Urgent - I need a verse from your favourite poem please!

(156 Posts)

I've go to get some work in on Tuesday & it involves looking at lots of poems and picking them to bits looking at rhyming patterns, seeing why the author has chosen particular words etc.

I've used up all my favourites, Old Possums' Cats, Beowulf, Poe, Kipling etc etc and run out of ideas, decided I needed something modern, but all I can find is blank verse & it's all miserable.

Can you help? I need a verse & authors name.


guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:11:54

I am not yet born Louis MacNeice

all of the poem really, but last 2 lines are really powerful

'Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me
Otherwise kill me'

cairnterrier Sat 26-Jan-13 19:14:17

Faster than fairies faster than witches all of the houses the hedges and ditches

From a railway carriage poss by r l stephenson

Sorry no punctuation but first post from new phone and bfeeding at the same time

kiwigirl42 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:15:09

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 windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:15:14

oops sorry,

tite is
a Prayer Before Birth

TaggieCampbellBlack Sat 26-Jan-13 19:15:37

Still I rise - Maya Angelou.

We were fashioned man and wife/by hammer strokes of daily life.

Unfortunatlyanxious Sat 26-Jan-13 19:16:01

Yeats, He wishes for the cloths of heaven

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

RoomForASmallOne Sat 26-Jan-13 19:16:06

Insrtuctions To The Double by Tess Gallagher.

If anyone calls you a witch, burn for him
If anyone calls you less or more than you are
Let them burn for you.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sat 26-Jan-13 19:16:09

Checking Out Me History

Dem tell me
Dem tell me
Wha dem want to tell me

Bandage up me eye with me own history
Blind me to me own identity

Dem tell me about 1066 and all dat
Dem tell me bout Dick Wittington and he cat
But Toussaint L’Ouverture
No dem never tell me bout dat

A slave
With vision
Lick back
And first black
Republic born
Toussaint de thorn
To de French
Toussant de beacon
Of de Haitian Revolution

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:16:11

title -

dunno wot iz wrong with i tudday grin

confusteling Sat 26-Jan-13 19:16:56

Ning Nang Nong

Love that one, and has an interesting rythym/rhyme scheme.

weblette Sat 26-Jan-13 19:18:03

How about some Brian Patten or Roger McGough?

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:18:58

Either this one:-

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

thixotropic Sat 26-Jan-13 19:19:59

Audens As I Walked Out One Evening

Love that one.

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:20:12

'I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night'

- cant remember all of it, will go and have a look

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:21:23

soworn - I love that poem!

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:22:38

Or this one:-

I have a Rendezvous with Death

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air -
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath -
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous

Allan Seeger.

Poet and member of the French Foreign Legion, killed on The Somme in 1916 whilst charging a machine gun emplacement.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 26-Jan-13 19:22:54

Is it with children? Julia Donaldson-gruffalo, room on a broom- is great for rhyming couplets. Or Giles Andreae-Commotion in the Ocean etc. Obviously I may have completely the wrong end of the stick!

vj32 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:23:46

Yeats again:

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.

mousebacon Sat 26-Jan-13 19:24:11

The Solitary Reaper

BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands 10
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?--
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago: 20
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;--
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill 30
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:24:53

guffaw I love 'I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night'. What's it from?

mermaid101 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:26:58


Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt.
Keith Douglas

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:27:48

Sarah Williams The Old Astronomer to his Pupil

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:28:43

Oh...missed the modern bit! How about this one:-


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:29:20

Thanks, guffaw. I shall google it!

Porkster Sat 26-Jan-13 19:30:18

Great for rhyming patterns - a bit of Tennyson

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

therugratref Sat 26-Jan-13 19:31:02

This is one of my favourites
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

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 travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:32:00

Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obliquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

Sarah Williams

Robert Frost The Road Not Taken

GlaikitCheiftanOThePuddinRace Sat 26-Jan-13 19:33:14

Ae fond kiss - Robert burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met-or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Storm, by tim minchin

It's 9 minutes long, so I've not put all the lyrics here grin

It's here tho http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KtYkyB35zkk the actual poem starts at 1 minute in.

WitchOfEndor Sat 26-Jan-13 19:34:36

Not modern, but as it is close to Burns Night...

A Red, Red Rose
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

<surreptitiously wipes a tear away>

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:34:56

this so tells how it feels to be stood up!

A Broken Appointment

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness' sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
-I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me.
Thomas Hardy

BikeRunSki Sat 26-Jan-13 19:39:51

Jabberwocky - Lewis Carroll

Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wave
All mimsy were the borrogroves
And the mome rates outgabe.

Since very few of the individual words make sense, it is all about how the fit together, rhythm etc.

Badvoc Sat 26-Jan-13 19:40:33

The life that I have
By Leo marks
Violette szabos call sign during her resistance work in the 2nd world war.

SanityClause Sat 26-Jan-13 19:40:54

I love the Yeats, posted by Unfortunately.

But I also like this - it has a certain resonance for me now wink

Those cruel girls we loved are over forty
Their subtle daughters have stolen their beauty
And with a blue stare of cruel surprise
The mock their anxious mothers with their mothers' eyes.

It's by an Australian poet, Stevie Smith.

Here's another one she wrote.

Not Waving But Drowning

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.

SirSugar Sat 26-Jan-13 19:40:55

Here You go.....

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
It's time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 26-Jan-13 19:42:16

My true-love hath my heart by Sir Phillip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.


