1. CommonGoods

    CommonGoods New Member

    Sep 12, 2008
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    That small dark corner of your mind

    Favourite poem

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by CommonGoods, Oct 17, 2008.

    I'm sure this horse is dead by now, but I've recently started to read more and more poems, and I was just wondering what your favorite poems are... All types and shapes are welcome, as long as you provide a link to the poem so the rest of us can read it (I've read the forum rules, and as far as I understood this is not breaking any rules, right?)

    I'll go first; Lenore - Edgar Allan poe

    The rhytm and rhyme are... amazing. The whole poem feels liquid, like you arebreathing rather then citing it. The language is amazing, I'm a real sucker for this kind of poems (although my attempts of writing someone like this have been gruesome indeed...)

    I must insist that IF you post a poem, you MUST name the author of that poem. Copyright is important, especially on a writers forum.
  2. Scarlett_156

    Scarlett_156 Active Member

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Colorado USA
    W.B. Yeats: read his poems for free here: http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/. (and other places, of course)

    Who will go drive with Fergus now,
    And pierce the deep wood's woven shade,
    And dance upon the level shore?
    Young man, lift up your russet brow,
    And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
    And brood on hopes and fear no more.
    And no more turn aside and brood
    Upon love's bitter mystery;
    For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
    And rules the shadows of the wood,
    And the white breast of the dim sea
    And all dishevelled wandering stars....

    yours in Chaos, Scarlett
  3. CDRW

    CDRW Contributor Contributor

    Apr 16, 2008
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  4. Gone Wishing

    Gone Wishing New Member

    May 1, 2008
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    Spring and Fall, To a Young Child

    Margaret, are you grieving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?
    Leaves, like the things of man, you
    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
    Ah! as the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By and by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you will weep and know why.
    Now no matter, child, the name:
    Sorrow's springs are the same.
    Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
    What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
    It is the blight man was born for,
    It is Margaret you mourn for.

    Gerard Manley Hopkins
  5. Scarlett_156

    Scarlett_156 Active Member

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Colorado USA

    Domination Of Black

    At night, by the fire,
    The colors of the bushes
    And of the fallen leaves,
    Repeating themselves,
    Turned in the room,
    Like the leaves themselves
    Turning in the wind.
    Yes: but the color of the heavy hemlocks
    Came striding.
    And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.

    The colors of their tails
    Were like the leaves themselves
    Turning in the wind,
    In the twilight wind.
    They swept over the room,
    Just as they flew from the boughs of the hemlocks
    Down to the ground.
    I heard them cry -- the peacocks.
    Was it a cry against the twilight
    Or against the leaves themselves
    Turning in the wind,
    Turning as the flames
    Turned in the fire,
    Turning as the tails of the peacocks
    Turned in the loud fire,
    Loud as the hemlocks
    Full of the cry of the peacocks?
    Or was it a cry against the hemlocks?

    Out of the window,
    I saw how the planets gathered
    Like the leaves themselves
    Turning in the wind.
    I saw how the night came,
    Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks
    I felt afraid.
    And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.

    (Wallace Stevens)
  6. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Fair warning: Every poem posted here MUST be properly attributed. If I see posts appearing in this thread that are NOT correctly attributed, the thread will be closed.

    We take copyright very seriously.
  7. Forkfoot

    Forkfoot Contributor Contributor

    Jan 27, 2008
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    By Dr. Suess:

    My hat is old, my teeth are gold.
    I have a bird I like to hold.
    My shoe is off, my foot is cold.

    My shoe is off, my foot is cold.
    I have a bird I like to hold.
    My hat is old, my teeth are gold.
    And now my story is all told.
  8. Little Miss Edi

    Little Miss Edi New Member

    Jul 17, 2008
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    South East, England
  9. Dante Dases

    Dante Dases Contributor Contributor

    Sep 25, 2008
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    West Yorkshire, England
    Not particularly literary (my favourite literary poem's been taken - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner), but I like Spike Milligan's work just for it's silliness and the way it makes me feel like I'm about six again.

    Nothing better than Baldrick in Blackadder Goes Forth though:

    Hear the words I sing,
    War's a horrid thing,
    So I sing, sing, sing,
  10. jackie0109

    jackie0109 Banned

    Oct 19, 2008
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    My favorite is Joyce Kilmer's Trees


    by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

    THINK that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.
  11. Silque

    Silque New Member

    Jul 7, 2008
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    Anthem for doomed youth by Wilfred Owen

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
    The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


    This is one of my favourites.
  12. tksmith

    tksmith New Member

    Nov 3, 2008
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  13. eclecticism7

    eclecticism7 New Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    Somewhere in America
    Garmar, I totally agree. I don't think it is meant to be understood though...

