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  #51  
Old 12-07-2016, 10:45 PM
GinoC GinoC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
It's a huge cliche, especially in geek circles, but it still imight be my favorite:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I love it anyway.
  #52  
Old 12-07-2016, 10:50 PM
GinoC GinoC is offline
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From Horatius by Thomas Babington Macaulay:

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods?"
  #53  
Old 12-07-2016, 11:54 PM
harmonicamoon harmonicamoon is offline
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Another quote from Bobby Frost.

"We keep the wall between us as we go."

That line infers so much!
  #54  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:36 AM
Enuma Elish Enuma Elish is offline
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The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Thomas Gray
  #55  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:14 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RikWriter View Post
Lord Byron:

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 its 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.
This is quietly sad, and very true.
  #56  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:27 AM
movingfinger movingfinger is offline
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Like one who on a lonesome road
doth walk in fear and dread,
and having looked back once
no more will turn his head,
for close behind he knows
a fearful fiend doth tread.

Samuel Coleridge; Rime of the Ancient Mariner

A good poem for halloween, no?
  #57  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:52 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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James Dickey Cherrylog Road. Best poem ever written about a junkyard. And sex.

And I to my motorcycle
Parked like the soul of the junkyard

Restored, a bicycle fleshed
With power, and tore off
Up Highway 106, continually
Drunk on the wind in my mouth,
Wringing the handlebar for speed,
Wild to be wreckage forever.
  #58  
Old 12-08-2016, 03:47 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenfeier View Post
The entirety of Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, but especially:
Great choice, I love that poem, V being my favourite stanza:
V

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
The conclusion of Eliot's Prufrock:
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
and from Bashō:
The old pond
A frog jumps in
The sound of water.
  #59  
Old 12-08-2016, 04:57 AM
Les Espaces Du Sommeil Les Espaces Du Sommeil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
The conclusion of Eliot's Prufrock:
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
That's what I came here to mention, especially the last stanza.

In French, I'd pick:

SPOILER:

Verlaine's Chanson d’Automne

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.
Baudelaire's A une Passante

Ailleurs, bien loin d’ici! trop tard! jamais peut-être!
Car j’ignore où tu fuis, tu ne sais où je vais,
O toi que j’eusse aimée, ô toi qui le savais!
And La Cloche Fêlée

Moi, mon âme est fêlée, et lorsqu'en ses ennuis
Elle veut de ses chants peupler l'air froid des nuits,
Il arrive souvent que sa voix affaiblie

Semble le râle épais d'un blessé qu'on oublie
Au bord d'un lac de sang, sous un grand tas de morts,
Et qui meurt, sans bouger, dans d'immenses efforts.
Reverdy's Sable Mouvant

Alors
Je prie le ciel
Que nul ne me regarde
Si ce n’est au travers d’un verre d’illusion
Retenant seulement
sur l’écran glacé d’un horizon qui boude
ce fin profil de fil de fer amer
si délicatement délavé
par l’eau qui coule
les larmes de rosée
les gouttes de soleil
les embruns de la mer
  #60  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:34 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Very difficult to choose, there are so many, but I'll choose two.

The first is from the great John Dryden's translation of Horace, Odes, I, ix. I get shivers down my spine whenever I read these lines.

Quote:
Happy the man and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own.
He who, secure within, can say
Tomorrow do thy worst for I have lived today.
Come fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed in spite of Fate are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power
But what has been has been and I have had my hour.
Secondly I'd choose Sonnet 23 of John Milton which speaks of a dream he had of his dead wife. Milton had been blind for years when he wrote the poem and the last line is heartbreaking.

Quote:
Methought I saw my late espousèd Saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad Husband gave,
Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.

Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint,
Purification in the old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,

Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd

So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O as to embrace me she enclin'd,
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.
  #61  
Old 12-08-2016, 08:03 AM
Totenfeier Totenfeier is offline
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Must throw in the first and last stanzas of Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas:

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honored among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light...


Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
  #62  
Old 12-08-2016, 08:13 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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Of the ones that haven't been mentioned yet, I'd say the first couple paragraphs, maybe the entire first page, of Lolita. Nabokov would be a genuinely appreciated outright poet if he could just have made 5 to 10 pages along the same lines (not that his other stuff doesn't have rhythm and compactness of imagery.)

Last edited by Ludovic; 12-08-2016 at 08:13 AM.
  #63  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:16 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
  #64  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:26 AM
DaphneBlack DaphneBlack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
Of the ones that haven't been mentioned yet, I'd say the first couple paragraphs, maybe the entire first page, of Lolita. Nabokov would be a genuinely appreciated outright poet if he could just have made 5 to 10 pages along the same lines (not that his other stuff doesn't have rhythm and compactness of imagery.)
Good call! I also like his actual poem from Pale Fire, though I think maybe we aren't supposed to.

So many brilliant poems already mentioned (I am a particular fan of Blake, 'The Tyger' especially).

I think my favorite part of Prufrock is:
Quote:
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
But my favorite poet of all is Gerard Manley Hopkins. His unusual rhythm and word choice make him a bit of challenge, but I just love it.

Quote:
from 'Pied Beauty':
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.
Quote:
from 'Spring and Fall':
Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
I love formal poetry. I don't think I could choose a favorite Shakespearean sonnet.
  #65  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:32 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
  #66  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:45 AM
DaphneBlack DaphneBlack is offline
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If I can offer a poem not in English, Goethe's 'Wandrers Nachtlied' is utter beauty and peace. I think that even without knowing the meaning of the words, the sense comes across somehow (English translations don't do it justice, of course).

Quote:
Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh',
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest Du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.
(Over all the hills, it is calm; in all the treetops, you feel barely a breath; the birds are silent in the woods. Only wait! soon you will rest too.)
  #67  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:47 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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I've already thrown in my lines, but wanted to say that Prufrock is special to me. The inside of my wedding ring says "There will be time."
  #68  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:11 PM
Catamount Catamount is offline
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I love the end of Wilde's "Panthea":

Quote:
…We shall be
Part of the mighty universal whole,
And through all aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!

We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World’s throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart; the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality.
Also the third stanza of Yeats' "The Stolen Child":

Quote:
Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
And all of Dorothy Parker's "Indian Summer" but I'll just quote the last verse:

Quote:
But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.
  #69  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:57 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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"This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams.

Second is any of "Bagpipe Music" by Louis Macniece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Macniece
It’s no go the merrygoround, it’s no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whisky,
Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.
I love the way it almost but never rhymes.
__________________
"East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #70  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:17 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Alexander Pope, from Epistles to Several Persons, Epistle 2: On the Characters of Women:

Quote:
Wise wretch! with pleasures too refin'd to please;
With too much spirit to be e'er at ease;
With too much quickness ever to be taught;
With too much thinking to have common thought:
You purchase pain with all that joy can give,
And die of nothing but a rage to live.
Not seeing much love for the titans of English poetry here, other than Shakespeare. They're titans for a reason.
  #71  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:44 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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I always thought Sting was as much a poet as a musician:

Chase the dog star
Over the sea
Home where my true love is waiting for me

Rope the south wind
Canvas the stars
Harness the moonlight
So she can safely go
Round the Cape Horn to Valparaiso


...
  #72  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:50 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
From Norwegian Rolf Jacobsen's 1935 poem "Myrstrå vipper" - Marsh reeds teeter, where he contrasts human society with the constancy of nature. My translation:

-Fifty years and others live in the houses,
the street cars have new signs and new
leather on the seats.
-A hundred years and the cars have stopped
in long rows, side by side they stand in never
ending caravans, piled up in large heaps,
lie with their wheels up like dead insects.
- A thousand years and the iron girder
is a red line in the sand.