Strawberries by Edwin Morgan

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

DumSpiroSpero Sat 26-Jan-13 19:45:26
thegreylady Sat 26-Jan-13 19:45:53

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W B Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths
Enwrought with silver and golden light;
The dark and the dim and the blue cloths of night,
And the light and the half light,
I would spread those cloths under your feet.
But I,being poor,have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 19:45:57

sirsugar am feeling that!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Come not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
To trample round my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.
There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by.
Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest:
Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of time,
And I desire to rest.
Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie;
Go by, go by.

Did this at A Level. Teenage angst ahoy! Would be accused of EA on MN though wink

Porkster Sat 26-Jan-13 19:48:42

I just saw that you wanted modern.

What about the 'Song of Lunch' by Christopher Reid, fabulous for reading aloud. I really love it.

....'Once more she is distracted,
catching the eye of the waiter
with a demur flutter
of restaurant semaphore
and asking for more water.'...

Oops, bollocks, modern.

Please Mrs Butler?

What would the world be, once bereft,
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left;
O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

From 'Inversnaid' by Hopkins.

TeamEdward Sat 26-Jan-13 19:51:54

<lowers tone dramatically>

Some people dream of the Perfect Man,
But maybe not many exist?
With charm and panache,
A sackload of cash,
And a willy as thick as your wrist.

Purple Ronnie

DumSpiroSpero Sat 26-Jan-13 19:52:51

Oops there shouldn't have been a comma at the end of the first line blush

LexyMa Sat 26-Jan-13 19:57:45

^Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush!
We'll over the border and gie them a brush:
There's somebody there we'll teach better behavior -
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!^

Well, it was my favourite poem yesterday anyway [bgrin]

MumOfMissy Sat 26-Jan-13 19:58:18

Florrie by Eileen Silver

There was a young lady called Florrie
Who went for a wee in a quarry
She lay on her back
And opened her crack
And a driver backed in with his lorry

(My nan's favourite)

cocoachannel Sat 26-Jan-13 20:00:18

After the Lunch, by Wendy Cope

On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes
The weather conditions bring tears to my eyes
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I've fallen in love.

On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think
This is nothing you're high on the charm and the drink
But the jukebox inside me is playing a song that says something different
And when was it wrong?

On Waterloo Bridge with wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care
The head does it best - but the heart is the boss.
I admit it before I am halfway across.

determinedma Sat 26-Jan-13 20:00:22

I stood and stared
The sky was lit
The sky had stars all over it
I stood, I knew not why.
Without a wish, without a will
I stood upon that silent hill
And stared into the sky until
My eyes were blind with stars and still
I stares into the sky.

Ralph Hodgson

determinedma Sat 26-Jan-13 20:01:00

Last line should be "stared"

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 20:05:07

there was a young man from gotham
who took off his balls to wash 'em
his wife said 'Jack,
if you dont put them back
I'll stand on the buggers and squash 'em.

Oh, if we're sourcing Purple Ronnie...

If your bottom burps in public
Try to say in time
"Goodness gracious, what a whiff
"It doesn't smell like mine."

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 26-Jan-13 20:12:56

I said Pat
you are fat
and you are cataclysmically desirable
and to think I used to think
that slim was where it's at
well not any more Pat
you've changed that
and love yourself
and flatter yourself
and shatter their narrow image of the erotic
and Pat said
what do you mean FAT?

John Hegley.

MumOfMissy Sat 26-Jan-13 20:15:40

guffaw you just made me guffaw smile

thegreylady Sat 26-Jan-13 20:24:17

Ah yes...modern
Two Cats by Michael Rosen
When we opened the door late
to see what had happened to the sky
there were two cats crouching among the snow dunes
pretending they were fireside laps.
The beads in their eyes stole some of
our kitchen light
and spilt it onto the path.
So we put down the bones of a chop there too saying: there's some marrow inside that,you know-
but they didn't believe it was for them
and sat still thawing their patches
like two warm loaves
and groaning that we hadn't put it near enough
seeing that they had put their feet to bed by now.

Punctuation etc copied from book so exact!

LondonInHighHeeledBoots Sat 26-Jan-13 20:30:01

William Blake, The Tyger

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

Robert Browning The Laboratory

Not that I bid you spare her the pain;
Let death be felt and the proof remain:
Brand, burn up, bite into its grace---
He is sure to remember her dying face!

Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose;
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close;
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee!
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?

John McCrae Flanders Fields

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

I'm not a big poetry fan but I do like 'It couldn't be done' by Edgar Albert Guest.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

Morris the mankiest monster
Lives in a house made of dung
It only smells stinky enough when it's damp
So he keeps the walls wet with his tongue
He sleeps on a bed of old compost
Shovelled on lovely and thick
And when he gets up he goes into the bathroom
And gives all his scabs a good pick

There's much more but I'm typing on my phone.

With my grown up head on I like Robin Goodfellow's speech from the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream - If we shadows have offended...etc.

pointythings Sat 26-Jan-13 20:34:51

Is this modern?

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

(From T.S Eliot - The Hollow Men)

The rhyme is irregular, but definitely intentional.

Lavenderhoney Sat 26-Jan-13 20:36:27

High flight is one of my Faves, already posted. And anything by yeats. I love Ovid too, he was amazing - you could learn anything and everything about love from himsmile I'll try to find and post one but am on my iPad so challengedsmile and elizabeth Barrett brown - her sonnets are wonderful.

magimedi Sat 26-Jan-13 20:39:28

If you want rhymes............. and I don't always need 'em - this is the one:

How I would like to be: "Hull down on the trail of rapture..

Richard Hovey. 1864–1900

The Sea Gypsy

I am fevered with the sunset,
I am fretful with the bay,
For the wander-thirst is on me
And my soul is in Cathay.

