Dead Poets Society

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Post your favorite poem from a dead poet below and tell us why you dig it.
  2. dong20

    Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2006
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    The grey country

    A personal favourite:

    'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
    Knocking on the moonlit door;
    And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
    Of the forest's ferny floor:
    And a bird flew up out of the turret,
    Above the Traveller's head
    And he smote upon the door again a second time;
    'Is there anybody there?' he said.
    But no one descended to the Traveller;
    No head from the leaf-fringed sill
    Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
    Where he stood perplexed and still.
    But only a host of phantom listeners
    That dwelt in the lone house then
    Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
    To that voice from the world of men:
    Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
    That goes down to the empty hall,
    Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
    By the lonely Traveller's call.
    And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
    Their stillness answering his cry,
    While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
    'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
    For he suddenly smote on the door, even
    Louder, and lifted his head:-
    'Tell them I came, and no one answered,
    That I kept my word,' he said.
    Never the least stir made the listeners,
    Though every word he spake
    Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
    From the one man left awake:
    Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
    And the sound of iron on stone,
    And how the silence surged softly backward,
    When the plunging hoofs were gone.

    The Listeners, Walter De La Mare
    ([SIZE=-1]April 25, 1873 – June 22, 1956)[/SIZE].

    Best enjoyed with the lights out and in excitable company, I will say no more.:wink:
  3. Northland

    Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2007
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    My personal favorite is The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost (1874-1963) I just enjoy the feel of the entire story from start to finish. Well told, well written and with an end which I hadn't seen coming. Additionally Professor Bogen of English 101 used it as a writing assignment; wherein, we the students had to create a storyline as for what happened next, and how exactly Silas had died.

    The Death of the Hired Man
    Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
    Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
    She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
    To meet him in the doorway with the news
    And put him on his guard. 'Silas is back.'
    She pushed him outward with her through the door
    And shut it after her. "Be kind," she said.
    She took the market things from Warren's arms
    And set them on the porch, then drew him down
    To sit beside her on the wooden steps.

    'When was I ever anything but kind to him?
    But I'll not have the fellow back,' he said.
    'I told him so last haying, didn't I?
    "If he left then," I said, "that ended it."
    What good is he? Who else will harbor him
    At his age for the little he can do?
    What help he is there's no depending on.
    Off he goes always when I need him most.
    'He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,
    Enough at least to buy tobacco with,
    won't have to beg and be beholden."
    "All right," I say "I can't afford to pay
    Any fixed wages, though I wish I could."
    "Someone else can."
    "Then someone else will have to.
    I shouldn't mind his bettering himself
    If that was what it was. You can be certain,
    When he begins like that, there's someone at him
    Trying to coax him off with pocket-money, --
    In haying time, when any help is scarce.
    In winter he comes back to us. I'm done.'

    'Shh I not so loud: he'll hear you,' Mary said.

    'I want him to: he'll have to soon or late.'

    'He's worn out. He's asleep beside the stove.
    When I came up from Rowe's I found him here,
    Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,
    A miserable sight, and frightening, too-
    You needn't smile -- I didn't recognize him-
    I wasn't looking for him- and he's changed.
    Wait till you see.'

    'Where did you say he'd been?

    'He didn't say. I dragged him to the house,
    And gave him tea and tried to make him smoke.
    I tried to make him talk about his travels.
    Nothing would do: he just kept nodding off.'

    'What did he say? Did he say anything?'

    'But little.'

    'Anything? Mary, confess
    He said he'd come to ditch the meadow for me.'


    'But did he? I just want to know.'

    'Of course he did. What would you have him say?
    Surely you wouldn't grudge the poor old man
    Some humble way to save his self-respect.
    He added, if you really care to know,
    He meant to dear the upper pasture, too.
    That sounds like something you have heard before?
    Warren, I wish you could have heard the way
    He jumbled everything. I stopped to look
    Two or three times -- he made me feel so queer--
    To see if he was talking in his sleep.
    He ran on Harold Wilson -- you remember -
    The boy you had in haying four years since.
    He's finished school, and teaching in his college.
    Silas declares you'll have to get him back.
    He says they two will make a team for work:
    Between them they will lay this farm as smooth!
    The way he mixed that in with other things.
    He thinks young Wilson a likely lad, though daft
    On education -- you know how they fought
    All through July under the blazing sun,
    Silas up on the cart to build the load,
    Harold along beside to pitch it on.'

