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Favorite Poems/Poets

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#21 Brandon Stark

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:43 AM

Beowulf is my all-time favourite poem,

Incidentally, Heaney wrote a fairly new and very good translation.

#22 Whitestripe


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:47 AM

Incidentally, Heaney wrote a fairly new and very good translation.

Oooh, I really like Heaney's Beowulf translation.

As for favorite poets.... I like this guy....

One of my favorites

From Poetry 180

A favorite from upcoming book

I like this one, but the spacing is all off and funky.

Several older poems

#23 MinDonner


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:06 AM

It turns out that Adrian Mitchell poem I like is available online (I just had to search for one of the lines). But when I found a link with the poem, I found out he'd died on December 20.

RIP Adrian Mitchell :(

Another Adrian Mitchell fan! :bow: So sorry to hear that he's dead. In honour of which, I will cast aside my Auden and my Hughes and post another Mitchell, because he's great and always will be.

The Pacific Ocean
A blue demi-globe
Islands like punctuation marks

A cruising airliner
Passenger unwrapping pats of butter
A hurricane arises
Tosses the plane into the sea

Five of them, flung o­n to an island beach

Tom the reporter
Susan the botanist
Jim the high-jump champion
Bill the carpenter
Mary the eccentric widow.

Tom the reporter sniffed out a stream of drinkable water.
Susan the botanist identified a banana tree.
Jim the high-jump champion jumped up and down and gave them each a bunch.
Bill the carpenter knocked up a table for their banana supper.
Mary the eccentric widow buried the banana skins,
But o­nly after they had asked her twice.
They all gathered sticks and lit a fire.
There was an incredible sunset.

Next morning they held a committee meeting.
Tom, Susan, Jim and Bill
Voted to make the best of things.
Mary, the eccentric widow, abstained.

Tom the reporter killed several dozen pigs.
He tanned their skins into parchment
And printed the Island News with the ink of squids.

Susan the botanist developed new strains of banana
Which tasted of chocolate, beefsteak, peanut, butter,
Chicken and boot polish

Jim the high-jump champion organised games
Which he always won easily.

Bill the carpenter constructed a wooden water wheel
And converted the water's energy into electricity
Using iron ore from the hills, he constructed lampposts

They all worried about Mary, the eccentric widow.
Her lack of confidence and her...
But there wasn't time to coddle her
The volcano erupted, but they dug a trench
And diverted the lava into the sea
Where it formed a spectacular pier.
They were attacked by pirates but defeated them
With bammboo bazookas firing
Sea-urchins packed with home-made nitroglycerine
They gave the cannibals a dose of their own medicine
And survived an earthquake thanks to their skill in jumping

Tom had been a court reporter
So he became the magistrate and solved disputes
Susan the botanist established
A university which also served as a museum.
Jim the high-jump champion
Was put in charge of law enforcement -
Jump o­n them when they were bad.
Bill the carpenter built himself a church,
Preached there every Sunday

But Mary the eccentric widow ...
Each evening she wandered down the island's main street,
Past the Stock Exchange, the Houses of Parliament,
The prison and the arsenal.
Past the Prospero Souvenir Shop,
Past the Robert Louis Stevenson Movie Studios,
Past the Daniel Defoe Motel
She nervously wandered and sat o­n the end of the pier of lava,

Breathing heavily
As if at a loss,
As if at a lover,
She opened her eyes wide
To the usual incredible sunset.

#24 Valkyrja


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:25 AM

Incidentally, Heaney wrote a fairly new and very good translation.

Yes, everyone should at least read Heaney's translation if they can't manage the Old English. Though certainly there are other decent (and more literal) translations out there as well. Despite the liberties he takes now and then, Heaney's translation works as a poetry in and of itself, which is ultimately a good thing. :)

#25 El-ahrairah


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:46 AM

1. Edgar Allen Poe. The Raven is the finest manipulation of the English language and human emotion I have yet seen. I memorized the entire thing a while back.

2. J.R.R. Tolkien. Not often thought of as a poet, but a real master when he set his mind to it. Earendil was a Mariner has few equals.

3. Rudyard Kipling. Writer of Gunga Din, Recessional, If, and too many other paragons to here list. His politics might be distasteful to modern views, but that does not detract from his genius.

Here is one of his less well-known poems, a very interesting look into the mind of a dog.

"His Apologies"

Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old.
He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled.
But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee...
Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee.

Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong.
He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long.
Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt, and his self-respect has been bruised.
Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed.

