This is a thread I thought would be nice to have on the forum It's intended for people to post their favorite poems of all time. It is NOT intended to get carried away where people just say "Oo! I like this one! It's my favorite " and give a big toothy grin, lol. Does a poem really hit you? Do you live by it? Do you refer to it so as to gain encouragement or sympathy? Let us know! Post it as your favorite
Lady of the Night
Ack poo! I have no favorite poems, but I do have a favourite or two!
Do you mean that we ourselves have written? This being the USP and all.
Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order except alphabetical by author:
Miranda by W.H. Auden
A Dream of Glass Bangles by Agha Shahid Ali
I Am Offering This Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca
Something Like Rivers Ran by Sandra Cisneros
You My Saltwater Pearl by Sandra Cisneros
The Summer I was Sixteen by Geraldine Connolly
Somewhere I have never travelled by E.E. Cummings
Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy
Where Have You Gone by Mari Evans
Balld of the Landlord by Langston Hughes
JIM CROW: The Sequel by June Jordan
Selecting a Reader by Ted Kooser
Elegy for Thelonious by Yusef Komunyakaa
Visions and Interpretations by Li-Young Lee
I Crave Your Mouth by Pablo Neruda
Daddy by Sylvia Plath
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron
Love in the Asylum by Dylan Thomas
so many poems always growing and changing how could i pick just one?
what is YOUR favorite?
Fatal Attraction Author: Caesar
Date: 11-24-02 19:24
I try not to need you
Your warmth and care
I try not to want you
Your passion and despair
I try not to love you
Your beauty beyond compare
I try not to think of you
Your love so unfair
I try not to blame you
Your adulterous affair
I try not to meet your eyes
Your absorbing stare
I try not to give in to you
Your tears I cannot bear
I try not to kill you
But you I cannot spare
Hmm.. Jay, that is a lot of poetry!
The Highwayman-Alfred Noyes
House of Changes-Jenni Couzyn
When we two parted-Lord Byron
Ullyses (sp?)-Lord Tennyson
High Flight-John Gillespie-Magee Jr.
I reside Within-Izzy
Little Altars Everywhere-Sarah Lenarz
The Bath-Stephen Fryer
Study in Grey-Siren
Intellectual Intercourse-Megan somebody or other? hahaha
And too many others to name, by JP, Elizabeth Browning, e.e. cummings, Kelly Ann Malone, Linda Green, Jay, etc...
Great idea Megan! Now I must go reread some of these and refresh my memory with high thoughts!
If your favorite poem or two is by someone on this forum, great! If not, that's great too. My favorite poem I can't find anywhere... I can't remember the title, but it's by Jewel Kilcher. I used to have her book and I can't find it...
That's a lot of poems, Bruce. Could you maybe pick one or two and type 'em out for reflection?
Lady of the Night
Warming Her Pearls
Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm then, until evening
when I'll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of
resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.
She's beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.
I dust her shoulders with a rabbit's foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.
Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head...Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way
she always does...And I lie here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.
--Carol Ann Duffy
Where Have You Gone
Where have you gone
with your confident
your crooked smile
why did you leave
when you took your
are you aware that
went the sun
and what few stars
where have you gone
with your confident
crooked smile the
in one pocket and
in another . . .
You My Saltwater Pearl
You my saltwater pearl,
my mother, my father,
my bastard child,
heaven and hurt,
you my slavery of sadness,
my wrinkled heart.
Little coin of my eye,
my tulip, my tin cup,
my woman, my boy,
to keep and be kept by,
to rankle and rile.
Take me like a boy,
hurt me a little. Make me cry.
I’m your milk and honey.
Your ziggurat of pleasure.
Your thumbprint of grief.
I’ll be hashish.
The put aside not-for-sale
item for the maharaja,
vulgar as a Liz Taylor jewel.
Your Taj Mahal.
Please me. I’ll pet you,
terrorize and take you.
Mother of my heart,
sweet mama, sweet daddy,
my saltwater pearl.
Elegy for Thelonious
Damn the snow.
Its senseless beauty
pours a hard light
through the hemlock.
Thelonious is dead. Winter
drifts in the hourglass;
notes pour from the brain cup.
damn the alley cat
wailing a muted dirge
off Lenox Ave.
Thelonious is dead.
Tonight's a lazy rhapsody of shadows
swaying to blue vertigo
& metaphysical funk.
Black trees in the wind.
Crepuscule with Nellie
plays inside the bowed head.
"Dig the Man Ray of piano!"
hot fingers blur on those white rib keys.
Coming on the Hudson.
The ghost of bebop
from 52nd Street,
footprints in the snow.
Let's go to Minton's
& play "modern malice"
till daybreak. Lord,
wearing that old funky hat
pulled down over his eyes.
Ballad of the Landlord
My roof has sprung a leak.
Don't you 'member I told you about it
Way last week?
These steps is broken down.
When you come up yourself
It's a wonder you don't fall down.
Ten bucks you say I owe you?
Ten bucks you say is due?
