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Post your favourite "classic" poem


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#41 emelee

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:20 PM

I agree with BookJumper on Shakespeare's Sonnet 116. :smile2:

Also, I love Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the thing with feathers"..........

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.



#42 Rawr

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:26 PM

I love this section of Blake's Auguries of Innocence;

'To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.'

#43 BigWords

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 12:43 AM

There are passages in William Wordsworth's The Prelude which work for me every time I read them.

All moveables of wonder, from all parts,
Are here--Albinos, painted Indians, Dwarfs,
The Horse of knowledge, and the learned Pig,
The Stone-eater, the man that swallows fire,
Giants, Ventriloquists, the Invisible Girl,
The Bust that speaks and moves its goggling eyes,
The Wax-work, Clock-work, all the marvellous craft
Of modern Merlins, Wild Beasts, Puppet-shows,
All out-o'-the-way, far-fetched, perverted things,
All freaks of nature, all Promethean thoughts
Of man, his dulness, madness, and their feats
All jumbled up together, to compose
A Parliament of Monsters. Tents and Booths
Meanwhile, as if the whole were one vast mill,
Are vomiting, receiving on all sides,
Men, Women, three-years' Children, Babes in arms.



The whole text is online here.

I also like Eliot's The Wasteland, though less so.

#44 Chrissy

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:34 PM

I thought this would be a timely inclusion for this thread. The bolded and enlarged verse is the one that will probably be recognised by most in the UK.

For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



#45 vinay87

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 10:57 AM

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes



I remember studying that poem in school! I'd forgotten about it, thanks for reminding me Kell! I should look into Alfred Noyes's poems.


My absolute favourite is William Henry Davies's Leisure

W. H. Davies

Leisure


WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


Another favourite, which is definitely too long to post here, is Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.

#46 Brida

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:56 PM

Here's a few of my favourites...

Emily Dickinson - Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.


William Blake - The Fly (Yes, you might laugh at this one, but I really really *love* it :D)

Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.


#47 Eliza1

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 09:01 PM

I was shuffling through some of my brothers belongings, and I came across a book of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was about ten years ago. I was just getting ready to take a three hour coach journey and I didn't bring anything to read with me. But for some reason I had taken the poetry book with me (because it was my brothers and he had left home) and starting reading it. I'm not really a big poetry lover but I think this poem was one of the first ones I read on that journey and it's just stayed with me ever since.

The tide rises, the tide falls,

The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;

Along the sea-sands damp and brown

The traveler hastens toward the town,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,

But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;

The little waves, with their soft, white hands

Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls

Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;

The day returns, but nevermore

Returns the traveler to the shore.

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

#48 Donna

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:38 AM

My absolute favourite is William Henry Davies's Leisure

W. H. Davies

Leisure


[center]WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


That is one of my favourites too.

As is:

THE DAFFODILS; OR, 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 the 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 waves in glee
A poet could not but be 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.

#49 Amesy

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:24 AM

On the Ning Nang Nong - Spike Milligan

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

#50 Kylie

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:14 PM

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

#51 TheNinthWord

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:18 AM

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

#52 Amesy

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:24 AM

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.

#53 Himself

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 11:41 PM

My favourite is Onegin, by Pushkin. Unfortunately, it is a wee bit too long to simply copy and paste, so here's a link to legally download it: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/23997

#54 xNatx

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:26 PM

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.

#55 poppy

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:34 AM

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.

#56 xNatx

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 07:28 PM

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. :mrgreen:
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.

#57 thizzy85

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:56 PM

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/

#58 thizzy85

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:02 PM

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."

#59 Kylie

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:10 AM

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. :)

#60 poppy

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:46 AM

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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