poems we like

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cuppie
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poems we like

Post by cuppie » Wed Feb 06, 2008 23:51

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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.

Robert Frost

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Post by squirrelboutique » Wed Feb 06, 2008 23:54

I like that one lots and lots.

Did you ever study it in school, Cuppo?

I remember having to read it four or five times in college, and there were always at least four idiots per class insisting it was about Santa Claus.

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Post by cuppie » Thu Feb 07, 2008 00:03

santa what?? i think i read it for an american poetry class. there is always too much robert frost to get around to discussing it all in class though, which blows. but santa claus??

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Post by RITH » Wed Feb 27, 2008 15:42

I think that's my favourite Robert Frost poem. Either that or 'Into my own'.


Nothing To Be Said

For nations vague as weed,
For nomads among stones,
Small-statured cross-faced tribes
And cobble-close families
In mill-towns on dark mornings
Life is slow dying.

So are their separate ways
Of building, benediction,
Measuring love and money
Ways of slowly dying.
The day spent hunting pig
Or holding a garden-party,

Hours giving evidence
Or birth, advance
On death equally slowly.
And saying so to some
Means nothing; others it leaves
Nothing to be said.

Philip Larkin

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Re: poems we like

Post by wan_pint » Thu Apr 03, 2008 13:25

'The Hill' by Rupert Brooke. Hardly fashionable, but meh.

Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
You said, "Through glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old. . . ." "And when we die
All's over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers, other lips," said I,
---"Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!"

"We are Earth's best, that learnt her lesson here.
Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!" we said;
"We shall go down with unreluctant tread
Rose-crowned into the darkness!" . . . Proud we were,
And laughed, that had such brave true things to say.
---And then you suddenly cried, and turned away.

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Re: poems we like

Post by cuppie » Thu Apr 03, 2008 19:08

If i had to pick my favorite William Carlos Williams poem (which I would never do) I would probably pick this one. It's sometimes called "Spring and All" and sometimes just referred to by the first line.

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

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Re: poems we like

Post by this clump of trees » Sun Apr 13, 2008 14:05

'The Two Human Species'

We were molded out of garbage and turds,
you know we were, before we made our entry
into this world. All those other words,
decorum and merit, they're something for the gentry.

Vanity, tin medals, titles, these are good
for His Excellency, His Majesty, His Highness;
for us, the drawers of water and hewers of wood,
a big stick, a big load, a harness.

Christ made great houses and palaces
for prince and earl, marquis, queen and duchess.
He made the earth for us, the dog-faces.

And when He died, broken on the cross,
He spilled—in His mercy, out of such anguish—
His saving blood for them. Leftovers for us.

Giuseppe Belli, 1834

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Re: poems we like

Post by Mr Bear » Thu Apr 17, 2008 09:48

I was listening to a song earlier that reminded me of this, and how much I like it.

'He Gives His Beloved Certain Rhymes' - W.B. Yeats.

Fasten your hair with a golden pin,
And bind up every wandering tress;
I bade my heart build these poor rhymes:
It worked at them, day out, day in,
Building a sorrowful loveliness
Out of the battles of old times.

You need but lift a pearl-pale hand,
And bind up your long hair and sigh;
And all men's hearts must burn and beat;
And candle-like foam on the dim sand,
And stars climbing the dew-dropping sky,
Live but to light your passing feet.

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Re: poems we like

Post by gloom button » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:03

That's really lovely. What song was it made you think of it? You can't say "lovely" about Yeats can you?

Speaking of Irish poets, I was talking to Rachel the other day about Luke Kelly and why I liked him so much, and listening to him sing On Raglan Road got me thinking about Patrick Kavanagh, who I think is just incredible. I had forgotten all about this one until I was trying to find something of his to send:

The Hospital

A year ago I fell in love with the functional ward
Of a chest hospital: square cubicles in a row
Plain concrete, wash basins - an art lover's woe,
Not counting how the fellow in the next bed snored.
But nothing whatever is by love debarred,
The common and banal her heat can know.
The corridor led to a stairway and below
Was the inexhaustible adventure of a gravelled yard.

This is what love does to things: the Rialto Bridge,
The main gate that was bent by a heavy lorry,
The seat at the back of a shed that was a suntrap.
Naming these things is the love-act and its pledge;
For we must record love's mystery without claptrap,
Snatch out of time the passionate transitory.
the trouble with personalities, they're too wrapped up in style
it's too personal; they're in love with their own guile

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Re: poems we like

Post by Mr Bear » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:06

gloom button wrote:That's really lovely. What song was it made you think of it?
Um, it was a version of it set to music by a band called North Sea Radio Orchestra, so rather than making me think of it it was actually more hearing the lyrics and making me go back to read it without being distracted by the (admittedly lovely) music.