Master-again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe,
He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew.
Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow.
Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!

Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe!
There has been fighting all over the Shop — and into the Shop also!
Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet),
But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life — and now shall we call on the vet?

Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play,
And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away.
But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see
(Brushed — with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.

* * * * * * * * * *

Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind.
He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind.
Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten's scorn.
He hath had none other God than Thee since the year that he was born.

Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass.
There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass.
His bones are full of an old disease – his torments run and increase.
Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!


#26 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:07 PM

Just an FYI to anyone in or near the Charlotte NC area. Morri, who's poems I quoted up thread, is doing a poetry reading at Queens University in Charlotte on January 15, 2008 at 8:15 PM at the Sykes Auditorium on Queens University campus. If you can come, please do. I plan to be there.

#27 DanteGabriel


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:20 PM

Another Adrian Mitchell fan! :bow: So sorry to hear that he's dead. In honour of which, I will cast aside my Auden and my Hughes and post another Mitchell, because he's great and always will be.

:cheers: To be honest, I'm a little surprised there aren't more Mitchell fans on a board with this many English folks.

Edited by DanteGabriel, 08 January 2009 - 02:20 PM.

#28 Mlle. Zabzie

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:54 PM

So much wonderful poetry has been quoted already :) A few of my favorites:

In a Station of the Metro
Ezra Pound

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough."

John Donne

"GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil's foot;
Teach me to hear mermaids singing, 5
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights, 10
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights
Till Age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee, 15
And swear
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know;
Such a pilgrimage were sweet. 20
Yet do not; I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
Yet she 25
Will be
False, ere I come, to two or three. "

Emily Dickinson
"God Permits Industrious Angels"

"GOD permits industrious angels
Afternoons to play.
I met one,—forgot my school-mates,
All, for him, straightway.

God calls home the angels promptly 5
At the setting sun;
I missed mine. How dreary marbles,
After playing Crown!"

#29 Bellis


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:00 PM


The Indifferent

I can love both fair and brown;
Her whom abundance melts, and her whom want betrays;
Her who loves loneness best, and her who masks and plays;
Her whom the country form'd, and whom the town;
Her who believes, and her who tries;
Her who still weeps with spongy eyes,
And her who is dry cork, and never cries.
I can love her, and her, and you, and you;
I can love any, so she be not true.

Will no other vice content you?
Will it not serve your turn to do as did your mothers?
Or have you all old vices spent and now would find out others?
Or doth a fear that men are true torment you?
O we are not, be not you so;
Let me--and do you--twenty know;
Rob me, but bind me not, and let me go.
Must I, who came to travel thorough you,
Grow your fix'd subject, because you are true?

Venus heard me sigh this song;
And by love's sweetest part, variety, she swore,
She heard not this till now, and that it should be so no more.
She went, examin'd, and return'd ere long,
And said, 'Alas! some two or three
Poor heretics in love there be,
Which think to stablish dangerous constancy.
But I told them, 'Since you will be true,
You shall be true to them who'are false to you'.'

#30 add-on


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Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:07 PM

I get regular mailings from American Life in Poetry, which has been a really great source of (to me) unknown poems.

Awesome link. Thank you much for that.

:cheers: To be honest, I'm a little surprised there aren't more Mitchell fans on a board with this many English folks.

Well, I'm not English, but I am this guy's newest fan. Loved both the pieces you two posted. :cheers:

Aaaand some Levertov. Never been married, but I love the way she ends this poem.

The ache of marriage:

thigh and tongue, beloved,
are heavy with it,
it throbs in the teeth

We look for communion
and are turned away, beloved,
each and each

It is leviathan and we
in its belly
looking for joy, some joy
not to be known outside it

two by two in the ark of
the ache of it.

ETA: Getting in on the Donne love.

The Flea

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

Donne knew how to woo the ladies.

Edited by add-on, 08 January 2009 - 07:11 PM.

#31 Ashara


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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:05 AM

I never really warmed up to English-languaged poetry, much as I liked English prose. But my favorite poets from the national ones are Pushkin (he's kind of Tchaikovskiy of Russian literature, it's difficult not to love him, even if he is oh so 'classifkied'), Block, Akhmatova, Gumilev (and Cherubina by extension), some modern bards from the time of my youth, like Visotckiy, Tsherbakov and Vizbor. Form French poetry, I always liked Baudlaire and Prévert. And Heine just have that mischevous note I could never resist.

Edited by Ashara, 09 January 2009 - 11:08 AM.

