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Thread: Favourite Poems & Poems that moved you

  1. #251
    curiouser and curiouser Array bluestripes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    one of my favorites is a short, simple and intranslatable poem by sergei esenin. i like it so much that i used to think of it as a personal motto or mission statement of sorts when i was in my teens.

    * * *
    my soul longs for heaven:
    it was not made for the fields of this earth.
    i like it
    when on the trees
    green flames waver;
    it is the golden tree-trunks glowing
    before the mystery like candles,
    while stars of words blossom
    on their primordial leaves.
    i understand the tongue of the earth,
    but i shall never shake off this torment
    as the lake must bear a comet
    if its reflection suddenly falls onto its waters,
    as the grazing horses cannot sweep off with their tails
    the moon that drinks into their backbones...
    would it that my eyes could grow,
    like those leaves,
    into the depth.

    (the best that i could manage)
    "i love deadlines. i like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." (c) douglas adams

    "there are only two ways to live your life. one is as though nothing is a miracle. the other is as though everything is a miracle." (c) albert einstein

    "if only i could grow with my eyes - like these leaves - into the depth" (c) sergei esenin

    "god is in the details" (c) proverb

  2. #252
    curiouser and curiouser Array bluestripes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    just remembered this one today -

    "insects" by donna williams

    leaf me,
    foreign awe on legs
    you were a world
    hands like mountains
    voice of thunder
    scared of me, you wimp
    i curled so tight
    you were a God
    and for a moment
    time stopped, for us both.
    "i love deadlines. i like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." (c) douglas adams

    "there are only two ways to live your life. one is as though nothing is a miracle. the other is as though everything is a miracle." (c) albert einstein

    "if only i could grow with my eyes - like these leaves - into the depth" (c) sergei esenin

    "god is in the details" (c) proverb

  3. #253


    One of my faves- The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
    The parts in bold are the parts I love most. The imagery is just so haunting and beautiful.

    PART I

    On either side the river lie
    Long fields of barley and of rye,
    That clothe the wold and meet the sky
    And thro' the field the road runs by
    To many-tower'd Camelot;
    And up and down the people go,
    Gazing where the lilies blow
    Round an island there below,
    The island of Shalott.

    Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
    Little breezes dusk and shiver
    Thro' the wave that runs for ever
    By the island in the river
    Flowing down to Camelot.

    Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
    Overlook a space of flowers,
    And the silent isle imbowers
    The Lady of Shalott.

    By the margin, willow-veil'd
    Slide the heavy barges trail'd
    By slow horses; and unhail'd
    The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd

    Skimming down to Camelot:
    But who hath seen her wave her hand?
    Or at the casement seen her stand?
    Or is she known in all the land,
    The Lady of Shalott?

    Only reapers, reaping early
    In among the bearded barley,
    Hear a song that echoes cheerly
    From the river winding clearly,
    Down to tower'd Camelot:
    And by the moon the reaper weary,
    Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
    Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
    Lady of Shalott".


    There she weaves by night and day
    A magic web with colours gay.
    She has heard a whisper say,
    A curse is on her if she stay
    To look down to Camelot.

    She knows not what the 'curse' may be,
    And so she weaveth steadily,
    And little other care hath she,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    And moving thro' a mirror clear
    That hangs before her all the year,
    Shadows of the world appear.
    There she sees the highway near
    Winding down to Camelot:
    There the river eddy whirls,
    And there the surly village-churls,
    And the red cloaks of market girls,
    Pass onward from Shalott.

    Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
    An abbot on an ambling pad,
    Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
    Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
    Goes by to tower'd Camelot;

    And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
    The knights come riding two and two:
    She hath no loyal knight and true,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    But in her web she still delights
    To weave the mirror's magic sights,

    For often thro' the silent nights
    A funeral, with plumes and lights,
    And music, went to Camelot:
    Or when the moon was overhead,
    Came two young lovers lately wed;
    "I am half-sick of shadows," said
    The Lady of Shalott.


