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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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    A Short Film

    It was not meant to hurt.
    It had been made for happy remembering
    By people who were still too young
    To have learned about memory.

    Now it is a dangerous weapon, a time-bomb.
    Which is a kind of body-bomb, long-term, too.
    Only film, a few frames of you skipping, a few seconds.
    You aged about ten there, skipping and still skipping.

    Not very clear grey, made out of mist and smudge.
    This thing has a fine fuse, less a fuse
    Than a wavelength attuned, an electronic detonator
    To what lies in your grave inside us.

    And how that explosion would hurt
    Is not just an idea of horror but a flash of fine sweat
    Over the skin-surface, a bracing of nerves
    For something that has already happened.

    p.1998

    TED HUGHES
     
  2. Gadget

    Gadget Well-Known Forumite

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    The Twin of Sleep

    Death is the twin of Sleep, they say:
    For I shall rise renewed,
    Free from the cramps of yesterday,
    Clear-eyed and supple-thewed.


    But though this bland analogy
    Help other folk to face
    Decrepitude, senility,
    Madness, disease, disgrace,


    I do not like Death's greedy looks:
    Give me his twin instead—
    Sleep never auctions off my books,
    My boots, my shirts, my bed.

    by Robert Graves

    Learned it when i was 11 and never forgot it.
    G x
     
  3. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Fab! I [​IMG] it.

     
  4. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Two Armies

    Deep in the winter plain, two armies
    Dig their machinery, to destroy each other.
    Men freeze and hunger. No one is given leave
    On either side, except the dead, and wounded.
    These have their leave; while new battalions wait
    On time at last to bring them violent peace.

    All have become so nervous and so cold
    That each man hates the cause and distant words
    Which brought him here, more terribly than bullets.
    Once a boy hummed a popular marching song,
    Once a novice hand flapped the salute;
    The voice was choked, the lifted hand fell,
    Shot through the wrist by those of his own side.

    From their numb harvest all would flee, except
    For discipline drilled once in an iron school
    Which holds them at the point of a revolver.
    Yet when they sleep, the images of home
    Ride wishing horses of escape
    Which herd the plain in a mass unspoken poem.

    Finally, they cease to hate: for although hate
    Bursts from the air and whips the earth like hail
    Or pours it up in fountains to marvel at,
    And although hundreds fell, who can connect
    The inexhaustible anger of the guns
    With the dumb patience of these tormented animals?

    Clean silence drops at night when a little walk
    Divides the sleeping armies, each
    Huddled in linen woven by remote hands.
    When the machines are stilled, a common suffering
    Whitens the air with breath and makes both one
    As though these enemies slept in each other’s arms.

    Only the lucid friend to aerial raiders,
    The brilliant pilot moon, stares down
    Upon the plain she makes a shining bone
    Cut by the shadow of many thousand bones.
    Where amber clouds scatter on no-man’s-land
    She regards death and time throw up
    The furious words and minerals which kill life.

    p.1939

    STEPHEN SPENDER

    'choked, the...' important comma, missing
     
  5. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    [​IMG]

    Perfect Light

    There you are, in all your innocence,
    Sitting among your daffodils, as in a picture
    Posed as for the title: 'Innocence'.
    Perfect light in your face lights it up
    Like a daffodil. Like any one of those daffodils
    It was to be your only April on earth
    Among your daffodils. In your arms,
    Like a teddy bear, your new son,
    Only a few weeks into his innocence,
    Mother and infant, as in the Holy portrait.
    And beside you, laughing up at you,
    Your daughter, barely two. Like a daffodil
    You turn your face down to her, saying something.
    Your words were lost in the camera.
    And the knowledge
    Inside the hill on which you are sitting.
    A moated fort hill, bigger than your house,
    Failed to reach the picture. While your next moment,
    Coming towards you like an infantryman
    Returning slowly out of no-man's-land,
    Bowed under something, never reached you —
    Simply melted into the perfect light.

    p.1998

    TED HUGHES
     
  6. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    p.1951

    DYLAN THOMAS
     
  7. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

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    February Afternoon – Edward Thomas

    MEN heard this roar of parleying starlings, saw,
    A thousand years ago even as now,
    Black rooks with white gulls following the plough
    So that the first are last until a caw
    Commands that last are first again,--a law
    Which was of old when one, like me, dreamed how
    A thousand years might dust lie on his brow
    Yet thus would birds do between hedge and shaw.
    Time swims before me, making as a day
    A thousand years, while the broad ploughland oak
    Roars mill-like and men strike and bear the stroke
    Of war as ever, audacious or resigned,
    And God still sits aloft in the array
    That we have wrought him, stone-deaf and stone-blind.
     
  8. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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  9. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

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    Thank-you - I am indeed interested!
    I love everything Edward Thomas wrote and in fact it was discovering his work that enabled me to understand how my own father - a very shy, gentle country man, had reconciled himself with fighting in the war and to such an extent that he had received some big military honour. It wasn't something I was ever able to ask my dad. He never spoke about it and I didn't want him to think I disapproved. Then I found this poem and I could see my own dad, fighting for an England that was nothing to do with politics or even people. I like the way that someone facing his own mortality finds images of timelessness in countryside scenes.
     
  10. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    Have I Got
    News For You
    Louise Mensch
    is a fooking idiot

    Nothing
    Behind
    The
    Eyes
    You see
     
  11. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Mensch finally admits to having had facelift

    [​IMG]
    BEFORE

    [​IMG]
    AFTER

    (shamelessly stolen from Private eye)
     
  12. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    Perhaps the only two women in the world i would actually punch
     
  13. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    Shurely
    - have you forgotten where you are?
     
  14. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    Ok, maybe Theresa May would get a

    SLAP
     
  15. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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  16. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    I might suggest that your employer is not fully using all of your skills
     
  17. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    If you remove the 'fully', then that has 17 syllables - haiku?
     
  18. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

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    JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
    (A Soldier Died Today)
    by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

    He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
    And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
    Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
    In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

    ... And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
    All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
    But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
    And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

    He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
    For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
    Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
    And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

    When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
    While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
    Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
    But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

    Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
    A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
    Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
    Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

    A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
    Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
    While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
    Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

    It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
    That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
    It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
    Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

    Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
    Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
    Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
    His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

    He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
    But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
    For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
    Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

    If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
    Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
    Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
    Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today
     
  19. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    Poetic licence says that I'm

    Allowed to write down words that rhyme

    And also words that don't, but ought

    Because they're spelt the same - like drought.

    My rhymes can only rhyme for me

    The way I say the words I see,

    So if your accent's not the same

    And things don't rhyme - I'm not to blame.
     
  20. age'd parent

    age'd parent 50,000th poster!

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    :clap:
     

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