A2K Favorite Poem Project

Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2003 08:20 am
Re A2K Favorite Poem Project

A few of years ago the former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky created the 'Favorite Poem Project'.

His idea was to ask average Americans to read their favorite poems and, perhaps more importantly, he asked them to relate why that particular poem was their favorite.

He had a series of public fora to do this and from these readings a portion were selected to be read on a National Public Radio series. Finally, Pinsky and a collaborator published a wonderful collection of the 'Favorite Poems' and the readers comments/explanations about why they cherished them.

We would like to do something similar on this thread.

Our wish is find out your favorite poem, and to learn what makes it special for you.

this is NOT a competition.

It is a chance for us to glimpse inside of one another ...to a special place, a special feeling ..A chance to know you a little better by sharing something that moves or delights you.

Pinsky's contributors included some of the most famous of poems, and some very obscure ones. In some cases a poem was special because it was such a widely acclaimed and brilliant one. In other cases a poem simply took someone's breath away with an unexpected phrase that resonated in some personal way. Sometimes the poem was a favorite because it was associated with a loved one, and sometimes the contributor simply loved the SOUND of a poem, it's musicality or its rhythym.

There is no time limit on this thread. Take your time, read the poems that others post. You may know immediately what your favorite poem is, or you may need to reflect on it for awhile.

In Case Your Favorite is Already Posted:

Most of all we want to know WHY your favorite poem is important to you or why you consider it your favorite. If someone else has selected it, so what! Tell us why YOU love it....and post it again if you wish.

Please join us, Piffka and jjorge
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Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2003 09:40 am
Here's a link to Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project.

There are just two rules to keep in mind:

1) You cannot choose a poem that you yourself have written. We also discourage sending poems by friends, neighbors, relatives. Such entries are not relevant to the particular purposes of this project.

2) If you do use the form more than once, your most recent entry will always replace your last. (So, you can change your mind as often as you like, but you will only have one favorite represented in the database).

Thank you for taking the time to share your favorite poem!

Note: In the a2k Favorite Poetry Project it is even OK to tell us that your favorite is one poem... and later on, post another. See, we're easy!

Poetry is sometimes thought of as an intellectual pursuit, not for the common man (or woman). I think we all have poetry we love -- whether it is carefully laid out on sheets of vellum or sung in harmony with a back beat. I've been reading the poems that Robert Pinsky has collected and I am most amazed at their variety: all sorts of poetry, happy-sad, long-short. Poems about love, poems about war. Each one is a poem that touched someone's heart, maybe even their soul (if they believe they have one).

We are interested in what you like and especially why you like it. What makes it appealing? We are hoping that every a2ker will post a poem. It's a big goal, but a worthy one. Happy posting!
0 Replies
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2003 09:52 am
Piffka's Favorite -- Invocation to the Muses
When we first talked about this project I told Jjorge that my favorite poem is the one I'm reading at the moment... it would too hard to choose.

As I've thought of what my favorite poem might be, there is one that I keep coming back to, a poem that is a defiant voice against war and with a vision of a world greater than we can see. It's metaphysical and speaks to the ancient Muses. It's down-to-earth, it's brave, it's kind, it's hopeful, and, of course, it is by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I like the fact that though I think it is ageless, it was written for a specific place and time. And though I usually like shorter poems, I even like that this one is long (for which I apologize in advance!) I've quoted it more than once:

Invocation to the Muses
Read by the poet at The Public Ceremonial of The National Institute of Arts and Letters at Carnegie Hall, New York, January 18th, 1941.

Great Muse, that from this hall absent for long
Hast never been,
Great Muse of Song,
Colossal Muse of mighty Melody,
Vocal Calliope,
With thine august and contrapuntal brow
And thy vast throat builded for Harmony,
For the strict monumental pure design,
And the melodic line:
Be thou tonight with all beneath these rafters--be with me.
If I address thee in archaic style--
Words obsolete, words obsolescent,
It is that for a little while
The heart must, oh indeed must from this angry and out-rageous present
Itself withdraw
Into some past in which most crooked Evil,
Although quite certainly conceived and born, was not as yet the Law.

