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Author Topic: Post a favorite poem!  (Read 78319 times)

ashashash

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #50 on: 30 Jul 2008, 16:39 »

Good call on "Not Waving But Drowning" and "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock".

Here're a few of my favorites:

"In a Boat" by D. H. Lawrence

See the stars, love, 
In the water much clearer and brighter 
Than those above us, and whiter, 
Like nenuphars. 
 
Star-shadows shine, love,
How many stars in your bowl? 
How many shadows in your soul, 
Only mine, love, mine? 
 
When I move the oars, love, 
See how the stars are tossed,
Distorted, the brightest lost. 
—So that bright one of yours, love. 
 
The poor waters spill 
The stars, waters broken, forsaken. 
—The heavens are not shaken, you say, love,
Its stars stand still. 
 
There, did you see 
That spark fly up at us; even 
Stars are not safe in heaven. 
—What of yours, then, love, yours?
 
What then, love, if soon 
Your light be tossed over a wave? 
Will you count the darkness a grave, 
And swoon, love, swoon?

I mostly love the way he uses rhyme.


"Loving in truth..." by Sir Philip Sidney

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the dear she might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe:
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled stepdame Study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write."

This is the reason I think sonnets are cool (no offense, Shakespeare).

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens

 I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

I'm not sure what it is about this poem, but it's kind of striking, to me.  But at the same time it's kind of funny - it manages to parody itself and still make a sincere statement at the same time, and most things can't do that.
« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2008, 16:42 by ashashash »
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Nim

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #51 on: 30 Jul 2008, 18:15 »

Along with a handful of Lewis Carrolls, this is the one poem I've held onto since early childhood:

Quote from: William Blake
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
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Vendetagainst

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #52 on: 30 Jul 2008, 19:18 »

that must have been dreadfully uncomfortable for your mother, with whose blood you were already gorging yourself.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #53 on: 30 Jul 2008, 21:36 »

I love Blake but I have never been a fan of "The Tyger" for some reason. I really love "The Book of Urizen" though, and I even did it for speech when I was a sophomore. It's wicked long, so I could only do a small chunk of it. Here's the first chapter:

Of the primeval Priests assum'd power,
When Eternals spurn'd back his religion;
And gave him a place in the north,
Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary.
         
Eternals I hear your call gladly,
Dictate swift winged words, & fear not
To unfold your dark visions of torment.
         
Chap: I

1. Lo, a shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific!
Self-closd, all-repelling: what Demon
Hath form'd this abominable void
This soul-shudd'ring vacuum?--Some said
"It is Urizen", But unknown, abstracted
Brooding secret, the dark power hid.
         
2.Times on times he divided, & measur'd
Space by space in his ninefold darkness
Unseen, unknown! changes appeard
In his desolate mountains rifted furious
By the black winds of perturbation
         
3. For he strove in battles dire
In unseen conflictions with shapes
Bred from his forsaken wilderness,
Of beast, bird, fish, serpent & element
Combustion, blast, vapour and cloud.
         
4. Dark revolving in silent activity:
Unseen in tormenting passions;
An activity unknown and horrible;
A self-contemplating shadow,
In enormous labours occupied
         
5. But Eternals beheld his vast forests
Age on ages he lay, clos'd, unknown
Brooding shut in the deep; all avoid
The petrific abominable chaos
         
6. His cold horrors silent, dark Urizen
Prepar'd: his ten thousands of thunders
Rang'd in gloom'd array stretch out across
The dread world, & the rolling of wheels
As of swelling seas, sound in his clouds
In his hills of stor'd snows, in his mountains
Of hail & ice; voices of terror,
Are heard, like thunders of autumn,
When the cloud blazes over the harvests
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Uber Ritter

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #54 on: 02 Aug 2008, 22:32 »

Ulysses is probably my favorite Tennyson poem, not that I know much Tennyson.  I love how it adopts as it's theme -Dante's- Ulysses, the damned Ulysses, who's a lot closer to Homer's than a lot of people like to admit.

I like Wallace Stevens but I do not understand his poetry--or him.  I think he's the only corporate executive ever to be a great poet or vice versa.

And now, there's this, in French because I don't trust the translation:
Baudelaire-The Swan

LXXXIX. — Le Cygne

À VICTOR HUGO


Andromaque, je pense à vI

Andromaque, je pense à vous ! Ce petit fleuve,
Pauvre et triste miroir où jadis resplendit
L’immense majesté de vos douleurs de veuve,
Ce Simoïs menteur qui par vos pleurs grandit,

A fécondé soudain ma mémoire fertile,
Comme je traversais le nouveau Carrousel.
Le vieux Paris n’est plus (la forme d’une ville
Change plus vite, hélas! que le cœur d’un mortel) ;

Je ne vois qu’en esprit tout ce camp de baraques,
Ces tas de chapiteaux ébauchés et de fûts,
Les herbes, les gros blocs verdis par l’eau des flaques,
Et, brillant aux carreaux, le bric-à-brac confus.

Là s’étalait jadis une ménagerie ;
Là je vis, un matin, à l’heure où sous les cieux
Froids et clairs le Travail s’éveille, où la voirie
Pousse un sombre ouragan dans l’air silencieux,

Un cygne qui s’était évadé de sa cage,
Et, de ses pieds palmés frottant le pavé sec,
Sur le sol raboteux traînait son blanc plumage.
Près d’un ruisseau sans eau la bête ouvrant le bec

Baignait nerveusement ses ailes dans la poudre,
Et disait, le cœur plein de son beau lac natal :
« Eau, quand donc pleuvras-tu ? quand tonneras-tu, foudre ? »
Je vois ce malheureux, mythe étrange et fatal,

Vers le ciel quelquefois, comme l’homme d’Ovide,
Vers le ciel ironique et cruellement bleu,
Sur son cou convulsif tendant sa tête avide,
Comme s’il adressait des reproches à Dieu !


