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Thread: Favourite Poems & Poems that moved you

  1. #221
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    THE HORSES (Ted Hughes)


    I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
    Evil air, a frost-making stillness,


    Not a leaf, not a bird -
    A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood


    Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
    But the valleys were draining the darkness


    Till the moorline - blackening dregs of the brightening grey -
    Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:


    Huge in the dense grey - ten together -
    Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,


    with draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
    Making no sound.


    I passed: not one snorted or jerked its head.
    Grey silent fragments


    Of a grey silent world.


    I listened in emptiness on the moor-ridge.
    The curlew's tear turned its edge on the silence.


    Slowly detail leafed from the darkness. Then the sun
    Orange, red, red erupted


    Silently, and splitting to its core tore and flung cloud,
    Shook the gulf open, showed blue,


    And the big planets hanging -
    I turned


    Stumbling in the fever of a dream, down towards
    The dark woods, from the kindling tops,


    And came to the horses.
    There, still they stood,
    But now steaming and glistening under the flow of light,


    Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves
    Stirring under a thaw while all around them


    The frost showed its fires. But still they made no sound.
    Not one snorted or stamped,


    Their hung heads patient as the horizons,
    High over valleys in the red levelling rays -


    In din of crowded streets, going among the years, the faces,
    May I still meet my memory in so lonely a place


    Between the streams and the red clouds, hearing the curlews,
    Hearing the horizons endure.
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  2. #222
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    Default Der Erlkönig

    Originally written, in German, by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. Below is a translation.

    Der Erlkonig

    Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
    The father it is, with his infant so dear;
    He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
    He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

    "My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
    "Look, father, the Erl King is close by our side!
    Dost see not the Erl King, with crown and with train?"
    "My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

    "Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
    For many a game I will play there with thee;
    On my beach, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
    My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."

    "My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
    The words that the Erl King now breathes in mine ear?"
    "Be calm, dearest child, thy fancy deceives;
    the wind is sighing through withering leaves."

    "Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
    My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care
    My daughters by night on the dance floor you lead,
    They'll cradle and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."

    "My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
    How the Erl King is showing his daughters to me?"
    "My darling, my darling, I see it alright,
    'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."

    "I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
    And if thou aren't willing, then force I'll employ."
    "My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
    For sorely the Erl King has hurt me at last."

    The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
    He holds in his arms the shuddering child;
    He reaches his farmstead with toil and dread,—
    The child in his arms lies motionless, dead.



    The text was scored to music by Franz Schubert. Here's a performance by American soprano Jessye Norman:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8noeFpdfWcQ"]Jessye Norman - Der Erlkönig (Schubert)[/YOUTUBE]



  3. #223
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    Naked Girl And Mirror, Judith Wright

    This is not I. I had no body once-
    only what served my need to laugh and run
    and stare at stars and tentatively dance
    on the fringe of foam and wave and sand and sun.
    Eyes loved, hands reached for me, but I was gone
    on my own currents, quicksilver, thistledown.
    Can I be trapped at last in that soft face?

    I stare at you in fear, dark brimming eyes.
    Why do you watch me with that immoderate plea-
    'Look under these curled lashes, recognize
    that you were always here; know me-be me.'
    Smooth once-hermaphrodite shoulders, too tenderly
    your long slope runs, above those sudden shy
    curves furred with light that spring below your space.

    No, I have been betrayed. If I had known
    that this girl waited between a year and a year,
    I'd not have chosen her cough to dance upon.
    Betrayed, by that little darkness here, and here
    this swelling softness and that frightened stare
    from eyes I will not answer; shut out here
    from my own self, by its new body grace-

    for I am betrayed by someone lovely. Yes,
    I see you are lovely, hateful naked girl.
    Your lips in the mirror tremble as I refuse
    to know or claim you. Let me go-let me be gone.
    You are half of some other who may never come.
    Why should I tend you? You are not my own;
    you seek that other-he will be your home.

    Yet I pity your eyes in the mirror, misted with tears;
    I lean to your kiss. I must serve you; I will obey.
    Some day we may love. I may miss your going, some day,
    though I shall always resent your dumb and fruitful years.
    Your lovers shall learn better, and bitterly too,
    if their arrogance dares to think I am part of you.