    I love nearly anything by Edgar A. Guest, but here's another of my favorites: God Save the Flag, by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    Washed in the blood of the brave and the blooming,
    Snatched from the alters of insolent foes;
    Burning with starfires, yet never consuming,
    Flash its broad ribbons of lily and rose.

    Vainly the prophets of Baal would rend it;
    Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall.
    Thousands have died for it, millions defend it;
    Emblem of justice and mercy to all.

    Justice that reddens the sky with her terrors,
    Mercy that comes with her white-handed train,
    Soothing all passions, redeeming all errors,
    Sheathing the sabre and breaking the chain.

    Borne on the deluge of old usurpations
    Drifted our ark o'er the desolate seas,
    Bearing the rainbow of hope to the nations;
    Torn from the stormcloud and flung to the breeze.

    God bless our flag and its loyal defenders
    While its broad folds o'er the battlefield wave;
    'Til the dim starwreath rekindle its spleandors,
    Washed from its stains in the blood of the brave.
  14. Hetroclite

    Hetroclite New Member

    Dec 10, 2008
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    As a Lovecraftian, I found this to be my favourite:


    Beside the pounding cataracts
    Of midnight streams unknown to us
    ‘Tis builded in the leafless tracts
    And valleys huge of Tartarus.
    Lurid and lofty and vast it seems;
    It hath no rounded name that rings,
    But I have heard it called in dreams
    The City of the End of Things.

    Its roofs and iron towers have grown
    None knoweth how high within the night,
    But in its murky streets far down
    A flaming terrible and bright
    Shakes all the stalking shadows there,
    Across the walls, across the floors,
    And shifts upon the upper air
    From out a thousand furnace doors;
    And all the while an awful sound
    Keeps roaring on continually,
    And crashes in the ceaseless round
    Of a gigantic harmony.
    Through its grim depths re-echoing
    And all its weary height of walls,
    With measured roar and iron ring,
    The inhuman music lifts and falls.
    Where no thing rests and no man is,
    And only fire and night hold sway;
    The beat, the thunder and the hiss
    Cease not, and change not, night nor day.
    And moving at unheard commands,
    The abysses and vast fires between,
    Flit figures that with clanking hands
    Obey a hideous routine;
    They are not flesh, they are not bone,
    They see not with the human eye,
    And from their iron lips is blown
    A dreadful and monotonous cry;
    And whoso of our mortal race
    Should find that city unaware,
    Lean Death would smite him face to face,
    And blanch him with its venomed air;
    Or caught by the terrific spell,
    Each thread or memory snapt and cut,
    His soul would shrivel and its shell
    Go rattling like an empty nut.

    It was not always so, but once,
    In days that no man thinks upon,
    Fair voices echoed from its stones,
    The light above it leaped and shone:
    Once there were multitudes of men,
    That built that city in their pride,
    Until its might was made, and then
    They withered age by age and died.
    But now of that prodigious race,
    Three only in an iron tower,
    Set like carved idols face to face,
    Remain the masters of its power;
    And at the city gate a fourth,
    Gigantic and with dreadful eyes,
    Sits looking toward the lightless north,
    Beyond the reach of memories;
    Fast rooted to the lurid floor,
    A bulk that never moves a jot,
    In his pale body dwells no more,
    Or mind or soul, -- an idiot!
    But sometime in the end those three
    Shall perish and their hands be still,
    And with the master’s touch shall flee
    Their incommunicable skill.
    A stillness absolute as death
    Along the slacking wheels shall lie,
    And, flagging at a single breath,
    The fires that moulder out and die.
    The roar shall vanish at its height,
    And over that tremendous town
    The silence of eternal night
    Shall gather close and settle down.
    All its grim grandeur, tower and hall,
    Shall be abandoned utterly,
    And into rust and dust shall fall
    From century to century;
    Nor ever living thing shall grow,
    Nor truck of tree, nor blade of grass;
    No drop shall fall, no wind shall blow,
    Nor sound of any foot shall pass:
    Alone of its accursed state,
    On thing the hand of Time shall spare,
    For the grim Idiot at the gate
    Is deathless and eternal there.