Paris change ! mais rien II

Paris change ! mais rien dans ma mélancolie
N’a bougé ! palais neufs, échafaudages, blocs,
Vieux faubourgs, tout pour moi devient allégorie,
Et mes chers souvenirs sont plus lourds que des rocs.

Aussi devant ce Louvre une image m’opprime :
Je pense à mon grand cygne, avec ses gestes fous,
Comme les exilés, ridicule et sublime,
Et rongé d’un désir sans trêve ! et puis à vous,

Andromaque, des bras d’un grand époux tombée,
Vil bétail, sous la main du superbe Pyrrhus,
Auprès d’un tombeau vide en extase courbée ;
Veuve d’Hector, hélas ! et femme d’Hélénus !

Je pense à la négresse, amaigrie et phtisique,
Piétinant dans la boue, et cherchant, l’œil hagard
Les cocotiers absents de la superbe Afrique
Derrière la muraille immense du brouillard ;

À quiconque a perdu ce qui ne se retrouve
Jamais, jamais ! à ceux qui s’abreuvent de pleurs
Et tettent la Douleur comme une bonne louve !
Aux maigres orphelins séchant comme des fleurs !

Ainsi dans la forêt où mon esprit s’exile
Un vieux Souvenir sonne à plein souffle du cor !
Je pense aux matelots oubliés dans une île,
Aux captifs, aux vaincus !… à bien d’autres encor !

The Swan
for Victor Hugo

I.

Andromache, I think of you - this meagre stream,
This melancholy mirror where had once shone forth
The giant majesty of all your widowhood,
This fraudulent Simois, fed by bitter tears,

Has quickened suddenly my fertile memory
As I was walking through the modem Carrousel.
The old Paris is gone (the form a city takes
More quickly shifts, alas, than does the mortal heart);

I picture in my head the busy camp of huts,
And heaps of rough-hewn columns, capitals and shafts,
The grass, the giant blocks made green by puddle-stain,
Reflected in the glaze, the jumbled bric-à-brac.

Once nearby was displayed a great menagerie,
And there I saw one day - the time when under skies
Cold and newly bright, Labour stirs awake
And sweepers push their storms into the silent air -

A swan, who had escaped from his captivity,
And scuffing his splayed feet along the paving stones,
He trailed his white array of feathers in the dirt.
Close by a dried out ditch the bird opened his beak,

Flapping excitedly, bathing his wings in dust,
And said, with heart possessed by lakes he once had loved:
'Water, when will you rain? Thunder, when will you roar?'
I see this hapless creature, sad and fatal myth,

Stretching the hungry head on his convulsive neck,
Sometimes towards the sky, like the man in Ovid's book -
Towards the ironic sky, the sky of cruel blue,
As if he were a soul contesting with his God!


II.

Paris may change, but in my melancholy mood
Nothing has budged! New palaces, blocks, scaffoldings,
Old neighbourhoods, are allegorical for me,
And my dear memories are heavier than stone.

And so outside the Louvre an image gives me pause:
I think of my great swan, his gestures pained and mad,
Like other exiles, both ridiculous and sublime,
Gnawed by his endless longing! Then I think of you,

Fallen Andromache, torn from a husband's arms,
Vile property beneath the haughty Pyrrhus' hand,
Next to an empty tomb, head bowed in ecstasy,
Widow of Hector! O! and wife of Helenus!

I think of a negress, thin and tubercular,
Treading in the mire, searching with haggard eye
For palm trees she recalls from splendid Africa,
Somewhere behind a giant barrier of fog;

Of all those who have lost something they may not find
Ever, ever again! who steep themselves in tears
And suck a bitter milk from that good she-wolf, grief!
Of orphans, skin and bones, dry and wasted blooms!

And likewise in the forest of my exiled soul
Old Memory sings out a full note of the horn!
I think of sailors left forgotten on an isle,
Of captives, the defeated ... many others more!

Also, my favorite Blake from Innocence and Experience is probably "The Human Abstract," particularly when matched with "The Divine Image," which I'm pretty sure is it's double.
« Last Edit: 02 Aug 2008, 22:49 by Uber Ritter »
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MarkTBSc

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #55 on: 15 Aug 2008, 00:57 »

I know he's not as popular nowadays but I still hold nothing but respect for Kipling.

Sons of Martha
The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains ``Be ye removèd.'' They say to the lesser floods ``Be dry.''
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd---they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit---then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger Death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden---under the earthline their altars are---
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's ways may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd---they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the feet---they hear the Word---they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and---the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

And of course the ode to my home:

Grantchester by Rupert Brooke
Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow . . .
Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,
Beside the river make for you
A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep
Deeply above; and green and deep
The stream mysterious glides beneath,
Green as a dream and deep as death.
---Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
How the May fields all golden show,
And when the day is young and sweet,
Gild gloriously the bare feet
That run to bathe . . . Du lieber Gott!

Here am I, sweating, sick, and hot,
And there the shadowed waters fresh
Lean up to embrace the naked flesh.
Temperamentvoll German Jews
Drink beer around;---and there the dews
Are soft beneath a morn of gold.
Here tulips bloom as they are told;
Unkempt about those hedges blows
An English unofficial rose;
And there the unregulated sun
Slopes down to rest when day is done,
And wakes a vague unpunctual star,
A slippered Hesper; and there are
Meads towards Haslingfield and Coton
Where das Betreten's not verboten.
   