There 's a schooner in the offing,
With her topsails shot with fire,
And my heart has gone aboard her
For the Islands of Desire.

I must forth again to-morrow!
With the sunset I must be
Hull down on the trail of rapture
In the wonder of the sea.

Lavenderhoney Sat 26-Jan-13 20:43:47

How annoying I can't link- but it's sonnet 43 with elizabeth Barrett browning and John bejtman and " a subalterns love song" Starts " miss joan hunter Dunn"

Sorry, but hope you look and enjoysmile

Gunznroses Sat 26-Jan-13 20:47:44


What is this life if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep, or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.


William Henry Davies 1871 - 1940

Lavenderhoney Sat 26-Jan-13 20:48:47

Just realised Ovid isn't modern but I would still say read it as it applys for love etc todaysmile he was very forward for his time and was banished for his poetry by the roman emperor!

BumpingFuglies Sat 26-Jan-13 20:51:46

Short and sweet:

The Cat

The cat
Sat on the garden wall
And gave the fly
A swat
He meant to hold on
Very tight
But he didn't
He forgot

Only one I ever remember smile

ScrambledSmegs Sat 26-Jan-13 20:53:41

Too many! I do love Sonnet by Rupert Brooke -

I said I splendidly loved you; it's not true.
Such long swift tides stir not a land-locked sea.
On gods or fools the high risk falls -- on you --
The clean clear bitter-sweet that's not for me.
Love soars from earth to ecstasies unwist.
Love is flung Lucifer-like from Heaven to Hell.
But -- there are wanderers in the middle mist,
Who cry for shadows, clutch, and cannot tell
Whether they love at all, or, loving, whom:
An old song's lady, a fool in fancy dress,
Or phantoms, or their own face on the gloom;
For love of Love, or from heart's loneliness.
Pleasure's not theirs, nor pain. They doubt, and sigh,
And do not love at all. Of these am I.

bassetfeet Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:05

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;
"Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."

ScrambledSmegs Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:14

Or Emily Dickinson -

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind —
As if my Brain had split —
I tried to match it — Seam by Seam —
But could not make it fit.

The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before —
But Sequence ravelled out of Sound
Like Balls — upon a Floor.

Ooooh thank you! smile

These are great! I love the Tax one - haven't read the others properly yet but will go through them in a min. I have used Lady of Shallott already, and also the 'faster than fairies, faster than witches' railway one, ( & Pied Piper too) but you've reminded me of some half-remembered names, like Roger McGough, although I don't know his stuff (yet!).

The age group is A-levels. So not Purple Ronnie or Gruffalo grin I said I wanted modern because I realised that all the poems I've used & know & love are ancient & I didn't want them to think know that I'm stuck in the past. But all donations gratefully accepted.

Thanks once again to you all!

ScrambledSmegs Sat 26-Jan-13 21:01:23

OK, think this is my fave, use of language is wonderful, and I like the 5:3:1 style. Philip Larkin - Absences. Try reading it aloud, it's hauntingly lilting.

Rain patters on a sea that tilts and sighs.
Fast-running floors, collapsing into hollows,
Tower suddenly, spray-haired. Contrariwise,
A wave drops like a wall: another follows,
Wilting and scrambling, tirelessly at play
Where there are no ships and no shallows.

Above the sea, the yet more shoreless day,
Riddled by wind, trails lit-up galleries:
They shift to giant ribbing, sift away.

Such attics cleared of me! Such absences!

Gunznroses Sat 26-Jan-13 21:04:58

OP you're students should love my fav poem then grin "Leisure" further up.

MrsWembley Sat 26-Jan-13 21:16:49

Haven't had a chance to rtf, so this may be redundant, but one of my favourite rhyming poems is;

A politician is an arse upon
which everyone has sat except a man. (ee cummings)

Just remembered another;

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

(Dorothy Parker)

CheeseStrawWars Sat 26-Jan-13 21:25:00

Lyrics, rather than poems - but "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" by Arctic Monkeys, or something by The Smiths, Shoplifters Of The World Unite perhaps?


Have you ever felt alone in life,
Felt no one cared for you?
Or been out with a group of friends,
And felt alone then too?
Have you ever had a broken heart,
You felt couldn't be repaired?
Or tried to touch somebody with your words,
But knew nobody cared?
Have you ever needed good advice,
But were too afraid to call?
Or felt separated from the world,
Surrounded by a brick wall?
Have you ever been asked about your future,
And said you couldn't care less?
Or tried to pick up the pieces but,
They make just one giant mess?
Have you ever felt so confused,
That you couldn't even cry?
Have you ever felt so damn depressed;
Have you ever wished to die?

OhWesternWind Sat 26-Jan-13 21:29:47

Talking of the Liverpool poets -Brian patten's poem.

I caught a train that passed the town where you live.
On the journey I thought of you.
One evening when the park was soaking
You hid beneath trees, and all around you dimmed itself
As if the earth were Lit by gaslight.
We had faith that love would last forever.

I caught a train that passed the town where you live.

And, of course, "Oh western wind ..."

HotBurrito1 Sat 26-Jan-13 21:34:57

How modern?

W.H.Auden's 'Death's echo'.

Dance, dance for the figure is easy,
The tune is catching and will not stop;
Dance till the stars come down from the rafters;
Dance, dance, dance till you drop.

MelodyBaker Sat 26-Jan-13 21:36:21

the soldier
IF I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

Rupert brpole

MelodyBaker Sat 26-Jan-13 21:43:28

The solider Rupert brooke.
IF I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

MelodyBaker Sat 26-Jan-13 21:43:58

Double post. Sorry

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 21:47:32

If it's A Levels try Roger McGough. They'll like this one, I reckon.

