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Thread: Favourite Poems & Poems that moved you

  1. #301
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    From Out the Cave

    by Joyce Sutphen

    When you have been
    at war with yourself
    for so many years that
    you have forgotten why,
    when you have been driving
    for hours and only
    gradually begin to realize
    that you have lost the way,
    when you have cut
    hastily into the fabric,
    when you have signed
    papers in distraction,
    when it has been centuries
    since you watched the sun set
    or the rain fall, and the clouds,
    drifting overhead, pass as flat
    as anything on a postcard;
    when, in the midst of these
    everyday nightmares, you
    understand that you could
    wake up,
    you could turn
    and go back
    to the last thing you
    remember doing
    with your whole heart:
    that passionate kiss,
    the brilliant drop of love
    rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
    then you wake,
    you stumble from your cave,
    blinking in the sun,
    naming every shadow
    as it slips.


  2. #302
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    The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
    T. S. Eliot


    LET us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherized upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question….
    Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
    The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
    Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
    Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
    Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
    Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
    And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

    And indeed there will be time
    For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
    Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
    There will be time, there will be time
    To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
    There will be time to murder and create,
    And time for all the works and days of hands
    That lift and drop a question on your plate;
    Time for you and time for me,
    And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
    And for a hundred visions and revisions,
    Before the taking of a toast and tea.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    And indeed there will be time
    To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
    Time to turn back and descend the stair,
    With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
    (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
    My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
    My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
    (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
    Do I dare
    Disturb the universe?
    In a minute there is time
    For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

    For I have known them all already, known them all:
    Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
    I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
    I know the voices dying with a dying fall
    Beneath the music from a farther room.
    So how should I presume?

    And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
    The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
    And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
    When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
    Then how should I begin
    To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
    And how should I presume?

    And I have known the arms already, known them all—
    Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
    (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
    Is it perfume from a dress
    That makes me so digress?
    Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
    And should I then presume?
    And how should I begin?

    Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
    And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
    Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

    And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
    Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
    Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
    And in short, I was afraid.

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
    Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
    Would it have been worth while,
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
    To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
    If one, settling a pillow by her head,
    Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
    That is not it, at all.”

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    Would it have been worth while,
    After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
    After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
    And this, and so much more?—
    It is impossible to say just what I mean!
    But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
    Would it have been worth while
    If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
    And turning toward the window, should say:
    “That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all.”

    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

    I grow old … I grow old …
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me.

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown

  3. #303
    Senior Member Array Jaguar's Avatar
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    The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

    http://people.virginia.edu/~sfr/enam312/prufrock.html

    And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country . . . wait, this is 2016.

  4. #304
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    wnated to post it here.

  5. #305
    Senior Member Array Jaguar's Avatar
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    Oh, I see you fixed your post. Lol.
    And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country . . . wait, this is 2016.

  6. #306
    cursed by the Bambino Array Osprey's Avatar
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    For a while, I thought I didn't know enough about poetry to have a favorite. Then I remembered Dylan Thomas, though I doubt I'm the first person to do so in this thread:

    Code:
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    
    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.
    No wonder Bob Zimmerman chose to get his stage name from this guy.

    To me, it seems to be about aging with dignity, and not growing soft and lazy(er) as one gets older. That's pretty damn important to me.
    Free me from Zoobilee Zoo...

  7. #307

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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    To me, it seems to be about aging with dignity, and not growing soft and lazy(er) as one gets older. That's pretty damn important to me.
    I think it is about a feeling, that death should not be welcomed with open arms, but fought with life and fled to the very end. I think it is about a son trying, though knowingly in vain, to make his dying father live.

  8. #308
    Symbolic Herald Array Vasilisa's Avatar
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    for @SD45T-2

    Travel
    by Edna St. Vincent Millay

    The railroad track is miles away,
    And the day is loud with voices speaking,
    Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

    All night there isn't a train goes by,
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
    But I see its cinders red on the sky,
    And hear its engine steaming.

    My heart is warm with friends I make,
    And better friends I not be knowing;
    Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
    No matter where it's going.
    the formless thing which gives things form!
    Found Forum Haiku Project


    Positive Spin | your feedback welcomed | Darker Criticism

  9. #309
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    The Curtain

    Just over the horizon a great machine of death is roaring and rearing.
    We can hear it always. Earthquake, starvation, the ever-renewing sump of corpse-flesh.
    But in this valley the snow falls silently all day, and out our window
    We see the curtain of it shifting and folding, hiding us away in our little house,
    We see earth smoothened and beautified, made like a fantasy, the snow-clad trees
    So graceful. In our new bed, which is big enough to seem like the north pasture almost
    With our two cats, Cooker and Smudgins, lying undisturbed in the southeastern and southwestern corners,
    We lie loving and warm, looking out from time to time. “Snowbound,” we say. We speak of the poet
    Who lived with his young housekeeper long ago in the mountains of the western province, the kingdom
    Of cruelty, where heads fell like wilted flowers and snow fell for many months
    Across the pass and drifted deep in the vale. In our kitchen the maple-fire murmurs
    In our stove. We eat cheese and new-made bread and jumbo Spanish olives
    Which have been steeped in our special brine of jalapeños and garlic and dill and thyme.
    We have a nip or two from the small inexpensive cognac that makes us smile and sigh.
    For a while we close the immense index of images that is our lives—for instance,
    The child on the Mescalero reservation in New Mexico sitting naked in 1966 outside his family’s hut,
    Covered with sores, unable to speak. But of course we see the child every day,
    We hold out our hands, we touch him shyly, we make offerings to his implacability.
    No, the index cannot close. And how shall we survive? We don’t and cannot and will never
    Know. Beyond the horizon a great unceasing noise is undeniable. The machine,
    Like an immense clanking vibrating shuddering unnameable contraption as big as a house, as big as the whole town,
    May break through and lurch into our valley at any moment, at any moment.
    Cheers, baby. Here’s to us. See how the curtain of snow wavers and then falls back.

    -- Hayden Carruth
    Last edited by EJCC; 09-20-2013 at 08:13 PM.
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you?

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  10. #310
    hyggelig Array EJCC's Avatar
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    I Would Steal Horses

    for you, if there were any left,
    give a dozen of the best
    to your father, the auto mechanic
    in the small town where you were born

    and where he will die sometime by dark.
    I am afraid of his hands, which have
    rebuilt more of the small parts
    of this world than I ever will.

    I would sign treaties for you, take
    every promise as the last lie, the last
    point after which we both refuse the exact.

    I would wrap us both in old blankets
    hold every disease tight against our skin.

    -- Sherman Alexie
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you?

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw or gryffindor (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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