                    . . . would I were
In Grantchester, in Grantchester!---
Some, it may be, can get in touch
With Nature there, or Earth, or such.
And clever modern men have seen
A Faun a-peeping through the green,
And felt the Classics were not dead,
To glimpse a Naiad's reedy head,
Or hear the Goat-foot piping low: . . .
But these are things I do not know.
I only know that you may lie
Day long and watch the Cambridge sky,
And, flower-lulled in sleepy grass,
Hear the cool lapse of hours pass,
Until the centuries blend and blur
In Grantchester, in Grantchester. . . .
Still in the dawnlit waters cool
His ghostly Lordship swims his pool,
And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,
Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.
Dan Chaucer hears his river still
Chatter beneath a phantom mill.
Tennyson notes, with studious eye,
How Cambridge waters hurry by . . .
And in that garden, black and white,
Creep whispers through the grass all night;
And spectral dance, before the dawn,
A hundred Vicars down the lawn;
Curates, long dust, will come and go
On lissom, clerical, printless toe;
And oft between the boughs is seen
The sly shade of a Rural Dean . . .
Till, at a shiver in the skies,
Vanishing the Satanic cries,
The prim ecclesiastic rout
Leaves but a startled sleeper-out,
Grey heavens, the first bird's drowsy calls,
The falling house that never falls.

God! I will pack, and take a train,
And get me to England once again!
For England's the one land, I know,
Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;
And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
The shire for Men who Understand;
And of that district I prefer
The lovely hamlet Grantchester.
For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,

And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there's none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton's full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you'd not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.
But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!
There's peace and holy quiet there,
Great clouds along pacific skies,
And men and women with straight eyes,
Lithe children lovelier than a dream,
A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,
And little kindly winds that creep
Round twilight corners, half asleep.
In Grantchester their skins are white;
They bathe by day, they bathe by night;
The women there do all they ought;
The men observe the Rules of Thought.
They love the Good; they worship Truth;
They laugh uproariously in youth;
(And when they get to feeling old,
They up and shoot themselves, I'm told) . . .

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

And for those short poem lovers, there was one we were taught at school... I remember very little about its provenance but the poem itself stuck in my head:

Starfish.
Dead.
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elcapitan

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #56 on: 15 Aug 2008, 01:42 »

celticgeek, I was going to post And Death Shall Have No Dominion, but you beat me to it. Fantastic, as is almost everything by Dylan Thomas.

Two other random favourites of mine:

Wilfred Owen - Dulce Et Decorum Est
Quote
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots 
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! –  An ecstasy of fumbling, 
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, 
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

Allen Ginsberg - An Eastern Ballad
Quote
I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world gone wild.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #57 on: 15 Aug 2008, 10:17 »

I'm all old-fashioned like... this is one of my favorites


Came a'calling, came a'wooing
Mighty prince with jewels and gold
"Come with me, come marry me,
On thee I'll shower wealth untold."

"Away!" I cried and shut the door.
"Ne'er will I be wed to thee!
Take thy baubles and shiny glass;
A maiden till I die, I'll be."

"Trill lil lil lilly," I sit and I sing,
Spinning at the window sill.
"Father, princes I'll not wed;
A poor maid I shall remain still."

Came a'calling, came a'wooing
Noble from a foreign land
"Come with me, come marry me,
Take my ring upon thy hand."

"Away!" I cried and shut the door.
"Return thou to thy foreign home.
Here was my birth and shall be my death;
'Cross the waters I shall not roam."

"Trill lil lil lally," I sit and I sing,
Weaving yarn to fine brocade.
"Mother, nobles I'll not wed;
In my father's tomb, be laid."

Came a'calling, came a'wooing
Brave and true, this handsome knight.
"Come with me, come marry me,
And for my lady's love I'll fight."

"Away!" I cried and shut the door.
"Fight not for love or lady fair.
I'll be naught for thy delight;
For thy sword I have no care."

"Trill lil lil lolly," I sit and I sing
Beside the hearth I sew my cloth
"Brother, brave knights I'll not wed;
For flow'ry praise I'll not betroth."

Came a'humbly, came a'lowly
Came the blacksmith's son to me.
"I've not gold, nor sword or land,
I've nothing for to tempt your hand."

"Come in!" I cried, threw wide the door
And then I brought him straight inside.
"Oh father, mother, brother; Lo!
For he alone will I be bride.

"A golden dress I have prepared
To wed, I shall be well arrayed.
Upon my hand I took his ring;
Upon his bed, my head I laid."

"The Maiden" - A. Fleming






and just for something completely different:


I FOUND YOUR OLD PAJAMAS BY
THE GUMBALL MACHINE, THE TOUCH OF
FLANNEL LIKE THE CHIROPRACTOR’S ICY
AND ELLIPTICAL PENDULUM. VELVEETA
ISN’T CHEESE, WE ALL KNOW THAT
BUT WHO CAN SAY THAT WHAT WE KNOW
IS MORE THAN FISHBONES, POLISHED WHITE
ON BEACHES HOT WITH SUN AND PASSION.
YES, WE HAVE BANANAS AND WHAT’S MORE
WE’RE OPEN NOW FOR LUNCH, OUR NEW ESTHETIC
PRUNES AND POLYESTER. GOGGLE-EYED,
WE VIEW THE BLUE PLATE SPECIAL: HEY,
DO YOU INTEND TO EAT THAT PICKLE?

NEVER MIND. JUST WONDERING.


Untitled, by Whistler
« Last Edit: 15 Aug 2008, 10:24 by MissZahrah »
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celticgeek

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #58 on: 15 Aug 2008, 11:44 »

celticgeek, I was going to post And Death Shall Have No Dominion, but you beat me to it. Fantastic, as is almost everything by Dylan Thomas
Quote


This has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #59 on: 18 Aug 2008, 12:16 »

As Ulysses has already been posted, here's another one from my top five:


Pygmalion
Hilda Doolittle

Shall I let myself be caught
in my own light?
shall I let myself be broken
in my own heat?
or shall I cleft the rock as of old
and break my own fire
with its surface?

does this fire thwart me
and my craft,
or does my work cloud this light?
which is the god,
which is the stone
the god takes for his use?

2.

