Favourite poem(s)?

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Favourite poem(s)?

Postby Darcey » Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:01 am UTC

...I'm always tempted to pluralize 'poem' as 'poa', but I know it isn't.

Anyway my two favourites of all time are The Highwayman and Kubla Khan, with maybe The Raven in a close second.

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Postby Jesse » Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:53 am UTC

The Definition of Love by Andrew Marvell.

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Postby Maseiken » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:28 am UTC

That's a toughie...
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Postby Bondolon » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:31 am UTC

I like the Rime of the Ancient mariner, because I like the thought of lashing a scurvy wench to the mizzenmast.

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Postby Sulla158 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:47 pm UTC

The Wasteland by TS Eliot is my favorite poem, but Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning comes in a close second just because of my reaction the first time I read through it, I would watch out if I were Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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Postby Kawa » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:47 pm UTC

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.
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Postby placeholder » Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:28 am UTC

Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn and On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
Shakespeare's Sonnets 18, 130.
Donne's The Canonization
Milton's When I Consider How My Light is Spent
Blake's The Tyger
Coleridge's Kubla Khan and Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Byron's She Walks In Beauty
Shelley's Ozymandias
Tennyson's Ulysses
Browning's My Last Duchess
Rossetti's Goblin Market
Yeats' Sailing to Byzantium
Frost's Fire and Ice, and Acquainted With The Night
Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Hollow Men
Auden's The Unknown Citizen
Kipling's Gunga Din and If

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Postby Twasbrillig » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:19 am UTC

3 guesses.

Also, my favourite soliloquy is the opening to Richard III, I have it memorized. (not only does he share my name, he shares my self-conciousness as well! ^^)

Also also, Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke
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Postby German Sausage » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:43 am UTC

the voyage of the arctic tern
its a book in verse, and its beautiful
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Postby Darcey » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:08 am UTC

placeholder wrote:Blake's The Tyger
Coleridge's Kubla Khan
Byron's She Walks In Beauty
Shelley's Ozymandias
Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Kipling's Gunga Din

I love all of these. And seeing that your tastes are similar to mine I'd probably like the rest and will have to look into them. =O

Actually anything by Byron is instant win. <3 He's my favourite poet. I can't believe I forgot to mention his "Darkness". Hella creepy apocalyptic poem.

...and sadly I still haven't read Rime of the Ancient Mariner. People have been telling me to for the longest time but I still haven't gotten around to it. *shame*

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Postby zomgmouse » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:02 am UTC

It so happens that we're studying poems in literature at the moment, so I've read quite a few now.

Donne's "To his Mistris going to Bed" (we studied "The Sunne Rising" but this was on the previous page, and so much better)
Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress"
Coleridge's "Kubla Khan"
Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott"
Rossetti's "Goblin Market" (this was LONG compared to most poems, then again, I haven't read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Paradise Lost OR Don Juan)
Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

seem to be my favourites.
There must be a whole heap more that I should also read, but meh.
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Postby Jesse » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:25 pm UTC

To His Coy Mistress is a fantastic poem.

The way he starts out with his thesis "If we had all the time in the world I would love you forever."

Follows it up with the antithesis "But we don't have all that time, in fact you'll be dead soon."

Then rounds it off with the synthesis "So, really, we should make the most of the time we have and jump into the nearest bed."

All couched in the metaphysical language of the Romantics.

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Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Sat Jul 28, 2007 5:04 pm UTC

zomgmouse wrote:Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott"

Have you heard Loreena McKennitt's musical interpretation of this? It's fantastic, if you're into stuff like her music. Hell, even if you aren't, it's still a beautiful song.

I agree that it's a lovely poem.

I'm particularly partial to Poe's "Alone". As well, I really enjoy Charles Bukowski's "who needs it?"; it never fails to at least make me smile and chuckle.

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Postby Bakemaster » Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:24 pm UTC

"High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
"Very Like A Whale" by Ogden Nash
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Postby BiancaBlack » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:11 pm UTC

My all time favorite is "Her Anxiety" by Yeats

I love how it challenges what I believe and what I want to believe.

