Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
BookJumper

Post your favourite "classic" poem

Recommended Posts

Several of the poems that members have already posted are numbered amongst my favourites.

 

My current poetical bent leans to Rainer Maria Rilke, and more particularly his poem, You, Darkness.

 

You, Darkness.

 

You darkness, that I come from,

I love you more than all the fires

that fence in the world,

for the fire makes

a circle of light for everyone,

and then no one outside learns of you.

 

But the darkness pulls in everything:

shapes and fires, animals and myself,

how easily it gathers them!-

powers and people-

 

and it is possible a great energy

is moving near me.

 

I have faith in nights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always loved The Desiderata Bree, very wise words. And On Children is a lovely one too.

 

You mentioned Rumi. One of my favourite quotes is his.......

 

I didn't come here of my own accord and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poppy, you are a kindred spirit (as Anne-with-an-e Shirley would say) :friends0:

Edited by bree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poppy, you are a kindred spirit (as Anne-with-an-e Shirley would say) :friends0:

 

Most definitely! :friends3:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

 

The waves beside them danced, but they

Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;

A poet could not be but gay,

In such a jocund company!

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Favourite Classic Poem is, "Pulled from a life some leaves" by Barry Tebb

 

" Pulled from a life some leaves in evergreen

Or dressed like fragrant crinoline draped

Over shadows by di Chirico, stolen

From a station where trains never run

And set up in a tableau in the parsonage at Haworth

The three sisters with Chekovian overtones

Stood round the table where their mirrored forms

Await the blast of the last judgement’s call to make them

Take that final walk across the heather mantled moor.

Down vain corridors I searched for some leaf token

Of a life unlived, a faded mignonette or four leaved clover

Down a pathway closed forever by the twists of fate:

The shadows of you gone still took the night

And I was left alone to face the painful light. " by

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William Wordsworth's Ode, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood is too long to quote in full here, but these two verses of his I particularly love.

 

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight

To me did seem

Apparelled in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore;--

Turn wheresoe'er I may,

By night or day,

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

 

And this verse I think is just glorious.

 

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting

And cometh from afar;

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

 

I feel it should be accompanied by something like this ......

 

post-3715-0-92138800-1396661998_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best LONG reads (well into the night and next morning) was when I read Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare!

 

It was rather humorous at times, seeing Venus was an older female throwing herself at her young love (Adonis) in passionate pleading, and Adonis being kind of reluctant to accept her advances. Really, one of the coolest poems you'll ever find (though being Shakespeare, I'd suggest finding a volume with notes, for it really elevated the enjoyment for me.)

 

And if you find Venus and Adonis and read it, then I'd follow up with one of my all time favorite poems 'Adonais' by Percy Bysshe Shelly, which was an elegy about the death of John Keats.

 

Really, two great reads for those who are seriously into the classics like me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this to be very hard hitting:

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ghUFB2WZD6A

 

I've also started to gain an interest in Thomas Hardy's works. So far I've enjoyed his poems The Voice and During a Wind and Rain.

Anyone have any further recommendations of his poems?

Edited by Angury

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that Angury, it's such a moving poem i'm going to put it on my Ipod & try & learn it  :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two weeks ago I walked and climbed through the Cairngorms using, in part, an old droving road - Jock's Road.

 

It brought to mind one of my favourite poems.

 

The Way Through The Woods, by Rudyard Kipling.

 

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

 

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

Edited by Drislane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gustaf Fröding "Strövtåg i hembygden" (translated from Swedish to "Homecoming")
 
O’er the clouds is a glow, o’er the lake is a sheen,
There’s sunlight on beach and on ness,
Around them the woods are a glorious green,
The grass feels the south wind’s caress.
 
‘Mid summer and beauty and pure-scented breeze
I hail this my native strand. -
But there is a void by the maple-trees
Where my father’s home used to stand.
 
It is gone, it is burned, there is nought left behind
Save the rocks of all traces bereft !
But memory comes with the cool-breathing wind,
And memory is all that is left.
 
I see a white gable before me again,
A window stands open within it,
Through which there is wafted the rollicking strain
Of a melody played on the spinet.
 
And I hear now my father singing his best
As in youth when his spirit was glad.
The song was soon hushed in his languishing breast
And his life became weary and sad.
 
It is gone, it is burned. I will lie by the side
Of the lake here and hark to his tale
Of the woman who lived as the calm years glide,
The old wife of Asterdale.
 
He sings of her grief in a voice as low
And soft as a dream-song’s tone:
“That is over these twenty long years ago,
That’s dead and buried and gone.
 
