Poems that please you

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  • MetalDog 30 Nov 2010 10:13:25 24,080 posts
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    We've got one for pictures, let's have one for poems!

    I'm quite a fan of the Poems on the Underground project. Been seeing one lately that just pleases me through and through every time I read it. It's not in the archive, alas, but I did a quick google and noticed that I'm far from alone in my admiration!

    I don't want to muck up the format, so here's a link to a picture of the poem on its poster from someone's blog.

    I can't be the only one who likes the odd bit of poetry, right?
  • Big-Swiss 30 Nov 2010 10:19:03 9,181 posts
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    I like poems, but I write them myself.
  • StarchildHypocrethes 30 Nov 2010 10:20:29 31,123 posts
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    Can you share a couple with us, Swiss?
  • TechnoHippy 30 Nov 2010 10:20:32 14,707 posts
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    Not a big fan of poetry, but the one I do remember is:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.
  • RyanDS 30 Nov 2010 10:20:51 11,756 posts
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    Coleridge and Yeats for me. Xanadu and The Second Coming may be cliched choices but I rate them as my favourite poetry ever. Milton is also enjoyable.

    I dislike Keats and Byron, just can't get into them, they lack the "flow" that I get with Coleridge. Coleridge has an almost "sing song" quality to it that drives the rhythm.

    Modern stuff... Well I have read Tobias Hill and that's about it.

    Idle as a painted ship
    Upon a painted ocean

    My favourite image from any poem ever.
  • Deleted user 30 November 2010 10:21:25
    Wires by Philip Larkin

    The widest prairies have electric fences,
    For though old cattle know they must not stray
    Young steers are always scenting purer water
    Not here but anywhere. Beyond the wires

    Leads them to blunder up against the wires
    Whose muscle-shredding violence gives no quarter.
    Young steers become old cattle from that day,
    Electric limits to their widest senses


    My favourite poem. Note the unqiue symmetrical rhyming scheme.
  • phAge 30 Nov 2010 10:25:08 25,486 posts
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    Not a poetry fan at all, but Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night just strikes a chord with me. Mainlty because of the story behind it - i.e. his dad was dying from cancer when he wrote it.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rage 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 the 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.
  • Big-Swiss 30 Nov 2010 10:26:22 9,181 posts
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    StarchildHypocrethes wrote:
    Can you share a couple with us, Swiss?

    nah man, honestly not something I am good at in english, but I write pretty impressive ones in german.

    one of my favorite ones I wrote to the school secretary during my logistique expert exams. I had 20 minutes spare time cause I was finished, and it was the last exam of the day. So I wrote a poem for her, then when the time was over, I packed my things, handed in my exam and left, leaving only the poem on my desk.

    guess who got some nice email the next day..............

    **I have to add, it was the exam second day, and so I knew she would clean the tables after everyone left. clean in terms of emptiying them and stuff. BTW, I passed the logistique expert school, but I massivly failed that exam ;-))
  • Deleted user 30 November 2010 10:28:16
    I wish I were a Chestnut Tree
    a-nourishing in the sun
    with twigs, and leaves, and branches
    and conkers by the tonne

    Copyright Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock
  • magicpanda 30 Nov 2010 10:30:13 14,689 posts
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    Was just about to post that Phage. I made a nurse cry by leaving that poem by my Dads hostpital bedside.

    The only other poem that stikes a chord with me is:

    The Man in the Bowler Hat by A. S. J. Tessimond

    I am the unnoticed, the unnoticable man:
    The man who sat on your right in the morning train:
    The man who looked through like a windowpane:
    The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
    Morning pipe smoke.
    I am the man too busy with a living to live,
    Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch:
    The man who is patient too long and obeys too much
    And wishes too softly and seldom.

    I am the man they call the nation’s backbone,
    Who am boneless – playable castgut, pliable clay:
    The Man they label Little lest one day
    I dare to grow.