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

Roger McGough

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 21:49:53

the boy stood on the burning deck
his feet were full of blisters.
the flames came up and burnt his pants
so now he wears his sisters.

or just

nature's first green is gold
her hardest hue to hold.
her early leaf's a flower
but only so an hour.
so leaf subsides to leaf
so Eden sank to grief
so dawn goes down to day
nothing gold can stay.

I can't remember who wrote tgat one byt it was in the Outsiders

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 21:50:15

Or if you think you'll get away with it, this one:-

Today is Not a Day for Adultery

Today is not a day for adultery.
The sky is a wet blanket
Being shaken in anger. Thunder
Rumbles through the streets
Like malicious gossip.

Take my advice: braving
The storm will not impress your lover
When you turn up at the house
In an anorak. Wellingtons,
Even coloured, seldom arouse.

Your umbrella will leave a tell-tale
Puddle in the hall. Another stain
To be explained away. Stay in,
Keep your mucus to yourself.
Today is not a day for sin.

Best pick up the phone and cancel.
Postpone until the weather clears.
No point in getting soaked through.
At your age, a fuck’s not worth
The chance of catching a ‘flu.

by Roger McGough

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 21:53:50

nothing golcan sray is robert frost.

and the boy stood... is shel silverstein

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 21:54:16

nothing gold can stay

LisaMed Sat 26-Jan-13 22:02:33

If it is rhyme and rhythm, perhaps look at Betjemen. I learned about twenty of his off by heart for O level (I am a sad old bat). Auden is one I remember happily. Wilfred Own used para rhyme (iirc from my O level days) The Village Inn is good, I think it uses two types of rhyme for effect. I loved Welsh Landscape by RS Thomas but that may have been a phase I was going through.

All time favourite with rhyme, The Cloud by Shelly ending,

I silently laugh at my own cenotaph
And out of the caverns of rain
Like a ghost from a tomb, like a child from a womb
I arise and unbuild it again.

LisaMed Sat 26-Jan-13 22:04:06

To add, I am loving reading all the suggestions

My favourite children's one is this:

My Uncle Jehosephat

My uncle Jehosephat had a pig,
A pig of high degree.
The pig, it wore a brown scratch wig,
Most beautiful for to see.
My uncle Jehosephat loved that pig,
And the piggy-wig, he loved him.
They both jumped into the lake one day
To see who best could swim.
My uncle Jehosephat, he swam up,
and the piggy-wig, he swam down.
And so they both did win the prize,
Which was a purple gown.

Not sure who it is by, and I realise it is totally irrelevant to your purpose, but I had to share grin

I came on here to do High Flight, but as it's been done already I give you:

John Masefield's Sea Fever

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

The seed shop by muriel Stuart

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry -
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century's streams;
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.

Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells, a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

pointythings Sat 26-Jan-13 22:16:01

Oh, and if it's rhyme you want, how about this:

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; 5
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: 10
Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins - Pied Beauty. The big thing with him is his use of alliteration as well as rhyme.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 26-Jan-13 22:19:36

Another by Robert Frost: the entire poem is this couplet:

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee,
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me

nicelyneurotic Sat 26-Jan-13 22:33:34

But I like it
Because it is bitter
And because it is my heart

From In the desert By Stephen Crane.

Also like the lady of Shallot by Tennyson
The sunlight on the garden by Louis MacNeice

And Vers de societe by Philip Larkin, first two lines:
My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours

nicelyneurotic Sat 26-Jan-13 22:44:30

The sunlight on the garden by Louis MacNeice

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 26-Jan-13 22:52:43

Andrea Gibson - Photograph

I wish I was a photograph
tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
and when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
and postcards saying
wish you were here

I wish you were here
autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can't tell trees those things
they're like me they just stand there
and don't listen

I wish you were here
I've been missing you like crazy
I've been hazy eyed
staring at the bottom of my glass again
thinking of that time when it was so full
it was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
or sticking straws into the center of the sun
and sipping like icarus would forever kiss
the bullets from our guns

I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
now the sky clicks from black to blue
and dusk looks like a bruise
I've been wrapping one night stands
around my body like wedding bands
but none of them fit in the morning
they just slip off my fingers and slip out the door
and all that lingers is the scent of you
I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
all the wishes in the world would come true
do you remember

do you remember the night I told you
I've never seen anything more perfect than
than snow falling in the glow of a street light
electricity bowing to nature
mind bowing to heartbeat
this is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you

so wherever you are I hope you're happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing your life
I hope there's a kite in your hand
that's flying all the way up to orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you're smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I'm still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met
you were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat
and I wish you were here
I wish you'd never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best

foslady Sat 26-Jan-13 22:56:18

Can't help but love this....

Abroad as I was walking one evening in the spring
I heard a maid in Bedlam who mournfully did sing
Her chains she rattled on her hands, and thus replied she
"I love my love because I know my love loves me

Oh cruel were his parents who sent my love to sea
And cruel was the sailing ship that bore my love from me
Yet I love his parents since their his, although they've ruined me
I love my love because I know my love loves me

With straw I'll weave a garland, I'll weave it wondrous fine
With roses, lilies, daisies I'll mix the eglantine
And I'll present it to my love when he returns from sea
I love my love because I know my love loves me"

Just as she sat there weeping, her love, he came on land
Then hearing she was in Bedlam he ran straight out of hand
He flew into her snow-white arms, and thus replied he
"I love my love because I know my love loves me"

She said, "My love, don't frighten me, are you my love or no?"
"Oh yes, my dearest Nancy, I am your love also
I am returned to make amends for all your injury
I love my love because I know my love loves me
I love my love because I know my love loves me"

Pam Ayres is always good if you want a bit modern but cheery. We used to be quoted this one when growing up if we tried to avoid teeth-brushing duties. grin

Also try Spike Milligan or Roald Dahl.

magimedi Sat 26-Jan-13 23:01:56

Whatever OP has gained from this thread I do not know.