Her Anxiety

Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing.
Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie.
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Postby Invisible_Insane » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:04 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:"Very Like A Whale" by Ogden Nash
A poem full of win.
Ogden Nash wrote:And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm

The Hollow Men - T.S. Elliot
since feeling is first - ee cummings
Jehovah buried, Satan dead - ee cummings
I am a huge ee cummings fan. The introduction to his book "New Poems" is probably one of the greatest things I've ever read. His introduction to the book 'is 5' is also amazing.
And all things John Donne.
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Postby Ended » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

I don't know if I could pick a single favourite poem, but I really like this one by Philip Larkin:

Essential Beauty

Also, on the subject of Larkin, this poem contains the most beautiful use of the verb 'to pile' I think I have ever read.

(although, 'mentionned'? typo, surely.)
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Postby Twasbrillig » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:53 pm UTC

Oh, and everybody loves Bill Bissett.

it usd 2 b

yu cud get sum toilet papr
nd a newspapr both 4
a dollr fiftee

now yu cant yu gotta
make a chois

-Bill Bissett
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Postby damienthebloody » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:44 am UTC

The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:
zomgmouse wrote:Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott"

Have you heard Loreena McKennitt's musical interpretation of this? It's fantastic, if you're into stuff like her music. Hell, even if you aren't, it's still a beautiful song.

It's actually my favourite song by her. Really, really special.

A favourite poem of mine:

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.


The name of the great and uplifting australian band Not drowning, Waving is a (obviously) a reference to this poem.
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Postby clockworkmonk » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:43 am UTC

lets see:
Dante's Divine Comedy
Milton's Paradise Lost
Virgil's Aeneid

I like epic poetry.
oh, and Jabberwocky.

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Postby pollywog » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:15 am UTC

Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy.
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Postby liza » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:20 am UTC

Jesster wrote:To His Coy Mistress is a fantastic poem.

The way he starts out with his thesis "If we had all the time in the world I would love you forever."

Follows it up with the antithesis "But we don't have all that time, in fact you'll be dead soon."

Then rounds it off with the synthesis "So, really, we should make the most of the time we have and jump into the nearest bed."

All couched in the metaphysical language of the Romantics.

I love that poem :D So great. One of the few Romantic poems I like - lyrical and romantics poems aren't for me. And I simply don't understand all the hoopla about Tyger or Kubla Khan. Not for me, I suppose.

I adore The Hollow Men by Eliot and Pretty How Town by cummings. Really, I adore everything cummings set his pen to.

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Postby narduar » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:55 am UTC

- "Maggie and Millie and Molly and May" by e. e. cummings
- "Fly" by W. S. Merwin
- "After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes" by Emily Dickinson
- anything by Charles Simic

There are others, but they're all by non-professional poets.

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Postby __Kit » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:23 am UTC

Hasn't this thread all ready been created?

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Postby Joseph » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:08 pm UTC

In addition to some of the previously mentioned...

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet #35
  • Etheridge Knight's "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminally Insane"
  • Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach"

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Postby Twasbrillig » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:06 am UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:Oh, and everybody loves Bill Bissett.

it usd 2 b

yu cud get sum toilet papr
nd a newspapr both 4
a dollr fiftee

now yu cant yu gotta
make a chois

-Bill Bissett

I can't believe there wasn't a response to this.

Come on, it's like the greatest piece of literature ever. :P
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Postby Nimz » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:57 am UTC

@ Twasbrillig ... on the other hand, nevermind.

Speaking of brilligs (16:00, if I recall correctly), Jabberwocky is one of my faves. There are several others in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass including The Walrus and the Carpenter.
slightly out of context wrote:"Let's hear it," said Humpty Dumpty. "I can explain all the poems that ever were invented -- and a good many that haven't been invented just yet."
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote:The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

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Postby Södre » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:01 am UTC

Without a doubt, Howl by Allen Ginsberg.

It's a little long, but it's singly the best work the Beat generation produced:

Code: Select all

Ginsberg etc.