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Re: poems we like

Post by gloom button » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:07

Oh, interesting. I've never heard of them, but it's a deadly name!
the trouble with personalities, they're too wrapped up in style
it's too personal; they're in love with their own guile

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Re: poems we like

Post by cuppie » Thu Apr 17, 2008 18:36

gloom button wrote:That's really lovely. What song was it made you think of it? You can't say "lovely" about Yeats can you?
NO? I think you very much can! Not about the political or angry poems but about the ones that are nice. Erm. "Nice" shouldn't be included though, sorry. But I wonder if there are enough songs of Yeats poems set to music to compile them all together. That would be totally boss. Jolie Holland set a totally lovely Yeats poem to music. One of my favorites.

THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS

by: W.B. Yeats

WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

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Re: poems we like

Post by Lolita » Wed Apr 23, 2008 00:37

edit. Disregard my confusion earlier, but here is a lovely Keats poem for your enjoyment.

TO AUTUMN.

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Last edited by Lolita on Wed Apr 23, 2008 03:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: poems we like

Post by cuppie » Wed Apr 23, 2008 00:40

Lolita wrote:I'm a big fan of Yeats myself. I think you can call his stuff lovely. Just read his poem, To Autumn. Just a different kind of lovely than, say, Shelley.
Here is an example of a positively lovely poem of Keats. Kind of out of season, but it made me feel absolutely hopeful and in awe of the fall when I read it around october.
Something is wrong here. It sounds like you're talking about Yeats and Keats as if they are the same person.

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Re: poems we like

Post by Lolita » Wed Apr 23, 2008 03:29

Whoops. I was. I was thinking Keats the entire time. *is embarrassed*

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Re: poems we like

Post by cuppie » Wed Apr 23, 2008 04:06

that's okay.. i like keats too. here's a cute little number called ode on a grecian urn.

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thou express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunt 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, unwearied,
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 this 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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Re: poems we like

Post by humblebee » Wed Apr 23, 2008 08:09

Keats is ace!


Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.


*sigh*

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Re: poems we like

Post by wrapyrtroubles » Sat May 03, 2008 20:23

One of the few poems that stays as clear in my mind as the first moments in which I read it...

Chemin De Fer

Alone on the railroad track
I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
or maybe too far apart.

The scenery was impoverished:
scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
I saw the little pond

where the dirty old hermit lives,
lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
lucidly year after year.

The hermit shot off his shot-gun
and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
The pet hen went chook-chook.

“Love should be put into action!”
screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
tried and tried to confirm it.

-Elizabeth Bishop

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Re: poems we like

Post by JohaN » Sun May 04, 2008 11:36

i've never ourgrown cummings, and don't think i ever will - he's just so good!
and this poem has got me through more bad times (i think) than anything else:
You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.


e.e. cummings
has anyone read his "the enormous room" yet, by the way? a fantastic book!
1 wasn't for the money
2 wasn't for the show
3 is GO! GO! GO!

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Re: poems we like

Post by crystalball » Sun May 04, 2008 20:33

I love this poem so much, Johan. Thanks for posting it. If I could write music I'd turn a lot of them into popsongs - such a lovely disregard for form but not in a cool, experimental way either. Just purity of feeling and and obsession with everyday images. And optimism.

Haven't read that memoir yet. Thanks for the reminder!

This amazing poem by Thomas Hardy visited me in my dream today:

A Commonplace Day

The day is turning ghost,
And scuttles from the kalendar in fits and furtively,
To join the anonymous host
Of those that throng oblivion; ceding his place, maybe,
To one of like degree.

I part the fire-gnawed logs,
Rake forth the embers, spoil the busy flames, and lay the ends
Upon the shining dogs;
Further and further from the nooks the twilight's stride extends,
And beamless black impends.

Nothing of tiniest worth
Have I wrought, pondered, planned; no one thing asking blame or
praise,
Since the pale corpse-like birth
Of this diurnal unit, bearing blanks in all its rays -
Dullest of dull-hued Days!

Wanly upon the panes
The rain slides as have slid since morn my colourless thoughts; and
yet
Here, while Day's presence wanes,
And over him the sepulchre-lid is slowly lowered and set,
He wakens my regret.

Regret--though nothing dear
That I wot of, was toward in the wide world at his prime,
Or bloomed elsewhere than here,
To die with his decease, and leave a memory sweet, sublime,
Or mark him out in Time...

-- Yet, maybe, in some soul,
In some spot undiscerned on sea or land, some impulse rose,
Or some intent upstole
Of that enkindling ardency from whose maturer glows
The world's amendment flows;

But which, benumbed at birth
By momentary chance or wile, has missed its hope to be
Embodied on the earth;
And undervoicings of this loss to man's futurity
May wake regret in me.

Thomas Hardy

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