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KhaleeqaIDRUS
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:43:08 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/3/2010
Posts: 213
Neurons: 592
My favourite poem of all time is The Lake isle Of Innesfree by William Butler Yeats.

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.


How about yours? Have you ever recited a poem in front of a crowd? I loved reciting a poem in class when I was still in high school. I have written several Malay poems before this. I'm going to try to write English poem next. Do you have any poem that is originally written by you?
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:10:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,579
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
The Hollow Men
T. S. Eliot



Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.




Online text © 1998-2010 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Hollow Men | 1925

pkeadle
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:23:00 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/30/2009
Posts: 142
Neurons: 427
Location: America
ELDORADO
by Edgar Allan Poe
(1849)

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"
"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

I have more but they don't come to mind at the moment....the wild honeysuckle, I sat belonely down a tree. the owl and the pussycat.

THANATOPSIS

by: William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

O him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, pour'd round all,
Old Ocean's grey and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest: and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged by his dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams



Cass
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:30:33 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/2009
Posts: 589
Neurons: 1,770
Location: United States
OZYMANDIAS - Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

_________________________

Says it all, doesn't it!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:40:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,579
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Mirabeau Bridge
Guillaume Apollinaire


Under Mirabeau Bridge runs the Seine
And our loves
Must I remember them
Joy came always after pain
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
Arm in arm let us stay face to face
While below
The bridge at our hands passes
With eternal regards the wave so slow
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
Love goes like this water flows
Love goes
Like life is slow
And like hope is violent
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
The days passed and the weeks spent
Not times past
Nor loves sent return again
Under Mirabeau bridge runs the Seine


Translated by William A. Sigler

Online text © 1998-2010 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Alcools | 1912
man in black
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:03:31 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/2009
Posts: 536
Neurons: 1,334
Location: Cuba
Shakespeare´s XV sonnet:

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 too short a date,
Sometime the eye of heaven shines,
and in his gold complexioned dim
And every fair from fair declines,
by chance or nature´s changing course untrimmed,
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest 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,
MarySM
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:41:06 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/22/2009
Posts: 1,627
Neurons: 6,084
Robert Frost

Stars
How countlessly they congregate
O'er our tumultuous snow,
Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
When wintry winds do blow!--

As if with keeness for our fate,
Our faltering few steps on
To white rest, and a place of rest
Invisible at dawn,--

And yet with neither love nor hate,
Those stars like some snow-white
Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
Without the gift of sight.


kaleem
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:58:06 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/2009
Posts: 3,252
Neurons: 9,948
La Belle Dame Sans Merci. By John Keats

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery's song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said -
'I love thee true'.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep
And there I dreamed - Ah! woe betide! -
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried - 'La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!'

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill's side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.


KhaleeqaIDRUS
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 10:15:49 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/3/2010
Posts: 213
Neurons: 592
Wow, the poems are all beautiful. I really like them :D And this one is the most short in this board so far but really touching and meaningful.

Shakespeare : Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow

Macbeth:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Angus
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:49:01 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/13/2009
Posts: 294
Neurons: 5,146
TS Eliot wrote many of my favorite lines. Here are a few rather famous ones from The Dry Salvages:

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
Dreamy
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:41:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2009
Posts: 1,501
Neurons: 10,806
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
KhaleeqaIDRUS wrote:
How about yours? Have you ever recited a poem in front of a crowd? I loved reciting a poem in class when I was still in high school. I have written several Malay poems before this. I'm going to try to write English poem next. Do you have any poem that is originally written by you?


I had three of my literary works published in 1972.
One of them was selected for the 1975/76 edition of "YOUTH WRITES: a collection of 112 original works by young writers of Australia and the South Pacific".

Here it is:
SHADOW-LIKE

Shadow-like you drift and blow
Through tunnels in my mind
And filter through the mist that hides
The pain you left behind.
Ghostly images colour and glow
Like sunset through the rain
As thoughts of you run echoing
Across my burning brain.
And in my dreams, as you return
And lie with me a while,
I hold you close and feel your warmth
As from a glowing fire.
But as awareness slowly breaks,
Reminding me again
That you're not mine and never were,
The light awakes the pain.


I remember when I was 17, coming home from school to our place in the country, looking out at the range of hills in the distance where the sunsets were often spectacular, and sitting at my desk to compose this piece which my English teacher Mr.Reynolds liked and duly submitted to The Youth Writes Fellowship for publication. Their acknowledgement slip said, in capital letters, "KEEP ON WRITING".