Where you, lovely visions, would formerly throng
The moonlight falls lonely and pale. -
And that is the end of my cradle-song
Of the old wife of Asterdale.”
 
 
Mando Diao has put music to some of his poems. Here's this one as a song:
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karin Boye "Ja visst gör det ont" (translated from Swedish to "Yes of course it hurts")

 

Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking.
Why else would the springtime falter?
Why would all our ardent longing
bind itself in frozen, bitter pallor?
After all, the bud was covered all the winter.
What new thing is it that bursts and wears?
Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking,
hurts for that which grows
                         and that which bars.

Yes, it is hard when drops are falling.
Trembling with fear, and heavy hanging,
cleaving to the twig, and swelling, sliding -
weight draws them down, though they go on clinging.
Hard to be uncertain, afraid and divided,
hard to feel the depths attract and call,
yet sit fast and merely tremble -
hard to want to stay
                    and want to fall.

Then, when things are worst and nothing helps
the tree's buds break as in rejoicing,
then, when no fear holds back any longer,
down in glitter go the twig's drops plunging,
forget that they were frightened by the new,
forget their fear before the flight unfurled -
feel for a second their greatest safety,
rest in that trust
                   that creates the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viktor Rydberg "Tomten" (translated from Swedish)
A tomte, nisse or tomtenisse is a humanoid mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. He was believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune at night, when the housefolk were asleep. He was often imagined as a small, elderly man (size varies from a few inches to about half the height of an adult man), often with a full beard; dressed in the everyday clothing of a farmer.

Nowadays, the word tomte is almost only used for Santa Clause (Jultomte)

 

Midwinter’s nightly frost is hard —
  Brightly the stars are beaming;
Fast asleep is the lonely Yard,
  All, at midnight, are dreaming.
Clear is the moon, and the snow-drifts shine,
  Glistening white, on fir and pine,
Covers on rooflets making.
  None but tomten is waking.

 

Grey, he stands by the byre-door,
  Grey, in the snow appearing;
Looks, as ever he did before,
  Up, at the moonlight peering;
Looks at the wood, where the pine and fir
  Stand round the farm, and never stir;
Broods on an unavailing
  Riddle, forever failing;

 

Runs his hand through his hair and beard —
  Gravely, his head a-shaking —
»Harder riddle I never heard,
  Vainly, my head I’m breaking.» —
Chasing, then, as his wont for aye,
  Such unsolvable things away,
Tomten trips, without hustling,
  Now, about duty bustling.

 

Goes to the larder and tool-house fine,
  Every padlock trying —
See! by moonlight, in stalls, the kine,
  Dreaming of summer, are lying;
Heedless of harness and whip and team,
  Polle, stabled, has, too, a dream:
Manger and crib, all over,
  Fill with sweet-smelling clover.

 

Tomten goes to the lambs and sheep —
  See! they are all a-dreaming!
Goes to the hens, where the cock will sleep,
  Perched, with vanity teeming;
Karo, in kennel, so brave and hale,
  Wakes up and gladly wags his tail;
Karo, he knows his brother-
  Watchman, they love each other.

 

Lastly, tomten will steal to see
  The masterfolks, loved so dearly;
Long have they liked his industry,
  Now, they honour him, clearly;
Stealing on tiptoe, soon he nears
  Nursery cots, the little dears;
None must grudge him the pleasure;
  This is his greatest treasure.

 

Thus he has seen them, sire and son,
  Endless numbers of races;
Whence are they coming, one by one,
  All the slumbering faces?
Mortals succeeding mortals, there,
  Flourished, and aged, and went — but where?
Oh, this riddle, revolving,
  He will never cease solving!

 

Tomten goes to the hay-shed loft,
  There, is his haunt and hollow,
Deep in the sweet-smelling hay, aloft,
  Near the nest of the swallow;
Empty, now, is the swallow’s nest,
  But when spring is in blossom drest,
She for home will be yearning,
  Will, with her mate, be returning.

 

Then she’ll twitter, and sing, and chat
  Much of her airy travel,
Nothing, though, of the riddle that
  Tomten can never unravel.
Through a chink in the hay-shed wall,
  Lustrous moonbeams on tomten fall,
There, on his beard, they’re blinking,
  Tomten’s brooding and thinking.

 

Mute is the world, is nature all,
  Life is so frozen and dreary;
From afar, but the rapids’ call,
  Murmuring, sounds so weary.
Tomten listens, half in a dream,
  Fancies he hears the vital stream,
Wonders whither it’s going,
  Whence its waters are flowing.