Which am I,
the stone or the power
that lifts the rock from the earth?
am i the master of this fire,
is this fire my own strength?

am I master of this
swirl upon swirl of light?
have I made it as in old times
I made the gods from the rock?

have I made this fire from myself?
or is this arrogance?
is this fire a god
that seeks me in the dark?

3.

I made image upon image for my use,
I made image upon image, for the grace
of Pallas was my flint
and my help was Hephaestos.

I made god upon god
step from the cold rock,
I made the gods less than men
for I was a man and they my work;

and now that is it that has come to pass?
for fire has shaken my hand,
my strivings are dust.

4.

Now what is it that has come to pass?
over my head, fire stands,
my marbles are alert:

each of the gods, perfect,
cries out from a perfect throat:
you are useless,
no marble can bind me,
no stone suggest.


5.

They have melted into the light
and I am desolate;
they have melted;
each from his plinth,
each one departs;

they have gone;
what agony can express my grief?

each from his marble base
has stepped into the light
and my work is for naught.

6.

Now am I the power
that has make this fire
as of old I made the gods
start from the rocks?
am I the god?
or does this fire carve me
for its use?



Btw, does anyone else like Tagore? :)
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StreetSpirit

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #60 on: 19 Aug 2008, 14:19 »

I never saw a purple cow;
I never hope to see one;
but I can tell you anyhow;
I'd rather see than be one!

- Gelett Burgess
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #61 on: 19 Aug 2008, 15:17 »

I always enjoyed this one by William Blake

"Auguries of Innocence"

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed for fight
Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer wandering here and there
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee
Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands,
Throughout all these human lands;
Tools were made and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;
This is caught by females bright
And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air
Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands,
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough
To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not through the eye
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #62 on: 20 Aug 2008, 12:33 »

Quote
"Mending Wall" -- Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Quote
"The Second Coming" -- W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Quote
"High Flight" -- John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
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celticgeek

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #63 on: 26 Mar 2010, 20:36 »

Ah, yes.  It was lovely going through this thread again.

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #64 on: 26 Mar 2010, 22:18 »

I saw this one as a preface in a book I was reading.

Quote from:  I'm Scared of it All, by Robert Service
I'm scared of it all, God's truth! so I am;
It's too big and brutal for me.
My nerve's on the raw and I don't give a damn
For all the "hoorah" that I see.
I'm pinned between subway and overhead train,
Where automobillies swoop down:
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again --
I'm scared of the terrible town.

I want to go back to my lean, ashen plains;
My rivers that flash into foam;
My ultimate valleys where solitude reigns;
My trail from Fort Churchill to Nome.
My forests packed full of mysterious gloom,
My ice-fields agrind and aglare:
The city is deadfalled with danger and doom --
I know that I'm safer up there.

I watch the wan faces that flash in the street;
All kinds and all classes I see.
Yet never a one in the million I meet,
Has the smile of a comrade for me.
Just jaded and panting like dogs in a pack;
Just tensed and intent on the goal:
O God! but I'm lonesome -- I wish I was back,
Up there in the land of the Pole.

I wish I was back on the Hunger Plateaus,
And seeking the lost caribou;
I wish I was up where the Coppermine flows
To the kick of my little canoe.
I'd like to be far on some weariful shore,
In the Land of the Blizzard and Bear;
Oh, I wish I was snug in the Arctic once more,
For I know I am safer up there!

I prowl in the canyons of dismal unrest;
I cringe -- I'm so weak and so small.
I can't get my bearings, I'm crushed and oppressed
With the haste and the waste of it all.
The slaves and the madman, the lust and the sweat,
The fear in the faces I see;
The getting, the spending, the fever, the fret --
It's too bleeding cruel for me.

I feel it's all wrong, but I can't tell you why --
The palace, the hovel next door;
The insolent towers that sprawl to the sky,
The crush and the rush and the roar.
I'm trapped like a fox and I fear for my pelt;
I cower in the crash and the glare;
Oh, I want to be back in the avalanche belt,
For I know that it's safer up there!

I'm scared of it all: Oh, afar I can hear
The voice of my solitudes call!
We're nothing but brute with a little veneer,
And nature is best after all.
There's tumult and terror abroad in the street;
There's menace and doom in the air;
I've got to get back to my thousand-mile beat;
The trail where the cougar and silver-tip meet;
The snows and the camp-fire, with wolves at my feet;
Good-bye, for it's safer up there.

To be forming good habits up there;
To be starving on rabbits up there;
In your hunger and woe,
Though it's sixty below,
Oh, I know that it's safer up there!
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allison

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #65 on: 30 Mar 2010, 08:47 »

I wrote a paper on this poem. Seems fitting 'round Easter.

1
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound.
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

2
Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measure destined for her soul.

3
Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue.

4
She says, "I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?"
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven's hill, that has endured
As April's green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow's wings.

5
She says, "But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss."
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths,
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness,
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.

6
Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set pear upon those river-banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

7
Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feel shall manifest.

8
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay."
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #66 on: 30 Mar 2010, 11:09 »

Elizabeth Bishop is a poet whose depth often comes from (not in spite of, I think) a carefully measured, plain speech and commonplace subject material (see also "At the Fishhouses," "The Bight," and "The Moose"). She (along with a group of poets including Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell) comes of age as a poet in a period that's after the experimentalist heyday of modernism yet before the more freewheeling, movement-and-sound poetry of Charles Olson and the postmodernists gains ground. In terms of technique, her poems often masterfully blur the line between subtle arrangement and true free verse.

"Squatter's Children"

On the unbreathing sides of hills
they play, a specklike girl and boy,
alone, but near a specklike house.
The Sun's suspended eye
blinks casually, and then they wade
gigantic waves of light and shade.
A dancing yellow spot, a pup,
attends them. Clouds are piling up;
 
a storm piles up behind the house.
The children play at digging holes.
The ground is hard; they try to use
one of their father's tools,
a mattock with a broken haft
the two of them can scarcely lift.
It drops and clangs. Their laughter spreads
effulgence in the thunderheads,
 
Weak flashes of inquiry
direct as is the puppy's bark.
But to their little, soluble,
unwarrantable ark,
apparently the rain's reply
consists of echolalia,
and Mother's voice, ugly as sin,
keeps calling to them to come in.
 
