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Author Topic: Post a favorite poem!  (Read 78291 times)

Pareve

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Post a favorite poem!
« on: 09 Mar 2007, 17:43 »

Does anyone here know any poems that they find particularly inspiring? Post one in here, and if you feel like it, write a little blurb why!

Whenever people claim that poetry is girly, I use the poem "At the Quinte Hotel" by Al Purdy as an example of why that person is very, very wrong. It's one of my all-time favorites, and is kind of like a combination of Charles Bukowski and Robert Service, but kind of better.

Quote from: Al Purdy
AT THE QUINTE HOTEL

I am drinking
I am drinking beer with yellow flowers
in underground sunlight
and you can see that I am a sensitive man
And I notice that the bartender is a sensitive man too
so I tell him about his beer
I tell him the beer he draws
is half fart and half yellow horse piss
and all wonderful yellow flowers
But the bartender is not quite
so sensitive as I supposed he was
the way he looks at me now
and does not appreciate my exquisite analogy
Over in one corner two guys
are quietly making love
in the brief prelude to infinity
Opposite them a peculiar fight
enables the drinkers to lay aside
their comic books and watch with interest
as I watch with interest
A wiry little man slugs another guy
then tracks him bleeding into the toilet
and slugs him to the floor again
with ugly red flowers on the tile
three minutes later he roosters over
to the table where his drunk friend sits
with another friend and slugs both
of em ass-over-electric-kettle
so I have to walk around
on my way for a piss
Now I am a sensitive man
so I say to him mildly as hell
?You shouldn?ta knocked over that good beer
with them beautiful flowers in it"
So he says to me ?Come on"
So I Come On
like a rabbit with weak kidneys I guess
like a yellow streak charging
on flower power I suppose
& knock the shit outa him & sit on him
(he is a little guy)
and say reprovingly
?Violence will get you nowhere this time chum
Now you take me
I am a sensitive man
and would you believe I write poems?"
But I could see the doubt in his upside down face
in fact in all the faces
?What kind of poems?"
?Flower poems"
?So tell us a poem"
I got off the little guy reluctantly
for he was comfortable
and told them this poem
They crowded around me with tears
in their eyes and wrung my hands feelingly
for my pockets for
it was a heart-warming moment for Literature
and moved by the demonstrable effect
of great Art and the brotherhood of people I remarked
?? the poem oughta be worth some beer"
It was a mistake of terminology
for silence came
and it was brought home to me in the tavern
that poems will not really buy beers or flowers
or a goddam thing
and I was sad
for I am a sensitive man.
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Utopian

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #1 on: 10 Mar 2007, 00:54 »

I have a lot of favourite poems, but I think the most positive and inspirig one for me is Hug o' War by Shel Silverstein. I think it speaks for itself:
I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #2 on: 10 Mar 2007, 12:23 »

Well I have lots and lots of favorite poems. I like Seamus Heaney a lot, so here's one of his

Blackberry-Picking

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.


I also really like E.E. Cummings so here's one of his:

I Have Found What You Are Like

        i have found what you are like
        the rain,

                (Who feathers frightened fields
        with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

        easily the pale club of the wind
        and swirled justly souls of flower strike

        the air in utterable coolness

        deeds of green thrilling light
                                      with thinned

        newfragile yellows

                          lurch and.press

        -in the woods
                     which
                          stutter
                                 and

                                    sing

        And the coolness of your smile is
        stirringofbirds between my arms;but
        i should rather than anything
        have(almost when hugeness will shut
        quietly)almost,
                       your kiss

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supersheep

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #3 on: 10 Mar 2007, 12:33 »

Blech, Heaney. Too much Heaney for me - damn Irish schools forcing him down my throat. Michael Longley is a much better Irish poet, in my opinion. This one was published in 1994, and in my opinion the final couplet is one of the best things ever written. Ever.

Ceasefire

Put in mind of his own father and moved to tears
Achilles took him by the hand and pushed the old king
Gently away, but Priam curled up at his feet and
Wept with him until their sadness filled the building.

Taking Hector's corpse into his own hands Achilles
Made sure it was washed and, for the old king's sake,
Laid out in uniform, ready for Priam to carry
Wrapped like a present home to Troy at daybreak.

When they had eaten together, it pleased them both
To stare at each other's beauty as lovers might,
Achilles built like a god, Priam good-looking still
And full of conversation, who earlier had sighed:

'I get down on my knees and do what must be done
And kiss Achilles' hand, the killer of my son.'
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fozmo

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2007, 16:41 »

A nifty little ditty from a comic called Frazz, penned by one Jef Mallett:

The Midwest?s climate poignantly
describes in sweet analogy
the pace and temporality
the seasons and our lives reflect.

I like this part especially -
the chilly breath of urgency
in sync with the cacophony
the pigments in the leaves project

We?re warned against complacency
while reassured emphatically
that aging isn?t entropy:
It?s how we reach our fiery peak.

That blinding blowout brilliantly
asserts a truth we need to see.
So pity, then, the retiree
who moved where autumn doesn?t speak.

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Fiddler

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #5 on: 11 Mar 2007, 06:30 »

I've always enjoyed W.B. Yeats even if it was assigned reading back in high school.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
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Lines

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #6 on: 11 Mar 2007, 20:00 »

Amor De Mi Alma - Garcilaso de la Vega (spanish and english translations)

Yo no naci sino para quereros;
Mi alma os ha cortado a su medida;
Por h?bito del alma misma os quiero.
Escrito est? en mi alma vuestro gesto;
Yo lo leo tan solo que aun de vos
Me guardo en esto.
Quanto tengo confiesso yo deveros;
Por vos nac?, por vos tengo la vida.
Y por vos ? de morir ye por vos muero.

I was born to love only you
My soul has formed you to its measure
I want you as a garment for my soul
Your very image is written on my soul
Such indescribable intimacy
I hide even from you
All that I have, I owe to you
For you I was born, for you I live
For you I must die, and for you I give my last breath
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eveisdawning

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #7 on: 13 Mar 2007, 08:29 »

Thanks for posting that cummings poem! I hadn't seen that before.. I really love a lot of his work, but that was new to me. Lovely, really.