Marsh reeds teeter,
bend to the east, to the west
and whisper.
I love this about the continuation of life..
  #73  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:53 PM
DaphneBlack DaphneBlack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
Not seeing much love for the titans of English poetry here, other than Shakespeare. They're titans for a reason.
Tennyson, Donne, Yeats (Irish but?), Dryden, Wordsworth? Eliot? Don't count?

I prefer of Pope:
Quote:
from 'An Essay on Man'
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

I'll plump for Keats:

Quote:
from 'Endymion'*
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
And Shelley's Ozymandias (my favorite individual poem):
Quote:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
And Byron:
Quote:
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
* Apparently, loathed upon its publication.
  #74  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:54 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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[QUOTE=jtur88;19836986]The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

--"Rime of the Ancient Mariner", Samuel Coleridge

It really is a shame that Coleridge did not produce more, because when he was on, wow, he was really on...
  #75  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:56 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
From Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
This is my favorite complete poem (though it is only a fragment of the whole vision), and speaking it aloud still gives me chills. I was really hoping someone would contribute a portion of it!
  #76  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:00 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
James Dickey Cherrylog Road. Best poem ever written about a junkyard. And sex.

And I to my motorcycle
Parked like the soul of the junkyard

Restored, a bicycle fleshed
With power, and tore off
Up Highway 106, continually
Drunk on the wind in my mouth,
Wringing the handlebar for speed,
Wild to be wreckage forever.
Dickey was a fantastic poet, but I wonder if people remember him always more for Deliverance (and poor Ned Beatty) than for his poetry. Looking for the Buckhead Boys is another great by him, especially if told in the southern drawl.
  #77  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:01 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RikWriter View Post
Lord Byron:

So, we'll go no more a roving....
A great poem, prominently featured in George R.R. Martin's Fevre Dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaphneBlack View Post
...And Shelley's Ozymandias (my favorite individual poem)....
I've loved it since high school. The Watchmen association is just a bonus.

Ah, so many favorites. Guess I'll start out with Whitman:

Washington’s Monument, February 1885

Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling, comprehending,
Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire — not yours alone, America,
Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African’s—the Arab’s in his tent,

Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same—the heir legitimate, continued ever,
The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never-broken line,
Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e’en in defeat defeated not, the same: )

Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.
  #78  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:05 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaphneBlack View Post
If I can offer a poem not in English, Goethe's 'Wandrers Nachtlied' is utter beauty and peace. I think that even without knowing the meaning of the words, the sense comes across somehow (English translations don't do it justice, of course).



(Over all the hills, it is calm; in all the treetops, you feel barely a breath; the birds are silent in the woods. Only wait! soon you will rest too.)
Absolutely, and thanks for the translation!
  #79  
Old 12-08-2016, 02:34 PM
Totenfeier Totenfeier is offline
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And on the dual topic of titans of English poetry and Pope, how about this miniature from a poet known mostly for his broad canvases:

Ode on Solitude

Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

Pope got the idea from the Roman poet Horace, but certainly did a beautiful job with it in English. P.S.: if anybody asks me for my personal credo, this will serve.

Last edited by Totenfeier; 12-08-2016 at 02:35 PM.
  #80  
Old 12-08-2016, 03:32 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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"And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming."
-- Edgar Allan Poe

"And silent as stone he rode down alone / From the floor of the double-damned."
-- Ogden Nash

"'It is bitter--bitter,' he answered, 'but I like it because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.'"
-- Stephen Crane
  #81  
Old 12-08-2016, 03:33 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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The last phrase of Poe's "To One in Paradise":

...And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
  #82  
Old 12-08-2016, 04:03 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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I just have to say, these verse threads are some of my favourites on these boards over the years.


Here's another:


"When the bells jostle in the tower,
The hollow night amid --
Then on my tongue, the taste is sour
Of all I ever did."



