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Thread: Favorite poems you enjoy

  1. #1 Favorite poems you enjoy 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Daffodils No More
    Gorden J.L. Ramel

    "With due praise to W. Wordsworth"

    I wondered lonely as a crowd
    that flows down streets and avenues
    my spirit darkened by a cloud
    of troubles I could not refuse,
    for I had looked for daffodils
    and found but few in England's hills.

    For butterflies, for birds I sought,
    for all of nature's finest gems
    that I had long ago been taught
    bedecked the Pennines and the Thames,
    caressed our valleys, blessed our moors
    and danced by thousands on our shores.

    But what I found was barbed-wire fence
    protecting repetitious fields
    that offered up in self defense
    statistics on their better yields
    with ne'er a thought towards the cost;
    that fragile beauty we have lost.

    A poet could not help but sigh
    on seeing how the world is changed
    and ask himself, or God on high,
    why humankind is so deranged
    it can destroy, for such poor ends,
    the world on which its life depends.

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  3. #2  
    j is offline
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    I do like that. Thank you.

    This is not my favorite, but I have a strange affection for it:

    Bright cap and streamers,
    He sings in the hollow:
    Come follow, come follow,
    All you that love.
    Leave dreams to the dreamers
    That will not after,
    That song and laughter
    Do nothing move.

    With ribbons streaming
    He sings the bolder;
    In troop at his shoulder
    The wild bees hum.
    And the time of dreaming
    Dreams is over -- -
    As lover to lover,
    Sweetheart, I come.

    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore NimaRahnemoon's Avatar
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    Wow those two are awesome.

    Here is my favorite English poem.

    "The Four Ages of Man by Anne Bradstreet"

    Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
    Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
    The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
    Unstable, supple, moist, and cold’s his Nature.
    The second: frolic claims his pedigree;
    From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
    The third of fire and choler is compos’d,
    Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos’d.
    The last, of earth and heavy melancholy,
    Solid, hating all lightness, and all folly.
    Childhood was cloth’d in white, and given to show,
    His spring was intermixed with some snow.
    Upon his head a Garland Nature set:
    Of Daisy, Primrose, and the Violet.
    Such cold mean flowers (as these) blossom betime,
    Before the Sun hath throughly warm’d the clime.
    His hobby striding, did not ride, but run,
    And in his hand an hour-glass new begun,
    In dangers every moment of a fall,
    And when ’tis broke, then ends his life and all.
    But if he held till it have run its last,
    Then may he live till threescore years or past.
    Next, youth came up in gorgeous attire
    (As that fond age, doth most of all desire),
    His Suit of Crimson, and his Scarf of Green.
    In’s countenance, his pride quickly was seen.
    Garland of Roses, Pinks, and Gillyflowers
    Seemed to grow on’s head (bedew’d with showers).
    His face as fresh, as is Aurora fair,
    When blushing first, she ‘gins to red the Air.
    No wooden horse, but one of metal try’d:
    He seems to fly, or swim, and not to ride.
    Then prancing on the Stage, about he wheels;
    But as he went, death waited at his heels.
    The next came up, in a more graver sort,
    As one that cared for a good report.
    His Sword by’s side, and choler in his eyes,
    But neither us’d (as yet) for he was wise,
    Of Autumn fruits a basket on his arm,
    His golden rod in’s purse, which was his charm.
    And last of all, to act upon this Stage,
    Leaning upon his staff, comes up old age.
    Under his arm a Sheaf of wheat he bore,
    A Harvest of the best: what needs he more?
    In’s other hand a glass, ev’n almost run,
    This writ about: This out, then I am done.
    His hoary hairs and grave aspect made way,
    And all gave ear to what he had to say.
    These being met, each in his equipage
    Intend to speak, according to their age,
    But wise Old-age did with all gravity
    To childish childhood give precedency,
    And to the rest, his reason mildly told:
    That he was young, before he grew so old.
    To do as he, the rest full soon assents,
    Their method was that of the Elements,
    That each should tell what of himself he knew,
    Both good and bad, but yet no more then’s true.
    With heed now stood, three ages of frail man,
    To hear the child, who crying, thus began.

    I bet many of you have read this poem.
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Reflecting CT's opening post here is this short piece by Ogden Nash:

    I think that I shall never see
    a billboard lovely as a tree

    Indeed, unless the billboards fall
    I'll never see a tree at all.

    Of course anything by T.S.Elliot sends shivers down my spine. Consider this passage from The Waste Land.

    PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
    Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
    And the profit and loss.
    A current under sea
    Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
    He passed the stages of his age and youth
    Entering the whirlpool.
    Gentile or Jew
    O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
    Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

    The full work is here:
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  6. #5  
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    Goodnight God,
    I hope that you are having
    a good time being the world.
    I like the world very much.
    I'm glad you made the plants
    and trees survive with the
    rain and summers.
    When summer is nearly over
    the leaves begin to fall.
    I hope you have a good
    time being the world.
    I like how God feels around
    everyone in the world.
    God, I am very happy that
    I live on you.
    Your arms clasp around the world.
    I like you and your friends.
    Every time I open my eyes
    I see the gleaming sun.
    I like the animals- the deer,
    and us creatures of the world,
    the mammals.
    I love my dear friends.