I also love Yeats, and Keats. :) My personal favorite, though, is Sylvia Plath. A lot of her poetry is kind of dark, but not all of it, and this is (probably) my favorite by her:
Black Rook in Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, not seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Leap incandescent

Out of the kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then ---
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical,
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel.
For that rare, random descent.
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eatyrspleens

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #8 on: 15 Mar 2007, 23:31 »

i'm not really into poetry, but i'm going to add to the sylvia plath and post "lady lazarus", because it's the only i can think of at the moment that i really enjoy.

Lady Lazarus
   
   I have done it again.
   One year in every ten
   I manage it----
   
   A sort of walking miracle, my skin
   Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
   My right foot
   
   A paperweight,
   My face a featureless, fine
   Jew linen.
   
   Peel off the napkin
   0 my enemy.
   Do I terrify?----
   
   The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
   The sour breath
   Will vanish in a day.
   
   Soon, soon the flesh
   The grave cave ate will be
   At home on me
   
   And I a smiling woman.
   I am only thirty.
   And like the cat I have nine times to die.
   
   This is Number Three.
   What a trash
   To annihilate each decade.
   
   What a million filaments.
   The peanut-crunching crowd
   Shoves in to see
   
   Them unwrap me hand and foot
   The big strip tease.
   Gentlemen, ladies
   
   These are my hands
   My knees.
   I may be skin and bone,
   
   Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
   The first time it happened I was ten.
   It was an accident.
   
   The second time I meant
   To last it out and not come back at all.
   I rocked shut
   
   As a seashell.
   They had to call and call
   And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
   
   Dying
   Is an art, like everything else,
   I do it exceptionally well.
   
   I do it so it feels like hell.
   I do it so it feels real.
   I guess you could say I've a call.
   
   It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
   It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
   It's the theatrical
   
   Comeback in broad day
   To the same place, the same face, the same brute
   Amused shout:
   
   'A miracle!'
   That knocks me out.
   There is a charge
   
   For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
   For the hearing of my heart----
   It really goes.
   
   And there is a charge, a very large charge
   For a word or a touch
   Or a bit of blood
   
   Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
   So, so, Herr Doktor.
   So, Herr Enemy.
   
   I am your opus,
   I am your valuable,
   The pure gold baby
   
   That melts to a shriek.
   I turn and burn.
   Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
   
   Ash, ash ---
   You poke and stir.
   Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----
   
   A cake of soap,
   A wedding ring,
   A gold filling.
   
   Herr God, Herr Lucifer
   Beware
   Beware.
   
   Out of the ash
   I rise with my red hair
   And I eat men like air.
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Thicket

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #9 on: 19 Mar 2007, 19:06 »

heres something people might find intresting Robert Frost the famous poet...i my gret grandpa!
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Twa Corbies (traditional)

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
'Where sall we gang and dine to-day,
Where sall we gang and dine to-day?'

'In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his honnd, and lady fair,
His hawk, his honnd, and lady fair.

'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady 'a ta'en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet,
We may mak our dinner sweet.

'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare,
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.'

'Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
Oer his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sail blaw for evennair,
The wind sail blaw for evennair.'
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Utopian

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #11 on: 21 Mar 2007, 15:31 »

*happysigh* That's my favourite ballad. Ever.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #12 on: 29 Mar 2007, 12:19 »

This is the type of poetry I like: un-compromissing and to the point. It dosn't have 10,000 possible explanations, it's message is clear. Im such a bitter english literature student.

Quote
by Siegfied Sassoon. British Officer in WWI.
I'm back again from hell
With loathsome thoughts to sell;
secrets of death to tell;
And horrors from the abyss.

Young faces bleared with blood
sucked down into the mud,
You shall hear things like this,
Till the tormented slain

Crawl round and once again,
With limbs that twist awry
Moan out their brutish pain,
As the fighters pass them by.

For you our battles shine
With triumph half-divine;
And the glory of the dead
Kindles in each proud eye.

But a curse is on my head,
That shall not be unsaid,
And the wounds in my heart are red,
For I have watched them die.
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ThePQ4

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #13 on: 29 Mar 2007, 14:36 »

I'm not ususally a poetry person, but I read this one the other day, and I think it describes not only me most of the time, but a lot of people in general. It's one of those poems that everyone relates to at one time or another, whether we want to admit it or not. (Sorry it is hella-ass long)
(
Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
by Charles C. Finn

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

My surface may be smooth but
my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.

I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a fa?ade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,
And my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings --
very small wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator --
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.
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jimbunny

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #14 on: 29 Mar 2007, 15:26 »

Emily Dickinson!

I Years had been from Home
And now before the Door
I dared not enter, lest a Face
I never saw before

Stare stolid into mine
And ask my Business there -
"My Business but a Life I left
Was such remaining there?"

I leaned upon the Awe -
I lingered with Before -
The Second like an Ocean rolled
And broke against my ear -

I laughed a crumbling Laugh
That I could fear a Door
Who Consternation compassed
And never winced before.

I fitted to the Latch
My Hand, with trembling care
Lest back the awful Door should spring
And leave me in the Floor -

Then moved my Fingers off
As cautiously as Glass
And held my ears, and like a Thief
Fled gasping from the House -
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Misereatur

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #15 on: 29 Mar 2007, 17:41 »

I'm not a big fan of poetry, but here's one of my favorites:

The Secret by Charles Bukowski

dont worry, nobody has the
beautiful lady, not really, and
nobod has the strange and
hidden power, nobody is
exeptional or wonderful or
magic, they only seem to be.
it's all a trick, an in, a con,
dont buy it, dont believe it.
the world is packed with
billions of people whose lives
and deaths are useless and
when one of these jumps up
and the light of history shines
upon them, forget it, it's not
what it seems, it's just
another act to fool the fools
again.

there are no strong men, there
are no beautiful women.
at least, you can die knowing
this
and you will have
the only possible
victory.



Taken from Betting on the Muse: Poems & Stories
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #16 on: 30 Mar 2007, 00:20 »

"London" by William Blake

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
   
In every cry of every Man, 
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear   
   
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every black'ning Church appalls, 
And the hapless Soldiers sigh 
Runs in blood down Palace walls
   
But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse 
Blasts the new-born Infants tear 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #17 on: 01 Apr 2007, 01:55 »

You slipped away so quietly
alone, near half-past four
The full moon melted in the sea
as they knocked upon your door
They said you lay there, smiling
in the dark, so peacefully
While an angel sang that lullabye,
Death Don't Have No Mercy. . .