Lots I hope.

But I am really, really enjoying the poetry - so many I did not know & want to explore further.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 26-Jan-13 23:36:48

Sage advice for every teen:

This Be the Verse - Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

plantsitter Sat 26-Jan-13 23:43:29

Wendy Cope

Giving Up Smoking

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet
Or a Beethoven quartet
That's easier to like than you
Or harder to forget.

You think that sounds extravagant?
I haven't finished yet --
I like you more than I would like
To have a cigarette.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 26-Jan-13 23:46:57

Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part
Yea, I am done,you get no more of me
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart
That thus so cleanly I myself can free
Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows
And if we meet at any time again
Be it not seem in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain....

There's more because it's a sonnet, but those are the best lines!

Mollie272 Sun 27-Jan-13 01:04:40

I really like this part of Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns - reminding us to make the most of the good times while we can. Good for this time of year too.

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white - then melts for ever;
Or like the Borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the Rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm. -

Mollie272 Sun 27-Jan-13 01:11:41

I'm also very fond of this by e e cummings -

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the se

stickygingerbread Sun 27-Jan-13 01:30:17

not so modern but my favorite:

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said--"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart....Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
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."

nothing more satisfying than a fallen tyrant.

Yeats, The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

I know you mentioned modern but when you said favourites I immediately thought of 3 poems - the 2 I posted and Yeats' He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven.

WickWackThurso Sun 27-Jan-13 01:50:25

Matilda, by Hillaire Belloc

PatFenis Sun 27-Jan-13 02:09:27

Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego is in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,
Is a measure of how much you'll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you'll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man

Lockedout434 Sun 27-Jan-13 02:25:11

by Margaret Mahy

Mother, mother, what was that?
Hush my darling! Only the cat.
(Fighty-bitey, ever-so-mighty)
Out in the moony dark.

Mother, mother, what was that?
Hush my darling! Only the cat.
(Prowly-yowly, sleepy-creepy
Fighty-bitey, ever-so-mighty)
Out in the moony dark.

Mother, mother, what was that?
Hush my darling! Only the cat.
(Sneeky-peeky, cosy-dozy,
Prowly-yowly, sleepy-creepy
Fighty-bitey, ever-so-mighty)
Out in the moony dark.

Mother, mother, what was that?
Hush my darling! Only the cat.
(Patchy-scratchy, furry-purry,
Sneeky-peeky, cosy-dozy,
Prowly-yowly, sleepy-creepy
Fighty-bitey, ever-so-mighty)
Out in the moony dark.

Lockedout434 Sun 27-Jan-13 02:37:32

The song A Thousand Kisses Deep on
Ten New Songs is based on this poem.

For Those Who Greeted Me *)

1. You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You´d have to live alone to know
How good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I´d know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?

2. I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique -
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.

3. All soaked in sex, and pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
We made it to the forward deck
I blessed our remnant fleet -
And then consented to be wrecked
A thousand kisses deep.

4. I know you had to lie to me,
I know you had to cheat.
But the Means no longer guarantee
The Virtue in Deceit.
That truth is bent, that beauty spent,
That style is obsolete -
Ever since the Holy Spirit went
A thousand kisses deep.

5. (So what about this Inner Light
That´s boundless and unique?
I´m slouching through another night
A thousand kisses deep.)

6. I´m turning tricks; I´m getting fixed,
I´m back on Boogie Street.
I tried to quit the business -
Hey, I´m lazy and I´m weak.
But sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go
A thousand kisses deep.

7. (And fragrant is the thought of you,
The file on you complete -
Except what we forgot to do
A thousand kisses deep.)

8. The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it´s done -
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it´s real
A thousand kisses deep.

9. (I jammed with Diz and Dante -
I did not have their sweep -
But once or twice, they let me play
A thousand kisses deep.)

10. And I´m still working with the wine,
Still dancing cheek to cheek.
The band is playing "Auld Lang Syne" -
The heart will not retreat.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep -
You ditch it all to stay alive
A thousand kisses deep.

11. And now you are the Angel Death
And now the Paraclete;
And now you are the Savior's Breath
And now the Belsen heap.
No turning from the threat of love,
No transcendental leap -
As witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep.

September 21, 1998

flootshoot Sun 27-Jan-13 08:17:26

Mad girl's love song by Sylvia Plath. Sorry on phone and can't link!

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Sun 27-Jan-13 08:37:07

Sonnet XVII

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close

~ Pablo Neruda ~

Thank you all - this is fantastic! Inspiring & very helpful.

<<Whatever OP has gained from this thread I do not know.
Lots I hope. But I am really, really enjoying the poetry - so many I did not know & want to explore further.>>

Magimedi - I hope to inspire the students to find something they love and not dismiss poetry as boring or irrelevant. It's great that so many people here on MN have one or two poems that obviously struck a chord and mean something to them.

BTW, My DH's favourite poem is this be the Verse (they Fuck you up, your Mum & Dad) . It's great but I don't think I can use it!

I like Sir Sugar's one about Tax. There are some really good ones here. I'm going to save this thread!