    'Yes, I took care to keep well out of earshot.'

    'Well, those days trouble Silas like a dream.
    You wouldn't think they would. How some things linger!
    Harold's young college boy's assurance piqued him.
    After so many years he still keeps finding
    Good arguments he sees he might have used.
    I sympathize. I know just how it feels
    To think of the right thing to say too late.
    Harold's associated in his mind with Latin.
    He asked me what I thought of Harold's saying
    He studied Latin like the violin
    Because he liked it -- that an argument!
    He said he couldn't make the boy believe
    He could find water with a hazel prong--
    Which showed how much good school had ever done
    him. He wanted to go over that. 'But most of all
    He thinks if he could have another chance
    To teach him how to build a load of hay --'

    'I know, that's Silas' one accomplishment.
    He bundles every forkful in its place,
    And tags and numbers it for future reference,
    So he can find and easily dislodge it
    In the unloading. Silas does that well.
    He takes it out in bunches like big birds' nests.
    You never see him standing on the hay
    He's trying to lift, straining to lift himself.'

    'He thinks if he could teach him that, he'd be
    Some good perhaps to someone in the world.
    He hates to see a boy the fool of books.
    Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,
    And nothing to look backward to with pride,
    And nothing to look forward to with hope,
    So now and never any different.'

    Part of a moon was filling down the west,
    Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.
    Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw
    And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand
    Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,
    Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,
    As if she played unheard the tenderness
    That wrought on him beside her in the night.
    'Warren,' she said, 'he has come home to die:
    You needn't be afraid he'll leave you this time.'

    'Home,' he mocked gently.

    'Yes, what else but home?
    It all depends on what you mean by home.
    Of course he's nothing to us, any more
    then was the hound that came a stranger to us
    Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.'

    'Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
    They have to take you in.'

    'I should have called it
    Something you somehow haven't to deserve.'

    Warren leaned out and took a step or two,
    Picked up a little stick, and brought it back
    And broke it in his hand and tossed it by.
    'Silas has better claim on' us, you think,
    Than on his brother? Thirteen little miles
    As the road winds would bring him to his door.
    Silas has walked that far no doubt to-day.
    Why didn't he go there? His brother's rich,
    A somebody- director in the bank.'

    'He never told us that.'

    'We know it though.'

    'I think his brother ought to help, of course.
    I'll see to that if there is need. He ought of right
    To take him in, and might be willing to--
    He may be better than appearances.
    But have some pity on Silas. Do you think
    If he'd had any pride in claiming kin
    Or anything he looked for from his brother,
    He'd keep so still about him all this time?'

    'I wonder what's between them.'

    'I can tell you.
    Silas is what he is -- we wouldn't mind him--
    But just the kind that kinsfolk can't abide.
    He never did a thing so very bad.
    He don't know why he isn't quite as good
    As anyone. He won't be made ashamed
    To please his brother, worthless though he is.'

    'I can't think Si ever hurt anyone.'

    'No, but he hurt my heart the way he lay
    And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back.
    He wouldn't let me put him on the lounge.
    You must go in and see what you can do.
    I made the bed up for him there to-night.
    You'll be surprised at him -- how much he's broken.
    His working days are done; I'm sure of it.'

    'I'd not be in a hurry to say that.'

    'I haven't been. Go, look, see for yourself.
    But, Warren, please remember how it is:
    He' come to help you ditch the meadow.
    He has a plan, You mustn't laugh at him.
    He may not speak of it, and then he may.
    I'll sit and see if that small sailing cloud
    Will hit or miss the moon.'

    It hit the moon.

    Then there were three there, making a dim row,
    The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.
    Warren returned-- too soon, it seemed to her,
    Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited.

    'Warren?' she questioned.

