Share a favorite poem

Discussion in 'Poet's Corner' started by Sais, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    We all have favorite poems and poets, let's share! Post a poem of one of your favorite authors here, I'll start:

    Anne Sexton, Wanting to die

    Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
    I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
    Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

    Even then I have nothing against life.
    I know well the grass blades you mention,
    the furniture you have placed under the sun.

    But suicides have a special language.
    Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
    They never ask why build.

    Twice I have so simply declared myself,
    have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
    have taken on his craft, his magic.

    In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
    warmer than oil or water,
    I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

    I did not think of my body at needle point.
    Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
    Suicides have already betrayed the body.

    Still-born, they don't always die,
    but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
    that even children would look on and smile.

    To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
    that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
    Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say,

    and yet she waits for me, year after year,
    to so delicately undo an old wound,
    to empty my breath from its bad prison.

    Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
    raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
    leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

    leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
    something unsaid, the phone off the hook
    and the love, whatever it was, an infection.
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Still I Rise

    Still I Rise
    by Maya Angelou

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I'll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I'll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don't you take it awful hard
    'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
    Diggin' in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I'll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I've got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history's shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that's rooted in pain
    I rise
    I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.
  3. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    The Invitation by Oriah

    It doesn’t interest me
    what you do for a living.
    I want to know
    what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream
    of meeting your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me
    how old you are.
    I want to know
    if you will risk
    looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me
    what planets are
    squaring your moon...
    I want to know
    if you have touched
    the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened
    by life’s betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.

    I want to know
    if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.

    I want to know
    if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations
    of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me
    if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.

    I want to know
    if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,

    It doesn’t interest me
    to know where you live
    or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.

    It doesn’t interest me
    who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest me
    where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know
    what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.

    I want to know
    if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like
    the company you keep
    in the empty moments.
  4. paulhewson

    paulhewson Well-Known Member

    "Oh Yes" by Charles Bukowski

    there are worse things than
    being alone
    but it often takes decades
    to realize this
    and most often
    when you do
    it's too late
    and there's nothing worse
    too late.
  5. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Mirror by Sylvia Plath

    I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
    Whatever I see I swallow immediately
    Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
    I am not cruel, only truthful—
    The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
    Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
    It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
    I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
    Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

    Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
    Searching my reaches for what she really is.
    Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
    I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
    She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
    I am important to her. She comes and goes.
    Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
    In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
    Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.
  6. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    POETRY by Hezy Leskly

    Poetry must stand and speak.
    Stand on the broken washing machine and speak the language
    of the sock
    that broke it.
    Poetry must stand on the windowsill and speak
    the language of those standing on the windowsill.
    Poetry must dance,
    and squeak the language of the mouse who lives
    under the stage and fears
    the wild tenderness of dance.
    Poetry must knock at the door
    silently or madly.
    It mustn’t touch the doorbell.
    Poetry must visit Barcelona
    and speak English there.
    Poetry must rest, the main thing is to rest.
    Poetry does not have to be poetry.
    It must be food that speaks.
    Poetry can be a confiture,
    that is, a dead and tasty fruit.
    Poetry can be saccharine,
    that is, an artificial and cancerous sweetener.

    Poetry can build
    a home
    a hospital
    a school
    a jail
    a synagogue

    but it prefers
    to discover
    a well of milk in the middle of a city.
    Poetry must sleep, sleep and dream of poetry.
    Poetry must lie down, lie down and speak
    in its sleep.
    Poetry must be buried
    in the ground
    and speak the language of the dead.
    Poetry must care for the sick.
    Poetry must undermine itself,
    undo itself,
    betray itself,
    abandon and be abandoned.
    Poetry has to live.
  7. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    i'd share if buy rudjard kippling, but i'm being lazy and i can't be bothered to find it... lol...
  8. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Here it is :)

    If by 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 impostors 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 worn-out 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 breathe 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!
  9. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    i love if.... especially a version i heard once set to music- it's lovely!

    probably my fave:)
  10. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Emily, if you can find that version post it here, i'd love to hear it! :)

    Here is one poem I just love, but is best when read by Bob Dylan: - this is a shorter version, on music

    I can't find the version when he reads it, so i'll just post the whole poem, kinda long:

    Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie
    , Bob Dylan

    When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb

    When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb

    When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace

    In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race

    No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up

    If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup

    If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on

    And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone

    And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it

    And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it

    And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long

    And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong

    And lonesome comes up as down goes the day

    And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away

    And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'

    And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'

    And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys

    Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys

    And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'

    And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'

    And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'

    And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'

    And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm

    And to yourself you sometimes say

    "I never knew it was gonna be this way

    Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"

    And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat

    And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet

    And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air

    And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare

    And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying

    And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'

    And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet

    And you need it badly but it lays on the street

    And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat

    And you think yer ears might a been hurt

    Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt

    And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush

    When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush

    And all the time you were holdin' three queens

    And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean

    Like in the middle of Life magazine

    Bouncin' around a pinball machine

    And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying

    That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'

    But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head

    And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed

    And no matter how you try you just can't say it

    And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it

    And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head

    And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead

    And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth

    And his jaws start closin with you underneath

    And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind

    And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

    And you say to yourself just what am I doin'

    On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'

    On this curve I'm hanging

    On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking

    In this air I'm inhaling

    Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard

    Why am I walking, where am I running

    What am I saying, what am I knowing

    On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'

    On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'

    In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'

    In the words that I'm thinkin'

    In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'

    Who am I helping, what am I breaking

    What am I giving, what am I taking

    But you try with your whole soul best

    Never to think these thoughts and never to let

    Them kind of thoughts gain ground

    Or make yer heart pound

    But then again you know why they're around

    Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down

    "Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping

    And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping

    And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'

    And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking

    If that was you in the dream that was screaming

    And you know that it's something special you're needin'

    And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'

    And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding

    And you need something special

    Yeah, you need something special all right

    You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track

    To shoot you someplace and shoot you back

    You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler

    That's been banging and booming and blowing forever

    That knows yer troubles a hundred times over

    You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race

    That won't laugh at yer looks

    Your voice or your face

    And by any number of bets in the book

    Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze

    You need something to open up a new door

    To show you something you seen before

    But overlooked a hundred times or more

    You need something to open your eyes

    You need something to make it known

    That it's you and no one else that owns

    That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting

    That the world ain't got you beat

    That it ain't got you licked

    It can't get you crazy no matter how many

    Times you might get kicked

    You need something special all right

    You need something special to give you hope

    But hope's just a word

    That maybe you said or maybe you heard

    On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

    But that's what you need man, and you need it bad

    And yer trouble is you know it too good

    "Cause you look an' you start getting the chills

    "Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill

    And it ain't on Macy's window sill

    And it ain't on no rich kid's road map

    And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house

    And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ

    And it ain't on that dimlit stage

    With that half-wit comedian on it

    Ranting and raving and taking yer money

    And you thinks it's funny

    No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club

    And it ain't in the seats of a supper club

    And sure as hell you're bound to tell

    That no matter how hard you rub

    You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub

    No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you

    And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you

    And it ain't in no cardboard-box house

    Or down any movie star's blouse

    And you can't find it on the golf course

    And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus

    And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes

    And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons

    And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices

    That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'

    Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin

    Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow

    Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry

    When you can't even sense if they got any insides

    These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

    No you'll not now or no other day

    Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥

    And inside it the people made of molasses

    That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses

    And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies

    Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny

    Who breathe and burp and bend and crack

    And before you can count from one to ten

    Do it all over again but this time behind yer back

    My friend

    The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl

    And play games with each other in their sand-box world

    And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools

    That run around gallant

    And make all rules for the ones that got talent

    And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do

    And think they're foolin' you

    The ones who jump on the wagon

    Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style

    To get their kicks, get out of it quick

    And make all kinds of money and chicks

    And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat

    Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that

    Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at

    Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel

    Good God Almighty


    No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race

    You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face

    You gotta look some other place

    And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'

    Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'

    Where do you look for this oil well gushin'

    Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'

    Where do you look for this hope that you know is there

    And out there somewhere

    And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads

    Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows

    Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways

    You can touch and twist

    And turn two kinds of doorknobs

    You can either go to the church of your choice

    Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital

    You'll find God in the church of your choice

    You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

    And though it's only my opinion

    I may be right or wrong

    You'll find them both

    In the Grand Canyon

    At sundown

    PS: here it is:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2013
  11. JMG

    JMG Well-Known Member

    I have lots of fave poems but one of my most faves is the one by JRR Tolkien (writer of Lord of the Rings for anyone who didn't know)

    It's called: "All that is Gold does not Glitter"

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
  12. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing, JMG, come back sometime and post another :)
    Here is mine for today:

    Music Swims Back to Me, Anne Sexton

    Wait Mister. Which way is home?
    They turned the light out
    and the dark is moving in the corner.
    There are no sign posts in this room,
    four ladies, over eighty,
    in diapers every one of them.
    La la la, Oh music swims back to me
    and I can feel the tune they played
    the night they left me
    in this private institution on a hill.

