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The Forum's Favourite Poems

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Withnail, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    The Hand that Signed the Paper

    The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
    Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
    Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
    These five kings did a king to death.

    The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
    The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
    A goose's quill put an end to murder
    That put an end to talk.

    The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
    And famine grew, and locusts came;
    Great is the hand that holds dominion over
    Man by a scribbled name.

    The five kings count the dead but do not soften
    The crusted wounds nor pat the brow;
    A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
    Hands have no tears to flow.

    p.1935
    DYLAN THOMAS
     
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  3. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Julius Ceasar,
    Silly old geezer,
    Squashed his wife,
    With a lemon squeezer.

    Anon.
     
  4. Alan B'Stard

    Alan B'Stard Well-Known Forumite

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    Bastard deserved to get stabbed then.
     
  5. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    The Horses
    By Edwin Muir

    Barely a twelvemonth after
    The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
    Late in the evening the strange horses came.
    By then we had made our covenant with silence,
    But in the first few days it was so still
    We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
    On the second day
    The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
    On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
    Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
    A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
    Nothing. The radios dumb;
    And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
    And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
    All over the world. But now if they should speak,
    If on a sudden they should speak again,
    If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
    We would not listen, we would not let it bring
    That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
    At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
    Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
    Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
    And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
    The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
    They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
    We leave them where they are and let them rust:
    “They’ll molder away and be like other loam.”
    We make our oxen drag our rusty ploughs,
    Long laid aside. We have gone back
    Far past our fathers’ land.

    And then, that evening
    Late in the summer the strange horses came.

    We heard a distant tapping on the road,
    A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
    And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
    We saw the heads
    Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
    We had sold our horses in our fathers’ time
    To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
    As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
    Or illustrations in a book of knights.

    We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
    Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
    By an old command to find our whereabouts
    And that long-lost archaic companionship.
    In the first moment we had never a thought
    That they were creatures to be owned and used.

    Among them were some half a dozen colts
    Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
    Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
    Since then they have pulled our ploughs and borne our loads,
    But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
    Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.
     
  6. Trumpet

    Trumpet Well-Known Forumite

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    I've got two legs
    from my bum to the ground
    and when I move them they walk around.
    When I lift them
    they climb the stairs
    and when I shave them they aint got no hairs.

    Spike Milligan (I believe)
     
  7. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Monty Python - sung by Terry Gilliam ( I believe ).
     
  8. Trumpet

    Trumpet Well-Known Forumite

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    I bow to your superior knowledge. Was sure I'd read it in one of Spike Milligan's books.
     
  9. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    I'm not disputing your assertion, merely adding that Terry Gilliam sang it on one of their LPs. Further investigation required?
     
  10. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    40- Love

    middle aged

    couple playing

    ten nis

    when the

    game ends

    and they

    go home

    the net

    will still

    be be

    tween them

    p.1971
    ROGER McGOUGH
     
  11. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x5x8t0p1HM
     
  12. Mrs M

    Mrs M Well-Known Forumite

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    If

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
     
  13. Mrs M

    Mrs M Well-Known Forumite

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    The Monkeys Fate

    The irate monkey sat and groaned in his cage,
    The devil coming towards him.
    What was he to do?
    The fiery pitchfork was to be stuck inside him,
    A fear gradually grew upon him,
    The bewildered creature was in agonizing pain,
    A pain that is so unbelievable that you could not even imagine it
    But it has happened.

    The flagitious sorcerer cursed a spell with his cane,
    The monkeys Lilliputian eyes grew wide with fear,
    What was his fate?
    Weren’t monkeys supposed to be free from cages?
    Why me, his eyes seemed to say, why was I chosen?
    No one knows the exact answer,
    No one knows why animals are chosen,
    But it has happened.

    The flames of hell grew wider in his mind,
    The continuous voices of other animals whose fate were the same as his.
    Now the diminutive demon from the underground gained in,
    Squirting the mysterious liquid from his syringe,
    The cage door rattled and so did the monkeys leg,
    A menacing groan started coming from his stomach
    The evil cackle echoed around the room.
    But it has happened

    The merciless god of the underground struck the animal with his trident,
    He felt lonely, sick, dead.
    He couldn’t believe what his once joyful life had come to,
    He once had a family, and now he has nothing but a cage and cancer.
    The wizard jabbed him with his wand and all of a sudden, the stars came above his head
    The voices stopped and the silence continued,
    The clouds became clear and a pair of towering metal, pearl gates came into view.
    There is nothing you can do,
    But it has happened!


    Lewis, aged 11
     
  14. Mrs M

    Mrs M Well-Known Forumite

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    What is happening to us?

    Why are people being knifed?
    It’s not fair to take their lives!
    People get knifed all the time,
    Can we stop this brutal crime?
    Killers run the streets amuck,
    If you survived it would be pure luck!
    Why are people being knifed?
    It’s not fair to take their lives

    Why is pollution in the air?
    People really just don’t care!
    Why do people throw litter in lakes?
    Why not use biodegradable makes!
    If we don’t stop our planet will end,
    I think it’s time to turn the bend!
    Why is pollution in the air?
    People really just don’t care!

    Why are towns beginning to flood?
    Concrete buildings are turning to mud!
    The heat is rising as we speak,
    Water is rising, melting ice peaks!
    Towns are flooding everywhere?
    For our world, this isn’t fair!
    Why are towns beginning to flood?
    Concrete buildings turning to mud!


    Lewis, aged 11
     
  15. ToriRat

    ToriRat Is that a Moomin?

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    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! and through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Learned this off by heart at age 6 when I read the Alice books for the first time, My mum says there was nothing more embarassing than dragging a small child declaiming nonsense poetry through C&A on a saturday morning :P
     
  16. shoes

    shoes Well-Known Forumite

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    I have this on the wall next to my desk at work - probably my favourite poem of all time.
     
  17. Mrs M

    Mrs M Well-Known Forumite

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    Me too, I have four boys, all of whom are going to get a framed copy of this.
     
  18. cookie_monster

    cookie_monster Well-Known Forumite

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    either this

    or

    x
     
    arthur likes this.
  19. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    Then you must be Harold Wilson..

    Kenneth Horne, 1966.

    @ cookie - It was Red Hat Day two days ago, I meant to mention it at the time, in On This Day, but forgot - I presume you're still only eligible for a pink hat, of course!..
     
  20. Trumpet

    Trumpet Well-Known Forumite

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    Did a bit of Googling earlier and couldn't find it in a list of Spike's poems. So it may well be a bit of Python.
    It's me age.
     
  21. Mrs M

    Mrs M Well-Known Forumite

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    It is in a Spike Milligan book of poems.
     

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