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The Forum's Favourite Poems

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

  1. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    There are
    9 stages to coping
    With Brexit
    Stage 10 is mass
    Murder
     
  2. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    A small rhyme from a powerhouse roller coaster SF book written by Alfred Bester back in the 50's (and still reads fresh today.)
    For some reason it's always stuck with me:

    Gully Foyle is my name
    And Terra is my nation
    Deep space is my dwelling place
    The stars my destination.
     
  3. Trumpet

    Trumpet Well-Known Forumite

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    Obviously a cider drinker.
     
  4. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    e e cummings , please..

    I wrote my dissertation on the works of cummings - it is a steaming pile of shite, i'll warrant you. My dissertation that is, i'd be more than happy to defend the honour of e e but i'm more than sure that he'd prefer to be properly name-checked.
    This i absolutely love - though i'd see it more in a line from Walt Whitman through Wallace Stevens to William Carlos Williams personally.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  5. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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  6. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    I wrote the Hitler Diaries
    And sold them to the Times
    Everyone knows where the ire is
    Hidden between the lemons and limes
     
    1JKz likes this.
  7. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    But then
    I haven't rang,
    And asked
    For Mick.
     
  8. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    [​IMG]

    I

    Never and never, my girl riding far and near
    In the land of the hearthstone tales, and spelled asleep,
    Fear or believe that the wolf in a sheepwhite hood
    Loping and bleating roughly and blithely shall leap,
    My dear, my dear,
    Out of a lair in the flocked leaves in the dew dipped year
    To eat your heart in the house in the rosy wood.

    Sleep, good, for ever, slow and deep, spelled rare and wise,
    My girl ranging the night in the rose and shire
    Of the hobnail tales: no gooseherd or swine will turn
    Into a homestall king or hamlet of fire
    And prince of ice
    To court the honeyed heart from your side before sunrise
    In a spinney of ringed boys and ganders, spike and burn,

    Nor the innocent lie in the rooting dingle wooed
    And staved, and riven among plumes my rider weep.
    From the broomed witch's spume you are shielded by fern
    And flower of country sleep and the greenwood keep.
    Lie fast and soothed,
    Safe be and smooth from the bellows of the rushy brood.
    Never, my girl, until tolled to sleep by the stern

    Bell believe or fear that the rustic shade or spell
    Shall harrow and snow the blood while you ride wide and near,
    For who unmanningly haunts the mountain ravened eaves
    Or skulks in the dell moon but moonshine echoing clear
    From the starred well?
    A hill touches an angel. Out of a saint's cell
    The nightbird lauds through nunneries and domes of leaves

    Her robin breasted tree, three Marys in the rays.
    Sanctum sanctorum the animal eye of the wood
    In the rain telling its beads, and the gravest ghost
    The owl at its knelling. Fox and holt kneel before blood.
    Now the tales praise
    The star rise at pasture and nightlong the fables graze
    On the lord's-table of the bowing grass. Fear most

    For ever of all not the wolf in his baaing hood
    Nor the tusked prince, in the ruttish farm, at the rind
    And mire of love, but the Thief as meek as the dew.
    The country is holy: O bide in that country kind,
    Know the green good,
    Under the prayer wheeling moon in the rosy wood
    Be shielded by chant and flower and gay may you

    Lie in grace. Sleep spelled at rest in the lowly house
    In the squirrel nimble grove, under linen and thatch
    And star: held and blessed, though you scour the high four
    Winds, from the dousing shade and the roarer at the latch,
    Cool in your vows.
    Yet out of the beaked, web dark and the pouncing boughs
    Be you sure the Thief will seek a way sly and sure

    And sly as snow and meek as dew blown to the thorn,
    This night and each vast night until the stern bell talks
    In the tower and tolls to sleep over the stalls
    Of the hearthstone tales my own, lost love; and the soul walks
    The waters shorn.
    This night and each night since the falling star you were born,
    Ever and ever he finds a way, as the snow falls,