Archaic, or obsolescent at the least,
Be thy grave speaking and the careful words of thy clear song,
For the time wrongs us, and the words most common to our speech today
Salute and welcome to the feast
Conspicuous Evil-- or against him all day long
Cry out, telling of ugly deeds and most uncommon wrong.

Be thou tonight with all beneath these rafters--be with me
But oh, be more with those who are not free.
Who, herded into prison camps all shame must suffer and all outrage see.
Where music is not played nor sung,
Though the great voice be there, no sound from the dry throat across the thickened tongue
Comes forth; nor has he heart for it.
Beauty in all things--no, we cannot hope for that; but some place set apart for it.
Here it may dwell;
And with your aid, Melpomene
And all thy sister-muses (for ye are, I think, daughters of Memory)
Within the tortured mind as well.

Reaped are those fields with dragon's-teeth so lately sown;
Many the heaped men dying there - so close, hip touches thigh; yet each man dies alone.
Music, what overtone
For the soft ultimate sigh or the unheeded groan
Hast thou--to make death decent, where men slip
Down blood to death, no service of grieved heart or ritual lip
Transferring what was recently a man and still is warm--
Transferring his obedient limbs into the shallow grave where not again a friend shall greet him,
Nor hatred do him harm . . .
Nor true love run to meet him?

In the last hours of him who lies untended
On a cold field at night, and sees the hard bright stars
Above his upturned face, and says aloud "How strange . . . my life is ended."--
If in the past he loved great music much, and knew it well,
Let not his lapsing mind be teased by well-beloved but ill- remembered bars --
Let the full symphony across the blood-soaked field
By him be heard, most pure in every part,
The lonely horror of whose painful death is thus repealed,
Who dies with quiet tears upon his upturned face, making to glow with softness the hard stars.

And bring to those who knew great poetry well
Page after page that they have loved but have not learned by heart!
We who in comfort to well-lighted shelves
Can turn for all the poets ever wrote,
Beseech you: Bear to those
Who love high art no less than we ourselves,
Those who lie wounded, those who in prison cast
Strive to recall, to ease them, some great ode, and every stanza save the last.

Recall--oh, in the dark, restore them
The unremembered lines; make bright the page before them!
Page after page present to these,
In prison concentrated, watched by barbs of bayonet and wire,
Give ye to them their hearts' intense desire--
The words of Shelley, Virgil, Sophocles.

And thou, O lovely and not sad,
Euterpe, be thou in this hall tonight!
Bid us remember all we ever had
Of sweet and gay delight--
We who are free,
But cannot quite be glad,
Thinking of huge, abrupt disaster brought
Upon so many of our kind
Who treasure as do we the vivid look on the unfrightened face,
The careless happy stride from place to place,
And the unbounded regions of untrammelled thought
Open as interstellar space
To the exploring and excited mind.

O Muses, O immortal Nine!--
Or do ye languish? Can ye die?
Must all go under?--
How shall we heal without your help a world
By these wild horses torn asunder?
How shall we build anew? -- How start again?
How cure, how even moderate this pain
Without you, and you strong?
And if ye sleep, then waken!
And if ye sicken and do plan to die,
Do not that now!

Hear us, in what sharp need we cry!
For we have help nowhere
If not in you!
Pity can much, and so a mighty mind, but cannot all things do!--
By you forsaken,
We shall be scattered, we shall be overtaken!
Oh, come! Renew in us the ancient wonder,
The grace of life, its courage, and its joy!
Weave us those garlands nothing can destroy!
Come! with your radiant eyes! -- with your throats of thunder!
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Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 08:51 am
My favorite poem is 'In Memory of W. B. Yeats' by W.H.Auden.