    Danu Baxter, Four and a half years old

    We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.

    -Blaise Pascal

    Best Known As: 17th century mathematical genius.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    I met a traveler from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    -Percy Bysshe Shelley

    I love this one, such a strong picture of timelyness and empty human pride. Like all those renaissance paintings that have just one message "Remember you are mortal".
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Hmm.. I must say that devastation of the self does not intrige me so-much.

    To every captive soul and gentle heart
    into whose sight this present speech may come,
    so that they might write its meaning for me,
    greetings, in their lord’s name, who is Love.
    Already a third of the hours were almost past
    of the time when all the stars were shining,
    when Amor suddenly appeared to me
    whose memory fills me with terror.
    Joyfully Amor seemed to me to hold
    my heart in his hand, and held in his arms
    my lady wrapped in a cloth sleeping.
    Then he woke her, and that burning heart
    he fed to her reverently, she fearing,
    afterwards he went not to be seen weeping.

    A ciascun'alma presa e gentil core
    nel cui cospetto ven lo dir presente,
    in ciò che mi rescrivan suo parvente,
    salute in lor segnor, cioè Amore.
    Gi* eran quasi che atterzate l'ore
    del tempo che onne s tella n'è lucente,
    quando m'apparve Amor subitamente,
    cui essenza membrar mi d* orrore.
    Allegro mi sembrava Amor tenendo
    meo core in mano, e ne le braccia avea
    madonna involta in un drappo dormendo.
    Poi la svegliava, e d'esto core ardendo
    lei paventosa umilmente pascea:
    appresso gir lo ne vedea piangendo.
    Dante Alighieri, La Vita Nuova.

    Mr U
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  9. #8  
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    It's so well-known I sometimes think it's becoming a cliche and losing meaning, but it's always been one of my favourites.

    Dover Beach - Matthew Arnold

    The sea is calm to-night.
    The tide is full, the moon lies fair
    Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
    Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
    Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
    Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
    Only, from the long line of spray
    Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
    Listen! you hear the grating roar
    Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
    At their return, up the high strand,
    Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
    With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
    The eternal note of sadness in.

    Sophocles long ago
    Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
    Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
    Of human misery; we
    Find also in the sound a thought,
    Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

    The Sea of Faith
    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
    But now I only hear
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
    Retreating, to the breath
    Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
    And naked shingles of the world.

    Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhto
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.
    I especially like the last line. Perhaps we could make it the Forum motto. :wink:
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    There are the rushing waves
    mountains of molecules
    each stupidly minding its own business
    trillions apart
    yet forming white surf in unison

    Ages on ages
    before any eyes could see
    year after year
    thunderously pounding the shore as now.
    For whom, for what?
    On a dead planet
    with no life to entertain.

    Never at rest
    tortured by energy
    wasted prodigiously by the sun
    poured into space.
    A mite makes the sea roar.

    Deep in the sea
    all molecules repeat
    the patterns of one another
    till complex new ones are formed.
    They make others like themselves
    and a new dance starts.

    Growing in size and complexity
    living things
    masses of atoms
    DNA, protein
    dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

    Out of the cradle
    onto dry land
    here it is
    atoms with consciousness;
    matter with curiosity.

    Stands at the sea,
    wonders at wondering: I
    a universe of atoms
    an atom in the universe.

    --- Richard Feynman
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by crhto
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.
    I especially like the last line. Perhaps we could make it the Forum motto. :wink:
    Ah, but I have no home internet access as of yet and must do all my clashing at work, between nine and five.

    My favourite lines are the second verse, about Sophocles. The poetry anthology I used as an undergrad said it was a reference to Antigone, but I've read that play several times and I can never find that part.
    What are the odds someone here majored in Classics?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    --- Richard Feynman.
    I had no idea Richard Feynmnn wrote poetry. [/i]
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  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    From wikipedia:

    In the order of the events, at least, Sophocles departed from the original legend, according to which the burial of Polyneices took place while Oedipus was yet in Thebes, not after he had died at Colonus. Again, in regard to Antigone's tragic end Sophocles differs from Euripides, according to whom the calamity was averted by the intercession of Dionysus and was followed by the marriage of Antigone and Haemon.
    It seems to me that the author is speaking of Sophocles creation regarding these events. Perhaps the author believes Sophocles conceived the tragic end of Antigone at Sea, and connects that bitterness with the ebb and flow, rather than it being a direct reference to something inside the myth Antigone.

    Hmm.. I´m not sure, Ophiolite, I´m normally not much for clichés, but Scientific discussion and debate seems to be more.. uhm... inviting.. :P

    Mr U
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  14. #13  
    j is offline
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    I really like Dover Beach. I just love '... Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar ...'
    [This, though also not my favorite, was the first to pop into my head; but I don't have it by heart, so I couldn't quote it.]

    I haven't read Antigone in years, so I have no idea what the reference is.

    I'm working on the Feyman, but it's not catching my heart.

    I remember the first time I read Ozymandias; I was left breathless by the brutal pessimism and the contrast with the elegance of the verse, while my teacher went blathering on about the folly of pride and ego.

    I remember that Prufrock really caught my imagination.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  15. #14  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    I remember that Prufrock really caught my imagination.
    You are just giving me excuses to quote T.S.Elliot again. Thank you.

    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.
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