Jamillalliamilli Sun 27-Jan-13 12:10:03

I thought it might be the case, but my sympathies, as I never met a teenager who couldn't relate to it on some level. smile

AngusOg Sun 27-Jan-13 12:11:24

"Seas have their source; and so do silent springs,
And love is love, in beggars and in kings."

The Lowest Trees Have Tops, Sir Edward Dyer

MadRambler Sun 27-Jan-13 12:26:14

A long one, but a goodie...

Miss Thompson Goes Shopping by Martin Armstrong

My favourite bit being where she pops the scarlet slippers in beside the kippers! It's quite hard to find the full version, so I'll stick it here for entertainment value:

Miss Thompson at Home

In her lone cottage on the downs,
With winds and blizzards and great crowns
Of shining cloud, with wheeling plover
And short grass sweet with the small white clover,
Miss Thompson lived, correct and meek,
A lonely spinster, and every week
On market-day she used to go
Into the little town below,
Tucked in the great downs' hollow bowl
Like pebbles gathered in a shoal.

She goes a-Marketing

So, having washed her plates and cup
And banked the kitchen-fire up,
Miss Thompson slipped upstairs and dressed,
Put on her black (her second best),
The bonnet trimmed with rusty plush,
Peeped in the glass with simpering blush,
From camphor-smelling cupboard took
Her thicker jacket off the hook
Because the day might turn to cold.
Then, ready, slipped downstairs and rolled
The hearthrug back; then searched about,
Found her basket, ventured out,
Snecked the door and paused to lock it
And plunge the key in some deep pocket.
Then as she tripped demurely down
The steep descent, the little town
Spread wider till its sprawling street
Enclosed her and her footfalls beat
On hard stone pavement, and she felt
Those throbbing ecstasies that melt
Through heart and mind, as, happy, free,
Her small, prim personality
Merged into the seething strife
Of auction-marts and city life.

She visits the Boot-maker.

Serenely down the busy stream
Miss Thompson floated in a dream.
Now, hovering bee-like, she would stop
Entranced before some tempting shop,
Getting in people's way and prying
At things she never thought of buying:
Now wafted on without an aim,
Until in course of time she came
To Watson's bootshop. Long she pries
At boots and shoes of every size —
Brown football-boots with bar and stud
For boys that scuffle in the mud,
And dancing-pumps with pointed toes
Glossy as jet, and dull black bows;
Slim ladies' shoes with two-inch heel
And sprinkled beads of gold and steel —
'How anyone can wear such things!'
On either side the doorway springs
(As in a tropic jungle loom
Masses of strange thick-petalled bloom
And fruits mis-shapen) fold on fold
A growth of sand-shoes rubber-soled,
Clambering the door-posts, branching, spawning
Their barbarous bunches like an awning
Over the windows and the doors.
But, framed among the other stores,
Something has caught Miss Thompson's eye
(O worldliness! O vanity!),
A pair of slippers — scarlet plush.
Miss Thompson feels a conscious blush
Suffuse her face, as though her thought
Had ventured further than it ought.
But O that colour's rapturous singing
And the answer in her lone heart ringing!
She turns (O Guardian Angels, stop her
From doing anything improper!)
She turns; and see, she stoops and bungles
In through the sand-shoes' hanging jungles,
Away from light and common sense,
Into the shop dim-lit and dense
With smells of polish and tanned hide.

Mrs. Watson

Soon from a dark recess inside
Fat Mrs. Watson comes slip-slop
To mind the business of the shop.
She walks flat-footed with a roll —
A serviceable, homely soul,
With kindly, ugly face like dough,
Hair dull and colourless as tow.
A huge Scotch pebble fills the space
Between her bosom and her face.
One sees her making beds all day.
Miss Thompson lets her say her say:
'So chilly for the time of year.
It's ages since we saw you here.'
Then, heart a-flutter, speech precise,
Describes the shoes and asks the price.
'Them, Miss? Ah, them is six-and-nine.'
Miss Thompson shudders down the spine
(Dream of impossible romance).
She eyes them with a wistful glance,
Torn between good and evil. Yes,
Wrestles with a Temptation;

For half-a-minute and no less
Miss Thompson strives with seven devils,
Then, soaring over earthly levels

And is Saved

Turns from the shoes with lingering touch —
'Ah, six-and-nine is far too much.
Sorry to trouble you. Good day!'

She visits the Fish-monger

A little further down the way
Stands Miles's fish-shop, whence is shed
So strong a smell of fishes dead
That people of a subtler sense
Hold their breath and hurry thence.
Miss Thompson hovers there and gazes:
Her housewife's knowing eye appraises
Salt and fresh, severely cons
Kippers bright as tarnished bronze:
Great cods disposed upon the sill,
Chilly and wet, with gaping gill,
Flat head, glazed eye, and mute, uncouth,
Shapeless, wan, old-woman's mouth.
Next a row of soles and plaice
With querulous and twisted face,
And red-eyed bloaters, golden-grey;
Smoked haddocks ranked in neat array;
A group of smelts that take the light
Like slips of rainbow, pearly bright;
Silver trout with rosy spots,
And coral shrimps with keen black dots
For eyes, and hard and jointed sheath
And crisp tails curving underneath.
But there upon the sanded floor,
More wonderful in all that store
Than anything on slab or shelf,
Stood Miles, the fishmonger, himself.