No more you’d stand upon a stage
with poem and melody
Like a wizened sage who held the point of
life's philosophy
You left them waiting, with heart and rose,
for one more joyful eve
sweet ragtag kids and wanderers
who’d found a place to be 

In days gone by, you framed the sky
with china doll refrain
And brokedown palace, and morning dew
and mission in the rain
Shakespeare-wise and stark as Poe
and quaint as toodleloo
Your song was sweeter than chirping birds
And sad as Stella Blue

With a touch of grey, and not fade away
you said we will get by
Till the last rose pricked, the last star burst
and splattered in the sky
Well, the buds still bloom, in the face of doom
the stars shine old and bright
But a shadow falls in all the halls
that were once so filled with light

Tell me now, where are you
where in heaven did you go
Have you gone the way of yesterday
where everybody goes
Did you cross that muddy river
did it have another side
Have you gone away with Uncle John
playing to the tide

They'd found a vein, so rich and pure,
in this fools' gold paradise
Hearing harps unstrung and glowing words
and the names of wind and ice
It's true, it's all inside each soul
to hear such harmony
But it takes a tune to bend the ear
of those who love the key

Tennessee Jed and Staggerlee, Ramblin' Rose
and poor Cerise
Casey Jones and Jack Straw, too, whatever will
become of you?
Uncle John and Sugaree, August West
and Billy D.
Orphans all, and all too soon, another time's
forgotten tune

Can someone sing you alive again, old dire wolf
and devil's friend?
Or will you now forever breathe in book
and haunted reverie?
The storyteller had no choice; now we do not
hear his voice
Did it matter, does it now? Stephen would answer
if he only knew how

He’s gone, he’s gone, so went your song
And naught would bring him back
But gone is a land that none can know
unless it’s life they lack
Yet in this world, we’re cursed to hear
the grim toll of that bell
That tells of days run out and done,
and empty wishing well

Tell me, now, where are you
where in heaven did you go
Have you gone the way of yesterday
where everybody goes
Did you walk out in the morning dew
or back to Tennessee
Tell me, now, where are you
run off with Sugaree

A lifeboat from the ship of fools,
too full to stay afloat
Somehow sailed, through storm and gale
on drums and soaring note
You captain'd it, against your whim
left tiller to its will
For all aboard, there was no chord
too soft, too sweet or shrill

And now the bark is floating free,
adrift for unknown shore
Where music plays with a lesser range,
from less inspired score
The strangest captain a man could find
'Mid blood and destiny
Gone home, gone home to streets of gold
and endless symphony

It's a courageous thing, to laugh and sing
in this world of rage and sin
Where the devil eyes humanity,
and winks, and strokes his chin,
You pay a price, for thinking twice,
and questioning each page
It's true, the truth will set you free, but it
also builds your cage

The heartstrings are not built to last
through years of snow and rain
They're feeble host for this fated ghost
Too easy prey for pain
You limp along on what you can,
in sliced eternity
This long goodbye of years flown by,
where time is mockery

In the end it's just disquieting, to think
these things so real
That beauty is not proof against the
turning of the wheel
It seems a dream, too strange to pose
that nature might discard
A thing as pretty as a rose
and love found in guitar. . .

Tell me, now, where are you
where in heaven did you go
Did you ride that northbound train away
to old Fennario
Are you strumming chords of clouds right now
and flowers, sand, and sea
Tell me, now, where are you
maybe ask old Staggerlee

Tell me, now, where are you
where in heaven did you go
Did you catch the bus to Terrapin
with Neal and Jack-a-Roe
Do you live on inside a song somewhere,
or only memory
Tell me, now, where are you
maybe ask old Staggerlee

-- Rip Rense
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SonofZ3

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #18 on: 01 Apr 2007, 18:15 »

Carmen Possum- Unknown Author

THE NOX was lit by lux of Luna,
And 'twas a nox most opportuna
To catch a possum or a coona;
For nix was scattered o'er this mundus,
A shallow nix, et non profundus.
On sic a nox with canis unus,
Two boys went out to hunt for coonus.
The corpus of this bonus canis
Was full as long as octo span is,
But brevior legs had canis never
Quam had hic dog; et bonus clever.
Some used to say, in stultum jocum
Quod a field was too small locum
For sic a dog to make a turnus
Circum self from stem to sternus.
Unis canis, duo puer,
Nunquam braver, nunquam truer,
Quam hoc trio nunquam fuit,
If there was I never knew it.
This bonus dog had one bad habit,
Amabat much to tree a rabbit,
Amabat plus to chase a rattus,
Amabat bene tree a cattus.
But on this nixy moonlight night
This old canis did just right.
Nunquam treed a starving rattus,
Nunquam chased a starving cattus,
But sucurrit on, intentus
On the track and on the scentus,
Till he trees a possum strongum,
In a hollow trunkum longum.
Loud he barked in horrid bellum,
Seemed on terra vehit pellum.
Quickly ran the duo puer
Mors of possum to secure.
Quam venerit, one began
To chop away like quisque man.
Soon the axe went through the truncum
Soon he hit it all kerchunkum;
Combat deepens, on ye braves!
Canis, pueri et staves
As his powers non longius carry,
Possum potest non pugnare.
On the nix his corpus lieth.
Down to Hades spirit flieth,
Joyful pueri, canis bonus,
Think him dead as any stonus.
Now they seek their pater's domo,
Feeling proud as any homo,
Knowing, certe, they will blossom
Into heroes, when with possum
They arrive, narrabunt story,
Plenus blood et plenior glory.
Pompey, David, Samson, Caesar,
Cyrus, Black Hawk, Shalmanezer!
Tell me where est now the gloria,
Where the honors of victoria?
Nunc a domum narrent story,
Plenus sanguine, tragic, gory.
Pater praiseth, likewise mater,
Wonders greatly younger frater.
Possum leave they on the mundus,
Go themselves to sleep profundus,
Somniunt possums slain in battle,
Strong as ursae, large as cattle.
When nox gives way to lux of morning,
Albam terram much adorning,
Up they jump to see the varmin,
Of the which this is the carmen.
Lo! possum est resurrectum!
Ecce pueri dejectum,
Ne relinquit back behind him,
Et the pueri never find him.
Cruel possum! bestia vilest,
How the pueros thou beguilest!
Pueri think non plus of Caesar,
Go ad Orcum, Shalmanezer,
Take your laurels, cum the honor,
Since ista possum is a goner!
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BostonTentacleParty

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #19 on: 02 Apr 2007, 12:51 »

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, by Walt Whitman. No poem has ever struck such a chord with me. Ever.

