What's your favorite poem?

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Mine is "since feeling is first" by ee cummings.

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis
RebeccaK likes this.
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"We’ll not live like this. They will try to bury us with false manifestos, inscribe us in wars against false enemies but we’ll sing songs about dying from loving the wrong cowboy and gospel; our bodies will burn in effigies of promise. I swear."

-Ibi Kaslik
Always been my favourite from when I was a kid-

When things go wrong, as they
sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging
seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the
debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have
to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a
bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and
turns,
As each of us sometimes
learns,
And many a man turns about
When he might have won had he
stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace
seems slow -
You may succeed with another
blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering
man;
Often the struggler has given up
Whe he might have captured the
victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the
night came down,
How close he was to the golden
crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
-
The silver tint in the clouds of
doubt,
And you never can tell how close
you are,
It might be near when it seems
afar;
So stick to the fight when you're
hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that
you must not quit.

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She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
I love everything by Emily Dickinson, but this one is one of my favs:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
Oh and I always loved this one:

Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
curlypearl likes this.
Phenomenal Woman
By Maya Angelou


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
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Middle Passage
By Robert Hayden

Jesús, Estrella, Esperanza, Mercy:

Sails flashing to the wind like weapons,
sharks following the moans the fever and the dying;
horror the corposant and compass rose.


Middle Passage:
voyage through death
to life upon these shores.


“10 April 1800—
Blacks rebellious. Crew uneasy. Our linguist says
their moaning is a prayer for death,
ours and their own. Some try to starve themselves.
Lost three this morning leaped with crazy laughter
to the waiting sharks, sang as they went under.”


Desire, Adventure, Tartar, Ann:

Standing to America, bringing home
black gold, black ivory, black seed.


Deep in the festering hold thy father lies,
of his bones New England pews are made,
those are altar lights that were his eyes.


Jesus Saviour Pilot Me
Over Life’s Tempestuous Sea


We pray that Thou wilt grant, O Lord,
safe passage to our vessels bringing
heathen souls unto Thy chastening.


Jesus Saviour


“8 bells. I cannot sleep, for I am sick
with fear, but writing eases fear a little
since still my eyes can see these words take shape
upon the page & so I write, as one
would turn to exorcism. 4 days scudding,
but now the sea is calm again. Misfortune
follows in our wake like sharks (our grinning
tutelary gods). Which one of us
has killed an albatross? A plague among
our blacks—Ophthalmia: blindness—& we
have jettisoned the blind to no avail.
It spreads, the terrifying sickness spreads.
Its claws have scratched sight from the Capt.'s eyes
& there is blindness in the fo’c’sle
& we must sail 3 weeks before we come
to port.”


What port awaits us, Davy Jones’
or home? I’ve heard of slavers drifting, drifting,
playthings of wind and storm and chance, their crews
gone blind, the jungle hatred
crawling up on deck.


Thou Who Walked On Galilee


“Deponent further sayeth The Bella J
left the Guinea Coast
with cargo of five hundred blacks and odd
for the barracoons of Florida:


“That there was hardly room ’tween-decks for half
the sweltering cattle stowed spoon-fashion there;
that some went mad of thirst and tore their flesh
and sucked the blood:


“That Crew and Captain lusted with the comeliest
of the savage girls kept naked in the cabins;
that there was one they called The Guinea Rose
and they cast lots and fought to lie with her:


“That when the Bo’s’n piped all hands, the flames
spreading from starboard already were beyond
control, the negroes howling and their chains
entangled with the flames:


“That the burning blacks could not be reached,
that the Crew abandoned ship,
leaving their shrieking negresses behind,
that the Captain perished drunken with the wenches:


“Further Deponent sayeth not.”


Pilot Oh Pilot Me



II


Aye, lad, and I have seen those factories,
Gambia, Rio Pongo, Calabar;
have watched the artful mongos baiting traps
of war wherein the victor and the vanquished


Were caught as prizes for our barracoons.
Have seen the ****** kings whose vanity
and greed turned wild black hides of Fellatah,
Mandingo, Ibo, Kru to gold for us.


And there was one—King Anthracite we named him—
fetish face beneath French parasols
of brass and orange velvet, impudent mouth
whose cups were carven skulls of enemies:


He’d honor us with drum and feast and conjo
and palm-oil-glistening wenches deft in love,
and for tin crowns that shone with paste,
red calico and German-silver trinkets


Would have the drums talk war and send
his warriors to burn the sleeping villages
and kill the sick and old and lead the young
in coffles to our factories.


Twenty years a trader, twenty years,
for there was wealth aplenty to be harvested
from those black fields, and I’d be trading still
but for the fevers melting down my bones.



III


Shuttles in the rocking loom of history,
the dark ships move, the dark ships move,
their bright ironical names
like jests of kindness on a murderer’s mouth;
plough through thrashing glister toward
fata morgana’s lucent melting shore,
weave toward New World littorals that are
mirage and myth and actual shore.