I have kept writing and my blog called RIVERS OF MEANING can be accessed by clicking the gadget which appears below all my posts.

Last Sunday I read "WINGS OF WISDOM" in church, and I have previously read my work in other services including funerals.

I recently opened up my blog to allow comments by anyone interested in leaving them.

Thankyou for your enquiry, KhaleeqaIDRUS.
KhaleeqaIDRUS
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:58:59 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/3/2010
Posts: 213
Neurons: 592
Dreamy,

That one is really fascinating! You did it on your own? I wish I could compose one too. I'm going to try! I had composed a few Malay poems and I sent the poem to my favourite local artist named Siti Nurhaliza. I wonder if you have ever heard of her because she is our diva. The most excellent and well-mannered artist in Malaysia. Only selected poem would be displayed on her official website. And thank God, one of my poems that I sent was selected to be displayed. I felt like shouting happily but only tears could picture my feeling.

Another published literary work of mine is my short story. A Malay one of course. I have written a few English short stories, yet I have not come to a thought to publish it as I am not rather sure and confident about my English skills. There are some errors here and there. I would like to follow your blog, Dreamy. And I'd say keep writing too :D
chetanrocks
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 2:10:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/2010
Posts: 155
Neurons: 467
Location: India
Dreamy wrote:
KhaleeqaIDRUS wrote:
How about yours? Have you ever recited a poem in front of a crowd? I loved reciting a poem in class when I was still in high school. I have written several Malay poems before this. I'm going to try to write English poem next. Do you have any poem that is originally written by you?


I had three of my literary works published in 1972.
One of them was selected for the 1975/76 edition of "YOUTH WRITES: a collection of 112 original works by young writers of Australia and the South Pacific".

Here it is:
SHADOW-LIKE

Shadow-like you drift and blow
Through tunnels in my mind
And filter through the mist that hides
The pain you left behind.
Ghostly images colour and glow
Like sunset through the rain
As thoughts of you run echoing
Across my burning brain.
And in my dreams, as you return
And lie with me a while,
I hold you close and feel your warmth
As from a glowing fire.
But as awareness slowly breaks,
Reminding me again
That you're not mine and never were,
The light awakes the pain.


I remember when I was 17, coming home from school to our place in the country, looking out at the range of hills in the distance where the sunsets were often spectacular, and sitting at my desk to compose this piece which my English teacher Mr.Reynolds liked and duly submitted to The Youth Writes Fellowship for publication. Their acknowledgement slip said, in capital letters, "KEEP ON WRITING".

I have kept writing and my blog called RIVERS OF MEANING can be accessed by clicking the gadget which appears below all my posts.

Last Sunday I read "WINGS OF WISDOM" in church, and I have previously read my work in other services including funerals.

I recently opened up my blog to allow comments by anyone interested in leaving them.

Thankyou for your enquiry, KhaleeqaIDRUS.



Applause Applause Applause
Wow..!! I loved your poem..!!
Thanks for posting it here..!!
EliBlu
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 2:53:14 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/10/2010
Posts: 7
Neurons: 21
Location: Italy
Very nice topic.. how many beautiful poems!

My favourite poem is by Italian poet Montale. I'm glad to post a translation



Your arm in mine, I've descended a million stairs at least.
And now that you're not here, a void yawns at every step.
Even so our long journey was brief.
I'm still en route, with no further need
of reservations, connections, ruses,
the constant contempt of those who think reality
is what one sees.
I’ve descended millions of stairs giving you my arm,
not of course because four eyes see better.
I went downstairs with you because I knew
the only real eyes, however darkened,
belonged to you.




Eugenio Montale, Satura 1962-1970, Xenia
translated by William Arrowsmith
KhaleeqaIDRUS
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:50:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/3/2010
Posts: 213
Neurons: 592
Thank you EliBlue. I came to a though of opening this topic when my mind abruptly grasped the beauty of The Lake Isle Of Innesfree poem. I just discovered plenty of beautiful poems through this board. I'm going to study all the poems posted :D
Angelic Nymph
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:28:32 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/10/2010
Posts: 5
Neurons: 15
Location: United Arab Emirates
Beautiful poem,Dreamy, you are certainly very talented.

Ogden Nash is one of my fav. poets...I love his wit and humour and how he just makes you laugh while reading his poetry. Here below is my fav. O.Nash poem! I studied it in 4th grade and remember every word still!