    'Dead,' was all he answered.
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/

    Dec 16, 2004
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    Warwick, NY, USA
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]THE FIRST ELEGY[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]
    Who, if I cried, would hear me, of the angelic
    orders? or even supposing that one should suddenly
    carry me to his heart – I should perish under the pressure
    of his stronger nature. For beauty is only a step
    removed from a burning terror we barely sustain,
    and we worship it for the graceful sublimity
    with which it disdains to consume us. Each angel burns.
    And so I hold back, and swallow down the yearning,
    the dark call heard in the cave of the heart. Alas,
    who then can serve our need? Not angels, not human
    beings; and even the sly beasts begin to perceive
    that we do not feel too much at home
    in our interpreted world. Perhaps we can call on
    a tree we noticed on a slope somewhere
    and passed in our daily walk – the streets
    of a city we knew, or a habit’s dumb fidelity,
    a habit that liked our space, and so it stayed.
    Oh, and the night, the night – when the wind full of emptiness
    feeds on our features – how should she not be there?
    – the long desired, mild disenchantress,
    sure disappointer of the labouring heart.
    Is she kinder to lovers perhaps? No, they hide from her,
    seeking security in an embrace.
    Haven’t you grasped it yet? Throw from your arms the nothing that
    lies between them
    into the space that we breathe as an atmosphere –
    to enable the birds, perhaps, in new zest of feeling
    to hurl their flight through the expanded air.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]
    Yes, the springtimes needed you. Stars now and then
    craved your attention. A wave rose
    in the remembered past; or as you came by the open window
    a violin was singing its soul out. All this
    was a given task. But were you capacious
    enough to receive it? Weren’t you always
    distracted with expectation, imagining
    these hints the heralds of a human love? (Where will you keep her,
    the loved one – you with your vast strange thoughts
    always coming and going, and taking up too much houseroom.)
    If you feel longing, though, sing of the lovers, the great ones;
    who has adequately immortalized
    their alchemy of the heart? The unrequited -
    you envied them almost, finding them so much more
    loving than the physically satisfied. Begin, then,
    the praise of what can never be praised enough.
    Consider: the hero maintains an identity,
    even his last stand merely a last occasion
    for self-assertion – a kind of ultimate birth.
    But lovers Nature takes to herself again
    as if she lacked resources
    to do it a second time: exhausted and fulfilled.
    Have you pondered enough on Gaspara Stampa – that any girl
    whose lover jilts her can take that life as a model
    and think: I could be like her?
    Shouldn’t at last these ancient familiar sorrows
    bear feeling fruit in our lives? Isn’t it time
    to free ourselves from the loved one, and bear the tension
    as the arrow endures the tensed string – to gather its forces
    and spring to a state of being that is more
    than it could ever be? It is death to stand still.
    Voices; voices, and echoes. Listen, my heart, as only
    saints listened of old, till the giant summons
    lifted them from the ground – but they went on kneeling,
    impossibly, and stopped the ears of the heart.
    That was their way. Don’t think, though, that you could endure
    God’s voice – far from it. But listen for the whisper,
    the wind that breathes out of silence continuing news.
    Those who died young: their fate a picture
    you saw on speaking tablets at Rome or Naples
    or in Santa Maria Formosa, where a few bare words
    spoke volumes.
    What do they want of me? That I should gently
    undo the apparent injustice of their deaths:
    that last hindrance to their spirits’ progress.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]
    Strange it is, to inhabit the earth no longer,
    to have no more use for habits hardly acquired –
    roses, and other things of singular promise,
    no longer to see them in terms of a human future;
    to be no more all that we nurtured and carried
    in endlessly anxious hands, and to leave by the roadside
    one’s own name even, like a child’s broken doll.
    Strange, not to have wishes any more.
    To see, where things were related, only a looseness
    fluttering in space. And its hard, being dead,
    and takes much difficult recapitulation
    to glimpse the tiniest hint of eternity.
    The living, though, are too ready to posit a border
    between two states of being: a human mistake.
    Angels, it’s said, are often uncertain
    whether they traverse the living or the dead. The eternal current
    pours through both worlds, bearing all ages with it,
    and overpowers their voices with their song.
    They finally need us no longer, the early departed:
    they grow beyond earthly things, as a child mildly
    outgrows the mother’s breast. But we, left standing
    before closed doors – we from whose living sorrow
    blessedest growth can spring – where should we be
    without them?