- A.E. Housman
  #83  
Old 12-08-2016, 04:48 PM
Theodore Striker Theodore Striker is offline
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I've been pleasantly surprised at the number of responses, and the variance of them. You can really see how the verse can impact people, and how the sharing of verse can evoke emotion. There are some wonderful lines here, hope to see more.
  #84  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:48 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Terrific idea for thread. Well done.
  #85  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:49 PM
CharmaChameleon CharmaChameleon is offline
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Shelley's "Ozymandias" has been mentioned a couple of times, for which I am grateful, so I'll have to offer Yeats's "If", at the final octet:
Quote:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
  #86  
Old 12-08-2016, 06:07 PM
Sternvogel Sternvogel is offline
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CharmaChameleon: Credit for If belongs to Rudyard Kipling.

Since what would have been my first choice (The Second Coming) and second option (Ozymandias) have been mentioned, I'll contribute this excerpt of Robert Browning's My Last Duchess:

Quote:
She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ‘t was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least.
  #87  
Old 12-08-2016, 07:12 PM
Catamount Catamount is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
Not seeing much love for the titans of English poetry here, other than Shakespeare. They're titans for a reason.
If by titans you mean eighteenth-century English poets, I always thought they read too much like a technical manual. Give me the Romantics any day.
  #88  
Old 12-08-2016, 07:34 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamount View Post
If by titans you mean eighteenth-century English poets, I always thought they read too much like a technical manual. Give me the Romantics any day.


Not to mention that this thread isn't about what we feel are the most significant poems but the ones that are our favorites.

The first one I quoted I read in a book about astronomy as a child and it inspired a sense of awe that science can provide. It influenced my life and I love it.
  #89  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:41 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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My absolute all-time favorite is Nesace's speech from E.A. Poe's Al Aaraaf.

I love it because Nesace is speaking directly to the Ineffable, without need of an intercessor; and because it's pretty much exactly what I would say:

Spirit! that dwellest where,
In the deep sky,
The terrible and fair,
In beauty vie!
Beyond the line of blue-
The boundary of the star
Which turneth at the view
Of thy barrier and thy bar-
Of the barrier overgone
By the comets who were cast
From their pride and from their throne
To be drudges till the last-
To be carriers of fire
(The red fire of their heart)
With speed that may not tire
And with pain that shall not part-
Who livest- that we know-
In Eternity- we feel-
But the shadow of whose brow
What spirit shall reveal?
Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace,
Thy messenger hath known
Have dream'd for thy Infinity
A model of their own-
Thy will is done, O God!
The star hath ridden high
Thro' many a tempest, but she rode
Beneath thy burning eye;
And here, in thought, to thee-
In thought that can alone
Ascend thy empire and so be
A partner of thy throne-
By winged Fantasy,
My embassy is given,
Till secrecy shall knowledge be
In the environs of Heaven.'
  #90  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:42 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sternvogel View Post
CharmaChameleon: Credit for If belongs to Rudyard Kipling.

Since what would have been my first choice (The Second Coming) and second option (Ozymandias) have been mentioned, I'll contribute this excerpt of Robert Browning's My Last Duchess:
I remember My Last Duchess from my junior year in high school. I had to do a presentation on it, and discovered the woman being spoken of was Lucrezia Borgia. When I mentioned her father was Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI, one fellow student, who was more innocent than I was, asked how he could be pope and have kids. I replied "Just like any other man I guess."
  #91  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:51 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinoC View Post
From Horatius by Thomas Babington Macaulay:

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods?"
I love this one too. It's been a long time since I read the poem, need to get it out again.
  #92  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:54 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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Looking over the favorite passages quoted here, I notice something. Though from every quarter and walk of life, on every theme -- from bicycles to Kubla Khan -- the passages people chose to single out all seem to flow with especial grace. They are the kind of passages where every choice of word seems perfect and no substitute would do; they flow like incantations or timeless aphorisms, and impart a sense of the numenous to each sentiment.