                    For Carl Solomon


       I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
              madness, starving hysterical naked,
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
              looking for an angry fix,
       angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
              connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
              ery of night,
       who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
              up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
              cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
              contemplating jazz,
       who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
              saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
              ment roofs illuminated,
       who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
              hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
              among the scholars of war,
       who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
              publishing obscene odes on the windows of the
       who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn-
              ing their money in wastebaskets and listening
              to the Terror through the wall,
       who got busted in their pubic beards returning through
              Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
       who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in
              Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their
              torsos night after night
       with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al-
              cohol and cock and endless balls,
       incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and
              lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of
              Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo-
              tionless world of Time between,
       Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery
              dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops,
              storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon
              blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree
              vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook-
              lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
       who chained themselves to subways for the endless
              ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine
              until the noise of wheels and children brought
              them down shuddering mouth-wracked and
              battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
              in the drear light of Zoo,
       who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's
              floated out and sat through the stale beer after
              noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack
              of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
       who talked continuously seventy hours from park to
              pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook-
              lyn Bridge,
       lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping
              down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills
              off Empire State out of the moon,
       yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts
              and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
              and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
       whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days
              and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
              Synagogue cast on the pavement,
       who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a
              trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic
              City Hall,
       suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind-
              ings and migraines of China under junk-with-
              drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
       who wandered around and around at midnight in the
              railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
              leaving no broken hearts,
       who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
              through snow toward lonesome farms in grand-
              father night,
       who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep-
              athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in-
              stinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
       who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis-
              ionary indian angels who were visionary indian
       who thought they were only mad when Baltimore
              gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
       who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla-
              homa on the impulse of winter midnight street
              light smalltown rain,
       who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston
              seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the
              brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
              and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship
              to Africa,
       who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving
              behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees
              and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire
              place Chicago,
       who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the
              F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist
              eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incom-
              prehensible leaflets,
       who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting
              the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
       who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union
              Square weeping and undressing while the sirens
              of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
              down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also
       who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked
              and trembling before the machinery of other
       who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight
              in policecars for committing no crime but their
              own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
       who howled on their knees in the subway and were
              dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu-
       who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly
              motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
       who blew and were blown by those human seraphim,
              the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean
       who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose
              gardens and the grass of public parks and
              cemeteries scattering their semen freely to
              whomever come who may,
       who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up
              with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath
              when the blond & naked angel came to pierce
              them with a sword,
       who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate
              the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar
              the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
              and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
              sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
              threads of the craftsman's loom,
       who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of
              beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can-
              dle and fell off the bed, and continued along
              the floor and down the hall and ended fainting
              on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and
              come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
       who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling
              in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning
              but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun
              rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked
              in the lake,
       who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad
              stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these
              poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver-joy
              to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
              in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses'
              rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
              gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet-
              ticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station
              solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
       who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in
              dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and
              picked themselves up out of basements hung
              over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
              Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy-
              ment offices,
       who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on
              the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the
              East River to open to a room full of steamheat
              and opium,
       who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment
              cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime
              blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall
              be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
       who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested
              the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of
       who wept at the romance of the streets with their
              pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
       who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the
              bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in
              their lofts,
       who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned
              with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded
              by orange crates of theology,
       who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty
              incantations which in the yellow morning were
              stanzas of gibberish,
       who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
              & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable
       who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for
              an egg,
       who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot
              for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks
              fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
       who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess-
              fully, gave up and were forced to open antique
              stores where they thought they were growing
              old and cried,
       who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits
              on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse
              & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments
              of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the
              fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinis-
              ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the
              drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
       who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap-
              pened and walked away unknown and forgotten
              into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
              ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
       who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of
              the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas-
              saic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street,
              danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed
              phonograph records of nostalgic European
              1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
              threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans
              in their ears and the blast of colossal steam
       who barreled down the highways of the past journeying
              to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude
              watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
       who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out
              if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had
              a vision to find out Eternity,
       who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who
              came back to Denver & waited in vain, who
              watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
              Denver and finally went away to find out the
              Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
       who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying
              for each other's salvation and light and breasts,
              until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
       who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for
              impossible criminals with golden heads and the
              charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
              blues to Alcatraz,
       who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky
              Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys
              or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or
              Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
              daisychain or grave,
       who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
              notism & were left with their insanity & their
              hands & a hung jury,
       who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism
              and subsequently presented themselves on the
              granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads
              and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in-
              stantaneous lobotomy,
       and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin
              Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho-
              therapy occupational therapy pingpong &
       who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic
              pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
       returning years later truly bald except for a wig of
              blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad
              man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the
       Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid
              halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock-
              ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench
              dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night-
              mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the
       with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book
              flung out of the tenement window, and the last
              door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone
              slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur-
              nished room emptied down to the last piece of
              mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted
              on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that
              imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of
       ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and
              now you're really in the total animal soup of
       and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed
              with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use
              of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat-
              ing plane,
       who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space
              through images juxtaposed, and trapped the
              archangel of the soul between 2 visual images
              and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun
              and dash of consciousness together jumping
              with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna
       to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human
              prose and stand before you speechless and intel-
              ligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet con-
              fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm
              of thought in his naked and endless head,
       the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown,
              yet putting down here what might be left to say
              in time come after death,
       and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in
              the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the
              suffering of America's naked mind for love into
              an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone
              cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
       with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered
              out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand