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]
    Think again of the story
    how at Linus’ departing a boldly tentative music
    pierced, for the first time, the soul’s blank grief;
    and in that startled vacuum from which an almost godlike
    boy exited for ever, the air fell
    into that intermittent pure vibration
    which for us mortals is rapture, and comfort, and help.

    -Rainer Maria Rilke (translated from the German by John Waterfield)
  5. psidom

    Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2006
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    When Man Enters Woman-Anne Sexton

    When man
    enters woman,
    like the surf biting the shore,
    again and again,
    and the woman opens her mouth in pleasure
    and her teeth gleam
    like the alphabet,
    Logos appears milking a star,
    and the man
    inside of woman
    ties a knot
    so that they will
    never again be separate
    and the woman
    climbs into a flower
    and swallows its stem
    and Logos appears
    and unleashed their rivers.

    This man,
    this woman
    with their double hunger,
    have tried to reach through
    the curtain of God
    and briefly they have,
    though God
    in His perversity
    unties the knot.

    i love that poem alot...but my favorite written work
    would be "the emerald tablet" by hermes,it gives me insight everytime.
  6. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2006
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    The Other Side of the Pillow
    Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
    ~Robert Browning
    My first thought was, he lied in every word,
    That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
    Askance to watch the working of his lie
    On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
    Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
    Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.

    What else should he be set for, with his staff?
    What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
    All travellers who might find him posted there,
    And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
    Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
    For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare,

    If at his council I should turn aside
    Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
    Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly
    I did turn as he pointed: neither pride
    Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,
    So much as gladness that some end might be.

    For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,
    What with my search drawn out through years, my hope
    Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
    With that obstreperous joy success would bring, -
    I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
    My heart made, finding failure in its scope.

    As when a sick man very near to death
    Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
    The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,
    And hears one bid the other go, draw breath
    Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith,
    'And the blow fallen no grieving can amend';)

    While some discuss if near the other graves
    Be room enough for this, and when a day
    Suits best for carrying the corpse away,
    With care about the banners, scarves and staves:
    And still the man hears all, and only craves
    He may not shame such tender love and stay.

    Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
    Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ
    So many times among 'The Band' - to wit,
    The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed
    Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best,
    And all the doubt was now - should I be fit?

    So, quiet as despair, I turned from him,
    That hateful cripple, out of his highway
    Into the path he pointed. All the day
    Had been a dreary one at best, and dim
    Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim
    Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.

    For mark! no sooner was I fairly found
    Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,
    Than, pausing to throw backward a last view
    O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round:
    Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.
    I might go on; naught else remained to do.

    So, on I went. I think I never saw
    Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve:
    For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove!
    But cockle, spurge, according to their law
    Might propagate their kind, with none to awe,
    You'd think: a burr had been a treasure-trove.

    No! penury, inertness and grimace,
    In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See
    Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly,
    'It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:
    'Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place,
    Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.'

    If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk
    Above its mates, the head was chopped; the bents
    Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents
    In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to balk
    All hope of greeness? 'tis a brute must walk
    Pushing their life out, with a brute's intents.

    As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair
    In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud
    Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood.
    One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare,
    Stood stupefied, however he came there:
    Thrust out past service from the devil's stud!

    Alive? he might be dead for aught I know,
    With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain,
    And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane;
    Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe;
    I never saw a brute I hated so;
    He must be wicked to deserve such pain.

    I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart.
    As a man calls for wine before he fights,
    I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights,
    Ere fitly I could hope to play my part.
    Think first, fight afterwards - this soldier's art:
    One taste of the old time sets all to rights.

    Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face
    Beneath its garniture of curly gold,
    Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold
    An arm in mine to fix me to the place,
    That way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace!
    Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold.

    Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands
    Frank as ten years ago when knighted first.
    What honest man should dare (he said) he durst.
    Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! what hangman-hands
    Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands
    Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst!

    Better this present than a past like that;
    Back therefore to my darkening path again!
    No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain.
    Will the night send a howlet or a bat?
    I asked: when something on the dismal flat
    Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train.