Children, the threshold of the storm
has slid beneath your muddy shoes;
wet and beguiled, you stand among
the mansions you may choose
out of a bigger house than yours,
whose lawfulness endures.
It's soggy documents retain
your rights in rooms of falling rain.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #67 on: 30 Mar 2010, 12:37 »

sonnet to a cat, by John Keats


Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand cliacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? - How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all the wheezy asthma, - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass bottled wall.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #68 on: 25 May 2010, 16:09 »

Wow, that was amazing.  Now I gotta go look up more W. H. Auden works.

Um, one of my favorite poems is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.  It's a tad long (and common, you all have probably already heard of it), so I'll post my favorite section of it:

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.

Edit: shoot, I didn't realize Prufrock had already been posted.  I'll dig up my favorite Keats or Poe or Ginsberg (I tend to only like the big names...) when I get home
Also Edit: whoa, I didn't realize this was 2 pages, and from 2007

I found an excerpt of Endymion by Keats which I have loved for a while:

   And I was gazing on the surges prone,
   With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
   When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand,
   Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
   I knelt with pain--reached out my hand--had grasp'd
   Those treasures--touch'd the knuckles--they unclasp'd--
   I caught a finger: but the downward weight
   O'erpowered me--it sank. Then 'gan abate
   The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
   The comfortable sun. I was athirst
   To search the book, and in the warming air
   Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
   Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
   My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
   Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
   I read these words, and read again, and tried
   My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2010, 16:18 by smack that isaiah »
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #69 on: 25 May 2010, 16:25 »

Keats

reading anything by keats just makes me want to read hyperion/the fall of hyperion again
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #70 on: 25 May 2010, 16:49 »

Annabel Lee is still probably one of my favorite poems of all time, so here it is:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #71 on: 25 May 2010, 17:21 »

Keats

reading anything by keats just makes me want to read hyperion/the fall of hyperion again

just when I thought I couldn't have any more of a mancrush on you, you have to go and say a thing.  :wink:
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Quote from: KvP
Also I would like to point out that the combination of Sailor Moon and faux-Kerouac / Sonic Youth spelling is perhaps the purest distillation of what this forum is that we have yet been presented with.

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #72 on: 26 May 2010, 12:47 »

Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football-pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.

His belly is white, his neck is dark,
And his hair is an exclamation-mark.
His clothes are enough to scare a crow
And through his britches the blue winds blow.

When teacher talks he won't hear a word
And he shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird,
He licks the pattern off his plate
And he's not even heard of the Welfare State.

Timothy Winters has bloody feet
And he lives in a house on Suez Street,
He sleeps in a sack on the kithen floor
And they say there aren't boys like him anymore.

Old Man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier,
Grandma sits in the grate with a gin
And Timothy's dosed with an aspirin.

The welfare Worker lies awake
But the law's as tricky as a ten-foot snake,
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.

At Morning Prayers the Master helves
for children less fortunate than ourselves,
And the loudest response in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars "Amen!"

So come one angel, come on ten
Timothy Winters says "Amen
Amen amen amen amen."
Timothy Winters, Lord. Amen

Charles Causley
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Zingoleb

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #73 on: 27 May 2010, 03:51 »

cause of death: pneumonia

tom house

he passed out
4:30    5 in the morning
after hours cussing
and shouting this and
slinging that
and slapping at her
punching her telling her
two boys to get their fucking
asses back to bed or he'd
by god show them the way
and she sat there
a long time thinking
'bout it she'd
planned and plotted
and overcoming
everything she'd
ever been or feared
slipped the handcuffs
on his wrists and
wired them to the bedframe
cut off his britches
and lashed him
to the mattress
and when he woke she
was leaning there on
the edge with the
bucket in her hand
and he's soaking in
sheets and cold water
she reaches over
slaps him again and
again and when she stops
penetrating eyes
he's never seen before
she turns on the fan
starts to laugh
starts to shiver
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Katherine

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #74 on: 27 May 2010, 14:36 »

'Marriage' by Gregory Corso

Should I get married? Should I be good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets
then desire her and kiss her and all the preliminaries
and she going just so far and I understanding why
not getting angry saying You must feel! It's beautiful to feel!
Instead take her in my arms lean against an old crooked tombstone
and woo her the entire night the constellations in the sky-

When she introduces me to her parents
back straightened, hair finally combed, strangled by a tie,
should I sit with my knees together on their 3rd degree sofa
and not ask Where's the bathroom?
How else to feel other than I am,
often thinking Flash Gordon soap-
O how terrible it must be for a young man
seated before a family and the family thinking
We never saw him before! He wants our Mary Lou!
After tea and homemade cookies they ask What do you do for a living?

Should I tell them? Would they like me then?
Say All right get married, we're losing a daughter
but we're gaining a son-
And should I then ask Where's the bathroom?

