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The Forum's Favourite Poems

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

  1. industryarch

    industryarch Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 14, 2010
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  2. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 4, 2016
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    Gully Foyle is my name.
    And Terra is my nation.
    Deep space is my dwelling place,
    The Stars my Destination.

    Alfred Bester.
  3. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

    Nov 6, 2010
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    The Dash

    I read of a man who started to speak,
    At the funeral of a friend.
    He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
    From the beginning ......... to the end.

    He noted, that first came the dates of her birth,
    And spoke of the following date with tears.
    But said what mattered most of all,
    Was the dash between those years.

    For that dash represents all the time,
    That she spent alive on Earth.
    And how only those who loved her,
    Know what that little line is worth.

    For it matters not, how much we own,
    The cars... The clothes.. The cash.
    What matters is how we live and love,
    And how we spend our dash.

    So think about this long and hard....
    Are there things you'd like to change?
    For you never know how much time is left,
    (You could be at mid-dash range).

    If we could just slow down enough,
    To consider what's true and real.
    And always try to understand,
    The way that others feel.

    And be less quick to anger,
    And show appreciation more.
    And love the people in our lives,
    Like we've never loved before.

    If we treat each other with respect,
    And more often wear a smile.
    Remembering that this special dash,
    Might only last a while.

    So when your eulogy's being read,
    With your lifes actions to rehash....
    Would you be proud of the things they say?
    And how you spent your dash?
  4. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

    Jan 25, 2010
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    Di dum di dum di dah,
    Di dum di dah di donuts,
    Di dum di dum di where are we now?
    Di dum di dum di dis is stretched a bit now but it probably still scans, i don't really know what i'm doing.

    Di dum di dum di i think i probably got away with it.
  5. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 4, 2016
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    Sea Fever
    John Masefield

    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.


    My last trip to sea was on this ship, the Earl of Pembroke I photographed here anchored off Charlestown just before I joined her in 2008. Not really a trip I suppose as we sailed out into the channel, pottered about a bit and then back to anchor. (Three Hours Before the Mast !!) Furthermore I was a passenger, wandering about pondering the differences between this ship and a super tanker. It was something like this that Captain Cook went around the world in, which I will forever find utterly incredible.
    Glam likes this.
  6. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

    May 25, 2008
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  7. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

    Nov 6, 2010
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    I met a dragon face to face,
    The year that I was Ten.
    I took a trip to outer space,
    I braved a pirates den.

    I wrestled with a wicked Troll,
    And fought a great white shark.
    I trailed a rabbit down a hole,
    I hunted for a snark.

    I stowed aboard a submarine,
    I opened magic doors.
    I travelled in a time machine,
    And searched for dinosaurs.

    I climbed atop a giants head,
    I found a pot of gold.
    I did all this in books I read,
    When I was Ten years old.

    Jack Prelutsky.

    Noah and BobClay like this.
  8. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

    Nov 6, 2010
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    The Poppy. I am not a badge of honour.

    I am not a badge of honour,
    I am not a racist smear,
    I am not a fashion statement,
    To be worn but once a year,
    I am not glorification
    Of conflict or of war.
    I am not a paper ornament
    A token,
    I am more.

    I am a loving memory,
    Of a father or a son,
    A permanent reminder
    Of each and every one.

    I'm paper or enamel
    I'm old or shining new,
    I'm a way of saying thank you,
    To every one of you.

    I am a simple poppy
    A Reminder to you all,
    That courage faith and honour,
    Will stand where heroes fall.

    Paul Hunter 2014
    BobClay and proactive like this.
  9. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

    Jan 25, 2010
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    I'm not sure how true any of that is anymore.

    One fears it has been co-opted to be exactly some of those things and worse.
    Jonah and Gramaisc like this.
  10. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 4, 2016
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    I know it probably shouldn't count on this thread. But I'm of the opinion that Melville was a poet in much of his writing. We probably all like 'revenge stories' because for one reason or another, we all desire 'revenge.' And this was a great revenge story, only equalled for me by Alfred Bester's novel: "The Stars my Destination" (also titled 'Tiger Tiger' from a Blake poem depending on which side of the pond you were. )
    Ahab's heart, blackened by revenge, is perfectly described.

    "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  11. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

    Nov 6, 2010
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    Not really a poem as such, but still means sumat this time of year.

    A Letter From France.

    1st July 1916.

    Dear Mum,

    They've said soon all this will be over, and then I'll be coming back home.
    Back to the White Cliffs of Dover, you won't believe how much I've grown.

    I can't wait to see you again Mum, have I got some stories to tell.
    I can't tell you where I am right now mind you, but it does seem a little like hell.

    Ity's all very quiet this morning, nobody's laughing and joking,
    We're up to our ankles in puddles,Oh, and I'm thinking of giving up smoking.

    Tell Uncle George, I remember, I know I still owe him two bob,
    But they've said this will all soon be over, and I'll pay him when I'm back at my job.

    I suppose Dad's out racing his pigeons, then he'll go for a brown ale or two,
    There's pigeons here carrying notes from Generals, and they seem to know what to do.

