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Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:03 pm

These are mostly from a book of mine that I got from my grandmother, The Best Loved Poems of the American People, compiled by the editor of the Queries and Answers page of the New York Times. Published in 1934. The poems that I've typed out I couldn't find on the internet and are apparently rare.

To the Men Who Lose

Here's to the men who lose!
What through their work be e'er so nobly planned,
And watched with zealous care,
No glorious halo crowns their efforts grand;
Contempt is failure's share.

Here's to the men who lose!
If triumph's easy smile our struggles greet,
Courage is easy then;
The king is he who, after fierce defeat,
Can up and fight again.

Here's to the men who lose!
The ready plaudits of a fawning world
Ring sweet in victor's ears;
The vanquished's banners never are unfurled;
For them sound no cheers.

Here's to the men who lose!
The touchstone of true worth is not success;
There is a higher test-
Though fate may darkly frown, onward to press,
And bravely do one's best.

Here's to the men who lose!
It is the vanquished's praises that I sing,
And this is the toast I choose:
"A hard-fought failure is a noble thing!
Here's to the men who lose."

George L. Scarborough

The Last Review

Twenty-one miles of boys in blue,
Sixty abreast at the last review-
How grandly the columns stretch away
In the cloudless light of this sweet May day,
Onward in rank and file they come,
To the cheering beat of the victors' drum.

Wearied and scarred and worn they be,
But a prouder host you will never see-
Their faded banners, riddled with ball,
But floating triumphantly after all.
Never again in the world's sunlight,
Shall the nations look on a grander sight.

No more, till the Christian army stand,
Whose warriors shall gather from every land,
For a last review on the other shore,
Their life-long battles and marches o'er,
Will a marshaled host like this appear,
Crowned with the glory that victors wear.

Let the heads of the nation bow as they pass,
And scatter with flowers the dewy grass;
As their gleaming weapons flash in the sun,
Remember the deeds of valor done.
How that solid columns of human breasts
Was bared to the storm for the nation's rest.

Then beat the drum for the last reveile,
The echoes of strife are growing still;
With a conquering tread the heroes come,
Back to the dear delights of home.

But alas, the army of countless dead-
We shall list in vain for their coming tread;
Full forty miles of our noble braves,
Sixty abreast, are in their graves.
As your cheers ring out for the living host,
Remember the heroes loved and lost.

And think of the maimed and the wasted ban,
Seeking the homes of this stricken land,
For whom the brightness of life is o'er,
Whose feet are nearing the other shore;
Remnants of manhood, once so strong,
These cannot march in the gala throng.

Then hail, all hail to the boys in blue,
Gathered today for a last review,
Marching with floating banners back:
Scatter with flowers their joyous track.
Their brows perchance are dark with scars,
And their worn feet seamed with crimson bars,
But kings and victors we crown today,
The war-scarred host on their homeward way.

And I wonder, if down from the sweet repose
Which the soul of the martyred hero knows,
The commander in chief looks down and sees
Those banners float in the earthly breeze,
And if in the calm of that world of bliss,
His spirit would thrill at a scene like this.

Emily J. Bugbee

and some of the popular stuff that you can find on the internet

The Church Walking with the World - Matilda C. Edwards
Very, very true.

Invictus - William Ernest Henley
Definately not written from a Christian's point of view but it is beautifully written.

The Coming American - Sam Walter Foss

The Charge of the Light Brigade - Alfred Tennyson
The most immortal and doomed noble charge ever made

Old Ironsides - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Our proudest ship.

Boots (Infantry Columns) - Rudyard Kipling
Great rhythm in 4/4 time

My Son - James D. Hughes

Who has Known Heights - Mary Brent Whiteside
Reminds me of flight - once you've flown, you will always want to return

High Flight - John Gillespie Magee Jr.
Best work written about flying, EVER.

Along The Road - Robert Browning Hamilton
Very insightful

Today - Angela Morgan
O thrilling age..
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:12 pm

I see this one everytime i slump back in my chair and am about to give up. Ya see its on my lampshade, haha!

It doesnt mean much to me i just see it everynow and then! Its ok i guess.

Edward Fitzgerald 1809-1883
from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Wake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultán's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand* was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
``Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
``Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry.''

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted--``Open then the Door!
``You know how little while we have to stay,
``And, once departed, may return no more.''