THIS IS GOING TO HURT JUST A LITTLE BIT

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopan.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.
It is hard to be self possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest,
so hard to retain calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm,
So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on
And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn't a nerve on your head that aren't being irked on.
Oh some people are unfortunate to be worked on by thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to being polished
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstances that adds to your terror
Is that it's all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,
But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won't get mixed up, the way you do when try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa
And then at last he says, That will be all, but it isn't because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something I suspect is generally used to put shine a horse's hoof,
And you totter to your feet and think, Well it's over now and after all it was only this once,
And he says come back in three monce.
And this O Fate, is I think the most vicious that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition
When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is so that he won't have to go the dentist.

chetanrocks
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:07:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/2010
Posts: 155
Neurons: 467
Location: India
Hi I found this beautiful poem on www.netpoets.com
I wish like sharing this with you.

Please, Dad
by Michael Anderson
As soft winds sweep away the days
I look back on life through a haze.
Remember playgrounds, parks and friends,
In childlike gaze that never ends.
The laughter in a game of catch,
Shall memory ever attach...
To innocence in youthful eyes,
Catching the ball to Dad's surprise.

I recall my first bike, first wreck,
Who picked me up, said, "What the heck?"
Convinced me to give one more try,
While, knees skinned, I forgot to cry.
Just the joy knowing he was there,
Making him proud my only care.
There was nothing I couldn't do,
My heart held fast that to be true.

Though teenage years were kind of rough,
I sure wasn't too big or tough.
You taught me to defend what's right
And never back down from a fight.
So I learned the hard way to stand,
Still, with each lump, I found your hand.
Drawing from you an inner strength,
And stubborn pride of equal length.

But there the line of fate was drawn,
As though I blinked and you were gone.
I found myself facing the sun,
Not man, not boy, fatherless, one.
Eyes blinded by a void inside,
I could not live that you had died.
Alas finding it to be true,
I could do nothing without you.

Please, Dad, today just hear my call,
I'm sorry that I dropped the ball.
My life is wrecked, my knees are skinned,
My emotions undisciplined.
I can't get up although I try,
Please don't be upset if I cry.
Though I can't fight what I can't see,
Please, Dad, say you're still proud of me.



Applause Applause Applause for Michael Anderson
risadr
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:49:32 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,155
Neurons: 3,545
Location: PA, United States
My favorite poem is Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Christine
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:06:20 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/3/2009
Posts: 3,917
Neurons: 15,842
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never - nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore:
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting -
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

and...

Wynken Blynken and Nod


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea--
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish--
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea--
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.


I am copying this forum because of all beautiful poems!


























nightshade
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:32:20 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 2/16/2010
Posts: 10
Neurons: 38
Location: Madrid, Madrid, Spain
I'm with Cass (above).

Also:



Ulysses (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

IT little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
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.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 5:55:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,286
Neurons: 166,516
risadr wrote:
My favorite poem is Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.


You beat me to it Risa, there is a lot of poetry I like, some I love, but this one, this one is transcendent. I first came across this nearly a quarter century ago, and though I loath memorizing things, I had committed this poem to memory within a few days.
.wichitarick
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 1:56:45 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/29/2009
Posts: 221
Neurons: 752

Hello !I am not sure if this belongs in here with Keats or Poe
or the others butThink
Thank you very much! If I could add a moment to my Dads funeral "party" it would be to read this
Please dad by Michael Anderson Thanks! It said a lot to me .

This was in a recent E-mail my brother sent to my Daughter in response to a trivia Question she asked him.

The Answer Revealed

The man and child huddle in the darkness of dawn
Sharing their warmth as light it gets
The answer comes to the young one's question:
Does the sun rise from where it sets?

from the book, "The Journal Of The Trees"
written by Rand Allen
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 8:15:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,579
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
To The Rose Upon The Rood Of Time
W.B.Yeats


Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:
Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide;
The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed,
Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold;
And thine own sadness, where of stars, grown old
In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea,
Sing in their high and lonely melody.
Come near, that no more blinded hy man's fate,
I find under the boughs of love and hate,
In all poor foolish things that live a day,
Eternal beauty wandering on her way.

Come near, come near, come near - Ah, leave me still
A little space for the rose-breath to fill!
Lest I no more bear common things that crave;
The weak worm hiding down in its small cave,
The field-mouse running by me in the grass,
And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass;
But seek alone to hear the strange things said
By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,
And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.
Come near; I would, before my time to go,
Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways:
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days.

