks book. The second is a more action-movie approach that has me reading on the edge of my seat like I’m watching an Avengers film. The third is a book written in boring, detached language that makes it a droll to get through. This classic took these ideas and threw them out the window. The writing style was like an interesting fiction novel. Also, the themes blew my fellow classmates’ minds. I don’t want to spoil much if you haven’t read this story, but we had a lot of great conversations about the meaning of “truth”. Intrigued? You can learn more about O’Brien’s story here.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. Romeo and Juliet– William Shakespeare

This may seem like a cliche, but hear me out. This was the first Shakespeare play I ever read. Is it my favorite? No. But I have such fond memories reading this play in class. That is again thanks to the wonderful Mr. Barlew. Teachers can make a big difference y’all. He took a No Fear Shakespeare approach to teaching us the play. For example, he explained to us that “do you bite your thumb at me sir” is equal to someone flipping you off. He then proceeded to read the passage over using the modern terminology, which made it a lot funnier. We acted out scenes and had lively discussions. Also, the blubbering of the boys in my class when they learned of the age gap was eventful. Want to revisit this iconic play and it’s quips? You can check it out here

While there have been the duds over the years, I’ve been lucky to read many more classics that I still enjoy to this day. I’ve been consulting my list recently to find some books that I want to give another read. I’m looking forward to revisiting not only the stories, but also the memories I associate with them. What are your favorite classics that you read in school? Do you have any that you think I need to check out? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and happy reading!

10 Iconic Shakespeare Insults

If someone mentioned William Shakespeare, what would first come to mind? Great plays? A ton of sonnets? Or maybe you’re someone who recalls falling asleep to Shakespeare in English class. Either way, Shakespeare’s name usually brings back memories. Due to prose and old language in his plays, many people forget one of the best parts about Shakespeare: his witty remarks. Shakespeare’s work is full of iconic insults and comebacks that are still great to this day. Here are a few iconic insults and comebacks that you might even want to use in your own life.

  1. This comeback for someone being an idiot
  1. When an obnoxious person pisses you off
  1. The sassiest burn…no pun intended.
  1. A great response for a person being sassy for no reason
  1. For anyone being a terrible person. Or for laughs
  1. A creative comeback
  1. A burn destined for the biggest idiot
  1. The most modern sounding Shakespeare insult ever.
  1. One of the best bants from Much Ado About Nothing
  1. The perfect comeback to use when you’re done with someone.

What are some of your favorite Shakespeare insults or comebacks? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? Let me know in the comments below! I had such a great time looking into witty Shakespeare comebacks. If you need something to spice up your day, take the time to look up some more great Shakespeare comebacks. You won’t regret it. Happy reading!