One Life, Live it.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:19 pm


Am Abend tönen die herbstlichen Wälder
Von tödlichen Waffen, die goldenen Ebenen
Und blauen Seen, darüber die Sonne
Düster hinrollt; umfängt die Nacht
Sterbende Krieger, die wilde Klage
Ihrer zerbrochenen Münder.

Doch Stille sammelt im Weidengrund
Rotes Gewölk, darin ein zürnender Gott wohnt
Das vergoßne Blut sich, mondne Kühle;
Alle Straßen münden in schwarze Verwesung.

Unter goldenem Gezweig der Nacht und Sternen
Es schwankt der Schwester Schatten durch den schweigenden Hain,
Zu grüßen die Geister der Helden, die blutenden Häupter;
Und leise tönen im Rohr die dunkeln Flöten des Herbstes.

O stolzere Trauer! ihr ehernen Altäre
Die heiße Flamme der Geistes
nährt heute ein gewaltiger Schmerz,
Die ungeborenen Enkel.

Georg Trakl 1918

kein fehler im system
kein efhler im system
kein ehfler im system
kein ehlfer im system
kein ehlefr im system
kein ehlerf im system
kein ehleri fm system
kein ehleri mf system
kein ehleri ms fystem
kein ehleri ms yfstem
kein ehleri ms ysftem
kein ehleri ms ystfem
kein ehleri ms ystefm
kein nehler ms ystemf
fkei nehler im system
kfei nehler im system
kefi nehler im system
keif nehler im system
kein fehler im system

by eugen gomringer
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:07 am

"Roxanne" by UTFO

Yeah, what's up man?
There goes that girl they call Roxanne. She's all stuck up
Why you say that?
Cause she wouldn't give a guy like me no rap
She was walking down the street so I said "Hello
I'm Kangol from UTFO." And she said "So?"
And I said "So?!? Baby don't you know?
I can sing, rap, and dance in just one show
Cause I'm Kangol, Mr. Sophisticata
As far as I'm concerned ain't nobody greater
From beginning to end and, to beginning
I never lose because I'm all about winning
But if I were to lose, I wouldn't be upset
Cause I'm not a gambler, I don't bet
I don't be in no casino, and baby while you knizzow
The izzi is the grizzeat Kizzangizzo."
I thought she'd be impress by my devious rap
I thought I had her caught cause I'm a sinister trap
I thought it'd be a piece of cake but it was nothing like that
I guess that's what I get for thinking, ain't that right, black?
Then crizzi to gizzone and seen number izzone
Crizzin ricking tizza of mizzac mic dizza
With the bang bang, brother I feel bad
But I ain't comitting suicide for no crab
But calling her a crab is just a figure of speech
Cause she's an apple, a pear, a plum, and a peach
I thought I had it in the palm of my hand
But man oh man, if I was grand I'd bang Roxanne
Roxanne, Roxanne, can't you understand?
Roxanne, Roxanne, I wanna be your man
You Kango, I don't think that you're dense
Buy you went about the matter with no experience
You should know, she doesn't need a guy like you
She needs a guy like me, with a high IQ
And she'll take to my rap, cause my rap's the best
The educated rapper MD will never fess
So when I met her, I wasted no time
But stuck up Roxanne paid me no mind
She thought my name was Barry, I told her it was Gary
She said she didn't like it so she chose to call me Barry
She said she'd love to marry, my baby she would carry
And if she had a baby, she'd name the baby Harry
Her mother's name is Baby, which is really quite contrary
Her face is really hairy, and you can say it's scary
So isn't not every, her father's a fairy
His job is secondary, in some military
He throws them to an ?electric camp? that wasn't voluntary
His daughter's name is Sherry, his sons are Tom and Jerry
Jerry had the flu but it was only temporary
Back in January, or was it February?

Signed, KROC
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:13 am

My two favourites in no particular order

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Major John McCrae
Canadian Army
Died in Flanders WW1


High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:18 am

This is my favorite ~~ and one I do live by!!


God grant me the Serenity to accept the things which I cannot change;
Give me the courage to change things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.......

Phyllis  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:31 am

I don't know any poems off hand, but I think many songs are poems.
Go big or go home
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:42 am

Rudyard Kipling

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!