    I am the rails on which the moment passes,
    The megaphone for many words and voices:
    I am the graph diagram,
    Composite face.

    I am the led, the easily-fed,
    The tool, the not-quite-fool,
    The would-be-safe-and-sound,
    The uncomplaining, bound,
    The dust fine-ground,
    Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round
  • MetalDog 30 Nov 2010 10:31:22 24,080 posts
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    I have a soft spot for William Topaz McGonagall possibly the worst poet ever to blight the language and yet, massively entertaining.
  • Spanky 30 Nov 2010 10:33:20 14,945 posts
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    as we walk across the bridge across the Clyde
    I talk of the tide
    and the spring
    and the spring in the suspension
    but do not mention our tension
    is there any hope of a bridge over that divide
    a rope even
    or must we remain as strangers
    like the Pope and Glasgow Rangers
  • Deleted user 30 November 2010 10:38:18
    Just love Spike Milligan as well. Could read him all day long. The very definition of poems that please me.



    Things that go 'bump' in the night
    Should not really give one a fright.
    It's the hole in each ear
    That lets in the fear,
    That, and the absence of light!


    I must go down to the sea again

    I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky;
    I left my shoes and socks there - I wonder if they're dry?


    On the Ning Nang Nong

    On the Ning Nang Nong
    Where the Cows go Bong!
    and the monkeys all say BOO!
    There's a Nong Nang Ning
    Where the trees go Ping!
    And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
    On the Nong Ning Nang
    All the mice go Clang
    And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
    So its Ning Nang Nong
    Cows go Bong!
    Nong Nang Ning
    Trees go ping
    Nong Ning Nang
    The mice go Clang
    What a noisy place to belong
    is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!! eavy inside.
  • Jeepers 30 Nov 2010 10:38:52 16,499 posts
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    When I was a teen I read a lot by Miroslav Holub. A favourite was his collection Vanishing lung syndrome. There was one called "Kuru, or the Smiling Death Syndrome":

    We aren't the Forest of New Guinea
    we don't indulge in ritual cannibalism
    we don't harbour the slow virus that
    causes degeneration
    of the brain and spinal cord with spasms, shivers,
    progressive dementia and
    the typical grimace

    We just smile,
    embarrassed, we smile,
    embarrassed, we smile,
    embarrassed, we smile.
  • localnotail 30 Nov 2010 11:38:15 23,072 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    We've got one for pictures, let's have one for poems!

    I'm quite a fan of the Poems on the Underground project.

    I really like that project too, in fact, this one moved me so much I pulled the board out of the tube and took it home with me. Still got it on my wall.
  • RichDC 30 Nov 2010 11:41:11 7,663 posts
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    Techno Hippy wrote:
    Do not stand at my grave and weep...

    I was going to post that one.

    I'll post this one instead:

    I have been where you fear to go…
    I have seen what you fear to see…
    I have done what you fear to do…
    All these things I’ve done for you.

    I am the one you lean upon…
    The one you cast your scorn upon…
    The one you bring your troubles to…
    All these people I’ve been for you.

    The one you ask to stand apart…
    The one you feel should have no heart…
    The one you call the man in blue…
    But I am human just like you.

    And through the years I’ve come to see…
    That I’m not what you ask of me…
    So take this badge and take this gun…
    Will you take it? Will anyone?

    And when you watch a person die…
    And hear a battered baby cry…
    Then so you think that you can be
    All those things you ask of me…?
  • mrharvest 30 Nov 2010 17:27:42 5,463 posts
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    I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to spam. But here goes.

    Yehuda Amichai wrote:
    [u]When I Banged My Head on the Door[/u]

    When I banged my head on the door, I screamed,
    "My head, my head," and I screamed, "Door, door,"
    and I didn't scream "Mama" and I didn't scream "God."
    And I didn't prophesy a world at the End of Days
    where there will be no more heads and doors.

