Poetry fans: post (or link) to a favorite non-rhyming poem.

This thread has four rules:

  1. Whatever poem you post should not be a rhyming poem. Why? Because there’s no point in playing tennis without a net, that’s why
    B) The poem(s) you contribute should be a poem you yourself like. Why, you ask? Because, I answer.
    Ɣ) I’m including links both to the complete poem and to biographies of the poet. But that’s just me being me. So anybody who wants to can read more of it, that’s why.
    iv) Please respect copyright. It’s kinder to the mods. If I were y’all, I’d err on the side of assuming a given work is not in the public domain (though certain claims made by certain universities about certain dead white chicks named Emily Dickinson are bullshit).

I thought about adding a stipulation that people who don’t like poetry shouldn’t post in the thread, but I decided I didn’t care enough. People who insist on thread-shitting will thread-shit no matter what I say anyway.

Okay, housekeeping’s done. I’ll start with “Traveling Through the Dark,” by William Stafford. Here’s the first stanza:[INDENT]Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
[/INDENT]Anybody else?

I’ve always like Bagpipe Music by Louis MacNiece. It doesn’t rhyme, but works very hard to come damn close without every rhyming. I submit that’s harder than either rhyming or free verse.

For pure free verse, William Carlos Williams’s “This is Just to Say” is my favorite.

Well, I don’t really have a “favorite” poem, but since its Father’s Day, I think it’s appropriate to post Robert Hayden’s poem, “Those Winter Sundays.”

The last lines haunt me:
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

I wrote “a favorite non-rhyming poem,” not “your favorite non-rhyming poem.” That means a poem you like a lot, not necessarily the one poem you love best.

What DO they teach in these schools?

Sitting in a Small Screenhouse on a Summer Morning
by James Wright

Last night I paused at the edge of darkness,
And slept with green dew, alone.
I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow
To the shadow of a horse.
Instead of the first stanza, I posted part of the last.

Picnics by Roger McGough.

(I googled for it and found my own quotation of it here on the SDMB from 12 years ago… I hope there’s a statute of limitations on quoting an entire single stanza poem).

I’m a big fan of Mary Oliver. A lot of her poems talk about nature, and life, and death.

I particularly like White Owl Flies Into and Out of a Field.

“Arithmetic,” by Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head…


Also, “A Man Said to the Universe,” by Stephen Crane:

“‘However,’ replied the universe…”

A co-worker turned me on to this one:

“The Bull Moose”

Rather sad, I think.

Since telemarketing has been the theme of many a passionate thread here, I submit “What I Wouldn’t Do” by Dorianne Laux.

James Dickey of Deliverance fame wrote a lot of great poetry. One of my favorite pieces is Cherry Log Road. How about the last line but it’s full of great imagery.

*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.

Here’s two for cat lovers:

Landlocked in Fur, 4th one down by
Tukaram (1608-1649), very modern translation by Daniel Ladinsky.

and the more familiar “For I will consider my cat Jeoffry” by Christopher Smart (1722-1771)

Out, Out by Robert Frost. It’s not often you find poetry about power tool accidents.


Just to explain, Robert Frost compared writing free verse poetry to playing tennis without a net. He had no problem with non-rhyming poetry, as is demonstrated in his famous (and one of my favorite) poems: The Mending Wall.

Hurt Hawks, by Robinson Jeffers.


The poem has a very strong finish, but I didn’t want to spoil it by taking it out of context.

Also, because someone else beat me to “Those Winter Sundays,” I’ll double up and throw in Kenneth Fearing’s Love, 20¢ the First Quarter Mile:


One of my all-time favorites: [The Ode](Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy) by Arthur O’Shaughnessy.

Ah crap, I just realized it rhymes. Ah well. I stand by it.

Poetry that isn’t tennis without a net, you say, but doesn’t rhyme? How about a sestina?
This one is sheer genius!

The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina by Miller Williams (that’s Lucinda’s dad, by the way) :slight_smile:

Another one – I first encountered this one from a link here in the SDMB:

First Writing Since, by Suheir Hammad. [Note: this is a woman of Palestinian extraction writing about 9/11.]

Excerpt (fourth stanza):

Eating Poetry http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/99/jrieffel/poetry/strand/eating.html by Mark Strand

To the Whore who Took my Poems http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/charles_bukowski/poems/12976 by Charles Bukowski

I like both surrealism and the poetry of stark reality.

Sorry for showing the links, but I don’t link very often and am not quite sure how to do it like the rest of you were.