Night Mail (W H Auden)

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 6:52 am

The Sonnets to Orpheus: XIII

Be ahead of all parting, although it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice - more glady arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be - and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world's full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(translated by Stephen Mitchell)
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:00 am

Staind: Open Your Eyes

As I walk along these streets
I see a man that walks alone
Distant echo of peoples feet
He has no place to call his own
A shot rings out from a roof over head
A crack head asks for change nearby
An old man lies in an alleyway dead
A little girl lost just stands there and cries

What would you do, if it was you
Would you take everything for granted like you do?

A boy just 13 on the corner for sale
Swallows his pride for another hit
Overpopulation there's no room in jail
But most of you don't give a shit
That your daughters are porno stars
and Your sons sell death to kids
You're so lost in your little worlds
Your little worlds you'll never fix

What would you do, if it was you
Would you take everything for granted like you do?

You turn away
As I walk along the streets
Soaking up the acid rain
Underneath the taxi cabs
I hear the streets cry out in vain

What would you do, if it was you
Would you take everything for granted like you do?


And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:41 pm

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? and what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil ? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

--William Blake

And I forgot to add that Flanders Field and High Flight are it's equals.

[Edited 2004-04-17 05:49:53]
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:44 pm

Its simple and not as eloquent as some of the others but I do like it:

Shut the door and strap me in
enclosed within this world of tin
engines rumble then rev high
Oh my God...we're starting to fly!

Life is better when you surf.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:51 pm

Mines prolly one of the most famous poems of all time but I really like it:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:55 pm

It might also be mentioned that John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was only 19 years old when he died.

Futureualpilot, length and eloquence are not prerequisites to a good poem, enjoyment is.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:24 pm

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

-John Donne

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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 6:38 pm

Some very moving contributions there, some of which do leave you with a slightly heavy heart. So here's mine:

I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

-Spike Milligan.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:48 am

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Written 1943 by Leo Marx

Leo Marx was a young mathematical genius in wartime Britain. He, in his early 20s, became the master code writer for the SOE sabotage and intelligence service. At this time the codes for the agents in the field were based on poems the agent had to learn by heart. Unfortunately most popular English poems were also known to the German Abwehr counter intelligence service with the result that the agent´s transmissions were often intercepted. Marx started as a stopgap until an new coding system could be introduced to write poems himself to give to the agents.
This one was written shortly after his girlfriend got killed in an aircrash while training to be a RAF nurse.
Later he gave this poem to agent Violette Szabo to use while with the French Resistance in German occupied France. She got betrayed and later executed in Dachau concentration camp.

I also like the Flanders Fields
Zak, your poem is very impressive (the first one)

Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:55 am

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is my favorite poem. It's a bit too long to post, though.

I also like Milton's "Death Be Not Proud", Yeats' "The Second Coming", and Wendell Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things".
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:54 pm

Sorry, Leo Marks, not Leo Marx

Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:39 pm

Thanks for stealing mine USAFHummer  Big grin Good to see we have the same taste in good poems.

One of my favorites, authored by Edward White, early Gemini Astronaut who later died for his country in the Apollo 1 fire..but a website says it belongs to
Edgar Guest?? Anyways, it's been on my fridge since I made varsity soccer in high school, about 6-7 years ago, I'd look at it every morning...still look at it even today.

No one is beat till he quits,
No one is through till he stops,
No matter how hard Failure hits,
No matter how often he drops,
A fellow's not down till he lies
In the dust and refuses to rise.
Fate can slam him and bang him around,
And batter his frame till he's sore,
But she never can say that he's downed
While he bobs up serenely for more.
A fellow's not dead till he dies,
Nor beat till no longer he tries.

"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:15 pm

"George Gray" by Edgar Lee Masters

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me-
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me, and I shrank form its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire-
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

Cada loco con su tema...
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:52 pm

Hello All,

Mine is probably "Ode on Melancholy" (Keats), amongst some of his others which are also brilliant...

"I wandered lonely as a cloud..."

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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 9:06 pm

Er...that's Wordsworth, Biggles, not Keats ("I wandered lonely as a cloud" I mean).

Anyway, my favourite is Sea Fever by John Masefield. Another of the poems whose opening lines have entered the English lexicon.

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

[Edited 2004-04-19 14:09:20]
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
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RE: Anyone Have Any Favorite Poems?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 9:24 pm

Speaking of poems, I just wrote a new one which I am looking to get published at some point. If anyone would care to read it, drop me an email.

I can't say I have a favorite poem per se, but I've always enjoyed the works of Melville, Donne, and both of the Shelley's. And for short stories, it's hard to beat Poe. A classic.


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