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What's your favorite Poem
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What's your favorite Poem

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Mine is Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens. 

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock.. by T.S. Eliot; although pretty much anything by Ogden Nash is a sheer pleasure.

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Mine is one my dad told me years ago but it's awfy rude so I aint repeating it on here lol

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I have 2 favourites.

W H Auden- Stop all the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone:
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 on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe 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 for ever: 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.


Stevie Smith- Not Waving But Drowning
Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he's dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning.


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I have two as well:

Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.

Not sure why I like this poem so much since I really don't like snow.  It is pretty though as long as you don't have to drive in it.

I also like Whales Weep Not by D. H. Lawrence.

I learned of this poem from a Star Trek movie, and looked it up.  It became a personal favorite of mine because I am a huge whale lover!


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This was my father's favourite...

ABOU BEN ADHEM by Leigh Hunt

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:-

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
'What writest thou?' - The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered 'The names of those who love the Lord.'

'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said 'I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

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I had to study this one for last year of high school:

Le pont Mirabeau

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine.
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse
Vienne la nuite sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Rain -by Edward showcases all the emotion of rain
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OMG!  Normally, I would just lurk on this board and not comment, but so many of those poems are outstanding.  Several of them are favorites of mine.

Here is a poem that I often read.

Louis MacNeice - The Sunlight on the Garden

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying
And not expecting pardon,

Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Song, by Sidney Godolphin (1610-1643)
(cf Carew, “Song: Mediocrity In Love Rejected)

Or love me less, or love me more,
And play not with my liberty,
Either take all, or all restore
Bind me at least, or set me free.
Let me some nobler torturer find
Than of a doubtful wavering mind;
Take all my peace, but you betray
Mine honor too this cruel way.

‘Tis true that I have nursed before
That hope of which I now complain;
And having little, sought no more,
Fearing to meet with your disdain.
The sparks of favor you did give,
I gently blew to make them live;
And yet have gained by all this care
No rest in hope, nor in despair.

I see you wear that pitying smile
Which you have still vouchsafed my smart,
Content thus cheaply to beguile
And entertain an harmless heart;
But I no longer can give way
To hope, which doth so little pay;
And yet I dare no freedom owe
Whilst you are kind, though but in show.

Then give me more, or give me less,
Do not disdain a mutual sense,
Or your unpitying beauties dress
In their own free indifference;
But show not a severer eye
Sooner to give me liberty
For I shall love the very scorn
Which for my sake you do put on.

Poema 15 of Pablo Neruda.
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"Alone" by Edgar Alan Poe

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Love this thread - you've got some of my favourites already!

I also love 'Sea fever' by John Masefield. For best effect, it needs reciting on a windy day down at the beach!!

Sea fever


I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely   sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

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Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson (copied the text from wiki)

    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 played
 Their lessons scarcely; done
     We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain—
     We passed the Setting Sun—

     Or rather—He passed Us—
     The Dews drew quivering and 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—

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Mad Girl's Love Song -- Sylvia Plath


"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)


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Thanks for sharing Plath's villanelle.  I had not read it before.

When villanelles are done well, they are one of my favorite verse forms.

My favorite of that form is Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night."


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When You Are Old - W. B. Yeats

    When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face among a crowd of stars.


(Do you guys know about the poetry foundation? It's pretty awesome.)

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There are so many poems that I love and visit often.

Seamus Heaney: "The Follower" and this next one because it hits so close to home.

"Mid-Term Break"

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble,"
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room.
Snowdrops and candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

John Donne: "Holy Sonnet 10"

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: "The Lady of Shalott"

Christina Rossetti: "No, Thank you, John"

U.A. Fanthorpe: "Old Man, Old Man"


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"Mid-Term Break"

Yes, rather makes an impact!

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My two favorite poems when I let the insanity of the world put me in a negatively reflective mood:

The Snowman -- Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


Desert Places -- Robert Frost

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it - it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less -
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars - on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Annabel Lee It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
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