       What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open
              their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi-
       Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob
              tainable dollars! Children screaming under the
              stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
              weeping in the parks!
       Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the
              loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy
              judger of men!
       Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the
              crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of
              sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
              Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun-
              ned governments!
       Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
              blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
              are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni-
              bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking
       Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
              Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
              streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac-
              tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
              smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
       Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
              whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
              whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
              whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
              Moloch whose name is the Mind!
       Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream
              Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in
              Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
       Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom
              I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch
              who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
              Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch!
              Light streaming out of the sky!
       Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!
              skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
              industries! spectral nations! invincible mad
              houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
       They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave-
              ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to
              Heaven which exists and is everywhere about
       Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!
              gone down the American river!
       Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole
              boatload of sensitive bullshit!
       Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
              gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! De-
              spairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides!
              Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on
              the rocks of Time!
       Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the
              wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell!
              They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
              carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the


       Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
              where you're madder than I am
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you must feel very strange
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you imitate the shade of my mother
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you laugh at this invisible humor
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we are great writers on the same dreadful
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where your condition has become serious and
              is reported on the radio
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
              the worms of the senses
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you drink the tea of the breasts of the
              spinsters of Utica
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the
              harpies of the Bronx
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you scream in a straightjacket that you're
              losing the game of the actual pingpong of the
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
              is innocent and immortal it should never die
              ungodly in an armed madhouse
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where fifty more shocks will never return your
              soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
              cross in the void
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you accuse your doctors of insanity and
              plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the
              fascist national Golgotha
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you will split the heavens of Long Island
              and resurrect your living human Jesus from the
              superhuman tomb
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
              rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we hug and kiss the United States under
              our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
              night and won't let us sleep
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we wake up electrified out of the coma
              by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the
              roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the
              hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col-
              lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry
              spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
              here O victory forget your underwear we're
       I'm with you in Rockland
              in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-
              journey on the highway across America in tears
              to the door of my cottage in the Western night



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Postby mjec » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:44 am UTC

I don't know the name of my favourite poem, but perhaps one of you know it and can help me find the original text/author/title? It's very short, not more than five lines... about an old woman who says goodnight to the newsreader every night. And he never even went to her funeral. It was very very sad. Probably British. I read it in an anthology many years ago.


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Postby Meowsma » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:42 am UTC

The Man in the Glass (actually a corruption of The Guy in the Glass, by Peter Wimbrow, but I like the version I learned better). As you might guess from the name, it's about self-reflection and self-respect. The last stanza is the most powerful.

