Your favourite poem?

(333 Posts)
lifechanger Wed 19-Oct-11 19:09:37

Ok, I know National Poetry Day was a few weeks ago, but how about sharing your favourite poems, happy, sad, melacholic or joyful?

This is mine:

Afternoons, by Philip Larkin

Summer is fading:
The leaves fall in ones and twos
From trees bordering
The new recreation ground.
In the hollows of afternoons
Young mothers assemble
At swing and sandpit
Setting free their children.

Behind them, at intervals,
Stand husbands in skilled trades,
An estateful of washing,
And the albums, lettered
Our Wedding, lying
Near the television:
Before them, the wind
Is ruining their courting-places

That are still courting-places
(But the lovers are all in school),
And their children, so intent on
Finding more unripe acrons,
Expect to be taken home.
Their beauty has thickened.
Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.

lifechanger Wed 19-Oct-11 19:10:41

That was the poem which inspired me to go and do my degree when my children were little.

shoutyman Wed 19-Oct-11 19:15:37

A Roger McGough one:

To amuse emus
on warm summer nights,
Kiwis do weewees
from spectacular heights.

grin

Yourefired Wed 19-Oct-11 19:22:41

Dorothy Parker

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

Oh the pain of first love when only Dorothy understood.

SinicalSal Wed 19-Oct-11 19:24:02

oooo marking place will contribute later when I think of one and dc in bed

I like An Arundel Tomb by Philip Larkin.

Side by sideSide by side To see a recent photograph of this tomb of the Earl and Countess of Arundel that Larkin is describing, click here. , their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habitshabits Clothes vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque pre-baroque In Larkin’s pronunciation, the phrase rhymes with 'shock.' The Baroque period, exemplified by ornamentation, followed the Renaissance. This tomb was sculpted in the Middle Ages.
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntletgauntlet An armored glove, worn in the Middle Ages, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigyeffigy A sculptured likeness
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supinesupine On their backs stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeinsskeins Used figuratively, a skein is a quantity of thread
Above their scrap of history,
Only anOnly an When first published in June 1956 in the London Magazine, the line began: Only their attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazonblazon Both a coat of arms, and a public proclamation, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin

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

And in the interests of balance, You're by Sylvia Plath.

PamBeesly Wed 19-Oct-11 19:31:13

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Even better if you can watch her reciting it herself here :www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqOqo50LSZ0

eeek what happened there?

blush

Side by sideSide by side , their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habitshabits Clothes vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigyeffigy A sculptured likeness
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supinesupine On their backs stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only their attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

I give up. blush but you get the idea!#

countessbabycham Wed 19-Oct-11 19:38:17

It's that one about when I am an old woman I shall wear purple and red...anyone help me out?

GoodAndBluts Wed 19-Oct-11 19:41:54

Ode to a goldfish:

Oh wet pet.

I love it,very simple and straight to the point.

My most favourite poem is by a friend, who has not had it published so cannot put it on here, but it is very strong and was during a time in her life that she was greatly depressed. Her poems are amazing.

PamBeesly Wed 19-Oct-11 19:43:10

countess is this the one? by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.

Cheeptrickortreat Wed 19-Oct-11 19:43:52

SONNET 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

by W Shakespear

Like Ogden Nash and Spike Milligan's silly verse... always brings a smile to my face..

countessbabycham Wed 19-Oct-11 19:48:25

There's also another beautiful one that ends

"Tread softly for you tread on my dreams"

(I'm no good with remembering the names)

And does "First they came for the Jews" by Peter Niemoller count as a poem?

LittleWhiteWereWolf Wed 19-Oct-11 19:49:31

Jabberwocky. I loves it.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

countessbabycham Wed 19-Oct-11 19:49:32

Pam thank you!!That's it - I love it!!

SandStorm Wed 19-Oct-11 19:50:29

THE LISTENERS

by: Walter de la Mare (b. 1873)

Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champ'd the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Lean'd over and look'd into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplex'd and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirr'd and shaken
By the lonely Traveller's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
'Neath the starr'd and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:--
'Tell them I came, and no one answer'd,
That I kept my word,' he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

LittleWhiteWereWolf Wed 19-Oct-11 19:50:30

And, to be more serious, Ode To Autumn, by Keats is a favourite, too. Autumn is my favourite season, and Keats does it complete justice in his verses.

PamBeesly Wed 19-Oct-11 19:50:42

Thats Yeats countess I had it at my wedding and it is magnificent 'He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven'

countessbabycham Wed 19-Oct-11 19:54:28

First they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for the communists
And I did not speak out-
Because I was not a communist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out-
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for me-
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

We have that on our wall.

countessbabycham Wed 19-Oct-11 19:56:05

That's it Pam.What a beautiful choice!

lifechanger Wed 19-Oct-11 19:59:13

Some great poems here!

My favourite funny poem, by John Hegley, is this:

Pat.

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?

WeepsInPaleDew Wed 19-Oct-11 20:00:24

He bids his Beloved be at Peace

I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hooves heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love's lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

W. B. Yeats

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now