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Thread: Favourite Poems & Poems that moved you

  1. #231
    Senior Member Array Santosha's Avatar
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    Not a poem, but a short story someone wrote that drew a strong emotional responce from me. Loved it and hated it.. so i wanted to share. =)

    You Should Date An Illiterate Girl
    Jan. 19, 2011 By Charles Warnke

    (Charles Warnke is a 21 year-old writer based out of Berkeley, California.)

    Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities.
    Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love.
    Fuck her.

    Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

    Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

    Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

    Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

    Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

    Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

    Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you.
    I hate you. I really, really, really hate you


    *Maybe I should put this in the "relationship" forum, lol. I can only imagine the responces i'd get.*
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #232
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    W. Shakespeare, Sonnet XCIV

    They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence.
    The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die,
    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed out braves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worste than weeds.

    Marina Tsvetaeva

    I like it that you suffer not from me,
    I like that it is not from you I suffer,
    The planet’s firm and we will never see
    It turn beneath the feet less firm and tougher.
    I like that I am let to seem so bad -
    And clumsy – and no need to play with phrases,
    No need to blush when sleeves are slightly met
    With sudden, overwhelming, breathless blazes.

    And even more, I like that you embrace
    Another woman calmly as I’m watching,
    Don’t threaten me that hell will be my place
    For it is not your face my kiss is scorching,
    That you, my tenderest, will never call my name,
    My tender name, to spell my image bringing;
    We’ll never hear a “halleluiah” fame,
    Since not for us the choir will be singing.

    I thank you earnestly with both my hand and heart
    That – unaware of it – indeed, you still do love me;
    For meetings rare, sunsets watched apart,
    For midnight calmness soaring above me,
    For all the sun which ours might be,
    For moonlit walks I share with the other,
    For that – alas! – you suffer not from me,
    For that – alas! – it’s not from you I suffer.

  3. #233
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    The Stolen Child
    William Butler Yeats

    Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we've hid our faery vats,
    Full of berrys
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Away with us he's going,
    The solemn-eyed -
    He'll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest
    For he comes the human child
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand
    From a world more full of weeping than he can understand
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  4. #234
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    This poem destroys me. It was written by Keith Douglas, who died in World War II at the age of 24. Judging from his poems, he seems to have known that he was going to die.

    ----------------------------------
    DESERT FLOWERS (Keith Douglas)


    Living in a wide landscape are the flowers --
    Rosenberg I only repeat what you were saying --
    the shell and the hawk every hour
    are slaying men and jerboas, slaying

    the mind: but the body can fill
    the hungry flowers and the dogs who cry words
    at nights, the most hostile things of all.
    But that is not new. Each time the night discards

    draperies on the eyes and leaves the mind awake
    I look each side of the door of sleep
    for the little coin it will take
    to buy the secret I shall not keep.

    I see men as trees suffering
    or confound the detail and the horizon.
    Lay the coin on my tongue and I will sing
    of what the others never set eyes on.
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  5. #235
    Symbolic Herald Array Vasilisa's Avatar
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    The Word
    by Tony Hoagland

    Down near the bottom
    of the crossed-out list
    of things you have to do today,

    between “green thread”
    and “broccoli,” you find
    that you have penciled “sunlight.”

    Resting on the page, the word
    is beautiful. It touches you
    as if you had a friend

    and sunlight were a present
    he had sent from someplace distant
    as this morning – to cheer you up,

    and to remind you that,
    among your many duties,
    pleasure is a thing

    which also needs accomplishing.
    Do you remember?
    that time and light are kinds

    of love, and love
    is no less practical
    than a coffee grinder

    or a safe spare tire?
    Tomorrow you may be utterly
    without a clue,

    but today you get a telegram
    from the heart in exile,
    proclaiming that the kingdom

    still exists,
    the king and queen alive,
    still speaking to their children,

    -- to any one among them
    who can find the time
    to sit out in the sun and listen.
    the formless thing which gives things form!
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  6. #236
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    THE END (Mark Strand)


    Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
    Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
    When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end,
    Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never go back.


    When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
    When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
    No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
    When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky


    Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
    And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
    Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
    When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.
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  7. #237
    Symbolic Herald Array Vasilisa's Avatar
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    A Color of the Sky
    by Tony Hoagland

    Windy today and I feel less than brilliant,
    driving over the hills from work.
    There are the dark parts on the road
    when you pass through clumps of wood
    and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,
    but that doesn’t make the road an allegory.