  4. #224
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    MARRIED MAN'S SONG (Al Purdy - a great Canadian poet)

    When he makes love to the young girl
    what does the middle-aged long-married
    man say to himself and the girl?
    — that lovers live and desk clerks perish?

    When neons flash the girl into light and shadow
    the room vanishes and all those others
    guests who checked out long ago
    are smiling
    and only the darkness of her may be touched
    only the whiteness looked at
    she stands above him as a stone goddess
    weeping tears and honey
    she is half his age and far older
    and how can a man tell his wife this?

    Later they'll meet in all politeness
    not quite strangers but never friends
    and hands touched elsewhere may shake together
    with brush of fingers and casual eyes
    and the cleanser cleans to magic whiteness
    and love survives in the worst cologne
    (but not girls' bodies that turn black leather)
    for all believe in the admen's lies

    In rare cases among the legions of married men
    such moments of shining have never happened
    and whether to praise such men for their steadfast virtue
    or condemn them as fools for living without magic
    answer can hardly be given

    There are rooms for rent in the outer planets
    and neons blaze in Floral Sask
    we live with death but it's life we die with
    in the blossoming earth where springs the rose
    In house and highway in town and country
    what's given is paid for blood gifts are sold
    that stars' white fingers unscrew the light bulbs
    the bill is due and the desk clerk wakes
    outside our door the steps are quiet
    light comes and goes from a ghostly sun
    where only the darkness may be remembered
    and the rest is gone
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  5. #225
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    TODTNAUBERG (Paul Celan - trans. Pierre Joris)


    Arnica, eyebright, the
    draft from the well with the
    star-die on top,

    in the
    Hütte,

    written in the book
    —whose name did it record
    before mine — ?
    in this book
    the line about
    a hope, today,
    for a thinker's
    word
    to come,
    in the heart,

    forest sward, unleveled,
    orchis and orchis, singly,

    crudeness, later, while driving,
    clearly,

    he who drives us, the man,
    he who also hears it,

    the half-
    trod log-
    trails on the highmoor,

    humidity,
    much.
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  6. #226
    Junior Member Array Zed's Avatar
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    Rudyard Kipling
    If

    If

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

  7. #227
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    He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead by W.B. Yeats

    Were you but lying cold and dead,
    And lights were paling out of the West,
    You would come hither, and bend your head,
    And I would lay my head on your breast;
    And you would murmur tender words,
    Forgiving me, because you were dead:
    Nor would you rise and hasten away,
    Though you have the will of wild birds,
    But know your hair was bound and wound
    About the stars and moon and sun:
    O would, beloved, that you lay
    Under the dock-leaves in the ground,
    While lights were paling one by one.


    ...

    Deliciously creepy.

  8. #228
    Member Array Ethelred the Unready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    This is the first one I thought of, because I have been the creature.

    From Stephen Crane:

    In the desert
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said, "Is it good, friend?"
    "It is bitter -- bitter," he answered;
    "But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart."
    This!

    And also by Stephen Crane:

    I walked in a desert.
    And I cried,
    "Ah, God, take me from this place!"
    A voice said, "It is no desert."
    I cried, "Well, But --
    The sand, the heat, the vacant horizon."
    A voice said, "It is no desert."

    Don't you just love Stephen Crane?...
    We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull; some have weird names and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.

  9. #229

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    WHAT GOD DID NOT PLAN ON

    Sleep well,
    Weep well,
    Go to the deep well
    As often as possible.
    Bring back the water,
    Jostling and gleaming.
    God did not plan on consciousness
    Developing so
    Well. Well,
    Tell Him our
    Pail is full
    And He can
    Go to Hell.

    (Stan Rice)
    "There is no god; there is only us. Savage and fragile."

  10. #230
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    AT THIRTY (Lynda Hull)


    Whole years I knew only nights: automats
    & damp streets, the Lower East Side steep

    with narrow rooms where sleepers turn beneath
    alien skies. I ran when doorways spoke

    rife with smoke & zippers. But it was only the heart's
    racketing flywheel stuttering I want, I want

    until exhaustion, until I was a guest in the yoke
    of my body by the last margin of land where the river

    mingles with the sea & far off daylight whitens,
    a rending & yielding I must kneel before, as

    barges loose glittering mineral freight
    & behind me façades gleam with pigeons

    folding iridescent wings. Their voices echo
    in my voice naming what is lost, what remains.
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