    When you stroked my head, I whispered,
    "My head, my head," and I whispered, "Your hand, your hand,"
    and I didn't whisper "Mama" or "God."
    And I didn't have miraculous visions
    of hands stroking heads in the heavens
    as they split wide open.

    Whatever I scream or say or whisper is only
    to console myself: My head, my head.
    Door, door. Your hand, your hand.

    [u]You Carry The Weight Of Heavy Buttocks[/u]

    You carry the weight of heavy buttocks,
    but your eyes are clear.
    Around your waist a wide belt that won't protect you.

    You're made of the kind of materials that slow down
    the process of joy
    and its pain.

    I've already taught my penis
    to say your name
    Like a trained parakeet.

    And you're not even impressed. As if
    you didn't hear.
    What else should I have done for you?

    All I have left now is your name,
    completely independant,
    like an animal:

    It eats out of my hand
    and lies down at night
    curled up in my dark brain.

    "Alberto Caeiro" wrote:
    [u]To see the fields and the river[/u]
    It isn't enough to open the window.
    To see the trees and the flowers
    It isn't enough not to be blind.
    It is also necessary to have no philosophy.
    With philosophy there are no trees, just ideas.
    There is only each one of us, like a cave.
    There is only a shut window, and the whole world outside,
    And a dream of what could be seen if the window were opened,
    Which is never what is seen when the window is opened.

    [u]Today someone read me St. Francis of Assisi.[/u]
    I listened and couldn’t believe my ears.
    How could a man who was so fond of things
    Never have looked at them or understood what they were?

    Why call water my sister if water isn’t my sister?
    To feel it better?
    I feel it better by drinking it than by calling it something –
    Sister, or mother, or daughter.
    Water is beautiful because it’s water.
    If I call it my sister,
    I can see, even as I call it that, that it’s not my sister
    And that it’s best to call it water, since that’s what it is,
    Or, better yet, not to call it anything
    But to drink it, to feel it on my wrists, and to look at it,
    Without any names.

    Ikkyu Sojun wrote:
    [u]Crow with no mouth (koans)[/u]
    even before trees rocks I was nothing
    when I'm dead nowhere I'll be nothing

    this ink painting of wind blowing through pines
    who hears it?

    sin like a madman until you can't do anything else
    no room for any more

    fuck flattery success money
    all I do is lie back and suck my thumb

    one long pure beautiful road of pain
    and the beauty of death and no pain

    mirror facing mirror
    nowhere else

    passion's red thread is infinite
    like the earth always under me

    a woman is enlightenment when you're with her and the red thread
    of both your passions flare inside you and you see

    your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh
    green distances of your blindness

    my monk friend has a wierd endearing habit
    he weaves sandals and leaves them secretly by the roadside

    no words sitting alone night in my hut eyes closed hands open
    wisps of an unknown face

    we're lost where the mind can't find us
    utterly lost

    sick of it whatever it's called sick of the names
    I dedicate every pore to what's here

    a well nobody dug filled with no water
    ripples and a shapeless weightless man drinks

    oh green green willow wonderfully red flower
    but I know the colors are not there

    the mind is exactly this tree that grass
    without thought or feeling both disappear

    not two not one either
    and the unpainted breeze in the ink painting feels cool

    Ikkyu this body isn't yours I say to myself
    wherever I am I'm there

    inside the koan clear mind
    gashes the great darkness

    only one koan matters

    nature's a killer I won't sing to it
    I hold my breath and listen to the dead singing under the grass

    suddenly nothing but grief
    so I put on my father's old ripped raincoat

    when I was forty-seven everybody came to see me
    so I walked out forever

    no nothing only those wintry crows
    bright black in the sun

    if there's nowhere to rest at the end
    how can I get lost along the way?

    that stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
    I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind

    no words sitting alone night in my hut eyes closed hands open
    wisps of an unknown face

    the wise know nothing at all
    well maybe one song

    melons eggplants rice rivers the sky
    I offer them to you on this holiday

    go down on your silly knees pray
    for what? tomorrow is yesterday

    I found my sparrow Sonrin dead one morning
    and buried him just as gently as I would my own daughter

    I hate it I know it's nothing but I
    suck out the world's sweet juicy plum

    you stand inside me naked infinite love
    the dawn bell rips my dreaming heart

    When it blows,
    The mountain wind is boisterous,
    But when it blows not,
    It simply blows not.