Auden's beautiful elegy hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it. It moved me to tears. I was captivated by his wonderful imagery eg. It's sadly beautiful opening lines describing the 'Dark cold day' of Yeats' death, the brilliant description of 'his last afternoon as himself' and Auden's contemptuous: 'the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse'.

I like the way that Auden begins in a free verse form in parts one and two and ends (in part three) in a traditional rhymed verse.
the latter seems to intensify the power of the final lines which, in my opinion, are among the most moving in the English language, where Auden addresses the central issue of the day ie. the looming war in Europe, (it was written in january of 1939) condemns the 'dogs of Europe' who are seeking that war and the 'Intellectual disgrace' of those who are letting it happen.

Most of all I am bowled over by the final eight lines which in my opinion set forth a breath-taking assertion about the power of poets and poetry to take the ugly the horrific, the distressed, the cursed, and out of this, 'with the farming of a verse', to redeem something beautiful, and move mens' hearts.

In Memory of W. B. Yeats

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
And snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

Far from his illness
The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.

But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs,
The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers.

Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living.

But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.

What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.


You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
The parish of rich women, physical decay,
Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.


Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.
(W. H. Auden )
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Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 09:33 am

I neglected to mention something which you are bound to notice.

Auden seems to contradict himself about the power of poets and poetry. Even though, in the last eight lines of the poem he seems to assert a transformative power of poetry, earlier on ( sect. II line 5) he says,

'... poetry makes nothing happen'

This, of course is the stuff of graduate theses!

What do you think?
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Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 10:29 am
Well, I was liking the way Auden changed the rhythm... it seemed to get faster & faster and more forthright.

As to the graduate thesis -- "it survives, a mouth." A teller of tales that Executives would shun, but is kept alive in isolated readings, here & there. Yep, it's deep alright!
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Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 10:54 am
This has always been a favorite of mine, and all the lines go to eleven Wink

Algernon Charles Swinburne

In the month of the long decline of roses
I, beholding the summer dead before me,
Set my face to the sea and journeyed silent,
Gazing eagerly where above the sea-mark
Flame as fierce as the fervid eyes of lions
Half divided the eyelids of the sunset;
Till I heard as it were a noise of waters
Moving tremulous under feet of angels
Multitudinous, out of all the heavens;
Knew the fluttering wind, the fluttered foliage,
Shaken fitfully, full of sound and shadow;
And saw, trodden upon by noiseless angels,
Long mysterious reaches fed with moonlight,
Sweet sad straits in a soft subsiding channel,
Blown about by the lips of winds I knew not,
Winds not born in the north nor any quarter,
Winds not warm with the south nor any sunshine;
Heard between them a voice of exultation,
"Lo, the summer is dead, the sun is faded,
Even like as a leaf the year is withered,
All the fruits of the day from all her branches
Gathered, neither is any left to gather.
All the flowers are dead, the tender blossoms,
All are taken away; the season wasted,
Like an ember among the fallen ashes.
Now with light of the winter days, with moonlight,
Light of snow, and the bitter light of hoarfrost,
We bring flowers that fade not after autumn,
Pale white chaplets and crowns of latter seasons,
Fair false leaves (but the summer leaves were falser),
Woven under the eyes of stars and planets
When low light was upon the windy reaches
Where the flower of foam was blown, a lily
Dropt among the sonorous fruitless furrows
And green fields of the sea that make no pasture:
Since the winter begins, the weeping winter,
All whose flowers are tears, and round his temples
Iron blossom of frost is bound for ever."
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Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 12:41 pm
Favorite Poem
This has always been one of my very very favorites.
It speaks for itself, really.
...and this is my first post ever on this site. yay. Rolling Eyes

Marriage Gregory Corso

Should I get married? Should I be Good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustaus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets
then desire her and kiss her and all the preliminaries
and she going just so far and I understanding why
not getting angry saying You must feel! It's beautiful to feel!
Instead take her in my arms lean against an old crooked tombstone
and woo her the entire night the constellations in the sky--

When she introduces me to her parents
back straightened, hair finally combed, strangled by a tie,
should I sit knees together on their 3rd degree sofa
and not ask Where's the bathroom?
How else to feel other than I am,
often thinking Flash Gordon soap--
O how terrible it must be for a young man
seated before a family and the family thinking
We never saw him before! He wants our Mary Lou!
After tea and homemade cookies they ask What do you do for a living?
Should I tell them? Would they like me then?
Say All right get married, we're losing a daughter
but we're gaining a son--
And should I then ask Where's the bathroom?