KhaleeqaIDRUS
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:24:32 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/3/2010
Posts: 213
Neurons: 592
Mindy Carpenter - Biscuits Of Love

Memories of my youth.
Flood over my soul.
When I think of Grandma.
They make me feel whole.
Gathering at her house.
With all the family there.
We made lots of memories.
For all of us to share.

Lessons that she taught me.
Guide me thru the day.
If I listened closely.
I cannot go astray.
Love and commitment.
She drilled into me.
Making the person that I am.
Just who I want to be.

Grandma has many names.
Each one has their chosen.
But the names I want her called
Starts with love,
For she is warm and not frozen.
risadr
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 9:25:22 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,155
Neurons: 3,545
Location: PA, United States
Another favorite The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Atiya
Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 9:13:05 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 2,034
Neurons: 6,093
Location: India
Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I just love the last four lines, so inspiring.

gradyone
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:35:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2010
Posts: 2,420
Neurons: 12,277
Location: Virgil, Illinois, United States
Atiya wrote:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I just love the last four lines, so inspiring.

I love them, too, Atiya. Perfect lines to hear spoken by our inner voice when we are tired, but still have things to do.

May Swenson (1919-1989) isn't as well-known as several other women poets of her generation, but she was a masterful American poet who is a joy to read. She wrote in many styles on themes as varied as space travel to the lives of seeds to the joy of love. I don't have one favorite poem from her work, but I've always liked the imagery and the shifts in perspective in this one:

Quote:
All That Time

I saw two trees embracing.
One leaned on the other
as if to throw her down.
But she was the upright one.
Since their twin youth, maybe she
had been pulling him toward her
all that time,

and finally almost uprooted him.
He was the thin, dry, insecure one,
the most wind-warped, you could see.
And where their tops tangled
it looked like he was crying
on her shoulder.
On the other hand, maybe he

had been trying to weaken her,
break her, or at least
make her bend
over backwards for him
just a little bit.
And all that time
she was standing up to him

the best she could.
She was the most stubborn,
the straightest one, that’s a fact.
But he had been willing
to change himself–
even if it was for the worse–
all that time.

At the top they looked like one
tree, where they were embracing.
It was plain they’d be
always together.
Too late now to part.
When the wind blew, you could hear
them rubbing on each other.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:02:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,658
Neurons: 91,971
Great posts. (props to the Shakespeare quote, it is haute cuisine wordsmithing)

how about this poetry battle between by sisters when they were young
about our cow that died

Here lies poor Daisy
A cow in a million
The shed was her palace
The field her dominion
With udders a-flowing
A heavenly yield
May she evermore graze
In her celestial field.

and in the style of a poetry battle, it is countered with this
about her tiny bear

Pugazelda
Met a welder
Kissed him on the nose
Then the welder
Gently held her
Dangling by her toes

Said the welder
"Pugazelda
You have beauty rare,
Lets have little wugapeldas
Charming pug-nosed bear!"

I think they roll off the tongue, I still remember them years later!
thar
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:36:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,658
Neurons: 91,971
I know, bad etiquette to post again, but I have found the one I originally intended to post (and its friend)
John Masefield - the guy's got rhythm

"Sea-Fever"

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)

and to make you drift away:
"cargoes"

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.


Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.


Dirty British Coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rail, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

pedro
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:26:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/21/2009
Posts: 13,057
Neurons: 63,022
To lighten the tone somewhat, this is one written by the great biologist, JBS Haldane after undergoing surgery for rectal cancer. I sent it to a friend recovering from similar. High art it is not but it cheered him up.