Well, that's ten bucks more'n I'll pay you
Till you fix this house up new.
What? You gonna get eviction orders?
You gonna cut off my heat?
You gonna take my furniture and
Throw it in the street?
Um-huh! You talking high and mighty.
Talk on-till you get through.
You ain't gonna be able to say a word
If I land my fist on you.
Come and get this man!
He's trying to ruin the government
And overturn the land!
Headlines in press:
MAN THREATENS LANDLORD
ˇ ˇ ˇ
TENANT HELD NO BAIL
ˇ ˇ ˇ
JUDGE GIVES NEGRO 90 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours been green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat moustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue,
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you.
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two——
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
House of Changes
By Jeni Couzyn
My Body is a wide house
Of bickering women, hearing
their own breathing
denying each other.
Nearest the door
ready in her black leather
is Vulnerable. She lives in the hall
her face painted with care
her black boots reaching her crotch
her black hair shining
her skin milky and soft as butter.
If you should ring the doorbell
she would answer
and a wound would open across her eyes
as she touched your hand.
On the stairs, glossy and determined
is Mindful. She's the boss, handing out
Punishments and rations and examination
papers with precise
justice. She keeps her perceptions in a huge
album under her arm
her debts in the garden with the weedkill
friends in card-index
on the windowsill of the sittingroom
and a tape-recording of the world
which she plays to herself over and over
assessing her life
In the kitchen is Commendable.
The only lady in the house who
dresses in florals
she is always busy, always doing something
for someone she had a lot of friends. Her hands are quick and
cunning as blackbirds her pantry is stuffed with loaves and fishes
she knows the times of trains
and mends fuses and makes
a lot of noise with the vacuum cleaner.
In her linen cupboard, newly-ironed and neatly
folded, she keeps her resentments like
wedding presents- each week
takes them out for counting not to
lose any but would never think of
using any being a lady.
Upstairs in a white room is
my favourite. She is Equivocal
has no flesh on her bones
that are changeable as yarrow stalks.
She hears her green plants talking
watches the bad dreams under the world
spends all her days and night
arranging her symbols
never eats hamburgers
never lets anyone into her room
never asks for anything.
In the basement is Harmful.
She is the keeper of weapons
the watchdog. Keeps intruders at bay
but the others keep her
locked up in the daytime and when she escapes
she comes out screaming
smoke streaming from her nostrils
flames on her tongue
razor-blades for fingernails
skewers for eyes.
I am Imminent
live out in the street
watching them. I lodge myself in other people's
heads with a sleeping bag
strapped to my back.
One day I'll perhaps get to like them enough
those rough, truthful women
to move in. One by one
I'm making friends with them all
unobtrusively, slow and steady
slow and steady.
I am including the link instead of posting it, because there are some interesting details there, including a picture.
(That better Megan?)
Little Boy Blue...Eugene Field
In Flanders Fields...John McCrae
The Fool's Prayer...Edward R. Sill
Psalm Of Life...Longfellow
The Children's Hour...Longfellow
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner...S.T. Coleridge
When I was One-and-Twenty...A.E. Housman
Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening...Robert Frost
and others too numerous to mention
e.e cummings - the little tree
e.e cummings - it may not always be so; and i say
e.e cummings - l(a
e.e cummings - up into the silence the green
e.e cummings - i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
siegfried sassoon - suicide in the trenches
J.P - the border
love cummings' poetry
JH and I could read in the same room.
Spell of the Yukon Bobby Service,
Tommy Aktins Kipling
Annabell Lee Poe
Rubyiat (sp) Tent maker guy
Everything by Wally McCrea
Everything by Waddie Wadell
Most stuff by Don Johnson
Most stuff by JP
Paint with all the
colors of the wind Don't know, in Pocahontas movie.
Terry, you there?
Much better, guys! But wow those are long! I'll have to come back to them this afternoon or evening and read them. I'll try to find my copy of "A Night Without Armour," by Jewel, which I highly recommend to those who would enjoy a poet who uses such phrases as "chews like stone" and terms as "dirty" or "broken" in places we would never dream of putting them. There are also some beautiful poems about Alaska... check her out, she is amazing My jaw drops to read her work..
Lady of the Night
Never Give All The Heart
NEVER give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy. Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
William Butler Yeats
Off the top of my head:
Postcards: Margaret Atwood;
Back from the Word-Processing Course I Say to My Old Typewrite- Michael Blumenthal
Grass: Carl Sandburg
Kubla Kahn: Coleridge (specially last 6 lines)
To a Mouse: Burns (gotta get a little scottish pride).
Psalm of Life: Longfellow (aforementioned by JH)
And Elegy by Borges, which I'll provide (as Borges is a little more esotoric):
Oh destiny of Borges
to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world
or across that single and solitary sea of diverse
to have been a part of Edinburgh, of Zurich, of the
of Colombia and of Texas,
to have returned at the end of changing generations
to the ancient lands of his forebears,
to Andalucia, to Portugal and to those counties
where the Saxon warred with the Dane and they
mixed their blood,
to have wandered through the red and tranquil
labyrinth of London,
to have grown old in so many mirrors,
to have sought in vain the marble gaze of the statues,
to have questioned lithographs, encyclopedias,
to have seen the things that men see,
death, the sluggish dawn, the plains,
and the delicate stars,
and to have seen nothing, or almost nothing
except the face of a girl from Buenos Aires
a face that does not want you to remember it.