    Archibald Lampman, 1895
  15. marina

    marina Contributor Contributor

    Sep 7, 2008
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    I love how Gaiman makes fun of all of the movie cliches -

    The Day the Saucers Came - by Neil Gaiman

    That day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
    Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
    And the people of Earth stood and
    stared as they descended,
    Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find what waited inside for us
    And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
    But you didn’t notice it because

    That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
    Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
    And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
    or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
    Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
    But you did not notice this because

    On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was
    Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
    A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
    All bigger than the mind could hold,
    and the cameraman could
    Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
    But you did not see them coming because

    On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
    day the floodgates broke
    And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
    Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
    And charm and cleverness and true
    brave hearts and pots of gold
    While giants feefofummed across
    the land, and killer bees,
    But you had no idea of any of this because

    That day, the saucer day the zombie day
    The Ragnarok and fairies day, the
    day the great winds came
    And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day
    All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
    Computers turned, the screens telling
    us we would obey, the day
    Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
    And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
    Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
    The fluttering capes and arrival of
    the Time Machine day,
    You didn’t notice any of this because
    you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
    not ever reading, not really, just
    looking at your telephone,
    wondering if I was going to call.
  16. marina

    marina Contributor Contributor

    Sep 7, 2008
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    And here's a serious Neil Gaiman poem.


    Dark Sonnet - Neil Gaiman

    I don’t think that I’ve been in love as such
    although I liked a few folk pretty well
    Love must be vaster than my smiles or touch
    for brave men died and empires rose and fell
    for love, girls follow boys to foreign lands
    and men have followed women into hell
    In plays and poems someone understands
    there’s something makes us more than blood and bone
    And more than biological demands
    for me love’s like the wind unseen, unknown
    I see the trees are bending where it’s been
    I know that it leaves wreckage where it’s blown
    I really don’t know what I love you means
    I think it means don’t leave me here alone .
  17. de la vega

    de la vega New Member

    Nov 16, 2008
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    North Carolina
    I have so many favorites, it's hard to choose one. But today I'll choose The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. It's much too long to post. But check it out.
  18. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    Puerto Rico
    I know it's kind of pedestrian and high-schoolie, but mine would be Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
  19. rory

    rory New Member

    Dec 19, 2008
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    My favorite would have to be Invictus by William Ernest Henley. I studied it in high school and I will admit it's one of the few pieces that even though we analyzed it to death, I still love.


    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.

    William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903
  20. Leaka

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Dec 17, 2007
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    Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

    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.
  21. hawkedup

    hawkedup New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
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    To A Historian
    By: Walt Whitman

    You who celebrate bygones,
    Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races, the life
    ---that has exhibited itself,
    Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates,
    ---rulers and priests,
    I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself
    ---in his own rights,
    Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself, (the
    ---great pride of man in himself,)
    Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
    I project the history of the future.
  22. Corpsetastic

    Corpsetastic New Member

    Oct 18, 2008
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    Just one that springs to mind:

    The Tiger - William Blake

    Tiger! Tiger! 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 seize the fire?

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

    Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
  23. Poseidon

    Poseidon New Member

    Dec 30, 2008
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    Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost

    This saying good-by on the edge of the dark
    And the cold to an orchard so young in the bark
    Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
    An orchard away at the end of the farm
    All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
    I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
    I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
    By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
    (If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
    I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
    And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
    I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
    (We made it secure against being, I hope,
    By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
    No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
    But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
    'How often already you've had to be told,
    Keep cold, young orchard. Good-by and keep cold.
    Dread fifty above more than fifty below.'
    I have to be gone for a season or so.
    My business awhile is with different trees,
    less carefully nurtured, less fruitful than these,
    And such as is done to their wood with an ax--
    Maples and birches and tamaracks.
    I wish I could promise to lie in the night
    And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
    When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
    Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
    But something has to be left to God.
  24. HKB

    HKB New Member

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Portland, Oregon
    Sylvia Plath - Ariel

    I loved Sylvia Plath as a teenager. A favorite of mine was Ariel:

    Stasis in darkness.
    Then the substanceless blue
    Pour of tor and distances.

    God's lioness,
    How one we grow,
    Pivot of heels and knees!--The furrow

    Splits and passes, sister to
    The brown arc
    Of the neck I cannot catch,

    Berries cast dark

    Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
    Something else

    Hauls me through air----
    Thighs, hair;
    Flakes from my heels.

    Godiva, I unpeel----
    Dead hands, dead stringencies.

    And now I
    Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
    The child's cry

    Melts in the wall.
    And I
    Am the arrow,

    The dew that flies,
    Suicidal, at one with the drive
    Into the red

    Eye, the cauldron of morning.
  25. Blooflamingo

    Blooflamingo New Member

    Dec 1, 2008
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    I do love me a good e.e. cummings.

    i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings:

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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