Mr. Miles

Four-square he stood and filled the place.
His huge hands and his jolly face
Were red. He had a mouth to quaff
Pint after pint: a sounding laugh,
But wheezy at the end, and oft
His eyes bulged outwards and he coughed.
Aproned he stood from chin to toe.
The apron's vertical long flow
Warped grandly outwards to display
His hale, round belly hung midway,
Whose apex was securely bound
With apron-strings wrapped round and round.
Outside, Miss Thompson, small and staid,
Felt, as she always felt, afraid
Of this huge man who laughed so loud
And drew the notice of the crowd.
Awhile she paused in timid thought,
Then promptly hurried in and bought
'Two kippers, please. Yes, lovely weather.'
'Two kippers? Sixpence altogether:'
And in her basket laid the pair
Wrapped face to face in newspaper.

Relapses into Temptation

Then on she went, as one half blind,
For things were stirring in her mind;
Then turned about with fixed intent
And, heading for the bootshop, went
Straight in and bought the scarlet slippers
And popped them in beside the kippers.

She visits the Chemist

So much for that. From there she tacked,
Still flushed by this decisive act,
Westward, and came without a stop
To Mr. Wren the chemist's shop,
And stood awhile outside to see
The tall, big-bellied bottles three —
Red, blue, and emerald, richly bright
Each with its burning core of light.
The bell chimed as she pushed the door.
Spotless the oilcloth on the floor,
Limpid as water each glass case,
Each thing precisely in its place.
Rows of small drawers, black-lettered each
With curious words of foreign speech,
Ranked high above the other ware.
The old strange fragrance filled the air,
A fragrance like the garden pink,
But tinged with vague medicinal stink
Of camphor, soap, new sponges, blent
With chloroform and violet scent.

Mr. Wren.

And Wren the chemist, tall and spare,
Stood gaunt behind his counter there.
Quiet and very wise he seemed,
With skull-like face, bald head that gleamed;
Through spectacles his eyes looked kind.
He wore a pencil tucked behind
His ear. And never he mistakes
The wildest signs the doctor makes
Prescribing drugs. Brown paper, string,
He will not use for any thing,
But all in neat white parcels packs
And sticks them up with sealing-wax.
Miss Thompson bowed and blushed, and then
Undoubting bought of Mr. Wren,
Being free from modern scepticism,
A bottle for her rheumatism;
Also some peppermints to take
In case of wind; an oval cake
Of scented soap; a penny square
Of pungent naphthaline to scare
The moth. And after Wren had wrapped
And sealed the lot, Miss Thompson clapped
Them in beside the fish and shoes;
'Good day,' she says, and off she goes.
Is Led away to the Pleasure of the Town,
Beelike Miss Thompson, whither next?
Outside, you pause awhile, perplext,
Your bearings lost. Then all comes back
Such as Groceries and Millinery,
And round she wheels, hot on the track
Of Giles the grocer, and from there
To Emilie the milliner,
There to be tempted by the sight
Of hats and blouses fiercely bright.
(O guard Miss Thompson, Powers that Be,
From Crudeness and Vulgarity.)

And other Allurements

Still on from shop to shop she goes
With sharp bird's-eye, enquiring nose,
Prying and peering, entering some,
Oblivious of the thought of home.
The town brimmed up with deep-blue haze,
But still she stayed to flit and gaze,
Her eyes ablur with rapturous sights,
Her small soul full of small delights,
Empty her purse, her basket filled.

But at length is Convinced of Indiscretion.
The traffic in the town was stilled.
The clock struck six. Men thronged the inns.
Dear, dear, she should be home long since.

And Returns Home

Then as she climbed the misty downs
The lamps were lighted in the town's
Small streets. She saw them star by star
Multiplying from afar;
Till, mapped beneath her, she could trace
Each street, and the wide square market-place
Sunk deeper and deeper as she went
Higher up the steep ascent.
And all that soul-uplifting stir
Step by step fell back from her,
The glory gone, the blossoming
Shrivelled, and she, a small, frail thing,
Carrying her laden basket. Till
Darkness and silence of the hill
Received her in their restful care
And stars came dropping through the air.

But loudly, sweetly sang the slippers
In the basket with the kippers;
And loud and sweet the answering thrills
From her lone heart on the hills.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 27-Jan-13 12:32:36

Andrea Gibson has a lot of topical poems such marriage equality (say yes, I do), the Christian right, Iraq, poverty, rape (blue blanket, trellis), gender (Andrew, Jewellery store, swingset), drugs, inequality, as well as fun stuff such as Leprechaun.

My penis is an awkward leprechaun
That hasn't got lucky
nearly as often as it has got bored
Waiting patiently in my pants while the rest of me reads self help book on how to look sexy in green

Lots on youtube

The more political stuff is USA centric.

JuliaScurr Sun 27-Jan-13 12:44:03
AphraBehn Sun 27-Jan-13 13:57:06

How about Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney?

It's short, modern but utterly heartbreaking.

FruitOwl Sun 27-Jan-13 14:19:40

Goblin Market... can't remember the author, sorry, or that fab poem involving the lines when I am old I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me

FruitOwl Sun 27-Jan-13 14:21:47

Ooh or A Subaltern's Love Song by Betjemen

grovel Sun 27-Jan-13 14:23:59

Weathers (Thomas Hardy)

This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly;
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at 'The Traveller's Rest,'
And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.

This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.

Slainte Sun 27-Jan-13 14:27:30

The Confirmation by Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

AphraBehn Sun 27-Jan-13 14:28:11

Oh yes, Goblin Market is fab. Lot's of very sensual language and imagery.

KellyMarieTunstall Sun 27-Jan-13 14:40:22

One of my favourites is very short and quirky

I do not know who wrote it, although I seem to think it was Dylan Thomas I cant find it in any of his collections online. I originally read it in a children poetry book and I think this was the whole poem but it may not be.