Oh destiny of Borges,
perhaps no stranger than your own.
Stephen.. thank you..
I thought this was a good idea when Meg started the thread. I'm a little disappointed to see that it has fallen through the cracks, so I thought I would give it a bump.
I find it very interesting to read a person's favourite poems and then read poems that person has written. Often, it is very clear where the inspiration has come from. I encourage everyone to post to this thread.
Current favorites: 1/3/03
a. Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Elliot
b. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
c. Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town, e.e. cummings
d. The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe
e. Invictus, William Henley
f. Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Emily Dickinson
g. The Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tennyson
h. The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Langston Hughes
i. John Barleycorn, Robert Burns
j. Sonnet 130, William Shakespeare
This list changes as I grow and remember, some fade and others come to the fore.
But these seem to return again and again for various reasons.
Fire and Ice, Frost; The Cremation of Sam McGhee, Robert W. Service (I love poems that tell a strange or eerie story); The Raven, Poe;The highwayman, Alfred Noyes; My favorites change almost daily depending on my moods....Right now, I'm happy, so the truly dark poems aren't on today's list...One of my favorite poems is one my husband wrote - (Bruce Armistead)
Feathers In An Empty Nest
When you try something bold,
There's no guarantee of success.
It was courage and faith
That left feathers in an empty nest.
Les, Langston Hughes sticks out like a sore thumb on your list, but I like it!
For those who have never read the poem, here it is:
I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas
The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin - Rudyard Kipling
Autumn - Walter de la Mare
Lights Out - Edward Thomas
Divinia Commedia - H. W. Longfellow
East Coker - T. S. Eliot
The Land of Beyond - Robert W. Service
High Flight - John G. Magee
Hymn to Proserpine - Algernon Charles Swinburn
Home Thoughts from Abroad - Robert Browning
Written in a Northampton County Asylum - John Clare
The Ballad of Reading Gaol - Oscar Wilde
Death of the Ball Turret Gunner - Randall Jarrell
Dust - Rupert Brooke
pretty much anything by Wordsworth, Tennyson, Poe, Longfellow, and Brooke.
Plus a new one I read on this site - courtesy of Stephen
Death of a Son - Jon Silkin
The Gods of the Copybook Headings -Kipling (READ this one!)
High Flight -Mcgee
That'll do... for now.
Glad to have been of service, ma'am.
Here's my poem for today, then ...
Mural - Laurie Duesing
The Ontario Royal Museum has my body all over it,
the one I had twenty years ago,
which is no longer mine, but the permanent body
of the pioneer Canadian woman--adventurous,
stoic, built to last. Another woman's head is on my body
because I was not beautiful enough, though the artist
never said that to me. Between modeling sessions,
the other woman and I would pass in the hall,
never speaking, each half of the artist's perfect whole.
She had the face a culture would launch ships for and I had
the body that could outride a country's founding years.
In someone's imagination, I have explored and settled
frontier Canada. After nearly a quarter century,
things may be sufficiently civilized.
The artist, of course, was sleeping with both of us.
I used to wonder if he saw her when he was making love
if the face of the young, strong woman lying beneath him,
in all the sinewy leanness I was then, had the dreamy,
beauty of a Helen, a Beatrice. And when he made love
to her, was it my body he felt? Is there a man out there
I've slept with twice as much as I remember,
a man riding the perfect woman to eternity?
My favorite poem is one that most don't know. It's by my boyfriends mom and it helped me out a lot after my dad died. I love her writing and I love this poem so I'll post it for you guys to see.
Beginning is at the End
Please don't cry when my time comes
I'll be there waiting for you
You helped me learn what it takes
and what God wants me to do
I believed in His promise of eternal life
when my journey finally starts
I have the peace that you'll join me
not just inside of my heart
When the pain overwhelms
my memory empties your heart
lift your face up to the skies
My memory will warm
to fill up your heart
since my spirit never dies
When I left for a night you didn't miss
what you knew what would return
Think back to those times
and find comfort from what you have learned
We'll not be apart forever you know
so trust your feelings inside
Don't lose your focus
and keep God's spirit as your guide
I look forward to the day
God has promised to me
to share our souls again
I know that it's hard
as you struggle through life
but the beginning is at the end.
For Terry -- somehow, I see you liking this one.
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, delirious, 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 untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
by: Edgar Allan Poe
From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
Jay, I thought Emily was the anomaly on my list.
Paradise Lost - Milton
Though be warned, it's one to hate as much as love.
Bump, for NCW.
How about that physical poem called rush hour traffic?
Post Edited (04-19-04 08:47)
"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"