#32 MinDonner


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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:18 AM

Donne knew how to woo the ladies.

Ah, The Flea. Possibly the cheekiest chat-up line ever. "This flea, see, it's bitten both of us, so we might as well have sex!"

#33 The Whiteravyn

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:22 PM

The Tempter

Something tapped me on the shoulder
Something whispered, “Come with me.
“Leave the world of men behind you,
“Come where care may never find you,
“Come and follow, let me bind you
“Where, in that dark, silent sea,
“Tempest of the world n’er rages;
“There to dream away the ages,
“Heedless of Time’s turning pages,
“Only, come with me.”

“Who are you?” I asked the phantom,
“I am Rest from Hate and Pride.
“I am friend to king and beggar,
“I am Alpha and Omega,
“I was councillor to Hagar
“But men call me Suicide.”
I was weary of tide breasting,
Weary of the world’s behesting,
And I lusted for the resting
As a lover for his bride.

And my soul tugged at its moorings
And it whispered, “Set me free.
“I am weary of this battle,
“Of this world of human cattle,
“All this dreary noise and prattle.
“This you owe to me.”
Long I sat and long I pondered,
On the life that I had squandered,
O’er the paths that I had wandered
Never free.

In a shadow panorama
Passed life’s struggles and its fray.
And my soul tugged with new vigor,
Huger grew the phantom’s figure,
As I slowly pressed the trigger,
Saw the world fade swift away.
Through the fogs old Time came striding,
Radiant clouds were ‘bout me riding,
As my soul went gliding, gliding,
From the shadow into day.

Robert E. Howard
Published June 18, 1937, in The Cross Plains Review, one year after his suicide.

Howard has some surprisingly good stuff, at least in my opinion. Very poignant, considering his method of suicide.

#34 Jaxom 1974

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:38 PM

A sampling of Coleridge:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Or Whitman:


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! 5
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, 15
You’ve fallen cold and dead.


My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

#35 Lady Blackfish

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:43 PM

Reality demands
we also state the following:
life goes on.
It does so near Cannae and Borodino,
at Kosovo Polje and Guernica.

There is a gas station
in a small plaza in Jericho,
and freshly painted
benches near Bila Hora.
Letters travel
between Pearl Harbor and Hastings,
a furniture truck passes
before the eyes of the lion of Cheronea,
and only an atmospheric front advances
towards the blossoming orchards near Verdun.

There is so much of Everything
that Nothing is quite well concealed.
Music flows
from yachts near Actium
and couples on board dance in the sunlight.

So much keeps happening,
that it must be happening everywhere.
Where stone is heaped on stone,
there is an ice cream truck
besieged by children.
Where Hiroshima had been,
Hiroshima is again
manufacturing products
for everyday use.

Not without its charms is this terrible world,
not without its mornings
worth our waking.

In the fields of Maciejowice
the grass is green
and on the grass is -- you know how grass is --
transparent dew.

Maybe there are no fields other than battlefields,
those still remembered,
and those long forgotten,
birch woods and cedar woods,
snows and sands, iridescent swamps,
and ravines of dark defeat
where today, in sudden need,
you squat behind a bush.

What moral flows from this? Maybe none.
But what really flows is quickly-drying blood,
and as always, some rivers and clouds.

On the tragic mountain passes
the wind blows hats off heads
and we cannot help--
but laugh.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Just once I knew what life was for.
In Boston, quite suddenly, I understood;
walked there along the Charles River,
watched the lights copying themselves,
all neoned and strobe-hearted, opening
their mouths as wide as opera singers;
counted the stars, my little campaigners,
my scar daisies, and knew that I walked my love
on the night green side of it and cried
my heart to the eastbound cars and cried
my heart to the westbound cars and took
my truth across a small humped bridge
and hurried my truth, the charm of it, home
and hoarded these constants into morning
only to find them gone.

Okay I guess that's good for today.

#36 Zap



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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:48 PM

My favourite poet in my native language is Peyo Yavorov and my favourite foreign poet is J. R. R. Tolkien (I enjoy a large amount of Tolkien's poetry and consider it an essential part of his work).

My favourite Bulgarian poem is A Moan/To Lora by Yavorov. Here's a translation in English by Ivan Vassilev:

My soul - a moan. My soul - a cry.
Because I'm a bleeding dove,
I'm shot to death, my soul will die,
I'm shot to death by Love...
My soul will cry. My soul will weep.
Why do we meet so tender,but part so rough?
I tell you, there is hell and sorrow deep,
And in the sorrow - love!