It's long, so I won't post it all. Instead, I will link it.

Linky
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Aimless

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #20 on: 14 Apr 2007, 08:00 »

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, topaz.
or the arrow of carnations that propagate fire.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you like the plant that never blooms
and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, nor when, nor from where.
I love you directly, without problems nor pride;
I love you this way because I don't know any other way to love.
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that when you close your eyes I fall asleep.


Pablo Neruda :)
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Liz

Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #21 on: 14 Apr 2007, 14:29 »

Amor De Mi Alma - Garcilaso de la Vega (spanish and english translations)
We sang this in choir. Very, very beautiful poem and song.

I'm not ususally a poetry person, but I read this one the other day, and I think it describes not only me most of the time, but a lot of people in general. It's one of those poems that everyone relates to at one time or another, whether we want to admit it or not. (Sorry it is hella-ass long)
(
Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
by Charles C. Finn
I used to like this one a lot. Then I heard it done in speech by someone who was a lot less than talented. Kinda ruined it for me.

---------------

And here's my contribution...

The Story Of Our Lives
Mark Strand

1
We are reading the story of our lives
which takes place in a room.
The room looks out on a street.
There is no one there,
no sound of anything.
The tress are heavy with leaves,
the parked cars never move.
We keep turning the pages, hoping for something,
something like mercy or change,
a black line that would bind us
or keep us apart.
The way it is, it would seem
the book of our lives is empty.
The furniture in the room is never shifted,
and the rugs become darker each time
our shadows pass over them.
It is almost as if the room were the world.
We sit beside each other on the couch,
reading about the couch.
We say it is ideal.
It is ideal.

2
We are reading the story of our lives,
as though we were in it,
as though we had written it.
This comes up again and again.
In one of the chapters
I lean back and push the book aside
because the book says
it is what I am doing.
I lean back and begin to write about the book.
I write that I wish to move beyond the book.
Beyond my life into another life.
I put the pen down.
The book says: "He put the pen down
and turned and watched her reading
the part about herself falling in love."
The book is more accurate than we can imagine.
I lean back and watch you read
about the man across the street.
They built a house there,
and one day a man walked out of it.
You fell in love with him
because you knew that he would never visit you,
would never know you were waiting.
Night after night you would say
that he was like me.
I lean back and watch you grow older without me.
Sunlight falls on your silver hair.
The rugs, the furniture,
seem almost imaginary now.
"She continued to read.
She seemed to consider his absence
of no special importance,
as someone on a perfect day will consider
the weather a failure
because it did not change his mind."
You narrow your eyes.
You have the impulse to close the book
which describes my resistance:
how when I lean back I imagine
my life without you, imagine moving
into another life, another book.
It describes your dependence on desire,
how the momentary disclosures
of purpose make you afraid.
The book describes much more than it should.
It wants to divide us.

3
This morning I woke and believed
there was no more to to our lives
than the story of our lives.
When you disagreed, I pointed
to the place in the book where you disagreed.
You fell back to sleep and I began to read
those mysterious parts you used to guess at
while they were being written
and lose interest in after they became
part of the story.
In one of them cold dresses of moonlight
are draped over the chairs in a man's room.
He dreams of a woman whose dresses are lost,
who sits in a garden and waits.
She believes that love is a sacrifice.
The part describes her death
and she is never named,
which is one of the things
you could not stand about her.
A little later we learn
that the dreaming man lives
in the new house across the street.
This morning after you fell back to sleep
I began to turn the pages early in the book:
it was like dreaming of childhood,
so much seemed to vanish,
so much seemed to come to life again.
I did not know what to do.
The book said: "In those moments it was his book.
A bleak crown rested uneasily on his head.
He was the brief ruler of inner and outer discord,
anxious in his own kingdom."

4
Before you woke
I read another part that described your absence
and told how you sleep to reverse
the progress of your life.
I was touched by my own loneliness as I read,
knowing that what I feel is often the crude
and unsuccessful form of a story
that may never be told.
"He wanted to see her naked and vulnerable,
to see her in the refuse, the discarded
plots of old dreams, the costumes and masks
of unattainable states.
It was as if he were drawn
irresistably to failure."
It was hard to keep reading.
I was tired and wanted to give up.
The book seemed aware of this.
It hinted at changing the subject.
I waited for you to wake not knowing
how long I waited,
and it seemed that I was no longer reading.
I heard the wind passing
like a stream of sighs
and I heard the shiver of leaves
in the trees outside the window.
It would be in the book.
Everything would be there.
I looked at your face
and I read the eyes, the nose, the mouth . . .

5
If only there were a perfect moment in the book;
if only we could live in that moment,
we could being the book again
as if we had not written it,
as if we were not in it.
But the dark approaches
to any page are too numerous
and the escapes are too narrow.
We read through the day.
Each page turning is like a candle
moving through the mind.
Each moment is like a hopeless cause.
If only we could stop reading.
"He never wanted to read another book
and she kept staring into the street.
The cars were still there,
the deep shade of trees covered them.
The shades were drawn in the new house.
Maybe the man who lived there,
the man she loved, was reading
the story of another life.
She imagine a bare parlor,
a cold fireplace, a man sitting
writing a letter to a woman
who has sacrificed her life for love."
If there were a perfect moment in the book,
it would be the last.
The book never discusses the causes of love.
It claims confusion is a necessary good.
It never explains.  It only reveals.

6
The day goes on.
We study what we remember.
We look into the mirror across the room.
We cannot bear to be alone.
The book goes on.
"They became silent and did not know how to begin
the dialogue which was necessary.
It was words that created divisions in the first place,
that created loneliness.
They waited
they would turn the pages, hoping
something would happen.
They would patch up their lives in secret:
each defeat forgiven because it could not be tested,
each pain rewarded because it was unreal.
They did nothing."

