I'm a high school student and for speech class, I need to find about 6-8 minutes worth of poems on the same topic. After looking around, I decided death/dying would be a pretty good topic.
So far I have:
1) IX from 12 songs – W.H. Auden
2) Song -- Christina Georgina Rossetti
or Remember -- Christina Georgina Rossetti
3)Togetherness by Henry Scott Holland Canon
4)High Flight -John Gillespie McGee, Jr.
Unfortunately those are all relatively short poems. So, my question is that does anyone have any other ideas of poems that would work well with this selection? Basically, the format of the speech includes an introduction, and then a short blurb before each poem.
I would really appreciate any help out there!!
1)IX from 12 songs – W.H. Auden
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 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 wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
2)'Song' by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
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 in the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
by: Christina Georgina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
by Henry Scott Holland Canon of St Paul's Cathedral
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed, at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.
4)High Flight by John Gillespie McGee, Jr.
Piloted in the RCAF in WWII. He was killed in action.
Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of. Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delerious burning blue,
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew.
And , while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespasses sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
For more ideas take a look at this page at my site - lots to choose from
Dylan Thomas is always a good choice for richness of language and, of course, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is a villanelle which will enable you to talk briefly about that poetic structure.
If you need a filler then And Thou Art Dead, as Young as Fair by my poetic hero Byron, wiill take up a reasonable amount of your time. Actaully, 6 to 8 minutes when presenting is nowhere near as long as you think it is and you may easily find you have a surplus of riches.
thanx a lot!
hi yo yo
How about John Donne's Sonnet 10? I like this poem because it portrays death in such a positive light. I appreciate Donne for looking at death not as capturing or killing people, but releasing them to a better existance.