O God, and the wedding! All her family and her friends
and only a handful of mine all scroungy and bearded
just waiting to get at the drinks and food--
And the priest! He looking at me if I masturbated
asking me Do you take this woman for your lawful wedded wife?
And I trembling what to say say Pie Glue!
I kiss the bride all those corny men slapping me on the back
She's all yours, boy! Ha-ha-ha!
And in their eyes you could see some obscene honeymoon going on--

then all that absurd rice and clanky cans and shoes
Niagara Falls! Hordes of us! Husbands! Wives! Flowers! Chocolates!
All streaming into cozy hotels
All going to do the same thing tonight
The indifferent clerk he knowing what was going to happen
The lobby zombies they knowing what
The whistling elevator man he knowing
The winking bellboy knowing
Everybody knowing! I'd be almost inclined not to do anything!
Stay up all night! Stare that hotel clerk in the eye!
Screaming: I deny honeymoon! I deny honeymoon!
running rampant into those almost climatic suites
yelling Radio belly! Cat shovel!
O I'd live in Niagara forever! in a dark cave beneath the Falls
I'd sit there the Mad Honeymooner devising ways to break marriages, a scourge of bigamy a saint of divorce--

But I should get married I should be good
How nice it'd be to come home to her
and sit by the fireplace and she in the kitchen
aproned young and lovely wanting by baby
and so happy about me she burns the roast beef
and comes crying to me and I get up from my big papa chair
saying Christmas teeth! Radiant brains! Apple deaf!
God what a husband I'd make! Yes, I should get married!
So much to do! like sneaking into Mr Jones' house late at night
and cover his golf clubs with 1920 Norwegian books
Like hanging a picture of Rimbaud on the lawnmower
like pasting Tannu Tuva postage stamps all over the picket fence
like when Mrs Kindhead comes to collect for the Community Chest
grab her and tell her There are unfavorable omens in the sky!
And when the mayor comes to get my vote tell him
When are you going to stop people killing whales!
And when the milkman comes leave him a note in the bottle
Penguin dust, bring me penguin dust, I want penguin dust--

Yet if I should get married and it's Connecticut and snow
and she gives birth to a child and I am sleepless, worn,
up for nights, head bowed against a quiet window, the past behind me,
finding myself in the most common of situations a trembling man
knowledged with responsibility not twig-smear not Roman coin soup--
O what would that be like!
Surely I'd give it for a nipple a rubber Tacitus
For a rattle bag of broken Bach records
Tack Della Francesca all over its crib
Sew the Greek alphabet on its bib
And build for its playpen a roofless Parthenon

No, I doubt I'd be that kind of father
not rural not snow no quiet window
but hot smelly New York City
seven flights up, roaches and rats in the walls
a fat Reichian wife screeching over potatoes Get a job!
And five nose running brats in love with Batman
And the neighbors all toothless and dry haired
like those hag masses of the 18th century
all wanting to come in and watch TV
The landlord wants his rent
Grocery store Blue Cross Gas & Electric Knights of Columbus
Impossible to lie back and dream Telephone snow, ghost parking--
No! I should not get married and I should never get married!
But--imagine if I were to marry a beautiful sophisticated woman
tall and pale wearing an elegant black dress and long black gloves
holding a cigarette holder in one hand and highball in the other
and we lived high up a penthouse with a huge window
from which we could see all of New York and even farther on clearer days
No I can't imagine myself married to that pleasant prison dream--

O but what about love? I forget love
not that I am incapable of love
it's just that I see love as odd as wearing shoes--
I never wanted to marry a girl who was like my mother
And Ingrid Bergman was always impossible
And there maybe a girl now but she's already married
And I don't like men and--
but there's got to be somebody!
Because what if I'm 60 years old and not married,
all alone in furnished room with pee stains on my underwear
and everybody else is married! All in the universe married but me!

