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Author Topic: Your Favourite Poem
Coyote
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Babbler # 4881

posted 05 March 2007 08:27 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love Irish poet Paul Durcan.

Here are two of his works I especially admire:

quote:
Him
His name was Christmas and he was a refugee
and he moved through his exile like waves on a landless sea.

Another:

quote:
The Weeping Headstones of the Isaac Becketts

The Protestant graveyard was a forbidden place
So naturally as children we explored its precincts:
Clambered over drystone walls under elms and chestnuts,
Parted long grasses and weeds, poked about under yews,
Reconnoitred the chapel whose oak doors were always closed,
Stared at the schist headstones of the Isaac Becketts.
And then we would depart with mortal sins in our bones
As ineradicable as an arthritis;
But we had seen enough to know what the old folks meant
When we would overhear them whisperingly at night refer to
'The headstones of the Becketts - they would make you weep.'
These arthritises of sin:
But although we had only six years each on our backs
We could decipher
Brand-new roads open up through heaven's fields
And upon them - like thousands upon thousands
Of pilgrims kneeling in the desert -
The weeping headstones of the Isaac Becketts.


And one last, by W.H. Auden. I can't write about poetry without including Auden.

quote:
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 aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic 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 for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.



From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 10 March 2007 12:14 AM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nothing? Seriously?

And yeah. I'm pouting.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5171

posted 10 March 2007 12:47 AM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cloud in Trousers [Part 1]


You think malaria makes me delirious?

It happened.
In Odessa it happened.

"I'll come at four," Maria promised.

Eight.
Nine.
Ten.

Then the evening
turned its back on the windows
and plunged into grim night,
scowling
Decemberish.

At my decrepit back
the candelabras guffawed and whinnied.

You would not recognise me now:
a bulging bulk of sinews,
groaning,
and writhing,
What can such a clod desire?
Though a clod, many things!

The self does not care
whether one is cast of bronze
or the heart has an iron lining.
At night the self only desires
to steep its clangour in softness,
in woman.

And thus,
enormous,
I stood hunched by the window,
and my brow melted the glass.
What will it be: love or no-love?
And what kind of love:
big or minute?
How could a body like this have a big love?
It should be teeny-weeny,
humble, little love;
a love that shies at the hooting of cars,
that adores the bells of horse-trams.

Again and again
nuzzling against the rain,
my face pressed against its pitted face,
I wait,
splashed by the city's thundering surf.

Then midnight, amok with a knife,
caught up,
cut him down –
out with him!

The stroke of twelve fell
like a head from a block.

On the windowpanes, grey raindrops
howled together,
piling on a grimace
as though the gargoyles
of Notre Dame were howling.

Damn you!
Isn't that enough?
Screams will soon claw my mouth apart.

Then I heard,
softly,
a nerve leap
like a sick man from his bed.
Then,
barely moving,
at first,
it soon scampered about,
agitated,
distinct.
Now, with a couple more,
it darted about in a desperate dance.

The plaster on the ground floor crashed.

Nerves,
big nerves,
tiny nerves,
many nerves! –
galloped madly
till soon
their legs gave way.

But night oozed and oozed through the room –
and the eye, weighed down, could not slither out of
the slime.

The doors suddenly banged ta-ra-bang,
as though the hotel's teeth
chattered.

You swept in abruptly
like "take it or leave it!"
Mauling your suede gloves,
you declared:
"D'you know,
I'm getting married."

All right, marry then.
So what,
I can take it.
As you see, I'm calm!
Like the pulse
of a corpse.

Do you remember
how you used to talk?
"Jack London,
money,
love,
passion."
But I saw one thing only:
you, a Gioconda,
had to be stolen!

And you were stolen.

In love, I shall gamble again,
the arch of my brows ablaze.
What of it!
Homeless tramps often find
shelter in a burnt-out house!

You're teasing me now?
"You have fewer emeralds of madness
than a beggar has kopeks!"
But remember!
When they teased Vesuvius,
Pompeii perished!

Hey!
Gentlemen!
Amateurs
of sacrilege,
crime,
and carnage,
have you seen
the terror of terrors –
my face
when
I
am absolutely calm?

I feel
my "I"
is much too small for me.
Stubbornly a body pushes out of me.

Hello!
Who's speaking?
Mamma?
Mamma!
Your son is gloriously ill!
Mamma!
His heart is on fire.
Tell his sisters, Lyuda and Olya,
he has no nook to hide in.

Each word,
each joke,
which his scorching mouth spews,
jumps like a naked prostitute
from a burning brothel.

People sniff
the smell of burnt flesh!
A brigade of men drive up.
A glittering brigade.
In bright helmets.
But no jackboots here!
Tell the firemen
to climb lovingly when a heart's on fire.
Leave it to me.
I'll pump barrels of tears from my eyes.
I'll brace myself against my ribs.
I'll leap out! Out! Out!
They've collapsed.
You can't leap out of a heart!

