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Favourite poem

(41 Posts)
DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 15:09:40

What’s your fave poem?

The poem
Why you love it 😊

DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 20:25:40

I will start

Wendy cope

Because that’s how it goes 🚌👱🏼

Bookridden Fri 03-Nov-17 20:51:19

The Dreamer - Tennyson. It was the last poem he ever wrote and I think it's beautiful. Hardly anyone knows it for some reason. Have tried to attach a link to it.

DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:59:13

Beautiful bookridden thank you 😊

magimedi Fri 03-Nov-17 22:21:57

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

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

I do not think that they will sing to me.

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

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 22:37:11

Magimedi stunning poem 😊

DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 22:40:25

*Blackberry picking
By Seamus Heaney

Another fave 😊 🥂🍻

IAmBreakmasterCylinder Fri 03-Nov-17 22:49:37

Love After Love
Derek Walcott

DaisyRaine90 Fri 03-Nov-17 22:52:19

Lovely 😊

NoSquirrels Fri 03-Nov-17 22:59:52

So many. But one of the best is Late Fragment by Raymond Carver.

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

LionsTeeth Fri 03-Nov-17 23:06:27

Roses and Rue by Oscar Wilde is my absolute favourite, not sure how to link but it’s easy to find on google

Julesbegone Fri 03-Nov-17 23:20:08

‘Manhunt’ by Simon Armitage

‘After the first phase,
after passionate nights and intimate days,

only then would he let me trace
the frozen river which ran through his face,

only then would he let me explore
the blown hinge of his lower jaw,

and handle and hold
the damaged, porcelain collar-bone,

and mind and attend
the fractured rudder of shoulder-blade,

and finger and thumb
the parachute silk of his punctured lung.

Only then could I bind the struts
and climb the rungs of his broken ribs,

and feel the hurt
of his grazed heart.

Skirting along,
only then could I picture the scan,

the foetus of metal beneath his chest
where the bullet had finally come to rest.

Then I widened the search,
traced the scarring back to its source

to a sweating, unexploded mine
buried deep in his mind, around which

every nerve in his body had tightened and closed.
Then, and only then, did I come close.

Love it because it’s like holding a mirror up to the issues DH and I faced when he was injured in Afghanistan. Have taught it as part of the old GCSE spec and I think that because of my absolute love of the poem, it’s one that my students can effortlessly analyse and seem to enjoy too.

DaisyRaine90 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:14:30

Beautiful waking up to these thank you 😊

DaisyRaine90 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:16:28

Found this unsettling but moving like most of her work

Sylvia Plath

Tealdeal747 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:39:24

Jenny Joseph


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

BikeRunSki Sat 04-Nov-17 07:55:43

I don’t know who write my favourite poem. I read it in s mountaineering magazine when I was about 17 (late 1980s) and committed it to memory. I've googled and searched anthologies of mountaineering literature ever since, and have never found it again. I think it may have been submitted by a reader.

I am very outdoorsy. I work and okay outdoors, but just bring outdoors calms me and balances me. When I first read the poem, I loved the images it conjures is, which I could relate to and imagine. Thirty years later, having recently lost 2 friends- to cancer and suicide - the wires have a new poignancy. From the title, writer was clearly feeling similar to me know - and it has become an anchor to keep me afloat at times. I would like it on my gravestone.

On Deaths of Friends - Anon

I want to stand by highland stream
That tears it’s bsnks with peat brown flow
That long outlives those thoughts of Msn
Made cold and bleak by winter snow

My thoughts run down to happy days
The mossy bank, the saxifrage
The cooling drink, the wet-worn stone
I sit and think, forget my rage

BikeRunSki Sat 04-Nov-17 07:57:06

Sorry for many typos and autocorrects - but I hope you get my drift!

DaisyRaine90 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:17:23

Bless you I cannot imagine what it’s like knowing your DP or DH is at war.
And injured as well that’s heart breaking. I hope the army supported you well ❤️✨

DaisyRaine90 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:18:35

Sorry for your losses
Beautiful poem


Chelsea26 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:25:15

My absolute favourite is this

The Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven's 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.

W. B. Yeats

Chelsea26 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:31:00

Followed closely by this

The Highwayman

THE wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--
His rapier hilt a-twinkle--
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter--
The landlord's black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching--
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding--
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight--
Her musket shattered the moonlight--
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Alfred Noyes

IFellDownAHole Sat 04-Nov-17 08:32:01

There was a young man
From Cork who got
Limericks and haikus confused

DaisyRaine90 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:35:42

Love the highway man. Was my fave at primary school when we did it in year 6 x

MrsPworkingmummy Sat 04-Nov-17 08:44:49

Great thread. I'm a Carol Ann Duffy fan and the first poem I read of hers (in school) was 'Havisham' which I think is now one of my all time favourites. I'm Head of English in a school now myself, and I never fail to squeeze this into my planning.


Beloved sweetheart bastard.Not a day since then I haven’twished him dead.Prayedfor it so hardI’ve dark green pebbles for eyes, ropes on the back of my handsI could stranglewith.

Spinster.I stink and remember.Whole days
in bed cawingNooooo at the wall;the dress yellowing,trembling if I open the wardrobe; the slewed mirror, full-length,her, myself,

who did this to me?Puce curses that are sounds not words. Some nights better,the lost body over me, my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear then down till I suddenlybiteawake.Love’s

hatebehind a white veil;a red balloon bursting in my face.Bang.I stabbed at a wedding cake. Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.
Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sat 04-Nov-17 09:05:52

English teacher here - far too many poems to choose just one! But a few highlights:

Carol Ann Duffy is one of my favourite poets and I love Little Red-Cap, Beautiful, Mrs Midas. But Death of a Teacher is a particular favourite.

Agree with Julesbegone about Manhunt - I love teaching that too. The whole collection "The Not Dead" by Armitage is a remarkable work.

High Flight has long been a favourite as well - the beauty of how the language and structure mirrors the meaning never fails to delight.

The last two lines of Mary Oliver's The Summer Day are two of my favourite lines in poetry:

Tell me , what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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