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The Top 500 Poems: 400-301 
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Thank you, Saffron, for jumping in. I didn't have time before leving for a few days to leave any poems behind. But I should be bqack in action on Thurs.



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Saffron
Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:16 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Number 303

Helpful not supplied by Harmon:
"Nisus" is a youth who fell into a pool of blood; "Marcellus" is the illustrious nephew of Augustus who died at age twenty. Both Nisus and Marcellus are in Virgil's Aeneid.

TO THE MEMORY OF MR. OLDHAM

by: John Dryden

AREWELL, too little, and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own:
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mold with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools we both abhorr'd alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive;
The last set out the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nisus fell upon the slippery place,
While his young friend perform'd and won the race.
O early ripe! to thy abundant store
What could advancing age have added more?
It might (what nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine
Thro' the harsh cadence of a rugged line:
A noble error, and but seldom made,
When poets are by too much force betray'd.
Thy generous fruits, tho' gather'd ere their prime,
Still shew'd a quickness; and maturing time
But mellows what we write to the dull sweets of rhyme.
Once more, hail and farewell; farewell, thou young,
But ah too short, Marcellus of our tongue;
Thy brows with ivy, and with laurels bound;
but fate and gloomy night encompass thee around.



Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:40 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Oh, how I love Dryden. :love:


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Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:10 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Seraphim wrote:
Oh, how I love Dryden. :love:

Hey, would you mind expanding on your comment? What is it about Dryden that you like? I always enjoy hearing what someone finds interesting or appealing.



Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:27 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
I'll do two, numbers 302 and 301.

#302
Edmund Waller. 1606–1687

On a Girdle

THAT which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind;
No monarch but would give his crown
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my Heaven's extremest sphere, 5
The pale which held that lovely deer:
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move.

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that 's good, and all that 's fair! 10
Give me but what this ribband bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round!

And #301
It seems we have another poem about poetry.

George Herbert
Jordan (1633)


WHo sayes that fictions onely and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow course-spunne lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lovers loves?
Must all be vail’d, while he that reades, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people; let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime:1
I envie no mans nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with losse of rime,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.



Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:33 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Saffron wrote:
Seraphim wrote:
Oh, how I love Dryden. :love:

Hey, would you mind expanding on your comment? What is it about Dryden that you like? I always enjoy hearing what someone finds interesting or appealing.

I can try expanding, though I am definitely, by not means, a poetry critic. :) I've had a love/hate relationship with poetry in the past. My high school teacher pretty much turned me off to poetry sophomore and junior year. We'd spend months analyzing one poem to death, debating why the poet used each and every word in the poem. Bleh. But anyway...Over the past couple years I've been trying to get back into poetry. While I can appreciate free verse, I really do love structured poems. I believe it takes a lot of skill to come up with rhyming patterns, follow certain rhythms, and still beautifully describe a thing or event with flowering language. Dryden kind of does that for me. I love technical aspects of his poems, the rhyming and rhythmic schemes. In general, though, I just like his voice and the metaphors and allusions he uses to describe his subjects.

My favorite poem of his is:

Quote:
Happy The Man
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

It's simple, but I like it. :)


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Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:14 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Seraphim wrote:
I've had a love/hate relationship with poetry in the past. My high school teacher pretty much turned me off to poetry sophomore and junior year. We'd spend months analyzing one poem to death, debating why the poet used each and every word in the poem. Bleh.


That is really too bad. It is amazing what one bad or misguided teacher, in any subject, can do to the potential interest of a student. In a funny way I was lucky, in that poetry was hardly covered at my middle or high school, reducing my chance to be put off. Oh, and thanks for responding and post the poem. I enjoyed it very much.



Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:31 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Thanks for that comment, Seraphim. Good teaching of any kind is a rare art. I think that's the only conclusion I could draw about teaching poetry. A few teachers can pull it off, taking a serious approach while not strangling all the joy out of it. But many others may view it as something they can test students on, and then students might want to get as far away as they can.

So here we are at number 300. Thanks to Saffron for keeping the flow up. I suppose that frequently the poems disappoint. It is certainly a hit-or-miss thing for me. But my inclination is to continue, just because good ones do come up and it's a kind of discipline for me, which I could use more of.

One thing I've wanted to do is post each 100 as it is finished, so readers could scan the list and recall favorites, or non-favorites. But I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Does anyone recall favorites from nos. 399 to 300? I surprise myself by having most in mind the little Leigh Hunt poem, "Jenny Kissed Me." It could be that it was so recent, but it's a good one, anyway.

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

300. "Grace for a Child," by Robert Herrick

Here a little child I stand
Heaving up my either hand;
Cold as paddocks though they be,
Here I lift them up to Thee,
For a benison to fall
On our meat, and on us all. Amen.



Last edited by DWill on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:49 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
My memorable one was:

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

For some reason I couldn't get it out of my head, like a song that gets stuck. I am now going to spend more time puzzling on it. I know I could google it and find lots of information about what it is and what it means but I like to chew on them for a while. I like the taste of this one...


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Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:41 pm
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
froglipz wrote:
My memorable one was:

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

For some reason I couldn't get it out of my head, like a song that gets stuck. I am now going to spend more time puzzling on it. I know I could google it and find lots of information about what it is and what it means but I like to chew on them for a while. I like the taste of this one...


I like the sparseness of this poem. I admire your wanting to puzzle this poem out for yourself. I will give you a hint. The language of the poem should tell you something about the speaker of the poem and that in turn should inform.

FYI The poem is titled, "We Real Cool" and the poet is Gwendolyn Brooks. If you want to hear her read her poem (with explaination of how she came to write it) go to Poets.org.



Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:23 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
299. "A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day," by John Donne. Didn't we have occasion to look at this poem some time ago? Another question: Is it any wonder that T. S. Eliot admired Donne's poetry and is partly responsible for raising his reputation? Glossary, please!

'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
The world's whole sap is sunk ;
The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that's good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
I, by Love's limbec, am the grave
Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else ; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know ; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love ; all, all some properties invest.
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light, and body must be here.

But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all,
Since she enjoys her long night's festival.
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.



Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:57 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
DWill wrote:
299. "A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day," by John Donne. Didn't we have occasion to look at this poem some time ago?


Yes, I posted it in December 2008, I believe. I don't remember if it was Poem of the Moment or a different thread.



Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:30 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
Ah, I'm glad I'm not imagining that. Thanks. I suppose you had this poem all figured out?



Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:38 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
DWill wrote:
Ah, I'm glad I'm not imagining that. Thanks. I suppose you had this poem all figured out?

:lol: sure....

I went back over the threads to find where and when I'd posted the poem. It was Dec. 14, 2008 on Poem of the Moment.



Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:48 am
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Post Re: The Top 500 Poems: 400-301
When I am puzzling out the Gwendolyn Brooks poem, I think prohibition, and maybe Harlem....

During prohibition, Harlem was a hot spot, wealthy and trendy, and it attracted a lot of people there to spend their money...

Thanks, I think I will go check that out...I'm probably not that close anyway...


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Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:45 am
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