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Post your favourite "classic" poem

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I've been reading some Poe recently, and I adore 'The Raven'. The metre, the rhyme, the narrative, the spooky feeling behind it. It's all amazingly done.

 

 

 

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

 

 

That's just one stanza. It's not an excessively long poem, but probably too long to post in this thread.

 

The rest can be found here: The Raven

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Wow, I haven't heard that poem in many years Amesy! Thanks for posting it! :)

 

You are very welcome. Spike has always been one of my favourite comedians, along with the other two Goons. His warped, twisted humour has always made me and my Dad stop breathing with laughter.

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One of the many about Charlotte von Stein by Johann Wolfgang Goethe:

 

Gewiß, ich wäre schon so ferne, ferne,

So weit die Welt nur offen liegt, gegangen,

Bezwängen mich nicht übermächtge Sterne,

Die mein Geschick an deines angehangen,

Daß ich in dir nur erst mich kennen lerne.

Mein Dichten, Trachten, Hoffen und Verlangen

Allein nach dir und deinem Wesen drängt,

Mein Leben nur an deinem Leben hängt.

 

Which roughly translates to:

 

Surely, I would be so very far away,

as far as the world before me would allow me to go astray,

would I not be overpowered by stars so bright,

that bind my fate to yours so tight,

so that I only through you got to know me.

My verses, aspiration, hopes and desire,

only strive after you and your nature,

my life only attached to yours so pure.

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I like that very much xNatx. Just looked up Charlotte von Stein and she seems to have had a great friendship and influence with Goethe.

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When I first read the poem I didn't know who it was about, but it was obvious that he cared greatly for them and so openly. It was the first thing I looked up when I finished reading. :D

Their frienship must have been very close and I find it sad that he left for Italy without telling her and that it ended up being detrimental to the bond between them.

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I've been reading some Poe recently, and I adore 'The Raven'. The metre, the rhyme, the narrative, the spooky feeling behind it. It's all amazingly done.

 

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

 

awesome selection. you should check out Gustave Doré's illustrations of "the raven" adds another element http://www.danshort.com/raven/

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

At length did cross an Albatross,

Thorough the fog it came;

As it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God's name.

 

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,

And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

The helmsman steered us through!

 

And a good south wind sprung up behind;

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,

Came to the mariner's hollo!

 

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine;

Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,

Glimmered the white moonshine."

 

`God save thee, ancient Mariner,

From the fiends that plague thee thus! -

Why look'st thou so?' -"With my crossbow

I shot the Albatross."

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Thanks for sharing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Thizzy. I'd heard of it before but never read it. The Raven is also my favourite poem. :)

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To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,

One clover, and a bee,

And revery.

The revery alone will do,

If bees are few.

 

--Emily Dickinson

 

I love this :)

 

Another one of Emily Dickinson's I read recently that really appealed to me

 

 

Much madness is divinest sense

To a discerning eye;

Much sense the starkest madness.

’T is the majority

In this, as all, prevails.

Assent, and you are sane;

Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,

And handled with a chain.

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Thanks for sharing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Thizzy. I'd heard of it before but never read it. The Raven is also my favourite poem. :)

Kylie, that certainly isn't the entirety of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; we had to study it for English literature last year, and it's quite a long ambiguous read. Worthwhile I thought, though; you should check out the whole text.

Edited by Ben

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Some of my fave's have already been listed 'The Lady of Shalott' .. conjures up such imagery. Shakespeare's sonnet 116 which is the only sonnet I know by heart .. I love it. And the 'Jabberwocky' is just brillig ... I love all the delicious words and phrases.

I guess one of the one's that I find really moving is Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' .. which was published posthumously after he was killed in action in WWI. The latin translates as 'How sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country'. It's not a pretty poem, the last verse especially is just devastating.

 

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

 

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

 

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, –

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro patria mori.

I love a bit of nonsense rhyme too and 'The Pobble Who has No Toes' By Edward Lear has long been a favourite.

 

The Pobble who has no toes



Had once as many as we;

When they said "Some day you may lose them all;"

He replied "Fish, fiddle-de-dee!"

And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink

Lavender water tinged with pink,

For she said "The World in general knows

There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!"

 

The Pobble who has no toes

Swam across the Bristol Channel;

But before he set out he wrapped his nose

In a piece of scarlet flannel.

For his Aunt Jobiska said "No harm

Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;

And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes

Are safe, -- provided he minds his nose!"

 

The Pobble swam fast and well,

And when boats or ships came near him,

He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell,

So that all the world could hear him.

And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,

When they saw him nearing the further side -

"He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska's

Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!"

 

But before he touched the shore,

The shore of the Bristol Channel,

A sea-green porpoise carried away

His wrapper of scarlet flannel.

And when he came to observe his feet,

Formerly garnished with toes so neat,

His face at once became forlorn,

On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

 

And nobody ever knew,

From that dark day to the present,

Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes,

In a manner so far from pleasant.