    Imagine it. A radio playing
    and everyone here was crazy.
    I liked it and danced in a circle.
    Music pours over the sense
    and in a funny way
    music sees more than I.
    I mean it remembers better;
    remembers the first night here.
    It was the strangled cold of November;
    even the stars were strapped in the sky
    and that moon too bright
    forking through the bars to stick me
    with a singing in the head.
    I have forgotten all the rest.

    They lock me in this chair at eight a.m.
    and there are no signs to tell the way,
    just the radio beating to itself
    and the song that remembers
    more than I. Oh, la la la,
    this music swims back to me.
    The night I came I danced a circle
    and was not afraid.
  13. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    A great poem, not sure it was supposed to be one, I like it very much ---

    Quote Originally Posted by brouse : (a member of SF)

    Wake up

    examine face

    read news



    watch youtube

    examine self


    brush teeth

    examine nail

    look outside



  14. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Daniel Faria - Men who are like places in the wrong place

    Men who are like places in the wrong place
    Men who are like plundered houses
    Like locations not on maps
    Like stones not on the ground
    Like orphaned children
    Men without a time zone
    Agitated men with no compass to rest on

    Men who are like violated borders
    Like barricaded roads
    Men who are drawn to choked pathways
    Men spattered by all destinies
    Laid off from their lives

    Men who are like the negation of strategies
    Like the hiding-places of smugglers
    Incarcerated men opening themselves with knives

    Men who are like irreparable damage
    Men who are barely living survivors
    Men who are like places wrenched
    Out of place

    © Translation: 2004, Richard Zenith
  15. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    OCD - Neil Hilborn --- read by the author, a must

    The first time I saw her…
    Everything in my head went quiet.
    All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.
    When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.
    Even in bed, I’m thinking:
    Did I lock the doors? Yes.
    Did I wash my hands? Yes.
    Did I lock the doors? Yes.
    Did I wash my hands? Yes.
    But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips..
    Or the eyelash on her cheek—
    the eyelash on her cheek—
    the eyelash on her cheek.
    I knew I had to talk to her.
    I asked her out six times in thirty seconds.
    She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right, so I had to keep going.
    On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating it, or fucking talking to her…
    But she loved it.
    She loved that I had to kiss her goodbye sixteen times or twenty-four times if it was Wednesday.
    She loved that it took me forever to walk home because there are lots of cracks on our sidewalk.
    When we moved in together, she said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely locked the door eighteen times.
    I’d always watch her mouth when she talked—
    when she talked—
    when she talked—
    when she talked
    when she talked;
    when she said she loved me, her mouth would curl up at the edges.
    At night, she’d lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off.
    She’d close her eyes and imagine that the days and nights were passing in front of her.
    Some mornings I’d start kissing her goodbye but she’d just leave cause I was
    just making her late for work…
    When I stopped in front of a crack in the sidewalk, she just kept walking…
    When she said she loved me her mouth was a straight line.
    She told me that I was taking up too much of her time.
    Last week she started sleeping at her mother’s place.
    She told me that she shouldn’t have let me get so attached to her; that this whole thing was a mistake, but…
    How can it be a mistake that I don’t have to wash my hands after I touched her?
    Love is not a mistake, and it’s killing me that she can run away from this and I just can’t.
    I can’t – I can’t go out and find someone new because I always think of her.
    Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin.
    I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars…
    And she was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.
    I want to wake up every morning thinking about the way she holds her steering wheel..
    How she turns shower knobs like she’s opening a safe.
    How she blows out candles—
    blows out candles—
    blows out candles—
    blows out candles—
    blows out candles—
    blows out…
    Now, I just think about who else is kissing her.
    I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once — he doesn’t care if it’s perfect!
    I want her back so bad…
    I leave the door unlocked.
    I leave the lights on.
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