    I should call Marie and apologize
    for being so boring at dinner last night,
    but can I really promise not to be that way again?
    And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing
    in what certainly looks like sexual arousal.

    Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail;
    the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves
    are full of infant chlorophyll,
    the very tint of inexperience.

    Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,
    and on the highway overpass,
    the only metaphysical vandal in America has written
    MEMORY LOVES TIME
    in big black spraypaint letters,

    which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.

    Last night I dreamed of X again.
    She’s like a stain on my subconscious sheets.
    Years ago she penetrated me
    but though I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed,
    I never got her out,
    but now I’m glad.

    What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.
    What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.
    What I thought was an injustice
    turned out to be a color of the sky.

    Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
    and the police station,
    a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;

    overflowing with blossomfoam,
    like a sudsy mug of beer;
    like a bride ripping off her clothes,

    dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

    so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
    It’s been doing that all week:
    making beauty,
    and throwing it away,
    and making more.
    the formless thing which gives things form!
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  8. #238
    Symbolic Herald Array Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Place Where Things Got
    by Heather McHugh

    I always thought if I could just
    remember where I started I
    could understand the end. The cat upon my lap
    infolds itself, intends itself;
    it makes itself a compact package, perfectly adapted to
    the transient circumstance of my repose,
    and chooses out of live adjacency
    best balance, fewest gestures,
    all intelligence, no thought.
    It wraps the rest around itself and settles.

    For a time its engine runs
    continuous, it bumbles and it hums and drones
    and then slows down, so little
    interludes of stiller stuff occur, some
    quietude in patches, here and there, and then
    another strength of hum crops up to just
    drop off, drop deep and deeper in
    to dream, to stir,
    to dream, till only
    little nubs of noise arise, the
    intermittent particles of purr . . .
    *
    When moments hadn't melted
    into ages yet, my sister Jan and I
    would grind the sounds of sentences
    down past the word to syllables,
    the syllables to letters and
    the letters into even less:
    the grindstone was the voice's slow control;
    you spoke so gradually symbol turned to substance, curve to its
    constituents; you shifted rpm until
    the voice was gravel and the gravel grain and then
    the particles themselves became distinct. If you
    could utter utterances slow enough you found
    the sand inside a saying, molecules like those
    Superman is made of, held up close (as duplicated
    supermen will be, by little people).
    Grown-ups wouldn't tell us
    what is IN a loaf of time or life of story, what's inside
    a voice, in other words--away from what
    the English teachers wanted and away
    from what the elders took for granted,
    what's in there, aside
    from coins of meaning? That is why

    we took the trail of crumbs, broke breadstuff down,
    backtracked from mines of money toward the mill
    where dough turned into grain and grain
    to seed and seed to cell and there
    beyond iotas of the minuscule we found
    a place where things got huge again.
    the formless thing which gives things form!
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  9. #239
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    Hate Poem - Julie Sheehan

    I hate you truly. Truly I do.
    Everything about me hates everything about you.
    The flick of my wrist hates you.
    The way I hold my pencil hates you.
    The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped
    in the jaws of a moray eel hates you.
    Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you.
    Look out! Fore! I hate you.
    The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
    from under my third toenail, left foot, hates you.
    The history of this keychain hates you.
    My sigh in the background as you explain relational databases
    hates you.
    The goldfish of my genius hates you.
    My aorta hates you. Also my ancestors.
    A closed window is both a closed window and an obvious
    symbol of how I hate you.
    My voice curt as a hairshirt: hate.
    My hesitation when you invite me for a drive: hate.
    My pleasant “good morning”: hate.
    You know how when I’m sleepy I nuzzle my head
    under your arm? Hate.
    The whites of my target-eyes articulate hate. My wit
    practices it.
    My breasts relaxing in their holster from morning
    to night hate you.
    Layers of hate, a parfait.
    Hours after our latest row, brandishing the sharp glee of hate,
    I dissect you cell by cell, so that I might hate each one
    individually and at leisure.
    My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity
    of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
    Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine.

  10. #240
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    The Journey

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice --
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But 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,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do --
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.

    ~ Mary Oliver ~
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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