Whether the shrimps, or crawfish grey,

Or crafty Mermaids stole them away -

Nobody knew: and nobody knows

How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

 

The Pobble who has no toes

Was placed in a friendly Bark,

And they rowed him back, and carried him up

To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.

And she made him a feast at his earnest wish

Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish, -

And she said "It's a fact the whole world knows,

That Pobbles are happier without their toes!"

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Thanks for sharing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Thizzy. I'd heard of it before but never read it. The Raven is also my favourite poem. :)

 

No problem Kylie, luckily I stumbled across it reading Moby Dick. There were a couple references to the poem so I decided to take a gander at it and was absolutely enthralled. That was just a quick little excerpt from the poem... I thought it might be a bit to long to post the whole thing.

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I've been having a looksee through here, and I have to say I'm really intrigued by Emily Dickinson.

 

I'm not so well versed in poetry. I've read a lot of Shakespeare's plays and sonnetts, and I had John Donne in school. Beyond this, knowledge is very limited (the exception being Andre Bjerke, a Norwegian poet whom I adore).

 

But, I have one I like, kind of a classic to the point of being a cliche.

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

And another one, that I learned in a movie:

 

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message

He is Dead.

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever:

I was wrong.

 

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

 

W.H. Auden

 

Performed with such grace and emotion by the amazing John Hannah:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMX2svFVcXM&feature=player_embedded

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Two favourite poems: well, two that were published over 75 years ago.

 

'When I am dead, my dearest' by Christina Rossetti:

 

 

When I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me;

Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree:

Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops wet;

And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

 

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

 

and 'Love's Philosophy' by Shelley:

 

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single,

All things by a law divine

In one another's being mingle -

Why not I with thine?

 

See the mountains kiss high heaven

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdain'd its brother:

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea -

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

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I've been having a looksee through here, and I have to say I'm really intrigued by Emily Dickinson.

 

I'm not so well versed in poetry. I've read a lot of Shakespeare's plays and sonnetts, and I had John Donne in school. Beyond this, knowledge is very limited (the exception being Andre Bjerke, a Norwegian poet whom I adore).

 

But, I have one I like, kind of a classic to the point of being a cliche.

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

One of my all time favourties...

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What I love about it the most is how it transports me somewhere. Like I'm lifted out of myself and I get to watch the events of the poem span out from behind a window in the sky. That's how I feel reading poems. Like a silent watcher, an observer of the raw truth of human emotion. I hope I'm making sense at all. I suspect I just sound like a wine-drinking, cheese eating douche.

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Many of the poems listed here are very good but I think my favourite has to be "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" by William Blake, and in particulary this one:

 

 

ON ANOTHER'S SORROW

 

Can I see another's woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another's grief,

And not seek for kind relief?

 

Can I see a falling tear,

And not feel my sorrow's share?

Can a father see his child

Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

 

Can a mother sit and hear

An infant groan, an infant fear?

No, no! never can it be!

Never, never can it be!

 

And can He who smiles on all

Hear the wren with sorrows small,

Hear the small bird's grief and care,

Hear the woes that infants bear -

 

And not sit beside the nest,

Pouring pity in their breast,

And not sit the cradle near,

Weeping tear on infant's tear?

 

And not sit both night and day,

Wiping all our tears away?

O no! never can it be!

Never, never can it be!

 

He doth give His joy to all:

He becomes an infant small,

He becomes a man of woe,

He doth feel the sorrow too.

 

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,

And thy Maker is not by:

Think not thou canst weep a tear,

And thy Maker is not near.

 

O He gives to us His joy,

That our grief He may destroy:

Till our grief is fled and gone

He doth sit by us and moan.

 

 

But the entire collection is worth reading, many very good poems in that one!

 

/Nali

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My two favourites are already here The Highwayman and Jabberwocky

 

:)

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So difficult to choose from all the amazing poems but I love almost anything by W.B. Yeats, for example:

Excerpt from 'Remorse for Intemperate Speech'

 

Out of Ireland have we come.

Great hatred, little room,

Maimed us at the start.

I carry from my mother's womb

A fanatic heart.

 

But my all time favourite has to be Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

 

 

Still I Rise

 

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

I love the way poems can take our emotions by the throat and this poem does that for me.

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Desiderata

 

~ Max Ehrmann

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

 

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

 

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

 

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

 

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

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On Children

 

~ Kahlil Gibran

 

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 their souls 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.

 

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

And then I love almost everything by Rumi and Tagore - But will keep them for another day.

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Oh Bree, you've posted two of my favourites. :smile: Such wisdom in both.

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Oh Bree, you've posted two of my favourites. :smile: Such wisdom in both.

 

How lovely that you like them too.

 

I keep going back to read them many times - whenever I feel like I'm falling short of who I like to be.

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