Cancer’s a Funny Thing

I wish I had the voice of Homer
To sing of rectal carcinoma,
Which kills a lot more chaps, in fact,
Than were bumped off when Troy was sacked.
Yet, thanks to modern surgeon’s skills,
It can be killed before it kills
Upon a scientific basis
In nineteen out of twenty cases.
I noticed I was passing blood
(Only a few drops, not a flood).
So pausing on my homeward way
From Tallahassee to Bombay
I asked a doctor, now my friend,
To peer into my hinder end,
To prove or to disprove the rumour
That I had a malignant tumour.
They pumped in BaS04.
Till I could really stand no more,
And, when sufficient had been pressed in,
They photographed my large intestine,
In order to decide the issue
They next scraped out some bits of tissue.
(Before they did so, some good pal
Had knocked me out with pentothal,
Whose action is extremely quick,
And does not leave me feeling sick.)
The microscope returned the answer
That I had certainly got cancer,
So I was wheeled into the theatre
Where holes were made to make me better.
One set is in my perineurn
Where I can feel, but can’t yet see ‘em.
Another made me like a kipper
Or female prey of Jack the Ripper,
Through this incision, I don’t doubt,
The neoplasm was taken out,
Along with colon, and lymph nodes
Where cancer cells might find abodes.
A third much smaller hole is meant
To function as a ventral vent:
So now I am like two-faced Janus
The only* god who sees his anus.
I’ll swear, without the risk of perjury,
It was a snappy bit of surgery.
My rectum is a serious loss to me,
But I’ve a very neat colostomy,
And hope, as soon as I am able,
To make it keep a fixed time-table.
So do not wait for aches and pains
To have a surgeon mend your drains;
If he says “cancer” you’re a dunce
Unless you have it out at once,
For if you wait it’s sure to swell,
And may have progeny as well.
My final word, before I’m done,
Is “Cancer can be rather fun”.
Thanks to the nurses and Nye Bevan
The NHS is quite like heaven
Provided one confronts the tumour
With a sufficient sense of humour.
I know that cancer often kills,
But so do cars and sleeping pills;
And it can hurt one till one sweats,
So can bad teeth and unpaid debts.
A spot of laughter, I am sure,
Often accelerates one’s cure;
So let us patients do our bit
To help the surgeons make us fit


*In India there are several more
With extra faces, up to four,
But both in Brahma and in Shiva
I own myself an unbeliever.
gradyone
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:42:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2010
Posts: 2,420
Neurons: 12,277
Location: Virgil, Illinois, United States
pedro wrote:
To lighten the tone somewhat, this is one written by the great biologist, JBS Haldane after undergoing surgery for rectal cancer. I sent it to a friend recovering from similar. High art it is not but it cheered him up.

Ahh, pedro, only you could slide such a poem into a thread as smooth as a cardshark at a church social. For all the 50+ year old members reading here, if you don't visit a gastroenterologist each year and undergo a routine colonoscopy by the doc's schedule
for you, 'you're a dunce' waiting to reread Haldane's poem after you've been sliced, diced, and fitted with a second one. Not talking
(I hope that thought will help to cheer you up during prep night! My older brother takes a portable tv in the bathroom and resides there throughout the prep, saying 'Why bother with all that getting up and down?') Angel

Well done, pedro!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:43:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,579
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
The Bells
Guillaume Apollinaire (Alcools: Les Cloches)


My gipsy beau my lover
Hear the bells above us
We loved passionately
Thinking none could see us

But we so badly hidden
All the bells in their song
Saw from heights of heaven
And told it everyone

Tomorrow Cyprien Henry
Marie Ursule Catherine
The baker’s wife her husband
and Gertrude that’s my cousin

Will smile when I go by them
I won’t know where to hide
You far and I’ll be crying
Perhaps I shall be dying

pedro
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 11:10:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/21/2009
Posts: 13,057
Neurons: 63,022
thanks gradyone I've been too busy having eyes and teeth revamped and replaced to have my innards examined but I suppose a check-up wouldn't do any harm. Judging by some of your posts biology looks like a favourite area of yours.
Pocketmole
Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:12:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2010
Posts: 174
Neurons: 555
When I was in grades 5 and 6, I was fortunate to have a teacher who often read to us long, narrative poems. "The Highwayman", which everybody knows and "David" by Earle Birney were 2 of my favourites, but my absolute favourite was:

The Cremation of Sam McGee
by Robert Service (1874-1958)

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.


Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold, till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead — it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you, to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows — Oh God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared — such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear, you'll let in the cold and storm —
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.



gradyone
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 1:02:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2010
Posts: 2,420
Neurons: 12,277
Location: Virgil, Illinois, United States
Theodore Roethke was a post-WWII American poet who attempted to grasp and express the limits of human consciousness years before psychoactive drugs and the counterculture media were in mass circulation. In fact, he died of a heart attack while swimming in the summer of 1963, and missed the tremendous social and cultural changes of the mid and late 60s. The Waking, published in 1953, is a villanelle -- a poem of nineteen lines that contains two refrains that rhyme and are alternately repeated at prescribed points until they form a couplet at the close. If you haven't heard of the form, no worries; neither have most spellcheckers. I love the swaying rhythm in this poem.
Quote:

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.
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