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What is your favorite poem?

I'm really enjoying catching up on my modern poetry class. I haven't done any poetry in a very long time, and I'm really getting a lot out of the class. I want to read a lot more poetry. So...

What's your favorite poem? I asked on FB too, but since there's a lot more room for discussion here, please feel free to get into why or any other poets & poems that you'd highly recommend. Thanks!



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
Read anything by:

Gwendolyn Brooks
Nikki Giovanni
Rita Dove
Gary Snyder
Gary Soto
Denise Levertov

Those were some of my favorite poets whom I didn't discover until grad school.

You should also look for anthologies of contemporary verse. I forget the exact name, but there's something that comes out every year with a selection of poetry from the year before. It's a good way to keep current.
Sep. 26th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tips! I've not done a lot of contemporary reading at all, so I'm really enjoying this class. I definitely want to do more.
Sep. 26th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
It's saddening that they don't teach more contemporary poets in undergraduate courses, but I suppose there's simply too much history to get through.

Like I said, anthologies are a great start to identify people whose work you might want to delve into. You can also find collections that gather together the best poets of the 1990s or 2000s. And I'd highly recommend "Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep," an anthology of African-American poetry.
Sep. 26th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll look for it.
Sep. 26th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
My favourite poets are Lucy Maud Montgomery and Bub Bridger. I don't read much poetry, but I just love theirs :)

My favourite poems by them are "Patience" and "Blatant Resistance" - I'll include them in separate comments.

Other than those, I love Lillian Moore's The Bridge - there's just such scope for imagination in it!
The Bridge
by Lillian Moore

A bridge by day
Is steel and strong.
It carries giant trucks
That roll along
Above the waters of the bay.
A bridge is steel and might --
Till night.

A bridge by night
Is spun of light
That someone tossed
Across the bay
And someone caught
And pinned down tight --
Till day.

And finally "A Vagabond's Song" by Bliss Carman:
There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood --
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
Sep. 26th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
Patience - Lucy Maud Montgomery
As my letter must be brief
I'll at once state my belief
And this it is that, since the world began
Since Adam first did say
'Twas Eve led me astray
A woman hath more patience than a man.

If a man's obliged to wait
For someone who's rather late
No mortal ever got in such a stew
And if something can't be found
That he's sure should be around
The listening air sometimes grows fairly blue.

Just watch a man who tries
To soothe a baby's cries
Or put a stovepipe up in weather cold
Into what a state he'll get
How he'll fuss and fume and fret
And stamp and bluster 'round and storm and scold.

Some point to Job with pride
As an argument for their side
Why, it was so rare a patient man to see
That when one was really found
His discoveres were bound
To preserve for him a place in history.

And while I admit it's true
That man has some patience too
And that woman isn't always sweetly calm
Still I think all must agree
On this general fact - that she
For general, all-round patience bears the palm.
Sep. 26th, 2012 07:27 am (UTC)
Blatant Resistance - Bub Bridger
I have a new scarlet coat and
I look like a fire engine
And I don't give a damn
One should grow old gracefully
Someone said - I don't know who
But I've heard it all my life and
So have you but to hell with that
I refuse to grow old any way
But reluctantly and bold as brass

And when arthritis bites in all
My bones and sleep sulks outside
My bedroom window in the dark
I just toss and turn and scratch
And swear the hours away I'm not
Growing older - it's the stupid
Betrayal of bones and flesh
That makes me feel this way but
Look at me now with springs in
My heels and wind in my hair
Any moment I'll start whistling
And might even dance you a jig
And stop all the traffic along the
Quay wearing my new scarlet coat
And looking like a fire engine.
Sep. 26th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing so many good ones! My current class is taking the time to take them apart basically word by word, so I'm going to be trying to do that with everyone's suggestions here in the next few days.
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
You're very welcome! I was a tad worried I had gone overboard, so I'm glad that's not the case :)
Sep. 28th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Not at all! I was very much hoping for more feedback than what I got. lol
Oct. 3rd, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Stop all the Clocks
As promised... some more poems :) I think I'll do one per comment for simplicity's sake.

I loved this even before I heard it used in "Four Weddings..."

Stop all the Clocks
by 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 on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe 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 for ever: 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.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
by Bub Bridger

I'm a little in love with you
To cause you embarrassment
Or concern
Just a warm
Skip of the heart
When I see you from
My bus
At your stop

I catch your eye
And give you a wave
And I note
That you are more beautiful
Now than you ever were
And I am a keen
observer of beauty
Whether it's sunsets
Or music
Or the Mona Lisa
Or birds flying
Or green growing things
Or you

How does it feel,
My young Adonis, to be
held in such regard
By an elderly lady
On the 24 Express?
Don't knock it,
Because it really is
A rare compliment
And you
Only have to respond
With your wide smile
Which is a small price
To pay
For allowing me my glimpse
Of what it used to be
All those years ago
When I was 17
And beautiful young men
By the dozen.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Sundeath / Greentears
Sundeath / Greentears
by Roger McGrove

When you said you loved me
the sun
leapt out from behind St. Georges Hall
and ran towards town;
Kissing young girls' faces
Exposing fat men's braces
Freeing birds an chasing flies
Pulling hats down over eyes
Making bobbies get undressed
Barow ladies look their best
Wayside winds sit and dream
Hot dog men to sell ice cream.

But when you said goodbye
I heard that the sun
had been run over
somewhere in Castle Street
by a bus load of lovers
whom you have yet to meet.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
Love Is...
Love Is...
by C.S. Lewis

Love's as warm as tears,
Love is tears;
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love's as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts - infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride
Lyric desire, shaprt-sweet,
Laughing even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whense all lovers came.

Love's as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'
To sap, to blood
Telling 'Ease, safety, rest,
Are good, not best.

Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails;
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
One Random Word
One Random Word
by Emerson

The gods talk in the breath of the world
They talk in the shaken pine,
And they fill the reach of the old seashore,
With dialogue divine;
And the poet who overhear
One Random Word they say
Is the fated man of men
Whom the ages must obey.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
A Day
A Day
by Emily Dickinson

I'll tell you how the sun rose,
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
"That must have been the sun!"

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


Ahavah Ehyeh

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