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
For the fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a Plum
And think you're a wonderful guy
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
For he's with you clear up to the end
But you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass


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Postby kcr » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:23 pm UTC

I love love love love Philip Larkin. So much. I like that his poems range from sarcastic (A Study of Reading Habits or This Be the Verse, although there is more to it them then just the sarcastic bitterness) to absolutely (sometimes sadly) beautiful (AUBADE!.
He's my favorite messed up British writer and I wish I could give him a hug, but he would probably shove me away. Also..he's dead.

And even though it's cliche, I love Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson. An old teacher made us memorize the last few lines and randomly say them in class.

There's more but lots of love especially for these guys. [/url]

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Postby GMontag » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:57 pm UTC

Epitaph by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig a grave and let me die.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

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Postby Severus Severance » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:05 am UTC

I have a notebook which holds my favorite poetry, so I'll list off titles.

"A Vagabond Song" by Bliss Carman. The first two lines go through my head from time to time for no very good reason.

"The Raven" by Poe. Obviously.

"Acquainted With The Night" by Robert Frost.

"Into my Own" also by him.

All-time favorite? "The Garden of Proserpine" by Algernon Charles Swinburne.


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Postby convoybutterfly » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:15 pm UTC

I'm a sucker for Yeats..."Sailing to Byzantium" is rather good, but "Leda and the Swan" is my all-time favorite.
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

I also give my thumbs-up to "Jabberwocky" (I read it for a middle school poetry recitation assignment!) and "Howl." : ) Love them both.
Now with more sodium! Sweet Jesus!

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Postby Mix » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:04 am UTC

Jabberwocky is my favourite. But I also like pretty much every poem by Poe. I have a book of them that I've read over and over. "Dream within a dream" sticks with me. And Neil Gaiman wrote a bunch of good ones. And I like "The Second Coming" by Yeats

The ones that I had to memorize for school and have been stuck in my head for a decade since are Flanders Field, and the Road not Taken by Robert Frost.

Of course that's not including songs and books written in verse (Particularly the ones mentioned by clockworkmonk and a few more).
"This solvent-soaked rag opens my mind to startling insights."
-from here

Don't Click

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Postby McHell » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:47 pm UTC

Yeats is full of win. My absolute favorite is "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death". The only thing to keep you up when you hit rock bottom.

Allowing other languages, nobody can touch La Divina Commedia, although I get fed up with the sanctimonious later parts. All fantasy, irony and sarcasm, and nightmarish spectres are in the first part.

I'm very partial to Elsschot, but it's not high poetry. "The marriage" towers above all. Rough translation:
Willem Elsschot wrote: ...
but he didn't kill her, because between dream and act
here's laws, and practical considerations
and that melancholy which comes at night
that no-one can really explain

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Postby ThanatosDrive » Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:29 pm UTC

Stephen Crane - In The Desert

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter", he answered,
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

This is part of a much longer collection of poems, which are all...well. I enjoy them, but this part is my favorite, by far.

Oh, and all of the Calvin and Hobbes poems. ALL of them.

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Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:05 pm UTC

someone already posted Howl, but anything by alan ginsberg is gold to me.
i am a poet and an artist

i don't wanna worry about dyin'
i just wanna worry about sunshine girls

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Postby ocarina_21 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:15 pm UTC

Shadow March by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Postby Bloodanna » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:27 pm UTC

I don't really have a favourite poem, but there's many
I love. Such as 'The Owl and The Pussy Cat’, which holds a special place in my heart as the first verse was the first "poem" I ever memorized. I also love all of Louis Carroll’s poems and use to know 'You are Old. Father William' by heart and Blake is always a good read
To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
will always be one of my favourite verses.
Mostly though I like looking through books/Collections of poems there's almost always at least one brilliant poem in them and often by a person not found anywhere else.

Right now my two favourite poems (The ones I have recently memorized just so I can hear them at anytime) are fairly well known through and both by English Men:
1. 'Funeral Blues'/'Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone' by 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 the aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'he is dead'
Put crepe bows around the necks of the public doves
Let the 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 out the ocean and sweep up the wood
For nothing now can ever come to any good."

2. 'Invictus' by W. E. Henley

"Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my Unconquerable soul

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced, nor cry aloud
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the captain of my fate,
I am the master of my soul."

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