O God, and the wedding! All her family and her friends
and only a handful of mine all scroungy and bearded
just wait to get at the drinks and food-
And the priest! he looking at me as if I masturbated
asking me Do you take this woman for your lawful wedded wife?
And I trembling what to say say Pie Glue!
I kiss the bride all those corny men slapping me on the back
She's all yours, boy! Ha-ha-ha!
And in their eyes you could see some obscene honeymoon going on-
Then all that absurd rice and clanky cans and shoes
Niagara Falls! Hordes of us! Husbands! Wives! Flowers! Chocolates!
All streaming into cozy hotels
All going to do the same thing tonight
The indifferent clerk he knowing what was going to happen
The lobby zombies they knowing what
The whistling elevator man he knowing
Everybody knowing! I'd almost be inclined not to do anything!
Stay up all night! Stare that hotel clerk in the eye!
Screaming: I deny honeymoon! I deny honeymoon!
running rampant into those almost climactic suites
yelling Radio belly! Cat shovel!
O I'd live in Niagara forever! in a dark cave beneath the Falls
I'd sit there the Mad Honeymooner
devising ways to break marriages, a scourge of bigamy
a saint of divorce-

But I should get married I should be good
How nice it'd be to come home to her
and sit by the fireplace and she in the kitchen
aproned young and lovely wanting my baby
and so happy about me she burns the roast beef
and comes crying to me and I get up from my big papa chair
saying Christmas teeth! Radiant brains! Apple deaf!
God what a husband I'd make! Yes, I should get married!
So much to do! Like sneaking into Mr Jones' house late at night
and cover his golf clubs with 1920 Norwegian books
Like hanging a picture of Rimbaud on the lawnmower
like pasting Tannu Tuva postage stamps all over the picket fence
like when Mrs Kindhead comes to collect for the Community Chest
grab her and tell her There are unfavorable omens in the sky!
And when the mayor comes to get my vote tell him
When are you going to stop people killing whales!
And when the milkman comes leave him a note in the bottle
Penguin dust, bring me penguin dust, I want penguin dust-

Yes if I should get married and it's Connecticut and snow
and she gives birth to a child and I am sleepless, worn,
up for nights, head bowed against a quiet window, the past behind me,
finding myself in the most common of situations a trembling man
knowledged with responsibility not twig-smear nor Roman coin soup-
O what would that be like!
Surely I'd give it for a nipple a rubber Tacitus
For a rattle a bag of broken Bach records
Tack Della Francesca all over its crib
Sew the Greek alphabet on its bib
And build for its playpen a roofless Parthenon

No, I doubt I'd be that kind of father
Not rural not snow no quiet window
but hot smelly tight New York City
seven flights up, roaches and rats in the walls
a fat Reichian wife screeching over potatoes Get a job!
And five nose running brats in love with Batman
And the neighbors all toothless and dry haired
like those hag masses of the 18th century
all wanting to come in and watch TV
The landlord wants his rent
Grocery store Blue Cross Gas & Electric Knights of Columbus
impossible to lie back and dream Telephone snow, ghost parking-
No! I should not get married! I should never get married!
But-imagine if I were married to a beautiful sophisticated woman
tall and pale wearing an elegant black dress and long black gloves
holding a cigarette holder in one hand and a highball in the other
and we lived high up in a penthouse with a huge window
from which we could see all of New York and even farther on clearer days
No, can't imagine myself married to that pleasant prison dream-

O but what about love? I forget love
not that I am incapable of love
It's just that I see love as odd as wearing shoes-
I never wanted to marry a girl who was like my mother
And Ingrid Bergman was always impossible
And there's maybe a girl now but she's already married
And I don't like men and-
But there's got to be somebody!
Because what if I'm 60 years old and not married,
all alone in a furnished room with pee stains on my underwear
and everybody else is married! All the universe married but me!

Ah, yet well I know that were a woman possible as I am possible
then marriage would be possible-
Like SHE in her lonely alien gaud waiting her Egyptian lover
so i wait-bereft of 2,000 years and the bath of life.
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mberan42

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #75 on: 27 May 2010, 14:53 »

OZYMANDIAS
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #76 on: 27 May 2010, 21:36 »

Fuck youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.
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SaskiWhiteflower

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #77 on: 15 Jul 2010, 15:01 »

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Quote
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth
 

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.



I truly love that one. And here is one of my own. Dont kill me, im still working on my english.

The only thing I'm good at
Is stating the obvious
Without any emotions
Writing down peoples "blue skies" and "red hearts"

The only thing I'm good at
Is talking trash
Why not at sweet talking?
Writing down peoples nasty lies and bad habits

The only thing I'm good at
Is writing the unreadable
And it doesn't make any sense now does it?
Writing down things people will never read or think of

The only thing I'm good at will dissapear
It wont make it through the ages
It wont ever really matter
Noone's to blame
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Asterus

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #78 on: 08 Jun 2012, 06:29 »

Two of my favorites of late:

Chicken Scratch
Some say that the art of an artist is theirs
Their art is the mark that their medium bears
Their skill is judged by the meaning it shares
But this system is hollow inside

For instance my art is of paper and pen
Of where words are written, of where pencil's been
But if I erase them, what of it then?
This blank, from your eyes does it hide

But does this mean my work doesn't exist
The presence of [Deleted] words that we've missed?
Are the thoughts absent in the world if there isn't a list?
If that is so, by these rules I won't abide

The act of this pen gouging paths on this page
Is naught but my mark binding thoughts to a cage
Yet the prison isn't a container, instead it's a stage
Upon which these words act as a guide

My words are not mine, they've existed all along
The potential for poem, the potential for song
What I've done is put them into material strong
This is the truth to you I'll confide


Doorway to dream
The gate that leads to other worlds
Is made of paper and pen
What is it you the reader reads here and now?
what is it the writer wrote then?

The vistas imagined, though thought made them real
The construct and rise of a dream
The building of a dimension based on inspiration
Some central, integral theme

Yet the text is naught but a doorway
And the author is naught but a guide
You are free to step through and wander alone
Explore for yourself what's inside

The truth is that nothing stands the same for all
That our eyes are not equal in sight
That we see not the same vista of dream
Even though it's enbathed in the same light

So wander onward, reader! Step through doorway of text
Wander onward across this strange land
Move on your own whim, independent of any
This I, as the writer, demand!
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Algernon

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #79 on: 29 Jun 2012, 09:56 »

Epilogue, by Robert Lowell

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.

