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Old 07-29-2006, 02:21 PM   #1
eightyseven
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Smile Favorite Poem?

I'm curious as to everyone's favorite poems and lines from said poems... so post the name and a little snippet

Mine's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

"Mornings, evenings, afternoons
I have measured out my life in coffee spoons..."
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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What a great idea Eightyseven! You DO dare disturb the universe it seems.

My, all-time, favorite poem is "The Journey" by Mary Oliver.


"...little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world..."
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:51 PM   #3
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Wow, this was a great idea. And you have great taste! I love TS Eliot! I took a class on him. That poem is up there on my list of favorites as well. I really enjoy Tennyson. Walt Whitman is great too. If you haven't ever read his collection called "Leaves of Grass" do so! It is excellent. I've been smitten with poetry since I was a kid

From Tennyson's Lady of Shalott:

"Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott."



From Walt Whitman's "I Sing The Body Electric" :

"This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor,
all falls aside but myself and it,
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, and what
was expected of heaven or fear'd of hell, are now consumed,
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it, the response
likewise ungovernable,
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all
diffused, mine too diffused,
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh swelling
and deliciously aching,
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of
love, white-blow and delirious nice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the
prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh'd day."
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:29 PM   #4
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I've always been fond of good poetry.
Here is only one of my favorites, as there are many.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost 1920

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.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:33 PM   #5
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Modern Times by Bobby Sands

It is said we live in modern times,
In the civilised year of 'seventy nine,
But when I look around, all I see,
Is modern torture, pain, and hypocrisy.

In modern times little children die,
They starve to death, but who dares ask why?
And little girls without attire,
Run screaming, napalmed, through the night afire.

And while fat dictators sit upon their thrones,
Young children bury their parents' bones,
And secret police in the dead of night,
Electrocute the naked woman out of sight.

In the gutter lies the black man, dead,
And where the oil flows blackest, the street runs red,
And there was He who was born and came to be,
But lived and died without liberty.

As the bureaucrats, speculators and presidents alike,
Pin on their dirty, stinking, happy smiles tonight,
The lonely prisoner will cry out from within this tomb,
And tomorrow's wretch will leave its mother's womb!
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:46 PM   #6
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Great thread idea, 87!


I can't pick just one...from sonnets to haiku I just love poetry.
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:00 PM   #7
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Default The Skippery Boo

The Skippery Boo - Earl L. Newton

I went to bring,
From the rippling spring,
One morning dry and damp,
A brimming pail
Of adam's ale
For use about the camp;
My happy frame
Did well proclaim
A cheerful bent of mind,
And I hummed a song,
As I loped along,
Of the most enchanting kind.
But my heart stood still,
As I turned the hill,
And the spring came to my view,
For drinking there
Of the potion rare,
Was the terrible Skippery Boo.

He drank his fill
From the flowing rill,
And shook his maighty mane,
Then with his jaws
And his hairy paws,
He ripped a tree in twain.
With fear and dread
To camp I sped,
For my trusty .30 bore,
Then turned about
With daring shout,
And sought the spring once more;
But though my feet
As o'er the glade I flew,
No sign was there
On earth, in air,
Of the slippery Skippery Boo.

To left and right
I strained my sight,
To find where he has gone,
Among the pines
I sought for signs,
But found not a single one.
To East and West
I turned my quest,
But all to no avail,
No trace I found
On gorse or ground,
Of his departing trail.
And then aloft
My gaze I doffed,
And there in the hazy blue,
On the topmost spine
Of the tallest pine,
Hung the fabulous Skippery Boo.

Oh, the Skippery Boo
Is a fanciful zoo:
A mermaid and a bat,
A grizzly hare
And a webfoot bear,
A goof and a bumble-cat.
He can fell an oak
With a single stroke,
Or shatter a mountain side,
Then lightly rise
To the azure skies,
And light as a zephyr ride.
My heart he fills
With terror's chills,
Oh, don't know what I'd do,
If some dark night,
In broad daylight,
I should meet a Skippery Boo.
A poison flows
From his warty toes,
And the grass where he shall tread,
Shall wilt and fade
At evening's shade,
And tomorrow shall be dead.
And who shall walk
Where he shall stalk,
O'er valley, hill or plain,
shall die, 'tis said,
Of illness dread,
And a terrible dark-green pain.
So as you wade
This vale of shade,
And jog life's journey through,
At day, at night,
Be it dark or light,
Watch out for the Skippery Boo.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:23 PM   #8
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The Tiger by William Blake

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:42 AM   #9
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Good idea for a Lounge Thread, eightyseven. Like Ripley, it’s nearly impossible to choose. One of my favorites has always been the one Candy posted, “The Road Not Traveled” by Robert Frost. I love reading what everyone is posting and plan to rep you all when I'm able. Thanks.


