I'm famished for poetry. I want to read so much more than I have. Something beautiful.
can anyone name a poet or poem I should look into?
If there is a God, I know he likes to rock.
Just a few who wrote to the core of things: (Each has a very interesting biographic background that I have enjoyed knowing and teaching about!)
"So, We'll Go No More a Roving"
So We'll Go No More A Roving
So, we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears the sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
"The Starlight Night"
LOOK at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves'-eyes!
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!
Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!
Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!--
Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.
"Now Close the Windows"
Now close the windows and hush all the fields:
If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing in them now, and if there is,
Be it my loss.
It will be long ere the marshes resume,
It will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.
EDGAR ALLAN POE
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea.
"I Went to Heaven"
I went to Heaven --
'Twas a small Town --
Lit -- with a Ruby --
Lathed -- with Down --
Stiller -- than the fields
At the full Dew --
Beautiful -- as Pictures --
No Man drew.
People -- like the Moth --
Of Mechlin -- frames --
Duties -- of Gossamer --
And Eider -- names --
Almost -- contented --
I -- could be --
'Mong such unique
T. A. DALY
Giuseppe, da barber, ees greata for "mash,"
He gotta da bigga, da blacka moustache,
Good clo’es an’ good styla an’ playnta good cash.
W’enevra Giuseppe ees walk on da street,
Da peopla dey talka, "how nobby! how neat!
How softa da handa, how smalla da feet."
He leefta hees hat an’ he shaka hees curls,
An’ smila weeth teetha so shiny like pearls;
Oh, manny da heart of da seelly young girls
Yes, playnta he gotta—
Giuseppe, da barber, he maka da eye,
An’ lika da steam engine puffa an’ sigh,
For catcha Carlotta w’en she ees go by.
Carlotta she walka weeth nose in da air,
An’ look through Giuseppe weeth far-away stare;
As eef she no see dere ees som’body dere.
Giuseppe, da barber, he gotta da cash,
He gotta da clo’es an’ da bigga moustache,
He gotta da seelly young girls for da "mash,"
You bat my life, notta—
My older son'sa meeddle nama ees Giuseppe!
He gotta da Long hair, da summa sheering ees today,
But he no gotta da blacka moustache.
Datsa onna hees Pappa!
OK, OK, I know.
If you want some more serious poetry, you might enjoy the Romantic poets (including the "Lake" poets). I particularly like Coleridge and Wordsworth. Here's a good site linking these:
For incredible creative imagery, I suggest Dylan Thomas:
or Gerard Manley Hopkins. Rather than posting a site for him (there are quite a few) here's a short one of his. You'll notice he loved alliteration:
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
And another (love the second line!):
GOD'S GRANDEUR (1877)
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
...and POE! I love his poems. "Annabelle Lee" (posted above) always makes me misty.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Braling II,
Poe is great, as is Frost, Bradbury, and my new current favourite, Miller Williams.
Saw him recite in person a few months ago at UCLA, rotating turns with his daughter, Lucinda Williams, who sang her excellent songs. He was delightful, as was she.
Of History and Hope
We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.
But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands -- oh, rarely in a row --
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.
Who were many people coming together
cannot become one people falling apart.
Who dreamed for every child an even chance
cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.
Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head
cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.
Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child
cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.
We know what we have done and what we have said,
and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,
believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become --
just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.
All this in the hands of children, eyes already set
on a land we never can visit -- it isn't there yet --
but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget.
President Clinton's Inaugural Address 1997This message has been edited. Last edited by: Doug Spaulding,
The new poets all seem to have given up the struggle regarding meter and rhyme schemes, but my favourite of the new poets is Billy Collins. Very witty guy. He has lots of his on recordings and even video.
Here's his "Forgetfulness"
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
try a collection called The Last Night of the Earth Poems by Bukowski... started reading it recently myself: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry...=9780876858639&itm=1
Maybe later I'll put up a poem I have in my zine (if, that is, anyone's interested).
later this summer i'll also be starting a tanka poetry challenge here: http://fallingblossoms.blogspot.com/
Free sci-fi mag online at:thelordshen.com
You could read all 40-some runes of the kalevala, that is a nice peice of poetry that will keep you going for a while. I found a good translation that only breaks the word-syllable limit rule of the finnish original:
For christenings, I give my godchildren a porringer (Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, whatever) with a copy of this verse...
