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A Favorite Poem

A place for expressing and sharing your passion for poetry. What are some of your favorite poems and poets? Share poems you’ve written!
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Re: A Favorite Poem

I love John Prine and I know he writes lyrics, but they are just as much stand-alone poems. Here is a song/poem from his latest album. I especially like the bolded lines.

Boundless Love
John Prine

I woke up this morning to a garbage truck
Looks like this old horseshoe's done run out of luck
If I came home, would you let me in?
Fry me some pork chops and forgive my sin?

Surround me with your boundless love
Confound me with your boundless love
I was drowning in the sea, lost as I could be
When you found me with your boundless love

Sometimes my old heart is like a washing machine
It bounces around 'til my soul comes clean
And when I'm clean and hung out to dry
I'm gonna make you laugh until you cry


Surround me with your boundless love
Confound me with your boundless love
I was drowning in the sea, lost as I could be
When you found me with your boundless love

If by chance I should find myself at risk
A-falling from…
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Re: A Favorite Poem

This is a new poem to me and now a favorite! I just came across what you see below, I am not even sure if this is the who poem. I just saw it and loved it and wanted to post it.

I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother's face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.

—Rainer Maria Rilke
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Re: A Favorite Poem

I suspected there was more to the poem I just posted. Here is the whole poem -

I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
Rainer Maria Rilke - 1875-1926


I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
enough
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother's face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.
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Re: A Favorite Poem

.
.

People at Night
By Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)

THE NIGHTS were not made for crowds, and they sever
You from your neighbour, and you shall never
Seek him, defiantly, at night.
But if you make your dark house light,
To look on strangers in your room,
You must reflect—on whom.

False lights that on men’s faces play
Distort them gruesomely.
You look upon a disarray,
A world that seems to reel and sway,
A waving, glittering sea.

On foreheads gleams a yellow shine,
Where thoughts are chased away,
Their glances flicker mad from wine,
And to the words they say
Strange heavy gestures make reply
That struggle in the buzzing room;
And they say always “I” and “I,”
And mean—they know not whom.
"I have a great relationship with the blacks."
Donald J. Trump
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Re: A Favorite Poem

The Strange Case of Mr. Fortague's Dissapointment
— Ogden Nash

Mr.Lionel Fortague said he would settle down on
Innisfree, the home of iridescent chitchat.
He said he would a small cabin build there, of clay and
wattles made.
Everyone said did he mean he would build a small
cabin there, made of clay and wattles?
Mr.Lionel Fortague said yes,but his way of putting it
was more poetic.
Everyone said maybe, but they were all out of wattles…
He a fierce-looking dog at an annual clearance sale
bought, and it the people of Innisfree one by one
to bite he instructed.
My, he was disappointed:
He had forgotten that a bargain dog never bites.
"I have a great relationship with the blacks."
Donald J. Trump
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Re: A Favorite Poem

Not posting a favorite poem, but a favorite Poet. Today is the birthday of Mary Oliver. To me, her poems are like a mash-up of a call to action and a prayer. For a good part of my adult life, I have had the poem, Wild Geese, pinned up in my workspace. In the last stanza of her poem, The Summer Day, she challenges and reminds the reader to live fully.


Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

https://poets.org/poet/mary-oliver?fbcl ... Cg-cw0V9Ms
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Re: A Favorite Poem

This little Dickinson poem is a delight

There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)
BY EMILY DICKINSON

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
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Re: A Favorite Poem

And A woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's
longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
For they should dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
--Kahil Gibran
Last edited by dawnr on Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Favorite Poem

The Bridge Of Sighs
By
Thomas Hood
1844

One more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,(pleading)
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;(A burial garment)
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve's family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,(a window frame that is hinged on one side)
From attic to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurl'd—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Degenerate Man!
Bathe in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Before her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro' muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr'd by contumely,(a humiliating insult)
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.—
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!

I stumbled on this thread while looking for simple examples of Iambic pentameter.
Is Fe fi Fo fum, I smell the blood, of an En-glishman Iambic pentameter?
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Re: A Favorite Poem

I hope the book talk community continues to contribute to this thread. I had zero interest in poetry until I saw the movie Genius, about the life of Thomas Wolfe, and read the poetry he quotes in the three books he had published before his death. Now I think it's the highest art. If there's a poem or poems you consider favorites, I'd like to see them.

Song Of The Shirt
By
Thomas Hood

1843

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread—
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of mournful pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work—work—work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's O! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

"Work—work—work,
Till the brain begins to swim;
Work—work—work,
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"O, men, with sisters dear!
O, men, with mothers and wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
Stitch—stitch—stitch,
In poverty, hunger and dirt,
Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

"But why do I talk of death?
That phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear his terrible shape,
It seems so like my own—
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear.
And flesh and blood so cheap!

"Work—work—work!
My labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread—and rags.
That shattered roof—this naked floor—
A table—a broken chair—
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

"Work—work—work!
From weary chime to chime,
Work—work—work,
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumbed,
As well as the weary hand.