    As the rain falls, hail on the fleece, as the vale mist rides
    Through the haygold stalls, as the dew falls on the wind-
    Milled dust of the apple tree and the pounded islands
    Of the morning leaves, as the star falls, as the winged
    Apple seed glides,
    And falls, and flowers in the yawning wound at our sides,
    As the world falls, silent as the cyclone of silence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  9. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    II

    Night and the reindeer on the clouds above the haycocks
    And the wings of the great roc ribboned for the fair!
    The leaping saga of prayer! And high, there, on the hare-
    Heeled winds the rooks
    Cawing from their black bethels soaring, the holy books
    Of birds! Among the cocks like fire the red fox

    Burning! Night and the vein of birds in the winged, sloe wrist
    Of the wood! Pastoral beat of blood through the laced leaves!
    The stream from the priest black wristed spinney and sleeves
    Of thistling frost
    Of the nightingale's din and tale! The upgiven ghost
    Of the dingle torn to singing and the surpliced

    Hill of cypresses! The din and tale in the skimmed
    Yard of the buttermilk rain on the pail! The sermon
    Of blood! The bird loud vein! The saga from mermen
    To seraphim
    Leaping! The gospel rooks! All tell, this night, of him
    Who comes as red as the fox and sly as the heeled wind.

    Illumination of music! the lulled black-backed
    Gull, on the wave with sand in its eyes! And the foal moves
    Through the shaken greensward lake, silent, on moonshod hooves,
    In the winds' wakes.
    Music of elements, that a miracle makes!
    Earth, air, water, fire, singing into the white act,

    The haygold haired, my love asleep, and the rift blue
    Eyed, in the haloed house, in her rareness and hilly
    High riding, held and blessed and true, and so stilly
    Lying the sky
    Might cross its planets, the bell weep, night gather her eyes,
    The Thief fall on the dead like the willy nilly dew,

    Only for the turning of the earth in her holy
    Heart! Slyly, slowly, hearing the wound in her side go
    Round the sun, he comes to my love like the designed snow,
    And truly he
    Flows to the strand of flowers like the dew's ruly sea,
    And surely he sails like the ship shape clouds. Oh he

    Comes designed to my love to steal not her tide raking
    Wound, nor her riding high, nor her eyes, nor kindled hair,
    But her faith that each vast night and the saga of prayer
    He comes to take
    Her faith that this last night for his unsacred sake
    He comes to leave her in the lawless sun awaking

    Naked and forsaken to grieve he will not come.
    Ever and ever by all your vows believe and fear
    My dear this night he comes and night without end my dear
    Since you were born:
    And you shall wake, from country sleep, this dawn and each first dawn,
    Your faith as deathless as the outcry of the ruled sun.

    DYLAN THOMAS

    p. 1952
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  10. 1JKz

    1JKz Well-Known Forumite

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    We seek him here, we seek him there, then we found him.
    Is he in heaven? Is he in hell?
    No, i said; we found him!
     
  11. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

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    T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
    HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
    IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
    MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.

    I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
    WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
    AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
    IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE.

    I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
    A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
    NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
    NOT EVEN A TREE.

    NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
    JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
    ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
    OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

    WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
    AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
    A SOBER THOUGHT,
    CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

    FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
    IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
    I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
    ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

    THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
    SILENT, ALONE,
    CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
    IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

    THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
    THE ROOM IN DISORDER,
    NOT HOW I PICTURED,
    A TRUE BRITISH SOLDIER.

    WAS THIS THE HERO,
    OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
    CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
    THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

    I REALISED THE FAMILIES,
    THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
    OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS,
    WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

    SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
    THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
    AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE,
    A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

    THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM,
    EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
    BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
    LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

    I COULDN'T HELP WONDER,
    HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
    ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE,
    IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

    THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT,
    A TEAR TO MY EYE,
    I DROPPED TO MY KNEES,
    AND STARTED TO CRY.

    THE SOLDIER AWAKENED,
    AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
    "SANTA DON'T CRY,
    THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

    I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
    I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
    MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
    MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.."

    THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
    AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
    I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
    I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

    I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
    SO SILENT AND STILL,
    AND WE BOTH SHIVERED,
    FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

    I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE,
    ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
    THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR,
    SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

    THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
    WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
    WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
    IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."

    ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
    AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
    "MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
    AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

    This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas.
     
  12. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    No Man is an Island

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
    well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man's death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    JOHN DONNE

    p.1624
     
  13. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Because i am involved in mankind
     
  14. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Death In Gladman

    She died in the upstairs bedroom
    By the light of the ev'ning star
    That shone through the plate glass window
    From over Leamington Spa

    Beside her the lonely crochet
    Lay patiently and unstirred,
    But the fingers that would have work'd it
    Were dead as the spoken word.

    And Nurse came in with the tea-things
    Breast high 'mid the stands and chairs-
    But Nurse was alone with her own little soul,
    And the things were alone with theirs.

    She bolted the big round window,
    She let the blinds unroll,
    She set a match to the mantle,
    She covered the fire with coal.

    And "Tea!" she said in a tiny voice
    "Wake up! It's nearly five"
    Oh! Chintzy, chintzy cheeriness,
    Half dead and half alive.

    Do you know that the stucco is peeling?
    Do you know that the heart will stop?
    From those yellow Italianate arches
    Do you hear the plaster drop?

    Nurse looked at the silent bedstead,
    At the gray, decaying face,
    As the calm of a Leamington ev'ning
    Drifted into the place.

    She moved the table of bottles
    Away from the bed to the wall;
    And tiptoeing gently over the stairs
    Turned down the gas in the hall.



    JOHN BETJEMAN

    p. in your pants
     
    Glam likes this.
  15. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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  16. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    The Waste Land

    April is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain.
    Winter kept us warm, covering
    Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
    A little life with dried tubers.

    etc
     
  17. Tilly

    Tilly Well-Known Forumite

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    It's not you
    It's meme


    The internet
     
  18. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    I don't quite know how many times it will be necessary to say this, but there are two quite distinct threads.

    On the one hand there is this one - quite clearly entitled 'The Forum's Favourite Poems' - which was instituted on the basis that there might be people that had verses that were part of who they were - words from another brother that made them see what it was, what it is, to be living in this bag of flesh.

    From a sister too - i don't care for where the words come from as long as they hit my heart.

    If you want to contribute to the record then there is the
    Rather Than Twiddle Your Thumbs, Write A Poem... thread

    Keep it alive.
     
  19. 1JKz

    1JKz Well-Known Forumite

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    Life is not ours to create or to take
    We try to play God, for petty sakes
    We've re-written the meaning of countless words
    Such as 'suffering' and 'science', to suit ourselves.
    We take torture and cruelty to the extreme
    But only to the creatures that cannot be seen
    Those creatures not heard, those who can't scream
    We commit acts and deeds BEYOND obscene

    We view taking life as an everyday thing
    Like to play, to laugh, to cry or to sing
    We teach our children that killing is ok
    As long as the victim has nothing to say!
    We teach our kids that there's always an excuse
    For any form we choose, of animal abuse
    We teach that eating animals is the only way
    We need our protein at the end of the day!

    Well maybe there REALLY is NEVER a reason
    To take of a life, not even in season
    Maybe our importance is blown out of proportion
    Because animals, like us, are capable of emotion
    That they have the right, just as much as we
    To never be tortured, to be 'allowed' to be free
    To feel the sun on their backs and smell the clean air
    Maybe one day, more people will care...

    There's Always An Excuse by Bernie Jones
     
  20. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    To Eat of Meat Joyously

    To eat of meat joyously, a juicy loin cut
    And with the fresh-baked, fragrant rye bread
    Chunks from the whole cheese, and to swallow
    Cold beer from the jug: such things are held in
    Low esteem, but to my mind, to be put into the grave
    Without ever enjoying a mouthful of good meat
    Is inhuman, and I say that, I who
    Am not good at eating.

    Bertolt Brecht
     

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