What's your favourite poem?

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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby cushty » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:40 pm

I read it aloud in a student tutorial once and got them all blubbing

:cry: :cry:
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby vanm » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:04 am

At the risk of sounding a bit poncy - is it that poets never could and still can't sit around a table and express their thoughts without being ridiculed?

Sorry folks. Eases van to bed.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby chimaera » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:15 am

Aw, Cushty. You've got be blubbing :cry:
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby horsegirl » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:59 am

That's beautiful Cushty. He should also be on my list. I love The Oxen too, always have to read it at Christmas.

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby vanm » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:38 am

I think this is my favourite:

How To Build An Owl.

1. Decide you must.

2. Develop deep respect for feather, bone, claw.

3. Place your trembling thumb where the heart will be: for one hundred hours watch so you
will know where to put the first feather.

4. Stay awake for ever. When the bird takes shape, gently pry open its beak and
whisper into it: mouse.

5. Let it go.


Kathleen Lynch.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby chimaera » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:40 pm

I've not come across that one, vanm. I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing it.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby vanm » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:44 pm

You're very welcome chimaera.

Here's another one I love:

The Departed.

Under a cliff-top wind, the grass
Foams at the foot of pierstake pines;
And out to sea the same wind whines
In halyards of the ships that pass.

White in your wake the waters lie,
Who leave these daisy-laden shores,
And which is foam and which are flowers
I cannot tell with mortal eye.

But where the future meets the past
And there is neither land nor sea
The pine that yet shall be a mast
Sings to the mast that was a tree.

Paul Dehn.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby Scribbler » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:10 pm

I. NAMING OF PARTS

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

but I like this next one next - "whatever you do, don't call the bleeders sheep"! :lol: :lol: :lol:

LESSONS OF THE WAR

II. JUDGING DISTANCES

Not only how far away, but the way that you say it
Is very important. Perhaps you may never get
The knack of judging a distance, but at least you know
How to report on a landscape: the central sector,
The right of the arc and that, which we had last Tuesday,
And at least you know

That maps are of time, not place, so far as the army
Happens to be concerned'the reason being,
Is one which need not delay us. Again, you know
There are three kinds of tree, three only, the fir and the poplar,
And those which have bushy tops to; and lastly
That things only seem to be things.

A barn is not called a barn, to put it more plainly,
Or a field in the distance, where sheep may be safely grazing.
You must never be over-sure. You must say, when reporting:
At five o'clock in the central sector is a dozen
Of what appear to be animals; whatever you do,
Don't call the bleeders sheep.

I am sure that's quite clear; and suppose, for the sake of example,
The one at the end, asleep, endeavors to tell us
What he sees over there to the west, and how far away,
After first having come to attention. There to the west,
Of the fields of summer the sun and the shadows bestow
Vestments of purple and gold.

The white dwellings are like a mirage in the heat,
And under the swaying elms a man and a woman
Lie gently together. Which is, perhaps, only to say
That there is a row of houses to the left of the arc,
And that under some poplars a pair of what appear to be humans
Appear to be loving.

Well that, for an answer, is what we rightly call
Moderately satisfactory only, the reason being,
Is that two things have been omitted, and those are very important.
The human beings, now: in what direction are they,
And how far away, would you say? And do not forget
There may be dead ground in between.

There may be dead ground in between; and I may not have got
The knack of judging a distance; I will only venture
A guess that perhaps between me and the apparent lovers,
(Who, incidentally, appear by now to have finished,)
At seven o'clock from the houses, is roughly a distance
Of about one year and a half.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby chimaera » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:28 pm

I'm just loving this thread. Some great stuff I've not come across before.

Have any of you come across Murray Lachlan Young?
http://www.murraylachlanyoung.com/home.html
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby vanm » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:03 pm

Thanks for the link. I'd never heard of him before but he's amusing.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby Scribbler » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:21 am

Here's a nice one: I can't remember where I found it, and don't know who wrote it.

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and grey,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide'
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old grey head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby Iris » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:45 am

Scribbler wrote:Here's a nice one: I can't remember where I found it, and don't know who wrote it.

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and grey,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide'
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old grey head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

..

The Bridge Builder
by Will Allen Dromgoole
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby diddy » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:33 pm

I also like Macavity: The Mystery Cat,

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Has worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I shall ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.


Also

Death be not proud, thou some have called thee
Mighty and dredful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, and charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shallt die.

John Donne.

And I also like "Shall I compare thee ..." :oops: :oops:
The charade must go on.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby mrsgaz » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:57 pm

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING

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 Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?



and, by the same author

When You are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
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Re: What's your favourite poem?

Postby Torti » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:45 pm

Cushty's cat poem has me blubbering at this point, and it will probably get worse. We are back from a trip to the Vet's with a diagnosis of what we suspected: bone cancer, right front leg. Our oldest cat was a rescued feral, given to us as an adult and we have had a time gaining her trust. Now, all we can do is allow her what time she has left in comfort. We'll know when that time is over, and we're prepared to do the right thing by her.

One of my favorite poems is:

Perseverance

Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go on, go on, go on.
Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go on, go on go on.
Anonymous
"Cat: One hell of a nice animal frequently mistaken for a meatloaf."--B. Kliban
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