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Thread: Favorite poem?

  1. #571
    "Nature's Thankless Son" Fellow's Avatar
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    I have to go with Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno cynarae by Ernest Dowson When I first came across it online I couldn't get some verses out of my head. So I ended up copying it out by hand(for want of a printer) and committing it to memory. Now it's all there to stay (hopefully) . Morning By Rimbaud comes in at a close second. Of course these are likely to change. I will have to update when the time comes.

  2. #572
    I grow, I prosper Jeremiah Jazzz's Avatar
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    Shakespeare's Sonnet 116
    Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind'
    and this lovely poem by Heather McHugh:

    What He Thought
    For Fabbio Doplicher

    We were supposed to do a job in Italy
    and, full of our feeling for
    ourselves (our sense of being
    Poets from America) we went
    from Rome to Fano, met
    the Mayor, mulled a couple
    matters over. The Italian literati seemed
    bewildered by the language of America: they asked us
    what does "flat drink" mean? and the mysterious
    "cheap date" (no explanation lessened
    this one's mystery). Among Italian writers we

    could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
    the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,
    the brazen and the glib. And there was one
    administrator (The Conservative), in suit
    of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide
    with measured pace and uninflected tone
    narrated sights and histories
    the hired van hauled us past.
    Of all he was most politic--
    and least poetic-- so
    it seemed. Our last
    few days in Rome
    I found a book of poems this
    unprepossessing one had written: it was there
    in the pensione room (a room he'd recommended)
    where it must have been abandoned by
    the German visitor (was there a bus of them?) to whom
    he had inscribed and dated it a month before. I couldn't
    read Italian either, so I put the book
    back in the wardrobe's dark. We last Americans

    were due to leave
    tomorrow. For our parting evening then
    our host chose something in a family restaurant,
    and there we sat and chatted, sat and chewed, till,
    sensible it was our last big chance to be Poetic, make
    our mark, one of us asked

    "What's poetry?
    Is it the fruits and vegetables
    and marketplace at Campo dei Fiori

    or the statue there?" Because I was
    the glib one, I identified the answer
    instantly, I didn't have to think-- "The truth
    is both, it's both!" I blurted out. But that
    was easy. That was easiest
    to say. What followed taught me something
    about difficulty,

    for our underestimated host spoke out
    all of a sudden, with a rising passion, and he said:

    The statue represents
    Giordano Bruno, brought
    to be burned in the public square
    because of his offence against authority, which was to say
    the Church. His crime was his belief
    the universe does not revolve around
    the human being: God is no
    fixed point or central government
    but rather is poured in waves, through
    all things: all things
    move. "If God is not the soul itself,
    he is the soul OF THE SOUL of the world." Such was
    his heresy. The day they brought him forth to die

    they feared he might incite the crowd (the man
    was famous for his eloquence). And so his captors
    placed upon his face
    an iron mask
    in which he could not speak.

    That is how they burned him.
    That is how he died,
    without a word,
    in front of everyone. And poetry--

    (we'd all put down our forks by now, to listen to
    the man in gray; he went on softly)-- poetry

    is what he thought, but did not say.
    I AM THE BOY
    THAT CAN ENJOY
    INVISIBILITY.

  3. #573
    Registered User Jassica's Avatar
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    I love poetry of Sergei Yesenin... for example, such poem (translated fron Russian to English). But, of course, in Russian it sounds better


    No sorrow, no calls, no tears.
    Now it's gone, white foam from apple-tree.
    Faded, seized by tarnished golden flares,
    I will not feel youthful. Never me.

    Now you slow down, that's the matter,
    You, my heart, that suffered a cold jet.
    And the land of calico birch pattern
    Hardly tempts my feet to walk o'er that.

    Hobo spirit! You're so rare, rare,
    Waking flame in mouth. It's now tense.
    Oh, my freshness, that I couldn't spare.
    Brawling eyes and overflowing sence!

    I've become too greedy for desires.
    Life of mine? Perhaps, it was a dream?
    Me, alone, in early vernal hours
    Riding a pink horse, as it cood seem.

    We are mortal. In this world none's ever.
    Copper leaves are floating. Let them fly.
    Be you blest, you beautiful forever
    That has come to blossom and to die.
    Ваших душ безлиственную осень
    Мне нравится в потемках освещать...(с)

  4. #574
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Oh yes, Yesenin is great! Who am I, what am I?, Black men, Farewell my dear...
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  5. #575
    Registered User Jassica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazarov View Post
    Oh yes, Yesenin is great! Who am I, what am I?, Black men, Farewell my dear...
    And "Hooligan's confession", "To the Kachalov's dog", "A letter to mother", "The golden grove has ceased to speak...", "The unspoken, blue, tender..."
    Ваших душ безлиственную осень
    Мне нравится в потемках освещать...(с)

  6. #576
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    ''Don't shout at me...'' It's above my bed.

