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A Favorite Poem 
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Grim,
Nice choice of poems. Frost is one of my favorite poets and for sure that is a favorite poem. I always think of this poem in conjunction with Thoreau's line from Walden, "follow your own drummer."

I think the last line -
And that has made all the difference
clues the reading in that it was a worth while and therefore positive choice.

Nice to have you aboard! I hope you will keep posting on the poetry threads.

Saffron



Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:54 am
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Hiya, this is my first post on this site.

I love that William Carlos Williams poem too. But after I read Kenneth Koch's parody of it, I'll never think of it the same way again.

I'm posting Koch's poem just in case you're not familiar with it:

"Variations On A Theme By William Carlos Williams"

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!



Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:13 am
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Oddly Attracted to Books

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Hello Rose, welcome to Booktalk! :smile:

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself by writing an introduction in the "Introduce Yourself" threads?


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Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:10 am
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Quote:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine:


I might have come around to posting a Keats poem eventually, because I love a lot of his poems. Interestingly, I would not have thought of "Ode to Melalancholy," so I'm really glad it's one of your favorites--lets me see it again. (Incidentally, the biography John Keats, by Walter Jackson Bate, is one of the best books I've ever read. Keats in life was fully as adimrable as his poems. That he accomplished so much in just a few years before dying at age 26 seems miraculous.)
I like the way Keats incorporates melancholy into kind of an organic process, not the flip side of joy but a sort of ally of it. I like the suggestion that experiencing true melancholy (not by calling up the conventional symbols of it in stanza 1) takes a kind of bold deliberation and discrimination ("whose strenuous tongue/Can burst joys grape against his palate fine.")

DWill



Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:44 pm
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Post Re: The Road Not Taken
[quote="Grim"]
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I



Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:54 pm
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Here is a poem I first read in college. It was the first poem I considered a favorite. At the time it rang loud and clear in my heart. At 20 I longed to find my way to be of use in the world. The bold is mine. That stanza I took as my own creed.

To Be of Use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.


I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.


Marge Piercy



Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:48 pm
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Post 
That really is a great credo poem. It's also one that might cause a twinge to some who have reached the age of 56, naming no names.

Here's another by Robt. Frost that I thought of last week while watching and listening to the ocean waves. The poem has nothing to do with waves or water, but sometimes the mind works that way.

WINDOW TREE

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

There aren't two other lines that I like better than these last two. This a terrific "relationship" poem, isn't it?

DWill



Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:33 am
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Post 
DWill wrote:
That really is a great credo poem. It's also one that might cause a twinge to some who have reached the age of 56, naming no names.
DWill


Will,
At 46 it causes me a twinge or two; remember I said I was 20 when I took it as my own. The Frost poem is a favorite of mine as well -- especially the last two lines. Most relationships seem to be the result of an odd bit of luck. I like luck rather than fate.

Saff



Last edited by Saffron on Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:28 am, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:08 am
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Post Re: The Road Not Taken
DWill wrote:
Grim wrote:

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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

DWill wrote:
Is the speaker in the poem still sorry that he couldn't find out where the other path went? Is that why he thinks he'll tell the story "with a sigh?"
DWill


Yes, I definately sense a deep sadness or longing in the pace of this poem for the road he did not take, it is to me as if he is saying that the difference between paths is great and he would not be writing poetry had he not become a poet down the road less travelled.

The cost of his expression is a personal sadness, a temporary dissatisfaction in his path as though he feels that he has missed out on something that is found along the other path.



Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:15 pm
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DWill wrote:
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.


Yes this is a very interesting poem, the tree seems to spark his imagination even though it has only bark to show. He feels that the tree is watching over him in someway.



Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:23 pm
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Post 
I Go Back to May 1937
by Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don't do it



Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:25 am
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Oh, Saffron!

What a poem. Thank you for sharing it. I hadn't read it before. All I can say is too bad Sharon Olds wasn't around when I was about to get married at 19 to tell me all that. (Like I would have listened...) ;-)



Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:34 pm
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I heard Jane Hirshfield read this at the 2008 Dodge Poetry Festival.


"For What Binds Us"
Jane Hirshfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down --
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest --

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.



Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:41 pm
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Saffron,

I'm sorry if I missed the answer to this recently, but it seems as if maybe you write poetry yourself (?) only I don't remember seeing it. Is there any poetry by you here? If so, where is it posted? I want to give you this poem which I wrote and put up on a creative contributions board in the volunteer office where I work to encourage volunteers to put their work up, too.

Sometimes the Words Are Blocks

Sometimes the words are blocks
You cannot force your heart to birth
Through oval openings; they stick
Fast, corner-first in the tri-foliar valves
While every beat creates contusions
In discreet, unmentioned places
Felt from the inside, yet far beyond expression.

So your heart teaches a speech.
It whispers:
just to you, just to you, just to you
It whispers with your blood
Around the edges of the words too sharp,
Too hard to speak, stuck like ice crystals
In a snowbank smothering your throat.

You think to melt them with your anger,
But that heat comes and goes too quickly,
Leaving only solid freeze.

There is a legend breathed by Spring against the panes
That Love will softly round the corners
So sense can flow again inside your veins.
For now you hear this silently and wait in faith.

(by GentleReader9's alter ego)


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-- Chuang-Tzu (c. 200 B.C.E.)
as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:20 pm
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GentleReader9 wrote:

It whispers with your blood
Around the edges of the words too sharp,
Too hard to speak, stuck like ice crystals
In a snowbank smothering your throat.

You think to melt them with your anger,
But that heat comes and goes too quickly,
Leaving only solid freeze.


Thanks you! I really like these lines. You really captured how it feels to have words caught inside by intense emotions and hurt. I do write poetry. You can find my on the Original Poetry tread. I wonder if I can put a link in this post to it.....hummm. I will try.

Ok, I will give it a try (this is an edit to the original post).
Original Poetry



Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:32 pm
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