I’m going to post two here. The first one is relevant to today’s political climate and very well known. The second one was extremely riske’ and very political for its time. It’s not well known plus it’s the first “internet” typing before the internet existed (no typos in it, folks!).

“Grass” by Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg.
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:

What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.


“the way to hump a cow” by e.e. cummings

the way to hump a cow is not
to get yourself a stool
but draw a line around the spot
and call it beautifool

to multiply because and why
dividing thens by nows
and adding and (i understand)
is hows to hump a cows

the way to hump a cow is not
to elevate your tool
but drop a penny in the slot
and bellow like a bool

to law a wreath from ancient greath
on insulated brows
(while tossing boms at uncle toms)
is hows to hump a cows

the way to hump a cow is not
to push and then to pull
but practicing the art of swot
to preach the golden rull

to vote for me (all decent mem
and wonens will allows
which if they don’t to hell with them)
is hows to hump a cows

Last edited by Michelle; 07-30-2006 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:55 AM   #10
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There are SO many . . I came across this the other day and liked it:

FINDING HER HERE
by Jayne Relaford Brown

I am becoming the woman I've wanted,
grey at the temples,
soft body, delighted,
cracked up by life
with a laugh that's known bitter
but, past it, got better,
knows she's a survivor --
that whatever comes,
she can outlast it.
I am becoming a deep
weathered basket.

I am becoming the woman I've longed for,
the motherly lover
with arms strong and tender,
the growing up daughter
who blushes surprises.
I am becoming full moons
and sunrises.

I find her becoming,
this woman I've wanted,
who knows she'll encompass,
who knows she's sufficient,
knows where she's going
and travels with passion.
Who remembers she's precious,
but knows she's not scarce --
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:39 AM   #11
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Great Topic! I cannot choose a favorite; there are too many great poems. Here is one of the many that I like.


Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
by: Dylan Thomas

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

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.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:00 PM   #12
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I have tons of favorite poems, but my two "perfect" poems are probably such because they're short enough for me to remember.

Margaret Atwood - You Fit Into Me

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye.
A fish hook
An open eye.


Sonia Sanchez - Poem #3

I gather up
each sound
you left behind
and stretch them
on our bed.
Each nite
I breathe you
and become high.



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Old 07-30-2006, 01:37 PM   #13
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Michelle... mad points for Sandburg and cummings (no capital C!), even if you are *gasp* SPARTANS fan. I have to admit... I'm not so much a State-hater because I'm not FROM Michigan so it's not like half my high school went to MSU. I do, however, LOVE the anti-Spartans song:

"If you can't get into college, go to State (clap clap)
If you can't get into college go to State (clap clap)
If you can't get into college and you really really SUCK
If you can't get into college go to State (clap clap)!"

You don't suck... it's just funny to cheer at hockey games

And yay poetry.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:23 AM   #14
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I spend way too much time in poetry land - but here is a sampling of favorites, I feel like leaving some out I am cutting off body parts, but I will live.

Donald Hall, because for right now, he is the most important.

Affirmation

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.

Amy Lowell - she has always been a personal hero of mine. She was a lesbian, and fat, and told that there is no way she could write such sensual poetry, because she would never have known such a life with her physical shape.

Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
ANd the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

It was hard to choose between Rilke, Donald Justice, Neruda and Baudelaire, but in the end Rilke had to win out, he made me really notice and love poetry.

You, Darkness

You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! -
powers and people-

and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:50 AM   #15
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I like a lot of things, but have been on a Rilke kick of late. So, some selections:

10.
My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of many mouths,

I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in dischord
because Death's note wants to climb over--
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.



4.

I love the dark hours of my being
in which my senses drop into the deep.
I have found in them, as in old letters,
my private life, that is already lived through,
and become wide and powerful now, like legends.
Then I know that there is room in me
for a second huge and timeless life.


But sometimes I am like the tree that stands
over a grave, a leafy tree, fully grown,
who has lived out that particular dream, that the dead boy
(around whom its warm roots are pressing)
lost through his sad moods and his poems.


