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

(156 Posts)
MirandaGoshawk Sat 26-Jan-13 19:04:23

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.


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.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sun 27-Jan-13 15:14:11

"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.”

― 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

MirandaGoshawk Sun 27-Jan-13 20:34:15

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

MirandaGoshawk Mon 28-Jan-13 15:26:45

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

MirandaGoshawk Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:37

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

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