|Station Island by Seamus Heaney|
(my own photo)
Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%
Reading Station Island lead me to think about how poetry is read. I read it reasonably quickly, but with hindsight that probably wasn't a great idea. If you have the time, it's better to have a book of poetry on your bedside table to dip in and out of, as opposed to trying to read it all at once.
Station Island has a very definite structure; it's divided into sections which have different ideas, and there is a progression from one section to the next. However, it has generally been my experience that poems are read one at a time, often without regard for the order in which they were placed in a collection. Some poets are more concerned than others about the place of a poem within a collection, and not all poets publish books. Nonetheless, it does raise some interesting questions about the value of reading a poem outside of the context of the original work.