    A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
    He rode between the barley sheaves,
    The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
    And flamed upon the brazen greaves
    Of bold Sir Lancelot.
    A redcross knight for ever kneel'd
    To a lady in his shield,
    That sparkled on the yellow field,
    Beside remote Shalott.

    The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
    Like to some branch of stars we see
    Hung in the golden Galaxy.
    The bridle bells rang merrily
    As he rode down to Camelot:
    And from his blazon'd baldric slung
    A mighty silver bugle hung,
    And as he rode his armour rung,
    Beside remote Shalott.

    All in the blue unclouded weather
    Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
    The helmet and the helmet-feather
    Burn'd like one burning flame together,
    As he rode down to Camelot.
    As often thro' the purple night,
    Below the starry clusters bright,
    Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
    Moves over still Shalott.

    His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
    On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
    From underneath his helmet flow'd
    His coal-black curls as on he rode,
    As he rode down to Camelot.
    From the bank and from the river
    He flashed into the crystal mirror,
    "Tirra lirra," by the river
    Sang Sir Lancelot.

    She left the web, she left the loom;
    She made three paces thro' the room,
    She saw the water-lily bloom,
    She saw the helmet and the plume,
    She look'd down to Camelot.
    Out flew the web and floated wide;
    The mirror crack'd from side to side;
    "The curse is come upon me," cried
    The Lady of Shalott.


    In the stormy east-wind straining,
    The pale yellow woods were waning,
    The broad stream in his banks complaining,
    Heavily the low sky raining
    Over tower'd Camelot;
    Down she came and found a boat
    Beneath a willow left afloat,
    And round about the prow she wrote
    'The Lady of Shalott.'

    And down the river's dim expanse--
    Like some bold seër in a trance,
    Seeing all his own mischance--
    With a glassy countenance
    Did she look to Camelot.
    And at the closing of the day
    She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
    The broad stream bore her far away,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    Lying, robed in snowy white
    That loosely flew to left and right--
    The leaves upon her falling light--
    Thro' the noises of the night
    She floated down to Camelot;
    And as the boat-head wound along
    The willowy hills and fields among,
    They heard her singing her last song,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
    Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

    Till her blood was frozen slowly,
    And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
    Turn'd to tower'd Camelot;
    For ere she reach'd upon the tide
    The first house by the water-side,
    Singing in her song she died,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    Under tower and balcony,
    By garden-wall and gallery,
    A gleaming shape she floated by,
    Dead-pale between the houses high,
    Silent into Camelot.
    Out upon the wharfs they came,
    Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
    And round the prow they read her name,
    'The Lady of Shalott'

    Who is this? and what is here?
    And in the lighted palace near
    Died the sound of royal cheer;
    And they cross'd themselves for fear,
    All the knights at Camelot:
    But Lancelot mused a little space;
    He said, "She has a lovely face;
    God in his mercy lend her grace,
    The Lady of Shalott".

  4. #254


    FUNERAL BLUES - W.H. Auden

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
    Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

  5. #255
    Per Ardua Array Metamorphosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    I love this one but it's too long to quote so here's the link.

    One grand great life throbs through earth's giant heart,
    And mighty waves of single Being roll
    From nerveless germ to man, for we are part
    Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
    One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.
    Panthea by Oscar Wilde

    The Perfect World - The Madman - Khalil Gibran
    God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods, hear me:

    Gentle Destiny that watchest over us, mad, wandering spirits, hear me:

    I dwell in the midst of a perfect race, I the most imperfect.

    I, a human chaos, a nebula of confused elements, I move amongst finished worlds -- peoples of complete laws and pure order, whose thoughts are assorted, whose dreams are arranged, and whose visions are enrolled and registered.

    Their virtues, O God, are measured, their sins are weighed, and even the countless things that pass in the dim twilight of neither sin nor virtue are recorded and catalogued.

    Here days and nights are divided into seasons of conduct and governed by rules of blameless accuracy.

    To eat, to drink, to sleep, to cover one's nudity, and then to be weary in due time.

    To work, to play, to sing, to dance, and then to lie still when the clock strikes the hour.

    To think thus, to feel thus much, and then to cease thinking and feeling when a certain star rises above yonder horizon.