From the cracks of the lips
upon a smouldering face
a cinder of a kiss rises to leap.

Mamma!
I cannot sing.
In the heart's chapel the choir loft catches fire!

The scorched figurines of words and numbers
scurry from the skull
like children from a flaming building.
Thus fear,
in its effort to grasp at the sky,
lifted high
the flaming arms of the Lusitania.

Into the calm of the apartment
where people quake,
a hundred-eye blaze bursts from the docks.
Moan
into the centuries,
if you can, a last scream: I'm on fire!

Vladimir Mayakovksy

Translation from Russian


From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
arthur
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11794

posted 10 March 2007 01:10 AM      Profile for arthur     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love Durcan's stuff.

Don't have a favourite poem at hand but here's a loathsome one by Mayakovsky:

A White Army Officer
when you catch him
you beat him
and what about Raphael
it's time to make museum
walls a target
let the mouths of big guns
shoot the old rags of past!

Nice!


From: cordova bay | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 10 March 2007 05:05 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sounds like an interesting poet. Among recent Irish poets ... I'm fond of Seamus Heaney, who did a new translation of the great epic, Beowulf, among other works. Heaney also makes use of an old poetic form, the sonnet, and modernizes it. Here is a favourite line of Heaney's for me ....

quote:
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

It's a poem about digging potatoes. Very earthy.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6061

posted 10 March 2007 08:08 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by: Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
oreobw
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Babbler # 13754

posted 10 March 2007 08:31 AM      Profile for oreobw     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not sure this is my favourite but it is the first one to come to mind:

The Chariot

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played, Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible.
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ‘tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

 Emily Dickinson


Someone pointed out that you can sing it to the tune of Yellow Rose of Texas.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
contrarianna
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Babbler # 13058

posted 10 March 2007 05:29 PM      Profile for contrarianna     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not really my favorite, but this has a prophetic insistence hard to shake these days.
First published in 1926 by Robinson Jeffers


Shine, Perishing Republic

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence;
and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly
long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening
center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there
are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught – they say –
God, when he walked on earth.


From: here to inanity | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4881

posted 11 March 2007 11:15 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some good stuff! I'm pouting less now!

Any good Canadiana? or Quebecois poetry?


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 11 March 2007 11:31 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well I wrote...

But then there is always the drywall,
great sheets of it laid end over end,
so much drywall that you could circumnavigate the globe,
dusty men look up,
spy rough permutations in it surface
and think of work to be done,
opporunities missed,
and loves faded into history
like rotting plaster under a leaky roof


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 12 March 2007 09:28 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ogden Nash - Reflections on Ice-Breaking

quote:
Candy
Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12752

posted 12 March 2007 09:53 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I have Fears that I may cease to be

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high pil`d books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face, 5
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more, 10
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

John Keats


From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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Babbler # 4019

posted 12 March 2007 11:17 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's impossible to pick a favourite, but here's a nice Canadian lad whom I love.

quote:
Reducing providence to theorems, the horrible atheist compiled such lore that proved, like proving two and two make four, that in the crown of God we all are gems. From glass and dust of glass he brought to light, out of the pulver and the polished lens, the prism and the flying mote; and hence the infinitesimal and infinite.

Is it a marvel, then, that he forsook the abracadabra of the synagogue, and holding with timelessness a duologue, deciphered a new scripture in the book? Is it a marvel that he left old fraud for passion intellectual of God?


A.M. Klein, From "Out of the Pulver and the Polished Lens"


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 12 March 2007 06:35 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree...
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4881

posted 12 March 2007 06:44 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Well I wrote...

But then there is always the drywall,
great sheets of it laid end over end,
so much drywall that you could circumnavigate the globe,
dusty men look up,
spy rough permutations in it surface
and think of work to be done,
opporunities missed,
and loves faded into history
like rotting plaster under a leaky roof


Dude, I like.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4881

posted 12 March 2007 06:48 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And A.M. Klein!

I'm rembering a line that goes something like:

"And we turned to listen to the strangers speak of Auschwitz and its ovens and we swore to ourselves to never forgive".

Something like that? Anyone no which poem I'm talking about?

I remember it being a revelation at the age of 19, at any rate.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4881

posted 12 March 2007 06:51 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And i'm not sure if I have the words right, but the revelation for me was the sentiment that it was alright not to forgive; in fact, in some cases, forgiveness is not the moral choice.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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Babbler # 5594

posted 13 March 2007 02:55 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Common Well - Piet Hein, Grooks 4(Oh ya!)

To Charles Chaplin

The well you invite us to drink of
is one that no drop may be bought of.
You think of what all of us think of
but nobody else could have thought of.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 13 March 2007 07:12 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sonnet

By Billy Collins

All we need is fourteen lines, well thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on loves storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here while we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
JaneDoe
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13974

posted 22 March 2007 07:49 PM      Profile for JaneDoe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My first poetry love was and still is Adrienne Rich:

Diving Into the Wreck


From: Alberta | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged

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