 

Midwinter’s nightly frost is hard —
  Brightly the stars are beaming.
Fast asleep is the lonely Yard,
  All till morn will be dreaming.
Faint is the moon; and the snow-drifts shine,
  Glistening white on fir and pine,
Covers on rooflets making.
  None but tomten is waking.

 

 

Edited by emelee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poem above is for Christmas.

Next is a classic New Year's poem. Read every year in Sweden (in swedish translation), just before the clock strikes midnight, at the Skansen Zoo stage and airing on TV, live. Read by a respected and beloved famous person. It's usually timed so that the ending of the poem comes just seconds before the bell rings, so the audience can do a joint countdown.

 

 

Lord Alfred Tennyson "Ring out, wild bells"

 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

 

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

 

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

 

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

 

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

 

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

 

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPD7FuG0Ba0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following is one of my favorite poems of late that I've read a hundred times!

(it's worth another look at in this thread :P  only this time in the original form it was written)

___________________

 

 

The Tyger

 

Tyger! Tyger! 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 sieze the fire?

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

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

 

                           

                                  by William Blake

Edited by Stiggy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One we learned at school that I've always like is Shelley's Ozymandias. A warning to all those in power who think they are invincible.

 

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

love it! You know Shelley is my all time favorite! Read this one a hundred times too!

_________________________

 

 

When the Lamp is Shattered

 

                      I
  When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies dead—
  When the cloud is scattered
The rainbow’s glory is shed.
  When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
  When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

                       II
  As music and splendor
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
  The heart’s echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:—
  No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
  Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman’s knell.

                       III
  When hearts have once mingled
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
  The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed.
  O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
  Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

                       IV
  Its passions will rock thee
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
  Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
  From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
  Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.

 

 

                                  by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know this one Stiggy? It's particularly lovely, I think.

 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

 

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by poppy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, yes, though my collection is small, that is one of the ones I have in print. And I love it! I love meditative-nature poetry the most of just about any other shape or form poetry presents.

I thought you might like this one about sweet memories that lift the spirit. (though I've never read it from a woman's perspective)

_________________________

 

 

Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures
 
I took her dainty eyes, as well
   As silken tendrils of her hair:
And so I made a Villanelle!
 
I took her voice, a silver bell,
   As clear as song, as soft as prayer;
I took her dainty eyes as well.
 
It may be, said I, who can tell,
   These things shall be my less despair?
And so I made a Villanelle!
 
I took her whiteness virginal
   And from her cheek two roses rare:
I took her dainty eyes as well.
 
I said: “It may be possible
   Her image from my heart to tear!”
And so I made a Villanelle.
 
I stole her laugh, most musical:
   I wrought it in with artful care;
I took her dainty eyes as well;
And so I made a Villanelle.

 

 

                         by Ernest Dowson

Edited by Stiggy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And one more of his

 

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven

by William Butler Yeats

 

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, yes, though my collection is small, that is one of the ones I have in print.

I thought you might like this one about sweet memories that lift the spirit. (though I've never read it from a woman's perspective)

_________________________

 

 

Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures

 

I took her dainty eyes, as well

   As silken tendrils of her hair:

And so I made a Villanelle!

 

I took her voice, a silver bell,

   As clear as song, as soft as prayer;

I took her dainty eyes as well.

 

It may be, said I, who can tell,

   These things shall be my less despair?

And so I made a Villanelle!

 

I took her whiteness virginal

   And from her cheek two roses rare:

I took her dainty eyes as well.

 

I said: “It may be possible

   Her image from my heart to tear!”

And so I made a Villanelle.

 

I stole her laugh, most musical:

   I wrought it in with artful care;

I took her dainty eyes as well;

And so I made a Villanelle.

 

 

                         by Ernest Dowson

 

That's very lovely, and I haven't read it before. It has such a sweet lightness about it, although it seems as though it's about forgetting.

Edited by poppy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And one more of his

 

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven

by William Butler Yeats

 

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

I like that one too, I've actually read 'about' that one in a critique, and it points out, if you're keen, using the same rhyme words are kind of taboo, and that one uses the same exact words for the repeated rhymes. I respect poems that are defiant to what most would call 'proper' or 'fitting.'(and that's what I believe the poem is eluding to after all) I like going against the grain myself. ;)

Thanks for sharing. :smile:

Edited by Stiggy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in this poem the repetition is very effective. 

He appears to be doing it deliberately as he uses 'clothes' three times, 'dreams' three times, 'light' three times and 'feet' twice.

 

:negative: to the critics :D 

Edited by poppy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×