    Tell Ethel, I'll be home before Christmas, and we'll be wed by the end of the year,
    They've said this will all soon be over, I can't wait 'til I get out of here.

    Well, I ain't got much to tell you Mum, but I wish all those whistles would stop,
    They've said this will all soon be over, 'cos today we're going over the top.....

    Chris Ross ©
    BobClay likes this.
  12. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

    Jan 25, 2010
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    a a/b
    c c
    d d
    e e
    f f
    g g
    h h

    Not really a poem as such

    Just something
  13. Tilly

    Tilly Well-Known Forumite

    Jan 8, 2018
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    There was a young man from Looe
    Whose poems were good to line two
    The third didn't rhyme
    Or even scan properly
    And the last line was just shit so he moved to Bristol
    Mikinton, Gramaisc and BobClay like this.
  14. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 4, 2016
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    All of us brought up in the shadow of the bomb.
    Too young to remember the Battle of the Somme.
    Don't know the reason, don't know why,
    All those men died, on the 1st of July.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Glam and Gramaisc like this.
  15. perry081064

    perry081064 Well-Known Forumite

    Feb 24, 2013
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    The soldier stood and faced God,
    Which must always come to pass.
    He hoped his shoes were shining,
    Just as brightly as his brass.

    "Step forward now, you soldier,
    How shall I deal with you?
    Have you always turned the other cheek?
    To my Church have you been true?"

    The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
    "No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
    Because those of us who carry guns,
    Can't always be a saint.

    I've had to work most Sundays,
    And at times my talk was tough.
    And sometimes I've been violent,
    Because the world is awfully rough.

    But, I never took a penny,
    That wasn't mine to keep...
    Though I worked a lot of overtime,
    When the bills just got too steep.

    And I never passed a cry for help,
    Though at times I shook with fear.
    And sometimes, God, forgive me,
    I've wept unmanly tears.

    I know I don't deserve a place,
    Among the people here.
    They never wanted me around,
    Except to calm their fears.

    If you've a place for me here, Lord,
    It needn't be so grand.
    I never expected or had too much,
    But if you don't, I'll understand."

    There was a silence all around the throne,
    Where the saints had often trod.
    As the soldier waited quietly,
    For the judgement of his God.

    "Step forward now, you soldier,
    You've borne your burdens well.
    Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
    You've done your time in Hell."
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    age'd parent and BobClay like this.
  16. Tilly

    Tilly Well-Known Forumite

    Jan 8, 2018
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    I've got a nerf gun bundle
    Did i tell you he is 96
    I've got a nerf gun bundle
    Nobody pays any tax
    I've got a nerf gun bundle
    More steam anyone

    A Sayle (67 and three quarters )
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  17. MilleD

    MilleD A few posts under my belt

    Jun 28, 2018
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    No Ordinary Sunday - Jon Stallworthy.

    No ordinary Sunday. First the light
    falling dead through dormitory windows blind
    with fog; and then, at breakfast, every plate
    stained with the small, red cotton flower; and no
    sixpence for pocketmoney. Greatcoats, lined
    by the right, marched from their pegs, with slow
    poppy fires smouldering in one lapel to light
    us through the fallen cloud. Behind
    that handkerchief sobbed the quick Sunday bell.

    A granite cross, the school field underfoot,
    Inaudible prayers, hymn sheets that stirred
    too loudly in the hand. When hymns ran out,
    silence, like silt, lay round so wide and deep
    it seemed that winter held its breath. We heard
    only the river talking in its sleep:
    until the bugler flexed his lips, and sound
    cutting the fog cleanly like a bird,
    circled and sang out over the bandaged ground.

    Then low-voiced , the headmaster called the roll
    of those who could not answer; every name
    suffixed with honour – ‘double first’, ‘kept goal
    for Cambridge’ – and a death - - in spitfires, tanks,
    and ships torpedoed. At his call there came
    through the mist blond heroes in broad ranks
    with rainbows struggling on their chests. Ahead
    of us, in strict formation, as we idled home,
    marched the formations of the towering dead.

    November again, and the bugles blown
    in a tropical Holy Trinity.
    the heroes today stand further off,
    grown smaller but distinct. They flash no medals, keep
    no ranks: through Last Post and Reveille
    their chins loll on their chests, like birds asleep.
    Only when the long, last note ascends
    upon the wings of kites, some two or three
    look up: and have the faces of my friends
  18. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

    Dec 4, 2016
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    Not poetry I suppose, but personally I would argue that point. A letter written during the American Civil War (an extremely brutal war, as Civil Wars tend to be.) I first came across this in Ken Burn's incredible documentary series on that war. A letter written home from one Sullivan Ballou to his wife. If the final paragraph isn't poetry, then I don't know what is.

    "July 14, 1861
    Camp Clark, Washington

    My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more …

    I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt …

    Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

    The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness …

    But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights … always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again …"

    Sullivan Ballou was killed just a week later at the First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. His wife lived until the age of 80 and was buried alongside him.
    Noah, Trumpet and Glam like this.

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