    A sudden little river crossed my path
    As unexpected as a serpent comes.
    No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms;
    This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath
    For the fiend's glowing hoof - to see the wrath
    Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.

    So petty yet so spiteful! All along,
    Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it;
    Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit
    Of mute despair, a suicidal throng:
    The river which had done them all the wrong,
    Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit.

    Which, while I forded, - good saints, how I feared
    To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek,
    Each step, or feel the spear I thrust to seek
    For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard!
    - It may have been a water-rat I speared,
    But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek.

    Glad was I when I reached the other bank.
    Now for a better country. Vain presage!
    Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage,
    Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank
    Soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank,
    Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage -

    The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque.
    What penned them there, with all the plain to choose?
    No foot-print leading to that horrid mews,
    None out of it. Mad brewage set to work
    Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk
    Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.

    And more than that - a furlong on - why, there!
    What bad use was that engine for, that wheel,
    Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel
    Men's bodies out like silk? with all the air
    Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware,
    Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.

    Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood,
    Next a marsh, it would seem, and now mere earth
    Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth,
    Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood
    Changes and off he goes!) within a rood -
    Bog, clay and rubble, sand and stark black dearth.

    Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,
    Now patches where some leanness of the soil's
    Broke into moss or substances like boils;
    Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him
    Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
    Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.
  7. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    And just as far as ever from the end!
    Naught in the distance but the evening, naught
    To point my footstep further! At the thought,
    A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom-friend,
    Sailed past, not beat his wide wing dragon-penned
    That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought.

    For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,
    'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place
    All round to mountains - with such name to grace
    Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view.
    How thus they had surprised me, - solve it, you!
    How to get from then was no clearer case.

    Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick
    Of mischief happened to me, God knows when -
    In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, the,
    Progress this way. When, in the very nick
    Of giving up, one time more, came a click
    As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den!

    Burningly it came on me all at once,
    This was the place! those two hills on the right,
    Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight;
    While to the left, a tall scalped mountain...Dunce,
    Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,
    After a life spent training for the sight!

    What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
    The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart,
    Built of brown stone, without a counterpart
    In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf
    Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
    He strikes on, only when the timbers start.

    Not see? because of night perhaps? - why, day
    Came back again for that! before it left,
    The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
    The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
    Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, -
    'Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!'

    Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
    Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
    Of all the lost adventurers my peers, -
    How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
    And such was fortunate, yet each of old
    Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.

    There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
    To view the last of me, a living frame
    For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
    I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
    Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
    And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'
  8. IntoxicatingToxin

    Gold Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Awe. :frown1: My favorite poem of all time is written by someone who is still alive... so I'll go with this:

    i love you much (most beautiful darling)
    e.e cummings

    i love you much(most beautiful darling)

    more than anyone on the earth and i
    like you better than everything in the sky

    -sunlight and singing welcome your coming

    although winter may be everywhere
    with such a silence and such a darkness
    noone can quite begin to guess

    (except my life)the true time of year-

    and if what calls itself a world should have
    the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
    sunlight as will leap higher than high
    through gayer than gayest someone's heart at your each

    nearness)everyone certainly would(my
    most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love
  9. IntoxicatingToxin

    Gold Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight - Dylan Thomas

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on that sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  10. SpeedoGuy

    Gold Member

    May 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    This poem turns my crank because it so easily describes the joys and freedom of flight.

    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 windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
    And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

    Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
    No 412 squadron, RCAF
    Killed 11 December 1941
  11. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Likes Received:
    by John Donne

    Now thou hast loved me one whole day,
    To-morrow when thou leavest, what wilt thou say ?
    Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow ?
    Or say that now
    We are not just those persons which we were ?
    Or that oaths made in reverential fear
    Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear ?
    Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
    So lovers' contracts, images of those,
    Bind but till sleep, death's image, them unloose ?
    Or, your own end to justify,
    For having purposed change and falsehood, you
    Can have no way but falsehood to be true ?
    Vain lunatic, against these 'scapes I could
    Dispute, and conquer, if I would ;
    Which I abstain to do,
    For by to-morrow I may think so too.

