This is my favorite of Shakespeare's sonnets. I was too lazy to type it out last night.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is another of my favorite poets. I love her life's story. How do I love thee? is probabaly so over-quoted but still a classic poem for lovers.
*Has anyone read the letters between her and Robert Browning? The sappy romantic in me is a sucker for their love story.*
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
One of my favourite John Donne poems:
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.
I'm also a big Hopkins fan.
NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.
And one by Hardy.
Ah, are you Digging on my Grave?
Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My loved one? -- planting rue?"
-- "No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
'It cannot hurt her now,' he said,
'That I should not be true.'"
"Then who is digging on my grave,
My nearest dearest kin?"
-- "Ah, no: they sit and think, 'What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death's gin.'"
"But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? -- prodding sly?"
-- "Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.
"Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say -- since I have not guessed!"
-- "O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog, who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?"
"Ah yes! You dig upon my grave...
Why flashed it not to me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity!"
"Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting place."
lildago, I like your choice from among Shakespeare's sonnets.
I can't say, though, that I've ever been a fan of "love poetry," even though I recognize the power behind Dickinson and Browning's poetry.
Until a few years ago, I always found the Transcendentalists (Thoreau, et.al.) appealing until a party J. and I had around this time of year. Every year, we throw a holiday party and invite family and all the people J. knew in college. Two of them, Jeff and Steve, hold Master's degrees in English from very good schools and, somehow, we got on the subject of literature and poetry.
When I told them about my fondness for the Transcendentalists, they looked at each other and smirked. Jeff asked me, "So, Andy, you're talking about liberal, wealthy New Englanders who la-de-da through the woods and think they're sticking it to The Man. With their backgrounds, they don't really have any street credibility with me. Or would you disagree?" :lol I couldn't argue that, so I lost some interest in the classic Transcendentalists.
Now, I seek out poets with particularly compelling apocalyptic visions: Eliot and Yeats, of course; Dante because of my love for The Divine Comedy and now I'm adding Shelley to that group. :nod
Oh, by the way, in reference to "Terrence, this is stupid stuff" mentioned by Lucy a few posts up, here's a link to it: Terence, This is Stupid Stuff by A.E. Housman. It was a good read, Lucy. I especially like lines 28-29 ("To see the world as the world's not./And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:"). Good construction, that.
It changes day to day, Dinahann, but having said that, there is nothing--and I mean nothing--I love more than good literary irony.
Originally Posted by Dinahann
Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings
Wonderful irony, this. The first and second lines get to the heart of the issue: "Hey, kids! Death!" But cummings lulls you in with the imagery of Buffalo Bill until the very last line, the very last two words. And then it's "Boo-YAH! In case you forgot, Buffalo Bill is DEAD!" Wonderfully jarring, very heart-wrenching, stuff.
Buffalo Bill 's
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
I enjoy doing calligraphy, and I've framed the following William Blake poem. It hangs in my office at work:
A Divine Image
Cruelty has a Human heart
And Jealousy a Human Face,
Terror, the Human Form Divine,
And Secrecy, the Human Dress.
The Human Dress is forgéd Iron,
The Human Form, a fiery Forge,
The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd,
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.
Short and sweet. I'm a social worker so I'm always interested in people and their motives. :lol
When I cut my son's first lock of hair I wrote this poem by Blake in calligraphy and sealed it in the plastic bag with his hair:
My mother groaned, my father wept:
Into the dangerous world I leapt,
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
Struggling in my father's hands,
Striving against my swaddling-bands,
Bound and weary, I thought best
To sulk upon my mother's breast.
I don't think my son has ever appreciated it. *sigh* Blake is so romantic.
This poem always reminds me of Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay.
TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.
by Robert Herrick
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to greif
So dawn goes down today
Nothing gold can stay
I love rhyming. It's like a word game..."there's a word that belongs here..what is it...what is it...ah ha!! Got it!"
I write "Rhyming Recaps" of Survivor Guatemala for SurvivorUpdates.com.
I am loving this thread! I dug out my notebook of poems my husband wrote. This is one of my favorites.
Two souls converge upon each other...
They cast no shadows
In their plight.
Two souls held in gravity by one another...
In balanced flight.
Two bodies united in a vacuum...
In kinetic contact,
Their covalence strong.
Two entities in a serene rendezvous...
An enduring bond.
Two spirits fortified in a symphony...
A host of harmonious notes
In an endless duet.
Two lives entranced by the other...
Each other's gaze,
Each cannot forget
Two lovers engaged in enamoration...
Wishing more than the day's allotment
To call their own.
Two breaths mutually taken...
Smitten, still breathless,
To each other, each other is known.
lildago, it's very good. Your husband showed genuine talent writing something as difficult as a sonnet. And his feelings for you come through loud-and-clear. :)
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present Denise Levertov. I haven't been this excited about discovering a poet in quite a while.
A sample of her poetry:
Happy and cheerful! :lol Just like the way I like 'em. All kidding aside, Intrusion is perhaps one of the most powerful poems I have read in a while. In a few short lines, Levertov expresses a powerful grief and longing in beautiful language. I'm overwhelmed. :nod
After I had cut off my hands
and grown new ones
something my former hands had longed for
came and asked to be rocked.
After my plucked out eyes
had withered, and new ones grown
something my former eyes had wept for
came asking to be pitied.
Phat, that poem nearly brought me to tears.(Intrusion)
I love that poem. I am a HUGE plath fan (Sylvia?)
Originally Posted by lildago
I used to write a bit. Will go home at lunch and dig out old poetry books to share.:blush
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
by Sylvia Plath
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
My face featureless, fine
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see
Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
These are my hands
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
That knocks me out.
There is a charge
For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.
And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood
Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr god, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
The first 'daddy' was about her father and their screwed up relationship, the second about a suicide attempt where she slit her wrists and loosened a block in the basement and essentially buried herself in the wall. The y found her nearly dead and patched her up. She is amazing. There is a poem called cut and gigilo, oh, and the applicant is a masterpiece. I just love her work!!!
I generally don't care for poetry as a whole, but do like one entire poem as well as snippets from many of them.
Favourite snippet (Larkin):
They f**k you up, your mum and dad
They don't mean to but they do
This one resonates so strongly with me it brings me near to tears every time I hear it.
Favourite entire poem (Poe):
Lines on Ale
Filled with mingled cream and amber
I will drain that glass again
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chambers of my brain
Queerest thoughts and quaintest fancies
Come to life then fade away
What care I how time advances
I am drinking ale today
The reason behind the Larkin poem affecting me so strongly probably explains why I like the drinking poem.
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