"Work—work—work,
In the dull December light,
And work—work—work,
When the weather is warm and bright—
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

"O! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet—
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet;
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

"O! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or hope,
But only time for grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread—
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of mournful pitch,—
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!—
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"
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Re: A Favorite Poem

Another English poem in the social protest vein that I first read in high school is Oliver Goldsmith's "The Deserted Village. " It's 400 lines, so sometimes the whole poem isn't printed. It's a little melodramatic but still a powerful condemnation of the English Enclosure Acts that brought so much harm to rural life.
Maybe the most famous passage is this one:

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,

Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:

Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;

A breath can make them, as a breath has made;

But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,

When once destroyed can never be supplied.
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Re: The Deserted Village

You have more patience than I sir. It's funny, if I had to read that in high school it would have seemed like torture. I can't get to the end of it even now. What are ''really'' your favorite poems? The simple beauty of Hoods words hook me from the first line and hold me till the end. He must have given great inspiration to the Women's movements of the time too, I'd imagine.
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Re: A Favorite Poem

The Way of War

by Jack London
1906

Foeman: A foe in battle; an enemy

Man primeval hurled a rock,
Torn with angry passions, he;
To escape the which rude shock.
Foeman ducked behind a tree.

Man primeval made a spear,
Swifth of death on battle field;
Foeman fashioned other gear,
Fought behind his hidebound shield.

Man mediaeval built a wall,
Said he didn't give a dam;
Foeman not put out at all,
Smashed it with a battering ram.

Man mediaeval, just for fun,
Made himself a coat of mail;
Foeman laughed and forged a gun,
Peppered him with iron hail.

Modern man bethought a change,
Cast most massive armor-plate;
Foeman just increased his range,
Tipped his ball to penetrate.

Modern man, with toil untold,
Deftly built torpedo boats;
Foeman launched "destroyer" bold,
Swept the sea of all that floats.

Future man - ah! who can say? -
May blow to smithereens our earth;
In the course of warrior play
Fling death across the heavens' girth.

Future man may hurl the stars,
Leash the comets, o'er-ride space,
Sear the universe with scars,
In the fight 'twixt race and race.

Yet foeman will be just as cute -
Amid the rain falling suns,
Leave the world by parachute,
And build ethereal forts and guns.

And when the skies begin to fall
The foeman still will new invent -
Into a star-proof world he'll crawl,
Heaven insured from accident.
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Re: A Favorite Poem

In an earlier post, I said that my favorite poet was Rudyard Kipling, and my favorite poem was 'If.' On reflection, while Kipling is still my favorite poet, there are others whose poetry I enjoy. Below are a few of them, and some of of their respective works. (To include the poems themselves would take up far too much space, or maybe I am just too lazy). The are listed in no particular order.

Rudyard Kipline:
"If"
"The Gods of the Copybook Headings"
"The Balad of East and West"

Robert Frost:
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
"The Road Not Taken"
"Fire and Ice"
"Mending Wall"

Alfred Lord Tennyson:
"The Charge of the Light Brigade"

Dylan Thomas:
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

T. S. Eliot:
"The Waste Land"

William Butler Years:
"The Second Coming"
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Re: A Favorite Poem

Out of all those Kiplings If is my favorite too, I also like Cells: pack-drill for me and a fortnight's C.B. For "drunk and resisting the Guard."
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Re: A Favorite Poem

As I've stated in a previous post, I got my love of poetry from the movie Genius. I also have a love of music, so the other day after watching the movie Star Girl featuring Grace Vanderwaal. I looked her up and downloaded some music. Her bio was promising, a child prodigy with an angelic voice and a natural talent for music and song writing. But I was dismayed to hear her singing of the smell of fresh laid concrete. Made me wonder what Ronnie Van Zant or Joni Mitchell would think. I'm a child of the 70's and a fan to this day of that era's music. I'm sure everyone knows Joni Mitchells ''Yellow Taxi'', and the line: They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot. But I also remember Van Zant's lyrics:
I can't make any changes
All I can do is write em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin
Lord take me and mine before that comes.

So you can imagine what a kick in the dick it was for me to hear this young girl waxing poetically about the smell of fresh laid concrete. Oh my; how the world and it's influencers have changed.
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Re: A Favorite Poem

Osmond Kelly Ingram
1887 – 1917
Osmond KellyIngram entered the US Navy November 24, 1903. His ship, USSCassin was attacked by the German submarine U-61 off Ireland on October 15, 1917. Gunner's Mate First Class Ingram spotted the approaching torpedo, realized it would strike close by the ship's depth charges, thus dooming the ship, and rushed to jettison the ammunition. He was blown overboard when the torpedo struck, thus becoming the United States' Navy's first enlisted man killed in action in World War I as he attempted to save his ship and shipmates. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day.



Kelly Ingram
By
Edgar Albert Guest
1918

His name was Kelly Ingram; he was Alabama's son,
And he whistled 'Yankee Doodle,' as he stood beside his gun;
There was laughter in his make-up, there was manhood in his face,
And he knew the best traditions and the courage of his race;
Now there's not a heart among us but should swell with loyal pride
When he thinks of Kelly Ingram and the splendid way he died.

On the swift Destroyer Cassin he was merely gunner's mate,
But up there to-day, I fancy, he is standing with the great.
On that grim day last October his position on the craft
Was that portion of the vessel which the sailors christen aft;
There were deep sea bombs beside him to be dropped upon the Hun
Who makes women folks his victims and then gloats o'er what he's done.

From the lookout came a warning; came the cry all sailors fear,
A torpedo was approaching, and the vessel's doom was near;
Ingram saw the streak of danger, but he saw a little more,
A greater menace faced them than that missile had in store;
If those deep sea bombs beside him were not thrown beneath the wave,
Every man aboard the Cassin soon would find a watery grave.

It was death for him to linger, but he figured if he ran
And quit his post of duty, 'twould be death for every man;
So he stood at his position, threw those depth bombs overboard,
And when that torpedo struck them, he went forth to meet his Lord.
Oh, I don't know how to say it, but these whole United States
Should remember Kelly Ingram—he who died to save his mates.
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