    I hate translate name of poems
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  7. #577
    Registered User Jassica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazarov View Post
    I hate translate name of poems
    I support you)
    Ваших душ безлиственную осень
    Мне нравится в потемках освещать...(с)

  8. #578
    Registered User iCherry's Avatar
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    I like everything by Pushkin 'cause his poems arouse so many feelings in me. Love and sadness, laughter and tears... "I loved you once" is amasing. "I loved you so sincerely and so mildly,/As, God permit, may love you someone else" though in Russian it sounds much better: "Я Вас любил так искренно, так нежно/Как дай Вам Бог любимой быть другим".

    Also Love Lermontov, especially "the death of the Poet" and "Prophet". Here are the last 12 lines of " The death of the Poet":
    And you, oh, vainglory decedents
    Of famous fathers, so mean and base,
    Who've trod with ushers' feet the remnants
    Of clans, offended by the fortune's plays!
    In greedy crowd standing by the throne,
    The foes of Freedom, Genius, and Repute --
    You're hid in shadow of a law-stone,
    For you, and truth and justice must be mute! ...

    But there is Court of God, you, evil manifold! --
    The terrible court: it waits;
    It's not reached by a ring of gold,
    It knows, in advance, all thoughts' and actions' weights.
    Then you, in vain, will try to bring your evil voice on:
    It will not help you to be right,
    And you will not wash of with all your bloody poison,
    The Poet's righteous blood!

    Unforgettable. I really was crying while reading them.
    И, обходя моря и земли,
    Глаголом жги сердца людей.(с)

  9. #579
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    I would like to share a favorite of mine by Donald Justice:

    FROM

    Incident in a Rose Garden


    Gardener
    Sir, I encountered Death
    Just now among our roses
    Thin as a scythe he stood there.

    I knew him by his pictures
    He had on his black coat
    Black gloves, and broad black hat.

    I think he would have spoken,
    Seeing his mouth stood open.
    Big it was, with white teeth.

    As soon as he beckoned, I ran.
    I ran untill I found you.
    Sir, I'm quitting my job.

    ....

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/arch....html?id=80787

    There is something about it I just seem to love. There have been some great pieces posted so far that I enjoy as well.

  10. #580
    chercheur ~Sophia~'s Avatar
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    I can't narrow down a favorite (there are so many fabulous works) but this one is up there. Also not sure if it's been posted before. Apologies if it has.

    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 the 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 the 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.

  11. #581
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
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    Wow... there are so many! It's impossible to choose a favourite!

    I'd like to post here though, as I see that nobody mentioned a work of Stephen Crane - and I think he deserves to be mentioned

    Amongst my favourites (and one of the few poems I know by heart):


    The ocean said to me once,
    "Look!
    Yonder on the shore
    Is a woman, weeping.
    I have watched her.
    Go you and tell her this -
    Her lover I have laid
    In cool green hall.
    There is wealth of golden sand
    And pillars, coral-red;
    Two white fish stand guard at his bier.

    "Tell her this
    And more -
    That the king of the seas
    Weeps too, old, helpless man.
    The bustling fates
    Heap his hands with corpses
    Until he stands like a child
    With a surplus of toys."

    In the end, everybody is helpless... even the ones who seem so mighty.
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  12. #582
    Registered User blithe_spirit's Avatar
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    I have lots of favourite poems but one that never fails to move me is by
    W. B.Yeats:


    He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven


    Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  13. #583
    Literary Superstar Pryderi Agni's Avatar
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    Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gently Into the Good Night", and Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping by Woods..." are the poems closest to my heart.

  14. #584
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    'Howl' by Allen Ginsberg changed my life, and the way I view poetry.

    "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving,
    hysterical naked,
    Dragging themselves through the negro street at dawn looking for
    an angry fix,
    Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to
    the starry dynamo in the machinery of night"

  15. #585

    Barrett Browning! :)

    Love Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 35. It was the first poem of hers that I appreciated

    If I leave all for thee wilt thou exchange
    And be all to me? Shall I never miss
    Home-talk and blessings and the common kiss
    That comes to each in turn nor count it strange,
    When I look up to drop on a new range
    Of walls and floors...another home than this?
    Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
    Filled with dead eyes to tender to know change?
    That's hardest if to conquer love has tried,
    To conquer grief tries more...as all things prove;
    For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
    Alas! I have grieved so I am hard to love.
    Yet love me--wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
    And fold within the wet wings of thy dove.
    Last edited by greenfroggsplat; 03-23-2009 at 05:29 AM.

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