But sometimes everything I write   
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All’s misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #80 on: 09 Jul 2012, 03:34 »

The Shot, Adrian Naef

I hit the paper-basket
lying down in bed
from a distance of 4 meters
elegant
with a flat arc

It was a so-so poem

But a day
like no other in a long time
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pwhodges

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #81 on: 09 Jul 2012, 03:51 »

At a solemn Musick
An ode by John Milton (1608-1674). 
(Modernised spellings.)

Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of heaven’s joy,
  Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
  Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ,
  Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce.
  And to our high-raised phantasy present
  That undisturbed song of pure concent*,
  Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
  To him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
  Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row,
  Their loud, uplifted angel-trumpets blow,
  And the Cherubic host in thousand quires,
  Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
  With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
  Hymns devout and holy psalms
  Singing everlastingly;
That we on Earth with undiscording voice
  May rightly answer that melodious noise;
  As once we did, till disproportioned sin
  Jarred against nature’s chime, and with harsh din
  Broke the fair music that all creatures made
  To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed
  In perfect diapason†, whilst they stood
  In first obedience, and their state of good.
O may we soon again renew that song
  And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
  To His celestial concert us unite,
  To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light.

* Milton originally wrote ‘content’; but  ‘concent’ is a later reading (often misprinted as ‘consent’, a different word) meaning harmony or concord of sounds, and thus more appropriate here and maybe what was intended.

† ‘Diapason’ is a word of vague meaning relating to the complete range of notes and harmony.  Sigmund Spaeth wrote of this passage: “Diapason represents the harmony between Heaven and Earth as consisting of the interval of the octave, in other words, the most perfect concord excepting the unison”.

The words describe how music can produce a religious rapture in the listener, perhaps even harking back to a performance attended by Milton himself.  The Sirens (taken from Plato’s Republic) moved the spheres on which heavenly bodies sat, producing music; Voice here represents this natural ‘music of the spheres’, and Verse represents the heavenly order symbolised by the angelic choirs.
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Hairy Joe Bob

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #82 on: 09 Jul 2012, 08:56 »

What a lovely thread. I've got too many favourites to count but I've recently been reading (and listening to) Murray Lachlan Young. This is definitely my favourite of his.

Simply Everyone's Taking Cocaine

From Mayfair to Morden from Soho to Sidcup
From Richmond to Dalston through old Regents park
From Borough to Bayswater, Crouchend to Clapham.
From Debden to Tooting beneath Marble arch.

There are daughters of ministers children of clergy
There are amiable honarables barristers verging
On every single section of today’s society
Have thrown figs to the wind and embraced with such glee
The most wonderful pastime to have come around in years
Yes policemen and plumbers road sweepers and peers

Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

Well last weekend I rode the Millennium wheel
From above and beneath I heard giggle and squeal
For instead of enjoying fine views all about
All the tourists were busily racking them out
Even those from the west of Ukraine

Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

In the marathon runners are running with glee
With a vigour quite plain for spectators to see
It’s a marvel how thousands have slashed at their times
By at regular intervals hoofing a line
They’ve been stoking it up like a train

Simply everyone’s taking cocaine

Well I saw a young fireman helmet in hand
With a placard declaring we need thirty grand.
When I asked him to justify such an increase
He said “we have to buy it unlike the police”
Then he left for his villa in Spain

Saying everyone’s taking cocaine

Well I saw fizzy Sipworth attempting to eat
Inexplicably missing the most of her teeth
I said Fizzy your gummy what gives you old wag
She said “snorting Peruvian from the pound bag”
Then she laughed like a Portuguese drain

Simply everyone’s taking cocaine

Well I saw aunty Millie, her nose in a cast
I asked how would she manage her hourly blast
“She said needs must dear boy though it may seem a farce
I’ve been having it blown up the old Khyber Pass
By an elderly friend from Bahrain”

Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

Uncle Percy set off on his great expedition
I said Percy you look in the peek of condition
“Quite so dear boy I’m a jack in the box
Since I purchased a sack of Bolivian rocks
From a couple I met on a plane ”

Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

In the jungle old Percy’s supply was near done
He said this lack of chang is impeding my fun
When a barer discovered the wreck of a plane
Fairly stuffed to the gunnels with bales of Cocaine
For a year did he chatter and gurn
His remains were returned in an urn

Well the vicar proclaimed it the poorest of taste
To be scattering ashes all over the place
And if as he suspected, the powder were pure
“We should snort the old goat off the rectory floor”
So he chopped out old Percy in lines
Well at first aunty Millie declined

But she quickly gave in when the reverend stepped in
And assured her that Percy would waggle his chin
If he heard that his very last blast
Was a trip up the old Khyber Pass?
Then we all shouted hip hip hooray

Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

For bus drivers are tooting it
Jockey’s are hoofing it
DJ’s are spinning it
Gamblers winning it
Forces manoeuvring it
Cleaners are hoovering it
Models are booked on it
Anglers hooked on it
Pensioners drawing it
Footballers scoring it
Technicians miking it
PA’s are biking it
Producers are trying it
AnR men denying it
Publishers collecting it
Lawyers protecting it
Artists are begging it
Some of them pegging it
It seems like it’s simple there’s no one to blame
For the whole of this nation is taking Cocaine
Simply everyone’s taking Cocaine

Oh how gay it all seems and how bright we all are
How much fun we are having and Oh what a lark
To have blistering jousting and sharp repartee
Oh please less less, less, about you
And please more, more, more, about me


And here he is performing it. Hilarious! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EZJUS72CWQ

Also, a John Hegley one: Pat

I said Pat
you are fat
and you are cataclysmically desirable
and to think I used to think
that slim was where it's at
well not any more Pat
you've changed that
and love yourself
and flatter yourself
and shatter their narrow image of the erotic
and Pat said
what do you mean FAT?
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Rose

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #83 on: 28 Jul 2012, 09:43 »

Some great picks in this thread. My favorite poem is "I know a man" by Robert Creeley. It's best when he would read it out loud, I heard it on NPR and stopped my car to listen. That good.