'Appy,appy Bumble bee
Buzzin' among the tumblin' plums
Sumtimes ,comin' clumsily
Tha bumps thy tummy on a stump.

DoctorAnge Sun 27-Jan-13 14:51:43


Child of my winter, born
When the new fallen soldiers froze
In Asia's steep ravines and fouled the snows,
When I was torn

By love I could not still,
By fear that silenced my cramped mind
To that cold war where, lost, I could not find
My peace in my will,

All those days we could keep
Your mind a landscape of new snow
Where the chilled tenant-farmer finds, below,
His fields asleep

In their smooth covering, white
As quilts to warm the resting bed
Of birth or pain, spotless as paper spread
For me to write,

And thinks: Here lies my land
Unmarked by agony, the lean foot
Of the weasel tracking, the thick trapper's boot;
And I have planned

My chances to restrain
The torments of demented summer or
Increase the deepening harvest here before
It snows again.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 27-Jan-13 15:06:53

First Lesson by Philip Booth

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

"Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis 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."

Tennyson, from Ulysses - I actually have this tattooed on me grin
and a couple of lines of Kipling. Never let it be said tatts are uneducated and chavvy wink

CheeseStrawWars Sun 27-Jan-13 15:17:35

I wanna Be Yours... John Cooper Clarke

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my devotion

ByTheWay1 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:26:06

I like "I meant to do my work today" by Richard LeGallienne

Short and sweet and as valid today as in the 1890s...

I meant to do my work to-day-
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand-
So what could I do but laugh and go?

ByTheWay1 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:29:13

Also the anthem for mothers everywhere - makes me cry when I read it, but still...

"A wish for my children" by Evangeline Paterson

On this doorstep I stand
year after year
to watch you going

and think: May you not
skin your knees. May you
not catch your fingers
in car doors. May
your hearts not break.

May tide and weather
wait for your coming

and may you grow strong
to break
all webs of my weaving.

COCKadoodledooo Sun 27-Jan-13 15:45:09

The cow is of the bovine ilk,
One end moo, the other milk.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 27-Jan-13 15:48:51

From Dorothy Parker

Who loves not wisely but too well
Will look on Helen's face in hell,
But he whose love is thin and wise
Will view John Knox in Paradise.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 27-Jan-13 16:09:41

“If thou of fortune be bereft,
and in thy store there be but left
two loaves, sell one, and with the dole,
buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

&#8213; John Greenleaf Whittier

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 27-Jan-13 16:10:53

NB as this thread was started in chat we have moved it to our non-fiction topic to stop it selfdeleting after 90 days
Best of luck with it all OP

Thanks - there is some good stuff here smile
I am staggered at what people know and are posting - fantastic.

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Sun 27-Jan-13 20:45:07

John Donne, The Sun Rising:

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys and sour 'prentices,
Go tell court huntsmen that the King will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shoulds't thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long;
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
Whether both th'Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me?
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, 'All here in one bed lay.'

She's all states, and all princes, I;
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here, to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.

MrsWembley Sun 27-Jan-13 20:57:37

Another Dorothy Parker:

The sun's gone dim, and
The moon's turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn't love back.

iheartdusty Sun 27-Jan-13 21:00:30

Dylan Thomas - Do not go gentle into that good night;

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Sun 27-Jan-13 21:18:18

Just seen the modern bit....

I can't find it tonight but Incompatibilities by Ted Hughes

Failing that, Dylan Thomas:

The force that through the green fuse drivers the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever


Ted Hughes, the jaguar
But who runs like the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands stares, mesmerised,
As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

Sir Sugar who wrote the tax poem? I love it but can't find it & need the author.

AphraBehn Oh yes, that Mid-term break by Seamus Heaney - a new one on me and you are right - what an amazing writer that man is!

Lockedout434 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:21:29

I rely on you

I rely on you
like a Skoda needs suspension
like the aged need a pension
like a trampoline needs tension
like a bungee jump needs apprehension
I rely on you
like a camera needs a shutter
like a gambler needs a flutter
like a golfer needs a putter
like a buttered scone involves some butter
I rely on you
like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve
like a hairpin needs a drastic curve
like an HGV needs endless derv
like an outside left needs a body swerve
I rely on you
like a handyman needs pliers
like an auctioneer needs buyers
like a laundromat needs driers
like The Good Life needed Richard Briers
I rely on you
like a water vole needs water
like a brick outhouse needs mortar
like a lemming to the slaughter
Ryan's just Ryan without his daughter
I rely on you

© H Presley 1994

ScrambledSmegs Tue 29-Jan-13 14:40:41

Philip Larkin again - Annus Mirabilis

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.

Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.

So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

ScrambledSmegs Tue 29-Jan-13 14:42:38

How about Auden - The Night Mail? Lovely first stanza.

OK, Ladies. I've used lots of fab poems from here and have finished the current work - thank you, you've inspired me and also saved my sanity!

AphraBehn Tue 29-Jan-13 18:39:31

Brilliant Miranda. There is loads of stuff I shall be looking up as well.

Me too. I'd never come across 'High Flight' before but it brings tears to my eyes. I'm going to spread the word.

insanityscratching Mon 18-Feb-13 20:44:05

The Going

Why did you give no hint that night
That quickly after the morrow's dawn,
And calmly, as if indifferent quite,
You would close your term here, up and be gone
Where I could not follow
With wing of swallow
To gain one glimpse of you ever anon!

Thomas Hardy one of my favourites.

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