7
The book will not survive.
We are the living proof of that.
It is dark outside, in the room it is darker.
I hear your breathing.
You are asking me if I am tired,
if I want to keep reading.
Yes, I am tired.
Yes, I want to keep reading.
I say yes to everything.
You cannot hear me.
"They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were the copies, the tired phantoms
of something they had been before.
The attitudes they took were jaded.
They stared into the book
and were horrified by their innocence,
their reluctance to give up.
They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were determined to accept the truth.
Whatever it was they would accept it.
The book would have to be written
and would have to be read.
They are the book and they are
nothing else.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #22 on: 15 Apr 2007, 15:39 »

I was going to post the entierty of Song of Myself but it's too long and doesn't fit. So here's a link:
http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_026.html
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Hollow Press (my blog)

Ying-Yang-Yong

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #23 on: 03 Feb 2008, 07:02 »

I know. I completely lack originality. Here we go:

The Raven- Edgar Allen Poe

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,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —

Only this, and nothing more."     


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —

Nameless here for evermore.     


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
" 'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —

This it is, and nothing more."     


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you" — here I opened wide the door; ——

Darkness there, and nothing more.     


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"

Merely this, and nothing more.     


Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

'Tis the wind, and nothing more!"     


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.     


Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no sublunary being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."     


But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster — so, when Hope he would adjure,
Stern Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure —

That sad answer, "Nevermore!"     


But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."     


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!     


Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite — respite and Nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Let me quaff this kind Nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore —
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting —
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."     


And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted — Nevermore!
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Lines

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #24 on: 03 Feb 2008, 16:42 »

It's not lacking anything, that's probably my favorite poem of all time.

Amor De Mi Alma - Garcilaso de la Vega (spanish and english translations)
We sang this in choir. Very, very beautiful poem and song.

Yeah, we sang it too, which is how I found out about it. Out of six years singing in a choir, this was my second favorite song we sang. (Lux Arumque is my absolute favorite.) I loved singing it.

Here's another one I love:

Stevie Smith - Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
« Last Edit: 03 Feb 2008, 16:54 by Linds »
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Jackie Blue

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #25 on: 03 Feb 2008, 16:46 »

Jim Carroll, "The Tenth Try"

I owe a lot to someone
I've watched her tear
fall like an icarus
it was like a star
which is the sun
who is me.

it won't be long
that I will look up
and feel the sounds again
that I pretend sometimes
that they are gone forever.

the steps are simple
to walk in this universe
you must feel each one distinct
as if someone had died
their faces designating each constellation.

you realize
what connects the time you spent
lying on the lawn you remember
is not so long before
and, say, the beauty of the statue
you saw last monday an angel there
her lips hung over the garden, the stone garden.

that connection
is not so easy finding it
in one's mind
and yet the solution
is but a clue...the garden, the stone garden..
to all you have meant to me
and why this is so.
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Leonidas

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #26 on: 03 Feb 2008, 16:58 »

For those of you not aware of Robert Burns, firstly, shame on you. He's Scotland's national poet and his work and life is celebreated around the world every year on the 25th of January. Of course his most famous work of poetry (and my favourite) is Tam O' Shanter.

Tam o' Shanter

When chapmen billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors meet,
As market days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonie lasses.)

O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon;
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!

But to our tale:-- Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither--
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi' favours secret,sweet and precious
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You sieze the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white--then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.--
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg--
A better never lifted leg--
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire;
Despisin' wind and rain and fire.
Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet;
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet;
Whiles glowring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare, in the snaw, the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Chairlie brak 's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.--
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll:
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze;
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!--
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight

Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion brent-new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He scre'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.--
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some develish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light.--
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murders's banes in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which even to name was be unlawfu'.
Three lawyers' tongues, turn'd inside out,
Wi' lies seam'd like a beggar's clout;
Three priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinking, vile in every neuk.

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew;
The dancers quick and quicker flew;
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it her sark!

Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans,
A' plump and strapping in their teens,
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linnen!
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o' gude blue hair,
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!

But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping and flinging on a crummock,
I wonder did na turn thy stomach!

But Tam kend what was what fu' brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and waulie,
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after ken'd on Carrick shore;
(For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her cutty-sark, o' Paisley harn
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie,-
Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for he wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots, ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!

But here my Muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was, and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main;
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason ' thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch skriech and hollo.

Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin'!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy commin'!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane o' the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle -
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail;
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

No, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother's son take heed;
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy joys o'er dear -
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.



Now obviously the poem is in old Scots, so if you are in need of a translation, this site here provides one.
http://www.robertburns.org.uk/Assets/Poems_Songs/tamoshanter.htm
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michaelicious

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #27 on: 03 Feb 2008, 18:29 »

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

-- William Carlos Williams, "The Red Wheelbarrow"
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #28 on: 03 Feb 2008, 18:36 »

That is a brilliant one.  My British Lit. teacher showed it to my class one day.

Anyways, I've been looking for this one poem by Robert Frost, but I don't know what it is.
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Liz

Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #29 on: 03 Feb 2008, 18:39 »

This thread needs more Mark Strand.

Coming To This

We have done what we wanted.
We have discarded dreams, preferring the heavy industry
of each other, and we have welcomed grief
and called ruin the impossible habit to break.

And now we are here.
The dinner is ready and we cannot eat.
The meat sits in the white lake of its dish.
The wine waits.

Coming to this
has its rewards: nothing is promised, nothing is taken away.
We have no heart or saving grace,
no place to go, no reason to remain

------------

Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

----------

The Remains

I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.

My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.
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michaelicious

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #30 on: 03 Feb 2008, 20:11 »

That is a brilliant one.  My British Lit. teacher showed it to my class one day.

Anyways, I've been looking for this one poem by Robert Frost, but I don't know what it is.