"For Jane Bradley, with a Porringer"
Never may your games be drawn.
Always may you lose or win.
May you not be a looker on
But a partaker in;
Not dwell in life's remote suburbs
But in her centres and her towns,
And speak her great affirming verbs,
Not just her abstract nouns.
This poem was highlighted in a volume my ex-boyfriend gave me... (Alas, Love fled, along with my credit cards.)
W B YEATS
"When You are Old"
When you are old and grey and full of sleep.
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Finally, as it's Wimbledon on Monday:
SIR JOHN BETJEMAN
"A Subaltern's Love-song"
Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament - you against me!
Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak for your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.
Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won.
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.
Her father's eunonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.
The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.
On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.
By roads 'not adopted', by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.
Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car-park the dance has begun.
Oh! full Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!
Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us, the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice,
And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
I thought I'd add an Australian poet.
THE NIGHT RIDE by Kenneth Slessor
Gas flaring on the yellow platform; voices running up and down;
Milk-tins in cold dented silver; half-awake I stare,
Pull up the blind, blink out - all sounds are drugged;
the slow blowing of passengers asleep;
engines yawning; water in heavy drips;
Black, sinister travellers, lumbering up the station,
one moment in the window, hooked over bags;
hurrying, unknown faces - boxes with strange labels -
all groping clumsily to mysterious ends,
out of the gaslight, dragged by private Fates,
their echoes die. The dark train shakes and plunges;
bells cry out, the night-ride starts again.
Soon I shall look out into nothing but blackness,
pale, windy fields, the old roar and knock of the rails
melts in dull fury. Pull down the blind. Sleep. Sleep
Nothing but grey, rushing rivers of bush outside.
Gaslight and milk-cans. Of Rapptown I recall nothing else.
Very Australian, but also Bradbury-esque, I think (shades of 'Town where no-one got off'). If you like 'Night Ride', check out Slessor's 'Five Bells' - a masterpiece.
Well! I must say WG's request for help dealing with her poetry deficiency certainly elicited a plethora of remedies! So many enthusiastic (and prolix) responses! BUT, no reaction from Ms Gravity herself!
How about an original by an unknown?
The earth is scorched and bitter here,
a sad and sere plateau.
Acid poisoned the sacred soil
and nothing new will grow.
The garden has withered and died,
the flowers burnt to dust.
The trowel and rake are cast aside,
grimy with dirt and rust.
The gardener has long since fled,
and won't be back again.
Harsh draughts and storms drove him away
to find a greener glen.....
And so this ground sits desolate,
a lonely place apart,
and no one ever comes to tend
this wasteland that's my heart.
We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle, and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass.
Thoughts to live by!
I would have supplied the breathtaking poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins had not someone already done so.
Lesser-known ones by known authors are favorites. For now:
I HOLD that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.
Such is my own belief and trust;
This hand, this hand that holds the pen,
Has many a hundred times been dust
And turned, as dust, to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shown
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon.
All that I rightly think or do,
Or make, or spoil, or bless, or blast,
Is curse or blessing justly due
For sloth or effort in the past.
My life's a statement of the sum
Of vice indulged, or overcome.
I know that in my lives to be
My sorry heart will ache and burn,
And worship, unavailingly,
The woman whom I used to spurn,
And shake to see another have
The love I spurned, the love she gave.
And I shall know, in angry words,
In gibes, and mocks, and many a tear,
A carrion flock of homing-birds,
The gibes and scorns I uttered here.
The brave word that I failed to speak
Will brand me dastard on the cheek.
And as I wander on the roads
I shall be helped and healed and blessed;
Dear words shall cheer and be as goads
To urge to heights before unguessed.
My road shall be the road I made;
All that I gave shall be repaid.
So shall I fight, so shall I tread,
In this long war beneath the stars;
So shall a glory wreathe my head,
So shall I faint and show the scars,
Until this case, this clogging mould,
Be smithied all to kingly gold.
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