    Although it applies equally to men and women I think he's perfectly encapsulated the way people will alway find some reason to justify their infidelity. Donne is my favourite poet.

    On a side note where I used to work was a very grand Victorian building which had at one time been much larger, the 'garden' of the building was enclosed by the still standing walls of what had once been the east wing of the building, I was sitting there having a fag, pondering, and thought 'mmm this building is quite like Lucifera's palace', affected or what :) I was going to paste an excerpt from The Faerie Queen too, the part where Error dies but I couldn't find one and I can't be bothered going to get the book from the spare room :)
  12. ManlyBanisters

    Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    To his Coy Mistress
    by Andrew Marvell (1621 - 1678)

    Had we but world enough, and time,
    This coyness, lady, were no crime.
    We would sit down and think which way
    To walk, and pass our long love's day;
    Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
    Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood;
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.
    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow.
    An hundred years should go to praise
    Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
    Two hundred to adore each breast,
    But thirty thousand to the rest;
    An age at least to every part,
    And the last age should show your heart.
    For, lady, you deserve this state,
    Nor would I love at lower rate.

    But at my back I always hear
    Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
    And yonder all before us lie
    Deserts of vast eternity.
    Thy beauty shall no more be found,
    Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
    My echoing song; then worms shall try
    That long preserv'd virginity,
    And your quaint honour turn to dust,
    And into ashes all my lust.
    The grave's a fine and private place,
    But none I think do there embrace.

    Now therefore, while the youthful hue
    Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
    And while thy willing soul transpires
    At every pore with instant fires,
    Now let us sport us while we may;
    And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
    Rather at once our time devour,
    Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
    Let us roll all our strength, and all
    Our sweetness, up into one ball;
    And tear our pleasures with rough strife
    Thorough the iron gates of life.
    Thus, though we cannot make our sun
    Stand still, yet we will make him run.

    I love the message and the imagery of this poem - the message, in short, is that while the dance between two people before they become lovers is exquisite and to be revelled in our time on this earth is too short to let that play out too long - too soon we die and there is no passion in the grave.

    The image of Time's Winged Chariot has always captured my imagination but the bit I really love is the last stanza - the raw sexual energy is just delicious; 'am'rous birds of prey', 'tear our pleasures with rough strife', 'instant fires'. Very sexy.
  13. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

    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.

    I'm not sure why this one has always captivated me, but it's been my favorite for many years. I love the imagery (I have often gone for late-night walks in a snowfall, and listened to the muffled sound of the snowflakes piling up...) and the rhythm, meter, and rhyme seem to flow well.

    I have written some good, and some not-so-good poetry; but it's all very personal, and I've never had any of it published.
  14. conchis

    Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Likes Received:
    T&#250; vives siempre en tus actos.
    Con la punta de tus dedos
    pulsas el mundo, le arrancas
    auroras, triunfos, colores,
    alegr&#237;as: es tu m&#250;sica.
    La vida es lo que t&#250; tocas.

    De tus ojos, s&#243;lo de ellos,
    sale la luz que te gu&#237;a
    los pasos. Andas
    por lo que ves. Nada m&#225;s.

    Y si una duda te hace
    se&#241;as a diez mil kil&#243;metros,
    lo dejas todo, te arrojas
    sobre proas, sobre alas,
    est&#225;s ya all&#237;; con los besos,
    con los dientes la desgarras:
    ya no es duda.
    T&#250; nunca puedes dudar.

    Porque has vuelto los misterios
    del rev&#233;s. Y tus enigmas,
    lo que nunca entender&#225;s,
    son esas cosas tan claras:
    la arena donde te tiendes,
    la marcha de tu rel&#243;
    y el tierno cuerpo rosado
    que te encuentras en tu espejo
    cada d&#237;a al despertar,
    y es el tuyo. Los prodigios
    que est&#225;n descifrados ya.

    Y nunca te equivocaste,
    m&#225;s que una vez, una noche
    que te encaprich&#243; una sombra
    -la &#250;nica que te ha gustado-.
    Una sombra parec&#237;a.
    Y la quisiste abrazar.
    Y era yo.

    pedro salinas is one of my fav.
    I read this to a girl and she gave me fellatio.
    thanks, pedro!
  15. ManlyBanisters

    Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    This is beautiful. I've heard this several times, and seen excerpts (most famously Reagan's extremely appropriate borrowing, of course) - I never knew the poet's name. Thanks.