William Carlos is my favourite. A couple years ago a prof of mine put this poem up on an overhead projector and after people had read it they got angry. One girl insisted that it wasn't poetry and we spent most of an hour and twenty minute class arguing about it.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #31 on: 03 Feb 2008, 21:05 »

And Death Shall Have No Dominion
     
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clen bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Through they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #32 on: 03 Feb 2008, 22:30 »

William Carlos is my favourite. A couple years ago a prof of mine put this poem up on an overhead projector and after people had read it they got angry. One girl insisted that it wasn't poetry and we spent most of an hour and twenty minute class arguing about it.
I love that poem too. 
This is the type of poetry I like: un-compromissing and to the point. It dosn't have 10,000 possible explanations, it's message is clear. Im such a bitter english literature student.
As a fellow English Lit student, I'm just the opposite.  I love layers of meaning. 
One of my favorites is
The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot
S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
   A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
   Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
   Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
   Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
   Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
 
 
LET us go then, you and I,   
When the evening is spread out against the sky   
Like a patient etherised upon a table;   
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,   
The muttering retreats          
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels   
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:   
Streets that follow like a tedious argument   
Of insidious intent   
To lead you to an overwhelming question …          
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”   
Let us go and make our visit.   
 
In the room the women come and go   
Talking of Michelangelo.   
 
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,          
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes   
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,   
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,   
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,   
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,          
And seeing that it was a soft October night,   
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.   
 
And indeed there will be time   
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,   
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;          
There will be time, there will be time   
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;   
There will be time to murder and create,   
And time for all the works and days of hands   
That lift and drop a question on your plate;          
Time for you and time for me,   
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,   
And for a hundred visions and revisions,   
Before the taking of a toast and tea.   
 
In the room the women come and go          
Talking of Michelangelo.   
 
And indeed there will be time   
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”   
Time to turn back and descend the stair,   
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—          
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]   
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,   
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—   
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]   
Do I dare          
Disturb the universe?   
In a minute there is time   
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.   
 
For I have known them all already, known them all:—   
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,          
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;   
I know the voices dying with a dying fall   
Beneath the music from a farther room.   
  So how should I presume?   
 
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—          
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,   
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,   
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,   
Then how should I begin   
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?          
  And how should I presume?   
 
And I have known the arms already, known them all—   
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare   
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]   
It is perfume from a dress          
That makes me so digress?   
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.   
  And should I then presume?   
  And how should I begin?
      .      .      .      .      .   
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets          
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes   
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…   
 
I should have been a pair of ragged claws   
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
      .      .      .      .      .   
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!          
Smoothed by long fingers,   
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,   
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.   
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,   
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?          
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,   
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,   
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;   
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,   
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,          
And in short, I was afraid.   
 
And would it have been worth it, after all,   
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,   
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,   
Would it have been worth while,          
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,   
To have squeezed the universe into a ball   
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,   
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,   
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—          
If one, settling a pillow by her head,   
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.   
  That is not it, at all.”   
 
And would it have been worth it, after all,   
Would it have been worth while,          
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,   
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—   
And this, and so much more?—   
It is impossible to say just what I mean!   
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:          
Would it have been worth while   
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,   
And turning toward the window, should say:   
  “That is not it at all,   
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
      .      .      .      .      .          
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;   
Am an attendant lord, one that will do   
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,   
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,   
Deferential, glad to be of use,          
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;   
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;   
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—   
Almost, at times, the Fool.   
 
I grow old … I grow old …          
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.   
 
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?   
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.   
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.   
 
I do not think that they will sing to me.          
 
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves   
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back   
When the wind blows the water white and black.   
 
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea   
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown          
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.   

 

The poem I am currently obsessing over though is
Silencing by Sharon H. Nelson, it is also a bit long so here is a link http://www3.sympatico.ca/sharon.nelson/silencin.htm
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imapiratearg

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #33 on: 03 Feb 2008, 22:34 »

William Carlos is my favourite. A couple years ago a prof of mine put this poem up on an overhead projector and after people had read it they got angry. One girl insisted that it wasn't poetry and we spent most of an hour and twenty minute class arguing about it.

Yeah, that's similar to what happened in my class.  About half of us thought it wasn't poetry, and the rest (including myself) thought it was.  Isn't it minimalist or something?  The imagery in it is simple, but brilliant.
« Last Edit: 04 Feb 2008, 13:33 by imapiratearg »
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ImRonBurgundy?

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #34 on: 04 Feb 2008, 10:51 »

Quote from: Ethan Coen
THE HOPPING POEM

Fuck
Fuck
Fuck
Fuck,

That
Hurt,
Fuck
Fuck.
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Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #35 on: 04 Feb 2008, 11:04 »

this is basically the "drink, fight, fuck" of the early 1800's

Women, Wine, And Snuff by John Keats

Give me women, wine and snuff
Until I cry out «hold, enough!»
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection;
For bless my beard they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.
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JimmyJazz

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #36 on: 04 Feb 2008, 11:42 »

Big Night On The Town - Charles Bukowski

Drunk on the dark streets of some city,
It's night, you're lost, where's your
room?
You enter a bar to find yourself,
Order scotch and water.
Damned bar's sloppy wet, it soaks
part of one of your shirt
sleeves.
It's a clip joint-the scotch is weak.
You order a bottle of beer.
Madame Death walks up to you
wearing a dress.
She sits down, you buy her a
beer, she stinks of swamps, presses
a leg against you.
The bar tender sneers.
You've got him worried, he doesn't
know if you're a cop, a killer, a
madman or an
Idiot.
You ask for a vodka.
You pour the vodka into the top of
the beer bottle.
It's one a.m. In a dead cow world.
You ask her how much for head,
Drink everything down, it tastes
like machine oil.

You leave Madame Death there,
You leave the sneering bartender
there.

You have remembered where
your room is.
The room with the full bottle of
wine on the dresser.
The room with the dance of the
roaches.
Perfection in the Star Turd
Where love died
Laughing.
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SevenPinkerton

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #37 on: 04 Feb 2008, 11:45 »

the lesson of the moth
By Don Marquis, in "archy and mehitabel," 1927

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

archy
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0bsessions

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #38 on: 04 Feb 2008, 11:59 »

By Anonymous:

Here I sit, broken hearted
Came to shit, but only farted
Then one day, I took a chance
Tried to fart and shit my pants

This poem is very close to my heart.
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Trillian

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #39 on: 05 Feb 2008, 22:36 »

Quote from: Robert Desnos
I Have Dreamed of You So Much

I have dreamed of you so much that you are no longer real.
Is there still time for me to reach your breathing body, to kiss your mouth and make your dear voice come alive again?

I have dreamed of you so much that my arms, grown used to being crossed on my
chest as I hugged your shadow, would perhaps not bend to the shape of your body.
For faced with the real form of what has haunted me and governed me for so many
days and years, I would surely become a shadow.