    Dimly for thirty years;
    Faintly for thirty years, -
    Dimly and faintly for sixty years:
    At my death, I pass my faeces and offer them to Brahma.

    Like vanishing dew,
    a passing apparition
    or the sudden flash
    of lightning -- already gone --
    thus should one regard one's self.

    I'd also like to post Yevgeny Yevtushenko's narrative poems but I think I'd get banned for flooding.
  • Pirotic Moderator 30 Nov 2010 17:32:37 20,640 posts
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    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 is if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    Used to live by the guys house, it's not been touched since the 40's. Had a really old bike out front (which got nicked) but if you look in the windows it has old food cans etc from pre WW2, curtains are thick with dust. Very weird considering somebody still lives there.
  • Razz 18 Feb 2011 19:10:14 63,418 posts
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    A short poem I saw in a book of poetry once, forgotten who the author is.

    "On reflection, no."
  • mattigan 18 Feb 2011 21:02:24 1,428 posts
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    Today I saw a little worm
    wriggling on his belly.
    Perhaps he'd like to come inside
    and see what's on the telly.

    Spike Milligan
  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 15:04:57
    Wil Wheaton wrote that.
  • TechnoHippy 21 Feb 2011 15:07:14 14,707 posts
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    Not really a poem, but an extract from a song that is quite poetic:

    Corn is the gold you find in th esummertime,
    Leaves are th emeralds you find in the spring.
    At autumn they turn,
    and as copper they burn
    Then fall like the diamonds that bleak winter brings.
  • RyanDS 21 Feb 2011 15:10:05 11,756 posts
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    How about a bit of Burns?

    "My girl she's airy, she's buxom and gay,
    Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms in May;
    A touch of her lips it ravishes quite.
    She's always good natur'd, good humor'd, and free;
    She dances, she glances, she smiles with a glee;
    Her eyes are the lightenings of joy and delight,
    Her slender neck, her handsome waist,
    Her hair well buckl'd, her stays well lac'd,
    Her taper white leg with an et, and a,c,
    For her a, b, e, d, and her c, u, n, t,
    And Oh! For the joys of a long winter night!!!"

    Or this -

    "There was twa wives, and twa witty wives,
    As e'er play'd houghmagandie,
    And they coost oot, upon a time,
    Out o'er a drink o brandy;
    Up Maggie rose, and forth she goes,
    An she leaves auld Mary flytin,
    And she farted by the byre-en'
    For she was gaun a shiten.

    She farted by the byre-en',
    She farted by the stable;
    And thick and nimble were her steps
    As fast as she was able:
    Till at yon dyke-back the hurly brak,
    But raxin for some dockins,
    The beans and pease cam down her thighs,
    And she cackit a' her stockins."
  • matt6666 21 Feb 2011 15:12:48 2,620 posts
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    'Dulce Et Decorum Est' always gets me when i'm emo soused..
  • Vaarna 25 Mar 2011 12:41:33 39 posts
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    8 count

    from my bed
    I watch
    3 birds
    on a telephone

    one flies

    one is left,
    it too
    is gone.

    my typewriter is

    and I am
    reduced to bird

    just thought I'd
    let you
  • Deleted user 25 March 2011 12:47:17
    On first looking into Chapman’s Homer

    MUCH have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
    And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
    Round many western islands have I been
    Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
    Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5
    That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
    Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
    Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
    Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    When a new planet swims into his ken;
    Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
    He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
    Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
    Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
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