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Favorite Poems

Old 09-30-02, 05:25 PM
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Favorite Poems

I'll just list the well known ones and type or copy/paste one or two lesser known poems. Hopefully others will chime in with their favorites.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas
The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

Here's one that may not be as well known:

[Ah, God, the way your little finger moved]

by Stephen Crane

Ah, God, the way your little finger moved
As you thrust a bare arm backward
And made play with your hair
And a comb a silly gilt comb
Ah, God, that I should suffer
Because of the way a little finger moved.
Old 10-01-02, 07:44 AM
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MAKING PEACE

by Denise Levertov


A voice from the dark called out,
"The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war."

But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can't be imagined before it is made,
can't be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.

A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.

A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses...

A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light -- facets
of the forming crystal.
Old 10-01-02, 09:53 AM
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Excellent poem, Darren. Here's another I've liked a lot lately:

Leon Markowicz (1940- )

Call Out

three quick rings
in Detroit
Hi Ma it’s your son

What’s the matter?
Are you OK? only
my fifth call home
in eleven years

I’m leaving the seminary,
said out loud for the first
time impossible to breathe
back in those fatal words
rehearsed for three weeks
afraid to break her heart
six months
from the altar of God
her only son offering Mass
just for her to pass through
the gates of heaven repay her
for all those years
she lugged bushel upon
bushel of other people’s wash
into her home bought
a mangle burned her right
hand ironing faster
and faster
to keep me out of Ford’s
River Rouge foundry

Did you lose your vocation?
Lose? like I lost those wool
gloves she sent me for Christmas?
lose as if I actually owned it?
lose forever never to find again?

I’m just not cut
out for this life
ain’t that the truth
nothing but the truth
certainly not
the whole truth
silence about the vote
cast by all the priests brothers
seminarians
in perpetual vows
three spare no’s
lined up behind the first
black ball

© Leon Markowicz
Old 10-04-02, 09:59 AM
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My favorite poet is Charles Bukowski. This is my favorite poem by him.


Leaning On Wood


there are 4 or 5 guys at the
racetrack bar.

there is a mirror behind the
bar.

the reflections are not
kind.

of the 4 or 5 guys at the
racetrack bar.

we order different drinks.

there is a mirror behind the
bar.

the reflections are not
kind.

"it don't take brains to beat
the horses, it just takes money
and guts."

our reflections are not
kind.

the clouds are outside.
the sun is outside.
the horses are warming up outside.

we stand at the racetrack
bar.

"i've been playing the races for
40 years and i still can't beat
them."

"you can play the races for another
40 years and you still won't beat
them."

the bartender doesn't like
us.
the 5 minute warning buzzer
sounds.

we finish our drinks and
turn away to make our
bets.

our reflections look better
as we walk away:
you can't see our
faces.

4 or 5 guys from the racetrack
bar.

what s**t. nobody
wins. ask
Caesar.

Last edited by joefrog91; 10-07-02 at 08:26 AM.
Old 10-04-02, 10:30 AM
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The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yes knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Old 10-04-02, 01:16 PM
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I like EE Cummings rather well.

"The Bells" by Edgar Allen Poe.

And oh yes, how could I forget, anything (and I mean anything) by AMIRI BARAKA.
Old 10-04-02, 10:21 PM
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joefrog91,

I really liked Leaning on Wood. I'll have to look for more of Bukowski's poetry. The thought that struck me immediately upon finishing the poem was how similar those men at the racetrack bar are to each of us who spend half the day every day in front of a computer.

keyed,

Excellent choice; The Road Not Taken is a 20th century classic. I also fancy birches.

fallow,

I haven't read an incredible amount of e.e. cummings' poetry, but I do like what I've read thusfar. You also mention another of my favorite Poe poems (the ringing and the clinging of the bells bells bells bells bells).

Here's another fairly well known favorite:

Funeral Blues
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 in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the 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.
Old 10-07-02, 08:28 AM
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Hari,

Charles Bukowski has some wonderful books of prose and poetry. He also had a book that was made into a movie called "Barfly" with Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke.
Old 10-07-02, 03:04 PM
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I always enjoyed this one...

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner -- Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
Old 10-07-02, 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by Alien Redrum
I always enjoyed this one...

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner -- Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
Its weird that as soon as I read the title of the poem I thought of The World According to Garp. (Not to say that they have anything in common really...just a little weird and I thought I'd mention it.)
Old 10-08-02, 03:06 AM
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Ah, let's see...

Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Elliot
Acquainted With the Night and Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Endymion by JohN Keats
Ozymandias by Percy Shelley
She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon (Lord) Byron

And this one is a bit more obscure. It's Night by Lois Weakley McKay. (This was also printed in James O'Barr's The Crow graphic novel, the one the movie was based on.)

My kitten walks on velvet feet
And makes no sound at all.
And in the doorway nightly sits
To watch the darkness fall.

I think he loves the lady, Night
And feels akin to her.
Whose footsteps are as still as his,
Whose touch as soft as fur.
Old 04-28-03, 11:33 PM
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Not very much into poems, but after I saw Patch Adams, I fall in love with this instantly:

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

that this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

- Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda -
Old 05-01-03, 02:04 AM
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I'm not a huge poetry fan, but I like "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes a lot.

tasha
Old 05-01-03, 05:57 PM
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Anything written by Jewel
Old 05-01-03, 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by keyed
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yes knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Yes. Definitely.
Old 05-02-03, 02:33 PM
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Some of my favourite poets have been mentioned in this thread so far: e e cummings, Amiri Baraka, Pablo Neruda.

However my absolute favourites are some of the Sufi poets - mostly Rumi and Hafiz.

Like This (by Rumi)

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the night sky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

Like this.

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.

Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.

Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

Huuuuu.

How did Jacob’s sight return?

Huuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us

Like this.
Old 05-05-03, 06:08 PM
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AMERICA by Allen Ginsberg

THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK by T.S. Elliot
Old 05-06-03, 01:47 PM
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Emily Dickinson

712

Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.

We slowly drove—He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility—

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess—in the Ring—
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain—
We passed the Setting Sun—

Or rather—he passed us—
The Dews drew quivering & chill—
For only Gossamer, my Gown—
My Tippet—only Tulle—

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground—
The Roof was scarcely visible—
The Cornice—in the Ground—

Since then—'tis Centuries—and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity—
Old 05-07-03, 01:31 AM
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The Cinnamon Peeler, by Michael Ondaatje

-------------------------------------------------------
If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
--your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers . . .

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume

and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.
-------------------------------------------------------

Also, Ms. Dickinson was the sh**.
Old 05-07-03, 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by JustinS
The Cinnamon Peeler, by Michael Ondaatje

Wow, i've never heard of this poet before but i really liked this poem. Beautiful.
Old 05-07-03, 08:46 AM
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in the icy air

linger

fumes from the flames
drinking the dead leaves
mouldering in the undergrowth

flashing bright yellow lines--
serrated bite marks
of the invisible insect
turning the leaves

white as snow

quivvering in the slightest breeze
lifted and floating away

a sad celebration in thier rebirth
the somber distruction

smoke stings the eyes
and leaves all forgotton

birth, death, destruction, renewal
all we experience

is what we cannot control
Old 05-07-03, 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by xmiyux
Wow, i've never heard of this poet before but i really liked this poem. Beautiful.
While primarily a (Canadian) poet, he is most famous worldwide for having written the novel The English Patient.

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