O scales of feeling.

I have dreamed of you so much that surely there is no more time for me to wake up.
I sleep on my feet prey to all the forms of life and love, and you, the only one who
counts for me today, I can no more touch your face and lips than touch the lips and
face of some passerby.

I have dreamed of you so much, have walked so much, talked so much, slept so much
with your phantom, that perhaps the only thing left for me is to become a phantom
among phantoms, a shadow a hundred times more shadow than the shadow that
moves and goes on moving, brightly, over the sundial of your life.



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Dissy

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #40 on: 06 Feb 2008, 07:20 »

I forget who wrote it, but:

Ode to my Goldfish

Oh, my wet pet
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KharBevNor

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #41 on: 06 Feb 2008, 09:28 »

Edna Millay - First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!

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[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #42 on: 07 Feb 2008, 16:55 »

Poems by one of my favorite poets, Charles Simic:

Clouds Gathering
     
It seemed the kind of life we wanted.
Wild strawberries and cream in the morning.
Sunlight in every room.
The two of us walking by the sea naked.

Some evenings, however, we found ourselves
Unsure of what comes next.

Like tragic actors in a theater on fire,
With birds circling over our heads,
The dark pines strangely still,
Each rock we stepped on bloodied by the sunset.

We were back on our terrace sipping wine.
Why always this hint of an unhappy ending?
Clouds of almost human appearance
Gathering on the horizon, but the rest lovely
With the air so mild and the sea untroubled.

The night suddenly upon us, a starless night.
You lighting a candle, carrying it naked
Into our bedroom and blowing it out quickly.
The dark pines and grasses strangely still.


The White Room
     
The obvious is difficult
To prove. Many prefer
The hidden. I did, too.
I listened to the trees.

They had a secret
Which they were about to
Make known to me--
And then didn't.

Summer came. Each tree
On my street had its own
Scheherazade. My nights
Were a part of their wild

Storytelling. We were
Entering dark houses,
Always more dark houses,
Hushed and abandoned.

There was someone with eyes closed
On the upper floors.
The fear of it, and the wonder,
Kept me sleepless.

The truth is bald and cold,
Said the woman
Who always wore white.
She didn't leave her room.

The sun pointed to one or two
Things that had survived
The long night intact.
The simplest things,

Difficult in their obviousness.
They made no noise.
It was the kind of day
People described as "perfect."

Gods disguising themselves
As black hairpins, a hand-mirror,
A comb with a tooth missing?
No! That wasn't it.

Just things as they are,
Unblinking, lying mute
In that bright light--
And the trees waiting for the night.


Watermelons

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.
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Ozymandias

Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #43 on: 21 Feb 2008, 01:55 »

Roses are red.
Leather is tan.
What I am saying is

FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. :-D - THAT WAS A BIT OF A STRETCH. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK THE MAN.
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flauntit

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #44 on: 23 Feb 2008, 00:09 »

The Skater of Ghost Lake
William Rose Benét

Ghost Lake's a dark lake, a deep lake and cold:
Ice black as ebony, frostily scrolled;
Far in its shadows a faint sound whirrs;
Steep stand the sentineled deep, dark firs.

A brisk sound, a swift sound, a ring-tinkle-ring;
Flit-flit--a shadow, with a stoop and a swing,
Flies from the shadow through the crackling cold.
Ghost Lake's a dark lake, a deep lake and old!

Leaning and leaning, with a stride and a stride,
Hands locked behind him, scarf blowing wide,
Jeremy Randall skates, skates late,
Star for a candle, moon for a mate.

Black is the clear glass now that he glides,
Crisp is thaw whisper of long lean strides,
Swift is his swaying--but pricked ears hark.
None come to Ghost Lake late after dark!

Cecily only--yes, it is she!
Stealing to Ghost Lake, tree after tree,
Kneeling in snow by the still lake side,
Rising with feet winged, gleaming, to glide.

Dust of the ice swirls. Here is his hand.
Brilliant his eyes burn. Now, as was planned,
Arm across arm twined, laced to his side,
Out on the dark lake lightly they glide.

Dance of the dim moon, a rhythmical reel,
A swaying, a swift tune--skurr of the steel;
Moon for a candle, maid for a mate,
Jeremy Randall skates, skates late.

Black as if lacquered the wide lake lies;
Breath is a frost-fume, eyes seek eyes;
Souls are a sword-edge tasting the cold.
Ghost Lake's a dark lake, a deep lake and old!

Far in the shadows hear faintly begin
Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin,
Muffled in the mist on the lake's far bound,
Swifter and swifter, a low singing sound!

Far in the shadows and faint on the verge
Of blue cloudy moonlight, see it emerge,
Flit-flit--a phantom, with a stoop and a swing...
Ah, it's a night bird, burdened of wing!

Pressed close to Jeremy, laced to his side,
Cecily Culver, dizzy you glide.
Jeremy Randall sweepingly veers
Out on the dark ice far from the piers.

"Jeremy!" "Sweetheart?" "What do you fear?"
"Nothing, my darling--nothing is here!"
"Jeremy?" "Sweetheart?" "What do you flee?"
"Something--I know not; something I see!"

Swayed to a swift stride, brisker of pace,
Leaning and leaning, they race and they race;
Ever that whirring, that crisp sound thin
Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin;

Ever that swifter and low singing sound
Sweeping behind them, winding them round;
Gasp of their breath now that chill flakes fret:
Ice black as ebony--blacker--like jet!

Ice shooting fangs forth--sudden like spears;
Crackling of lightning--a roar in their ears!
Shadowy, a phantom swerves off from its prey...
No, it's a night bird flit-flits away!

Low-winging moth-owl, home to your sleep!
Ghost Lake's a still lake, a cold lake and deep.
Faint in its shadows a far sound whirrs.
Black stand the ranks of its sentinel firs.

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alper

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #45 on: 23 Feb 2008, 16:50 »

I mostly read Dutch and Flemish poems, but it's not much use posting that here. I want to read more Arabic and Persian poems and I probably should read up on English language poetry some day.

I'll skip Neruda, Borges, Rilke, Goethe, Kunitz and others. Right now I'm reading Cavafy's collected works and one of his best is:

Cavafy, Constantine P. - Ithaca

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

(1911)
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2008, 16:52 by alper »
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Liz

Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #46 on: 30 Jul 2008, 13:45 »

Okay so this thread is super old but I am not necroposting, as I have something really good to add to it. I discovered this poem today through StumbleUpon, and it is glorious.

