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Gabez 05-22-2007 07:13 AM

Poetry apreciation
I quite like reading poetry... it's not just for girls, honest.

I thought we could share some poems - so if you have any good ones, reply with them here. The only rules are that you use a different poet each time, that you don't double post, and you only give one poem at a time!

To kick things of, this is my favourite Dave Grossman poem that I've read so far:

This one could use a bit of explanation. I was griping about Daylight Saving
Time again yesterday, bending the ear of noted comics artist Andy Hartzell. I
said that clocks really only have one purpose, which is to synchronize
yourself with other people, and that changing them around interferes with that purpose. I further suggested that time zones were a bad idea for the same reason, and that we should all use Greenwich Mean Time to make worldwide synchronization as simple as possible. Andy pointed out that this might be weird for people in places where the numbers would then go back to 1 again at some peculiar part of the day, and of course we'd have the same problem if we tried to use letters or anything else with a linear order. So I proposed a system whereby we mark time using a color wheel, since it hasn't got any particular beginning or end and would therefore make just as much sense in places where the sun rises at aquamarine as it would where it rises at lavender. International Color Time is born! Andy suggested I write a poem, so I did.

Love on International Color Time

I saw you first at half maroon
We talked til peach obscured the moon
Now here it is banana hue
And every tint I think of you
Meet me by the old caboose
At seven shades beyond chartreuse
Just before the neon lime
Bring a brush and we can paint the time

Blow 05-23-2007 08:20 PM

Er, kind of a long prose poem thing here that I thought was quite good, not sure if it counts though:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Valkian 05-24-2007 12:19 PM

I love all literature, but I think poetry is the form I love the less. Maybe because it's easier to write poetry and make it sound good, than it is writing fiction for instance. Therefor there is a large number of thieves who call themselves "poets".

Anyway, there are a few pieces of poetry I do love. I'll begin with a true classic (Which I can recite outloud from memory... well the first part at least).

The Raven
By Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

[Read it all, here:]

Gabez 05-25-2007 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by Valkian
I love all literature, but I think poetry is the form I love the less. Maybe because it's easier to write poetry and make it sound good, than it is writing fiction for instance. Therefor there is a large number of thieves who call themselves "poets".

I think that's true for some modern avant-guarde poetry, and it's also true for parody poetry (when you do an impression of a style), but to make really really good poetry is nearly impossible, and I'm amazed that anyone has managed to do it at all.

Blow: nice poem, who's it by? It reminds me of Kipling's famous "you'll be a man, my son" poem and the last bit about striving is like Tennyson's Ulysses.

I was thinking of posting either of those two, but then I came across this poem, also by Tennyson, whilst I was doing some Pirates of the Caribbean research:

The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Valkian 05-25-2007 06:26 PM

Oh, I liked The Kraken. Very sea-ish (whatever that means). And good idea Gabez, I enjoy this poetry apreciation club.

Here is my second favorite poem. The greatest nonsense poem ever. It still makes me want to have a vorpal sword.

By Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he soughtó
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

scabb 06-01-2007 07:01 PM

Poetry is for girls. :)

Also, Jabberwock is definitely an offensive term in some places.

elTee 06-02-2007 05:08 AM

I hope my good old asshole holds out
60 years it's been mostly OK
Tho in Bolivia a fissure operation
survived the altiplano hospital--
a little blood, no polyps, occasionally
a small hemorrhoid
active, eager, receptive to phallus
coke bottle, candle, carrot
banana & fingers--
Now AIDS makes it shy, but still
eager to serve--
out with the dumps, in with the condom'd
orgasmic friend--
still rubbery muscular,
unashamed wide open for joy
But another 20 years who knows,
old folks got troubles everywhere--
necks, prostates, stomachs, joints--
Hope the old hole stays young
till death, relax

Gabez 06-06-2007 05:22 AM

what if a much of a which of a wind

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer's lie;
bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend: blow space to time)
-when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:
strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror; blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
-whose hearts are mountains, roots are trees,
it's they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn't:blow death to was)
-all nothing's only our hugest home;
the most who die, the more we live

- ee cummings

[note to others: please include the poet's name!]

elTee 06-06-2007 09:18 AM

Ginsberg ;

Gabez 06-14-2007 04:52 AM

And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

- Dylan Thomas

(And if you're a Thomas fan, check out this card advert, currently playing on UK TV.

spoon_man 07-20-2007 05:33 AM

Hip Hop is actually good...

Black Sweatshirt
Tonight I'm in the mood for some unscheduled affection
Spontaneous combustion...Playing with my fire inside
Burning my inner child blackened his skin to the tint of his sweatshirt
"Hey...when you play with the big boys, you get hurt!"
I used to suck my thumb while rubbing silk blankets across my cheek
Until my mom denied me access. I bawled for weeks
We don't speak to this day. I came to terms with my fear and loathing
Now I wear this it's an extra layer of old skin
Afraid to the fabric...from years that I've had it
Found abandoned on the stairs to the attic
Collecting runaway skin cells...absorbing memories
It's been to hell and back, dragged through the dirt and even worn by enemies
Born in the 70's of the 20th century
Making that distinction is for future reference...In case y'all remember me
And my genesis. What's most important is to remember this
Women and men are pissed. When they kiss they exchange spit that is venomous
Most of it is affection-less and the affects of this has us quick to clench a fist
Don't get fancy with your paintbrush when you reminisce

I'm sentimental and I miss what used to be close to me
or maybe I've just got OCD and I can't break my old routines
Hopefully I reconcile with my inseparables...what lies inside from head to toes
Instead of symbolizing clothes...identifying with outside symbols...

Cut out the middle man...

But my woobie is in demand...

I'm feeling like a kid again.

It protected me from the wind, sea and sand
Sanity was saved from the crazy cemetery walks
And every awkward moment spent talking with the Boogie Man
Man...managed unconditional comfort. As I've come to understand...
The monsters are under my bed again...
The monsters are under my bed again.

Dedicated to the memory of my Black Sweatshirt

- Sage Francis

Gabez 02-27-2008 03:14 PM


Oh what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.

Is there hope for the future?
Cry the brown bells of Merthyr.

Who made the mine owner?
Say the black bells of Rhondda.

And who robbed the miner?
Cry the grim bells of Blaina.

They will plunder will-nilly,
Cry the bells of Caerphilly.

They have fangs, they have teeth,
Shout the loud bells of Neath.

Even God is uneasy,
Say the moist bells of Swansea.

And what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.

Throw the vandals in court,
Say the bells of Newport.

All will be well if, if, if,
Cry the green bells of Cardiff.

Why so worried, sisters why?
Sang the silver bells of Wye.

And what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney?

Words from "Gwalia Deserta" by Idris Davies
Music by Pete Seeger

elTee 04-06-2008 12:17 PM

One of my tutors was interviewed on NPR earlier, he reads a couple of poems that I think are very good.

Funny story! We were sharing a pint (or several) after an open reading and I stupidly, drunkenly, asked him if the tattoo on his arm was related to some kind of regiment, or (can't believe I said this) if he was once in the Provo' or something. It was a tattoo of the names of his children! So that is how I inadvertantly asked a respected poet if he was a terrorist. *sigh*

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