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What are the three best poems ever written and why?

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:29 am
... and who is the best poet?
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Type: Question • Score: 33 • Views: 45,457 • Replies: 65

 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:33 am
Different strokes for different folks.
A. B. Banjo Patterson
The man from snowy river
Clancy of thew overflow

Kenneth Slessor
5 bells
I'm struggling for a 3rd
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:35 am
@dadpad,
BTW can modern day songwriters be classed as poets? It seems thay kinda do the same thing except writing song lyrics makes money
0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:39 am
@iamsam82,
Ode to a Nightingale - John Keats -
because the language is so lyrical and the poem exceptionally crafted in a technical sense. Also, it is along the same themes of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" (here, "Do I wake or sleep") soliloquy. But it's better. When Keats, dying of TB at the time it was written (which he diagnosed himself), speaks on this theme, it feels all the truer. He even makes death seem sweet in atotally non-morbid way.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T. S. Eliot -
because it puts into words what cannot be put into words; some vague notion of what it feels like to be a human, privy to aging and regret. It is unashamedly vague ("it is impossible to say just what I mean"). And it contains some of the greatest and most simple lines you'd give your arm to have written ("I have measured out my life with coffee spoons").

Can't think of a third at the moment, either Two Voices - Alfred Lord Tennyson, or The Road not Taken - Robert Frost.

Best poet, Keats. He is the archtypal pot inasmuch as he lived the poet's life (died young, unrequited love, travelled to and died in Rome, etc.) and wrote exceptionally poetic poetry - very lyrical.

iamsam82
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:40 am
NO LET'S NOT DO SONGWRITERS!!!
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:42 am
IMHO, the best poets in the English Language are Samuel Coleridge and Ewin McTeagle.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:06 am
@farmerman,
Fair point. I might have Kubla Khan as my No.3 then.
0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 07:44 am
@dadpad,
Care to reproduce any of those poems (or parts of them if they are long) here? I'm afraid I am not familiar with any of those poets but would be interested to see their work.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:03 am
@iamsam82,
My favs

Rime of the Ancyent Marinere (Coleridge)

Death of the Hired Man (Frost)

Ozymandias (Shelly)

Spell of the Yukon (Service)
0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:28 am
Just so glad Neruda hasn't been mentioned yet. You see him being hailed as great all over the web, but I just can't for the life of me see it. All I can think of is that he's good in the original Spanish. In English he's not only painfully naive but almost adolescent in his ramblings. And formless too. I'm all for free verse but his is just prose. Prose a 15 year old school-girl with delusions of grandeur would write!

God that was a bit vitriolic. I just hate Neruda!
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:44 am
@iamsam82,
Irrespective of metaphysics, for "mouth music" alone my first choice would be Dylan Thomas's "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower."

I would endorse Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" for its narrative merit, and I would choose Shakespeare's sonnet "Shall I compare thee..." for the use of stylistic structure to convey semantic impact.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:51 am
@iamsam82,
Tennyson, yes, but Ulysses,

Quote:
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

........

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Shakespeare, 116th Sonnet

Quote:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Omar Khayyam, Edward Fitzgerald translation

http://www.links2love.com/love/romance/pictures/spring.jpg

11th quatrain in The Rubaiyat.

Quote:
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread-and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness-
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

Look to the blowing Rose about us-'Lo,
Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow,
At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.'

And those who husbanded the Golden grain
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.


Each poem resonants with the spirit and emotions of humanity.

The Bard is the best poet.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:58 am
Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, by Browning.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:28 pm
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
All I can think of is that he's good in the original Spanish. In English he's not only painfully naive but almost adolescent in his ramblings.


No kidding, a translated poem is a separate piece of work, my favorite poetry translations are not done by linguists but by other poets.

Quote:
And formless too. I'm all for free verse but his is just prose. Prose a 15 year old school-girl with delusions of grandeur would write!

God that was a bit vitriolic. I just hate Neruda!


Do you even understand Spanish? Because if you are just going off the translations then you don't really know Neruda at all.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 04:58 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I love him even off the translations....though firstly from his prose.


But he's one of the reasons I wish I could learn to understand Spanish really well.
0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:51 pm
@Robert Gentel,
"Do you even understand Spanish? Because if you are just going off the translations then you don't really know Neruda at all"

You know I don't. You quoted me in your own post where I specifically make clear I don't.

I don't really know what you want from me. I don't like Neruda. I feel if he hadn't been a commie exile, he'd never have been famous. His work is read on the back of his character not for its character.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:15 pm
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
You know I don't. You quoted me in your own post where I specifically make clear I don't.


You list very similar languages in your profile and didn't explicitly say you didn't speak Spanish so I didn't want to assume you didn't at all.

I do speak Spanish but still not well enough to read his poetry as fluidly as I could in English.

Quote:
I don't really know what you want from me. I don't like Neruda.


Nothing really, just saying that if you don't even speak the man's language you don't really know Neruda. Don't get me wrong, I only recall liking one line of all his works I've read but even my Spanish is good enough to tell that the English translations are significantly worse.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:26 pm
Some more lines from Fitzgerald -- for those who take the politics threads seriously...

Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd--
I came like Water, and like Wind I go.

Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 05:21 am
@georgeob1,
Nice! Was unfamiliar with his work, but I like this. It has a point, it has form, and the lyricism of words chosen is pleasant. I'm not a hundred per cent behind his choice of "willy-nilly". I think that phrase belittles the piece. I can see its merit alliteratively ("water", "wind", "waste", "whither", etc.) but I feel it cheapens the tone. It's a fairly juvenile word, and it contains the word willy (penis) which just makes me snigger when the poem is coming to its point and conclusion. In short the power of the end is lost a little.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 05:38 am
@iamsam82,
Seems that exactly such made his work so appealing to (not only) the Victorians.
 

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