    I love nearly everything by Donne, this is one of his best though. (Spencer's Faerie was forced upon me in college and I have bad memories of it - I should probably give it a second chance)

    I love that one too, DC, thanks for posting it.

    My own attempts at poetry are just too awful - I come up with a nice phrase with a bit of cadence or good imagery to it - but when I try to write it into a poem of even minimal substance it falls on its arse. Just not a talent I have I guess, shame.
  16. Ethyl

    Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Philadelphia (PA, US)
    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

    Write, for example,'The night is shattered
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

    The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

    She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
    How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

    To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
    And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

    What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
    The night is shattered and she is not with me.

    This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
    My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
    My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

    The same night whitening the same trees.
    We, of that time, are no longer the same.

    I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
    My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

    Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
    Her void. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
    Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

    Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
    and these the last verses that I write for her.

    -Pablo Neruda
  17. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

    Oct 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    ~Dylan Thomas

    Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
    And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
    And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
    Trail with daisies and barley
    Down the rivers of the windfall light.

    And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
    About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
    In the sun that is young once only,
    Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means,
    And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
    Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
    And the sabbath rang slowly
    In the pebbles of the holy streams.

    All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
    Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
    And playing, lovely and watery
    And fire green as grass.
    And nightly under the simple stars
    As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
    All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
    Flying with the ricks, and the horses
    Flashing into the dark.

    And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
    With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
    Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
    The sky gathered again
    And the sun grew round that very day.
    So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
    In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
    Out of the whinnying green stable
    On to the fields of praise.

    And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
    Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
    In the sun born over and over,
    I ran my heedless ways,
    My wishes raced through the house high hay
    And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
    In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
    Before the children green and golden
    Follow him out of grace,

    Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
    Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
    In the moon that is always rising,
    Nor that riding to sleep
    I should hear him fly with the high fields
    And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    (I listened to Thomas's own reading of this poem many times as a child, and he made the poem sound even more lyrical than it is.)
  18. Mem

    Gold Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    Likes Received:
    There once was a man from Nantucket.....

    I forget if that was by keats or Yates.:wink:

    I am not into poetry, I do love the poetry which is lyrics of songs.

    Second Skin

    One cold damp evening
    The world stood still
    I watched as I held my breath
    A silhouette I thought I knew
    Came through
    And someone spoke to me
    Whispered in my ear
    This fantasy's for you
    Fantasies are "in" this year

    My whole life passed before my eyes
    I thought
    What they say is true
    I shed my skin and my disguise
    And cold, numb and naked
    I emerged from my cocoon
    And a half remembered tune
    Played softly in my head

    Then he turned smiling
    And said
    I realise a miracle is due
    I dedicate this melody to you
    But is this the stuff dreams are made of?
    If this is the stuff dreams are made of
    No wonder I feel like I'm floating on air
    It feels like I'm everywhere

    It's like you fail to make the connection
    You know how vital it is
    Or when something slips through your fingers
    You know how precious it is
    Well you reach the point where you know
    It's only your second skin

    Someone's banging on my door
  19. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Likes Received:
    You should give it another go, I found myself disliking a lot of what I read at school just because I had to read it and the teacher's often spoiled it for me by insisting the text book interpretation was the only way to go - unless we're the writer we can only guess at what he really had in mind. I adored The Faerie Queen when I came back to it when I was all grown up.
  20. NCbear

    Gold Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Greensboro (NC, US)
    Nature's first green is gold
    Her hardest hue to hold
    Her early leaf's a flower
    But only so an hour

    Then leaf subsides to leaf
    So Eden sank to grief
    So dawn goes down to day
    Nothing gold can stay

    This is Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay." I typed it from memory, so the punctuation's missing.

    To me, it speaks of the inevitable sorrow that is bound up in even the happiest moments of our lives.

    NCbear (who also might post some Yeats poetry and some Elizabethan poetry)
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