"As I sd to my   
friend, because I am   
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his   
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for   
christ’s sake, look   
out where yr going.
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jwhouk

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #84 on: 28 Jul 2012, 19:48 »

Not necessarily a favorite, but a recent "discovery":

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #85 on: 11 Aug 2012, 13:56 »

I Made A Mistake by Charles Bukowski

I reached up into the top of the closet
and took out a pair of blue panties
and showed them to her and
asked "are these yours?"
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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #86 on: 11 Aug 2012, 14:13 »

A couple of Dick King-Smith's:

Now you know and I know
the African rhino
is truculent to a degree.

And I know (do you know?)
The rhino will do no
One harm if you leave the thing be.

They pulverise passers
Who treat them, alas, as
A suitable butt for a prank.

So do not incite one
Or offer to fight one,
Unless you are driving a tank.





The civets reside in the coconut palms
Where the locals hang jars to make toddy.
When the locals go home from their coconut farms,
then the civets come out in a body.

They imbibe as the sun sets over Malay,
They continue long after it's sunk.
And though some of the civets can pack it away,
Quite a lit of the covets get drunk.
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pwhodges

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #87 on: 11 Aug 2012, 14:57 »

John has great big waterproof boots on;
John has a great big waterproof hat.
John has a great big waterproof mackintosh,
And that, says John, is that.

A A Milne
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

idontunderstand

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #88 on: 12 Aug 2012, 08:46 »

Guessing "mackintosh" means something different here?


(Imagines Christopher Robin as a floating hacker)
« Last Edit: 12 Aug 2012, 08:51 by idontunderstand »
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pwhodges

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #89 on: 12 Aug 2012, 09:36 »

Mackintosh is a raincoat, especially a rubberised one.

And John is six (it's from the children's poetry book Now we are Six)
« Last Edit: 12 Aug 2012, 09:51 by pwhodges »
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Redball

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #90 on: 12 Aug 2012, 12:37 »

Now that I'm six, I'm clever as clever.
I think I'll stay six, forever and ever.

One of my wife's favorite lines, probably also from A.A. Milne's Now We Are Six.
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celticgeek

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #91 on: 12 Aug 2012, 12:43 »

anyone lived in a pretty how town

E. E. Cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
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a 'dèanamh nan saighdean airson cinneadh MacLeòid
We Wear Woad When We Write Code
Ní féidir liom labhairt na Gaeilge.
Seachd reultan, agus seachd clachan, agus aon chraobh geal.

JayJay

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #92 on: 13 Aug 2012, 18:26 »

Most of my favorite poems are in portuguese, and I do not dare to translate them.
But one of my favorite poems in english wasn't posted here yet, maybe because it's too cliche

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


I just get such strong feelings from this one ._.
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henri bemis

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #93 on: 18 Dec 2012, 21:44 »

I love this one.  I have a lot of favorite poems, but this is resonating with me right now.

Monologue for an Onion
by Suji Kwock Kim

I don't mean to make you cry.
I mean nothing, but this has not kept you
From peeling away my body, layer by layer,

The tears clouding your eyes as the table fills
With husks, cut flesh, all the debris of pursuit.
Poor deluded human: you seek my heart.

Hunt all you want. Beneath each skin of mine
Lies another skin: I am pure onion--pure union
Of outside and in, surface and secret core.

Look at you, chopping and weeping. Idiot.
Is this the way you go through life, your mind
A stopless knife, driven by your fantasy of truth,

Of lasting union--slashing away skin after skin
From things, ruin and tears your only signs
Of progress? Enough is enough.

You must not grieve that the world is glimpsed
Through veils. How else can it be seen?
How will you rip away the veil of the eye, the veil

That you are, you who want to grasp the heart
Of things, hungry to know where meaning
Lies. Taste what you hold in your hands: onion-juice,

Yellow peels, my stinging shreds. You are the one
In pieces. Whatever you meant to love, in meaning to
You changed yourself: you are not who you are,

Your soul cut moment to moment by a blade
Of fresh desire, the ground sown with abandoned skins.
And at your inmost circle, what? A core that is

Not one. Poor fool, you are divided at the heart,
Lost in its maze of chambers, blood, and love,
A heart that will one day beat you to death.
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Petula

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #94 on: 19 Dec 2012, 00:37 »

I don't read poems often, so I don't have a favourite one, but there are some song lyrics I love.
For example the lyrics of biko by blocparty - they have such a strong effect on me that I cannot listen to that song too often...
« Last Edit: 19 Dec 2012, 00:48 by Petula »
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BeoPuppy

Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #95 on: 19 Dec 2012, 02:16 »

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
 
           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 etherized upon a table;   
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,   
The muttering retreats           5
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….           10
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,           15
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,           20
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;           25
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;           30
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           35
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—           40
(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           45
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,           50
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—           55
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?           60
  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!)   
Is it perfume from a dress           65
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           70
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!           75
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?           80
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,           85
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,           90
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”—           95
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,           100
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:           105
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.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
        110
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,           115
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 …           120
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.           125
 
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           130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
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riccostar

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #96 on: 19 Dec 2012, 14:08 »

I like Paradise Lost but I don't think posting it would be my best idea...
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Pilchard123

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #97 on: 19 Dec 2012, 14:28 »

I once read:

Milton married, and wrote Paradise Lost. After his wife died, he wrote Paradise Regained.
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riccostar

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #98 on: 19 Dec 2012, 15:40 »

Haha well his first wife did leave him to go live with her mother...

Milton wasn't the luckiest guy when it came to wives.
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Redball

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Re: Post a favorite poem!
« Reply #99 on: 19 Dec 2012, 15:54 »

I once read:
Milton married, and wrote Paradise Lost.
He named the book after her ... remarkable!
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