    To rob a neighbour with a smile, to bestow gifts with a graceful wave of the hand, to praise prudently, to blame cautiously, to destroy a soul with a word, to burn a body with a breath, and then to wash the hands when the day's work is done.

    To love according to an established order, to entertain one's best self in a pre-conceived manner, to worship the gods becomingly, to intrigue the devils artfully -- and then to forget all as though memory were dead.

    To fancy with a motive, to contemplate with consideration, to be happy sweetly, to suffer nobly -- and then to empty the cup so that tomorrow may fill it again.

    All these things, O God, are conceived with forethought, born with determination, nursed with exactness, governed by rules, directed by reason, and then slain and buried after a prescribed method. And even their silent graves that lie within the human soul are marked and numbered.

    It is a perfect world, a world of consummate excellence, a world of supreme wonders, the ripest fruit in God's garden, the master-thought of the universe.

    But why should I be here, O God, I a green seed of unfulfilled passion, a mad tempest that seeketh neither east nor west, a bewildered fragment from a burnt planet?

    Why am I here, O God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods?
    Defeat - The Madman - Khalil Gibran
    Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
    You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
    And sweeter to my heart than all worldglory.

    Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
    Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
    And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
    And in you I have found aloneness
    And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

    Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
    In your eyes I have read
    That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
    And to be understood is to be levelled down,
    And to be grasped is but to reach one's fulness
    And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

    Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
    You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
    And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
    And urging of seas,
    And of mountains that burn in the night,
    And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

    Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
    You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
    And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
    And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
    And we shall be dangerous.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #256
    A window to the soul


    ^@Metamorphosis: The last poem is cool!

  7. #257
    A window to the soul



    Oh, Wing Tee Wee
    Was a sweet Chinee,
    And she lived in the town of Tac.
    Her eyes were blue,
    And her curling queue
    Hung dangling down her back;
    And she fell in love with gay Win Sil
    When he wrote his name on a laundry bill.

    And, oh, Tim Told
    Was a pirate bold,
    And he sailed in a Chinese junk;
    And he loved, ah me!
    Sweet Wing Tee Wee,
    But his valiant heart had sunk;
    So he drowned his blues in fickle fizz,
    And vowed the maid would yet be his.

    So bold Tim Told
    Showed all his gold
    To the maid in the town of Tac;
    And sweet Wing Wee
    Eloped to sea,
    And nevermore came back...

    _J. P. Denison._

  8. #258
    ¿trap queen? Array chickpea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    4w5 sx/sp


    bluebird by charles bukowski

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say, stay in there, I'm not going
    to let anybody see
    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
    cigarette smoke
    and the whores and the bartenders
    and the grocery clerks
    never know that
    in there.

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say,
    stay down, do you want to mess
    me up?
    you want to screw up the
    you want to blow my book sales in
    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too clever, I only let him out
    at night sometimes
    when everybody's asleep.
    I say, I know that you're there,
    so don't be
    then I put him back,
    but he's singing a little
    in there, I haven't quite let him
    and we sleep together like
    with our
    secret pact
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do

  9. #259
    Symbolic Herald Array
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default how quaint if you have never felt it.

    Never give all the heart
    by W. B. Yeats

    Never give all the heart, for love
    Will hardly seem worth thinking of
    To passionate women if it seem
    Certain, and they never dream
    That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
    For everything that's lovely is
    But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
    O never give the heart outright,
    For they, for all smooth lips can say,
    Have given their hearts up to the play.
    And who could play it well enough
    If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
    He that made this knows all the cost
    For he gave all his heart and lost.

  10. #260
    LL P. Stewie Array Beorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    From In Memoriam A.H.H.
    By Lord Tennyson

    I envy not in any moods
    The captive void of noble rage,
    The linnet born within the cage,
    That never knew the summer woods:

    I envy not the beast that takes
    His license in the field of time,
    Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
    To whom a conscience never wakes;

    Nor, what may count itself as blest,
    The heart that never plighted troth
    But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
    Nor any want-begotten rest.

    I hold it true, whate'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.
    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

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