Sternvogel: I find this choice very interesting, because I'm a person who can be very happy with small things and everyday joys. Do you think, as Browning seems to impliy, that there is something offputting about this quality? Or is it just that the lady in question lacked a sense of perspective or proportion?
  #93  
Old 12-08-2016, 11:21 PM
GinoC GinoC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmaChameleon View Post
Shelley's "Ozymandias" has been mentioned a couple of times, for which I am grateful, so I'll have to offer Yeats's "If", at the final octet:
It's obvious you've never Kipled. 😉
  #94  
Old 12-08-2016, 11:40 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Some more good Kipling - "Recessional," written for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897:

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word-
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
  #95  
Old 12-09-2016, 06:17 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Two sonnets from Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Credo

I cannot find my way: there is no star
In all the shrouded heavens anywhere;
And there is not a whisper in the air
Of any living voice but one so far
That I can hear it only as a bar
Of lost, imperial music, played when fair
And angel fingers wove, and unaware,
Dead leaves to garlands where no roses are.

No, there is not a glimmer, nor a call,
For one that welcomes, welcomes when he fears,
The black and awful chaos of the night;
For through it all--above, beyond it all--
I know the far sent message of the years,
I feel the coming glory of the light.


Dear Friends

Dear Friends, reproach me not for what I do,
Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor say
That I am wearing half my life away
For bubble-work that only fools pursue.
And if my bubbles be too small for you,
Blow bigger then your own: the games we play
To fill the frittered minutes of a day,
Good glasses are to read the spirit through.

And whoso reads may get him some shrewd skill;
And some unprofitable scorn resign,
To praise the very thing that he deplores;
So, friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,
The shame I win for singing is all mine,
The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.
  #96  
Old 12-09-2016, 08:10 AM
DaphneBlack DaphneBlack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brujaja View Post
Looking over the favorite passages quoted here, I notice something. Though from every quarter and walk of life, on every theme -- from bicycles to Kubla Khan -- the passages people chose to single out all seem to flow with especial grace. They are the kind of passages where every choice of word seems perfect and no substitute would do; they flow like incantations or timeless aphorisms, and impart a sense of the numenous to each sentiment.
I think this is right. What makes me love a poem, first, is how it sounds. And as you say, the idea that each word is the exact right one, that the poet has somehow found the ineffably perfect words to put next to each other. I think that's exactly how the sense of the 'numinous' is conveyed -- almost a feeling that human skill alone cannot have forged this work.

I also tend to find the topic less important, but looking through the selection I've made, it's apparent that my 'very favorite' do tend to cluster around 'big' themes, in particular the human longing to understand our human condition.
  #97  
Old 12-09-2016, 08:33 AM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr
  #98  
Old 12-09-2016, 11:23 AM
Catamount Catamount is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaphneBlack View Post
I think this is right. What makes me love a poem, first, is how it sounds. And as you say, the idea that each word is the exact right one, that the poet has somehow found the ineffably perfect words to put next to each other. I think that's exactly how the sense of the 'numinous' is conveyed -- almost a feeling that human skill alone cannot have forged this work.
My favorite example of perfect words, cadence, and rhythm is in Poe's "Annabel Lee""

Quote:
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;
The whole poem is like that, but that one line is shining perfection.
  #99  
Old 12-09-2016, 12:29 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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Robert Herrick:

Whenas in silks my Julia goes
then, then, methinks.
how sweetly flows
that liquifaction of her clothes.
  #100  
Old 12-09-2016, 01:44 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
From Norwegian Rolf Jacobsen's 1935 poem "Myrstrå vipper" - Marsh reeds teeter, where he contrasts human society with the constancy of nature. My translation:
Gerard Manley Hopkins contrasting nature passing away with humans' eternal life:

But vastness blurs and time beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; world's wildfire, leave but ash:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.


"I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am...immortal diamond" is on Mom's (and eventually my) gravestone.
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