The mirages-so close. The road-afar it seems,
You wondrous and full of life,
Of innocence and youthful strife
of passion wild... You - ghost of dreams
The mirages-so close. The road-afar it seems,
because, she is in front of me - in rays,
she stands, without hearing who weeps and prays €“
she - flesh and ghost of dreams.

I don't think that the translation is nearly as powerful as the original, but it's a good enough translation.

There are several non-Bulgarian poems that I consider my favourites - To A. P. Kern by Alexander Pushkin, O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman, Tolkien's A Song of Beren and Luthien (probably my favourite non-Bulgarian poem), Byron's She walks in beauty, like the night, Alfred Tennyson's Ulysses, Percy Shelley's Ozymandias, and John Keats's Ode to a Nightingale. There's probably some other ones that I really enjoy, but I can't think of any at the moment.

Edited by Zap, 10 January 2009 - 04:51 PM.

#37 add-on


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:04 PM

Absolutely adore that Neruda LB.

(I enjoy a large amount of Tolkien's poetry and consider it an essential part of his work).

:cheers: damn straight

Or Whitman:

Oh, Whitman.

When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is my favorite Whitman, but it's a bit long to quote.

Sharon Olds:

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
Gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth, whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

While I wasn't a huge fan of Jennifer Grotz's first book, The Record really stuck to me.

Kisses, too, tasted of iron
the year we lived in twilights. They tilted warily
like bags of groceries I'd carry up the stairs
to find you in boxers, the smell of coffee mixed with vinegar
from the bowl of pickle juice you soaked your fingers in
trying to hurry the callouses. We trafficked in the grief
of incompatible day and night, we stretched the hours
as best we could, but mostly we practiced
a kind of starving, excruciating to recall
how hard we tried. I'd unpack the groceries
and tell you about the day, and after dinner
you'd pick out a tune on the guitar
(it was the year you apprenticed to the blues).
Before each night shift, in uniform and socks,
you'd climb into bed and hold me until I fell asleep.
Then you would slip quietly out.
And when I dreamed, I glimpsed the gods in you,
I dreamt you were Hephaestus with the iron forge,
the sweat covering you when you jogged home
was holy, it was the sweat of the whole city,
even the roses, even the bus exhaust.
The mind circles back like a record spinning,
a little molten, a little wobbly, a record
shiny as your black hair, a record player
crackling and stuttering over a scratch, an urge
to ask forgiveness even though it's dark now
and you've already forgiven me.

#38 Fenny


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:00 PM

Jumping on the Donne bandwagon. Since his love poems have had a turn in the sun, here's one of his Holy Sonnets:

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

A fragment, supposed to belong to Sappho:

The moon has set,
And the Pleiades.
It is midnight and time is passing
And I lie alone.

I think Beowulf has already had a mention - here's another Old English poem, the beginning of a fragmentary elegy known as The Ruin. Just read it aloud in the original! :) Forgive the lack of ashes and thorns - the board ate 'em. It's not fertile soil for runic letters.

Wraetlic is thaes wealstan, wyrde gebraecon;
burgstede burston, brosnath enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
Aeldo undereotone.

Wondrous is this stone wall, smashed by fate.
The buildings have crumbled, the work of giants decays.
Roofs have collapsed, the towers in ruin,
the frosted gate is unbarred, hoar-frost on mortar,
the storm-protection mutilated, cut down, declined,
underminded by age.

And, with it having recently been Milton's four hundredth birthday, an excerpt from the invocation to light that begins the third book of Paradise Lost.

Thus with the Year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair
Presented with a Universal blanc
Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou Celestial light
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

ETA: Okay, my humble apologies, just one more - this post is longer than I planned. From Auden's As I Walked Out One Evening:

The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

Edited by Fenny, 10 January 2009 - 09:35 PM.

#39 Mathis


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:40 PM

I've always loved Not Waving, But Drowning by Stevie Smith. Such a sparse poem and the final verse is excellent.

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Edited by Mathis, 10 January 2009 - 09:40 PM.

#40 Fenny


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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:55 PM

I've always loved Not Waving, But Drowning by Stevie Smith. Such a sparse poem and the final verse is excellent.

Nobody heard him, the dead man <>

Excellent choice, imo. Stevie Smith is an excellent if strange poet. She sometimes wrote the kind of stuff that people on sugar highs like to think they're writing, but aren't. My favourite of hers is 'The Galloping Cat'.

Edited by Fenny, 10 January 2009 - 09:55 PM.