Wednesday Weekly Blogging challenge header

Welcome again to the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge, a year-long challenge set by the good folk at Long and Short Reviews that anyone can participate in. Check out the site to see who else is playing along.

This week’s topic:

Favourite Poems, Short Stories or Novellas

Wowsers. How about this for a tricky topic. It’s like trying to choose your favourite book or recipe or movie. Where to start?

My favourite poem by far would have to be Banjo Paterson’s Australian classic The Man From Snowy River.

The Man From Snowy River by AB Banjo Paterson.There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around

That the colt from old Regret had got away,

And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound,

So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.

Reading or hearing that never fails to send a shiver down my spine, and that’s just the beginning. The Man from Snowy River is exciting and romantic, set in an iconic location, and features a brave hero and his “small and weedy beast” of a mountain-bred horse, both of whom prove their merits in spectacular fashion. Nothing like an underdog to stir an Aussie heart!

The language is wonderful. The rhythm of Paterson’s poem draws us in and sweeps us along. It’s hard not to get teary over the drama of it all, but I’m a terrible sucker for a horsey tale and this is one of the finest.

If you’re ever at a country show and there’s a bush balladeer reciting poetry, stop and have a listen. Especially if they retell The Man from Snowy River. It’ll leave you mesmerised.

As for short stories, despite being a regular short story writer myself, they’re not something I read often. It used to be common for magazines to have short story sections, but they seem to be rare these days. Although, to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I read a women’s magazine so maybe some still publish them.

If It Bleeds by Stephen KingShort stories that do come to mind are those by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King). I particularly enjoyed The Running Man from the collection The Bachman Books. I’m also looking forward to If It Bleeds, King’s latest collection of novellas, which is on my shelf right now.

And how could I not mention Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher or his poem The Raven?The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

I think it was Mum who gave me a book of Poe’s collected works when I was young. She had a habit of buying age-inappropriate books for me. Mum wasn’t a reader, bless her, but she understood the power of books, so she’d buy them and pass them over without paying too much attention to their subject matter.

I can still remember the book she gave me when I was about The Seduction of Peter S by Lawrence Sandersthirteen called The Seduction of Peter S which told the story of the rise and fall (ahem) of a male brothel for women. Talk about making my eyes bulge!

Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was reading Poe (and the marvellously gruesome original Grimm’s fairy tales) that gave me my lifelong love of horror stories.

Another “Mum special” was a best of collection of short stories by Murray Leinster that she picked up one evening from Woolworths for twenty cents from the bargain bin while doing the weekly shop. I was immediately rapt. A few days later, I took it to school to enjoy during reading time, only for my grade five teacher to pluck it outThe Best of Murray Leinster of my hands, freak out at the cover image and then the content, and phone Mum in a tizz because clearly I’d nicked the book from my dad without his knowledge.

Time to Die, one of the short stories in The Best of Murray Leinster (UK ed), was so gobsmacking I’ve never forgotten it. I really must read it again once day. I’d be curious to see if it still has the same power. I suspect it will.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh BardugoLastly, this list wouldn’t be complete without Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse short stories – The Too-Clever Fox, Little Knife and The Witch of Duva. Anything Grisha gets me excited and these were short, sharp and fantastically written. Just like her full length works. Totally luuuuurve that world.

The stories once floated around the internet for free, but I think they’re now contained in the collection, The Language of Thorns, along with some new stories.


What are some of your favourite poems, short stories or novellas?


Never Miss a New Release meme

Comments are closed

Become a blog subscriber!

Keep up with all the news by joining the blog team. Simply enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.