Finally, one I think about a lot b/c I love the autumn and it's so hot right now:

October Day

Oh Lord, it's time, it's time. It was a great summer.
Lay your shadow now on the sundials,
and on the open fields let the winds go!

Give the tardy fruits the hint to fill;
give them two more Mediterranean days,
drive them on into their greatness, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house by now will not build.
Whoever is alone now will remain alone,
will wait up, read, write long letters,
and walk along sidewalks under large trees,
not going home, as the leaves fall and blow away.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:02 AM   #16
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Oldies but goodies...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.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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 grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:13 AM   #17
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Romance Sonambulo

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.

Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

--My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.
My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.
--If it were possible, my boy,
I'd help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that's possible,
with blankets of fine chambray.
Don't you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?
--Your white shirt has grown
thirsy dark brown roses.
Your blood oozes and flees a
round the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.

Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.

Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she--tell me--
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken "Guardias Civiles"
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.

Federico García Lorca
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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:30 AM   #18
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John Masefield’s “Sea-Fever”:

I must go 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 go 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 go 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.
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:51 AM   #19
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Gotta love the Langston Hughes. I think I'm going to name my next pet Langston.


Dream Variations - Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me--
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.



Dreams - Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:32 PM   #20
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So many great poems and poets, what a wonderful idea for a thread.

I could list a bajilliony poems, and was geeked to see how many people here are REALLY into poetry, but I'll restrain myself. I must give much thanks to Rainahblue for including Atwood's poem in here, as I've always liked that one myself.

In a class may years ago, we had to memorize a different poem each week and then we were tested on it. I don't remember all of the poems, but it was fun to memorize Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" (and no, I don't still have it memorized). Here's the last stanza:

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

The first poem I ever remember really liking was one I was introduced to when I was 13, during Black History Month. Gwendolyn Brooks' "We Real Cool":

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.



We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

So much good stuff out there. I may have to come back and post snippets from other stuff. I too am starting to develop an interest in Amy Lowell, and wonder if there is some way to look at both Gertrude Stein and Amy Lowell's poetry as somehow related to their bodies and their sexualities?

Thanks for the great stuff here, dimensions people!
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwsweetheart
Oldies but goodies...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.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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 grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
<--- Can recite these verbatim off the top of my head
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:13 PM   #22
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ME WE by Muhammad Ali
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:44 PM   #23
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Bliss Carman. 1861–

24. A Vagabond Song

THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry 5
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her, 10
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:08 PM   #24
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Here are a couple warped prose poems.

"Ape": by Russell Edson

You haven't finished your ape, said mother to father,
who had monkey hair and blood on his whiskers.

I've had enough monkey, cried father.

You didn't eat the hands, and I went to all the
trouble to make onion rings for its fingers, said mother.

I'll just nibble on its forehead, and then I've had enough,
said father.

I stuffed its nose with garlic, just like you like it, said
mother.

Why don't you have the butcher cut these apes up? You lay
the whole thing on the table every night; the same fractured
skull, the same singed fur; like someone who died horribly. These
aren't dinners, these are post-mortem dissections.

Try a piece of its gum, I've stuffed its mouth with bread,
said mother.

Ugh, it looks like a mouth full of vomit. How can I bite into
its cheek with bread spilling out of its mouth? cried father.

Break one of the ears off, they're so crispy, said mother.

I wish to hell you'd put underpants on these apes; even a
jockstrap, screamed father.

Father, how dare you insinuate that I see the ape as anything
more thn simple meat, screamed mother.

Well what's with this ribbon tied in a bow on its privates?
screamed father.

Are you saying that I am in love with this vicious creature?
That I would submit my female opening to this brute? That after
we had love on the kitchen floor I would put him in the oven, after
breaking his head with a frying pan; and then serve him to my husband,
that my husband might eat the evidence of my infidelity . . . ?

I'm just saying that I'm damn sick of ape every night,
cried father.


"A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life" by David Foster Wallace

When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed very hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces.

The man who’d introduced them didn’t much like either of them, though he acted as if he did, anxious as he was to preserve good relations at all times. One never knew, after all, now did one.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:14 PM   #25
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"Gnosis", by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

The opening stanza has been in my head since I was fifteen:

Quote:
Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought:
Souls to souls never can teach
What unto themselves was taught.
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