"Why Do You Stay Up So Late?" - Marvin Bell

Late at night, I no longer speak for effect.
I speak the truth without the niceties.
I am hundreds of years old but do not know how many hundreds.
The person I was does not know me.
The young poets, with their reenactments of the senses, are asleep.
I am myself asleep at the outer reaches.
I have lain down in the snow without stepping outside.
I am frozen on the white page.
Then it happens, a spark somewhere, a light through the ice.
The snow melts, there appear fields threaded with grain.
The blue moon blue sky returns, that heralded night.
How earthly the convenience of time.
I am possible.
I have in me the last unanswered question.
Yes, there are walls, and water stains on the ceiling.
Yes, there is energy running through the wires.
And yes, I grow colder as I write of the sun rising.
This is not the story, the skin paling and a body folded over a table.
If I die here they will say I died writing.
Never mind the long day that now shrinks backward.
I crumple the light and toss it into the wastebasket.
I pull down the moon and place it in a drawer.
A bitter wind of new winter drags the dew eastward.
I dig in my heels.

It has its own really cool website that is totally worth checking out as well.
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Vendetagainst

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #47 on: 30 Jul 2008, 14:19 »

I have so much to add to this.


From Childhood's hour I have not been
As others were--I have not seen
As others saw--I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I lov'd, I lov'd alone.
Then--in my childhood--in the dawn
Of a most stormy life--was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold--
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by--
From the thunder and the storm
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

-Alone, Edgar Allan Poe


The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one,
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one,
Yet the light of a whole life dies,
When love is done.

-Light, F. W. Bourdillon


Among the far grey mountains,
There lies a lonely grave;
In rain and sunshine ever,
Unkept the grasses wave.

'Twas there the shepherds buried
The little shepherd lad,
With rude hands fond and tender,
With voices hush'd and sad.

No sound was heard of organ,
No note of funeral psalm,
But only sobs of brother hearts
To bless the mountain calm.

No priestly voice has hallowed,
The shepherds place of rest;
No priestly hands of blessed it,
And yet -- it has been blessed.

For there the little shepherd's flock
Bleats thankfully to God;
And grateful songs the sweet birds sing
Above the grassy sod.

-Consecrated, Unknown?


The Rose disdainfuly has shed
Her wealth of petals perfected.
She gave the unrequiting earth
The sweetness that but  late had birth.
The passing zephyr saw and sigh'd --
And in the morning they had died.

So she I love sheds round on all
The smiles that hold one heart in thrall,
She gives, nor cares, it seems to me,
To gain of Love an equal fee.
And so her smiles like rose leaves shed --
Are unregarded and are dead.

-A Conceit, "H.S.C." in Athenaeum


Calm as that moonbeam on the wall
Sleep broods on baby's eyes;
Arms, hushed and still, but pulsing quick,
Enfold him as he lies,
My brain is full of thronging thoughts,
Strange passions thrill my breast,
My heart aches with a load of love,
That will not let me rest.

The dim years stand about my bed,
They neither smile nor weep;
Like softest kisses, on my face,
The little fingers creep.
I hear slow footfalls, in the night,
Of fates upon his track, --
O love, I cannot let you go!
I cannot keep you back!

Lord, let him shelter in my arms,
Or take us both to thine:
Or, if a troublous life must come,
Make all the trouble mine.
Or let Thy sharp swords pierce my heart,
To blunt them for the child --
What care I, Lord, for stain and shame,
So he keep undefiled!

Nay, Lord, I know nought what I ask,
I know nought how to pray:
Hear Thou the crying mother-soul,
And not the words I say.
Do Thou what seemeth good to Thee,
So he be spared from sin;
And oh! if love can aught avail,
Let mine be counted in.

-Awake, Ada Cambridge


Dead eyes are gazing on her from the pictures on the wall,
Dead voices in the wailing winds that sweep the uplands call,
Dead feet seem pattering round her as the raindrops lash the pane,
Till she stretches hands of greeting, dumb hands that yearn in vane,

Like one in fairy legend, like one in dreamland lost,
At every turn by dead man's steps her onward way is crossed,
The very flowers whisper of one who plucked them long ago,
The very birds have echoes in their trillings soft and low,

The chords she touches breathe for her the music of the past,
On every page the shadow of old memories is cast,
The "brooding sense of something" gone falls solemn all around,
Making the common paths of life her hushed heart's holy ground.

On the table-ground of middle life, the dull and dreary band,
Where shadowless as sunless lies the stretch of beaten sand,
She stands alone and listens, all behind her veiled in mist,
In front dim hills beyond the vale, their summits promise kissed,

Sob on, oh wind, sigh on, oh rain, sweet faces form and die,
There, where amid the caverned coals the fairy fancies lie,
For in sleeping as in walking, till she crosses the dark stream,
The sunshine of her lonely heart from the peopled past must gleam.

-By the Fire, Unknown?


Fair scenes of thought's dominions dwell,
When we have wondered far away,
Soft strains through memory's caverns swell,
though every chord hath ceased to play,
So, thy kind voice, thine earnest face,
From fond rememberance nought shall sever,
Though from my path thine every trace,
Hath passed away forever.

When some bright dream of vanished hours,
Is in thy heart upspringing,
When some loved song through fancy's bow'rs
In faded tones is ringing,
When some faint chord, long hushed and mute,
'Neath memory's touch doth quiver,
Then, think of one whose wayward foot,
Hath passed away forever.

-Parted, "E.H."
« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2008, 14:42 by Vendetagainst »
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Dissy

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #48 on: 30 Jul 2008, 15:30 »

I know this is horribly morbid, but it is probably my favourite poem.

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

"The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"
by Randall Jarrell
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Oli

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #49 on: 30 Jul 2008, 16:28 »

Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson.


It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea.  I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known -- cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all --
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy,
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle---
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me---
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil.
Death closes all;  but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


The first time I heard this poem, in a lecture during my first year studying English Lit, was the moment that I really and concretely fell in love with all aspects of English literature. I'd loved studying novels and plays before that lecture but I'd never really gotten into the studying of poetry before that. I think the exact moment was the line:

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
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