Ah, yet well I know that were a woman possible as I am possible
then marriage would be possible--
Like SHE in her lonely alien gaud waiting her Egyptian lover
so I wait--bereft of 2,000 years and the bath of life.
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Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 02:26 pm
Welcome, dewie! :-D

Here's my fave, by John Keats:

Ode on a Grecian Urn

THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unweari├Ęd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
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Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 02:53 pm
Another favorite, by Carl Sandburg:


HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
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Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:43 pm
Glad to see this topic keep going, sorry I am slow at posting favorite.
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Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2003 09:24 pm
Keats' Ode to a Grecian Urn was my awakening to poetry and literature. I was about 16 and in a boring high school lit class, I thought, until the teacher posted this poem on the board and began talking about it. I was in a daze for the rest of the day and read the poem ten times that night at home.

My favorite poem of all time is Arnold's Dover Beach.

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; -on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.



It is a perfect poem, in cadence and meter.

I have many other favorites. Milton was a special study of mine in school. But I keep coming back to parse this poem. It is deeply felt for me.
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Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 12:00 am
Oh, I'm loving these. I remember the first time I read Ode on a Grecian Urn. It was in high school, a class assignment. I was alone in my bedroom and the scenes on the urn came alive. They were captured on the urn and in the poem for us to appreciate... it was a youthful recognition of a tiny fraction of the meaning about Truth being Beauty.

The first time I heard Chicago I was in shock... my teacher (another teacher, another year) read it to the class, very dramatically. So much strength in that poem, I thought I'd faint.

Kara, I think I posted Dover Beach on Hail Poetry! a few weeks ago. It is superb! I love these, all of them. The poem that Dewie posted is new to me, but is full of ideas and is like a life story, great! Thanks all.

Osso -- C'mon!!! It's OK to post more than one... post twenty!
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Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 12:13 am
i have so many in mind,,,

great topic.

i'll be back.
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Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 07:52 am
Well, I'm back with another.

This is not my favorite poem but it's definitely one of my top five.

The last line hits me like a baseball bat between the eyes,
...and makes me cry.

"Spring in the Garden"

Ah, cannot the curled shoots of the larkspur that you loved so,
Cannot the spiny poppy that no winter kills
Instruct you how to return through the thawing
ground and the thin snow
Into this April sun that is driving the mist between the hills?

A good friend to the monkshood in a time of need
You were, and the lupine's friend as well;
But I see the lupine lift the ground like a tough weed
And the earth over the monkshood swell,

And I fear that not a root in all this heaving sea
Of land, has nudged you where you lie, has found
Patience and time to direct you, numb and stupid as
you still must be
From your first winter underground.
(Edna St. Vincent Millay)
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Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 08:01 am
1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)
e.e. cummings





A near perfect comment on the importance of individuality, and more complex than it appears.
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Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 08:27 am
The Stolen Child

Where dips the rocky highland Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats; There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berries And of the reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances, Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight; To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles, While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep. Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams; Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears Over the young streams
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going, The solemn eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
For he comes, the human child! To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.

by W. B. Yeats
0 Replies
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 08:34 am
I love Yeats, and also like the musical version of 'The Stolen Child' done by The Waterboys.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 08:46 am
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
This is so evocative to me, I can almost smell the frozen lake and feel the deep stillness all around. It was set to music for mixed choirs which was my introduction to the poem.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
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.
0 Replies
the prince
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 08:49 am
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Rabindra Nath Tagore
0 Replies

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