Voyage through death,
voyage whose chartings are unlove.


A charnel stench, effluvium of living death
spreads outward from the hold,
where the living and the dead, the horribly dying,
lie interlocked, lie foul with blood and excrement.


Deep in the festering hold thy father lies,
the corpse of mercy rots with him,
rats eat love’s rotten gelid eyes.


But, oh, the living look at you
with human eyes whose suffering accuses you,
whose hatred reaches through the swill of dark
to strike you like a leper’s claw.


You cannot stare that hatred down
or chain the fear that stalks the watches
and breathes on you its fetid scorching breath;
cannot kill the deep immortal human wish,
the timeless will.


“But for the storm that flung up barriers
of wind and wave, The Amistad, señores,
would have reached the port of Príncipe in two,
three days at most; but for the storm we should
have been prepared for what befell.
Swift as the puma’s leap it came. There was
that interval of moonless calm filled only
with the water’s and the rigging’s usual sounds,
then sudden movement, blows and snarling cries
and they had fallen on us with machete
and marlinspike. It was as though the very
air, the night itself were striking us.
Exhausted by the rigors of the storm,
we were no match for them. Our men went down
before the murderous Africans. Our loyal
Celestino ran from below with gun
and lantern and I saw, before the cane-
knife’s wounding flash, Cinquez,
that surly brute who calls himself a prince,
directing, urging on the ghastly work.
He hacked the poor mulatto down, and then
he turned on me. The decks were slippery
when daylight finally came. It sickens me
to think of what I saw, of how these apes
threw overboard the butchered bodies of
our men, true Christians all, like so much jetsam.
Enough, enough. The rest is quickly told:
Cinquez was forced to spare the two of us
you see to steer the ship to Africa,
and we like phantoms doomed to rove the sea
voyaged east by day and west by night,
deceiving them, hoping for rescue,
prisoners on our own vessel, till
at length we drifted to the shores of this
your land, America, where we were freed
from our unspeakable misery. Now we
demand, good sirs, the extradition of
Cinquez and his accomplices to La
Havana. And it distresses us to know
there are so many here who seem inclined
to justify the mutiny of these blacks.
We find it paradoxical indeed
that you whose wealth, whose tree of liberty
are rooted in the labor of your slaves
should suffer the august John Quincy Adams
to speak with so much passion of the right
of chattel slaves to kill their lawful masters
and with his Roman rhetoric weave a hero’s
garland for Cinquez. I tell you that
we are determined to return to Cuba
with our slaves and there see justice done. Cinquez—
or let us say ‘the Prince’—Cinquez shall die.”


The deep immortal human wish,
the timeless will:


Cinquez its deathless primaveral image,
life that transfigures many lives.


Voyage through death
to life upon these shores.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

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Mine is "And Still I Rise"-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.
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I love everything by Emily Dickinson, but this one is one of my favs:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
Originally Posted by thelio
Love Emily!

My favorite of hers is "Wild Nights."

I think my favorite all time poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay. "Being Born a Woman and Distressed" is one of my personal faves.

Oh and Maya Angelou! I have a copy of "Phenomenal Woman" from back in college that I still pull out and read when I'm feeling "less than."
I love everything by Emily Dickinson, but this one is one of my favs:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
Originally Posted by thelio
Love Emily!

My favorite of hers is "Wild Nights."

I think my favorite all time poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay. "Being Born a Woman and Distressed" is one of my personal faves.

Oh and Maya Angelou! I have a copy of "Phenomenal Woman" from back in college that I still pull out and read when I'm feeling "less than."
Originally Posted by LAwoman
Eta: I had not read spider or lady v's responses when I wrote mine. Cool!
"Ah! What avails the sceptered race,
Ah, what the form divine,
Whose every virtue, every grace,
Rose Aylmer, all were thine....."
(etc.)
Walter Savage Landor

(learned in the context of an Alice Munro story)

Dogs and nature abhor a vacuum.
http://geaugadoggy.wordpress.com
Birches by Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust--
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
This is the first poem I ever memorized and the first that ever spoke to me. I've no idea what was going on with me at the time (I think I would have been in junior high, so who knows what drama it was?) but, it just leveled me to think that someone else -- an adult! -- had put into words what I was feeling at the time. For that reason it is still my favorite.

I Shall Not Care
by Sara Teasdale

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.
I can't possibly decide! I've got three by Pablo Neruda, some by Ann Sexton, I love "Dream Deferred", and there are others that really speak to me as well!
I love "The Laboratory" by Robert Browning. I also love "There is no frigate like a book" by Emily Dickenson. It speaks to the bookworm in me.
"Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas
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Assata Shakur

RHINOCEROS WOMAN

Rhinocerous woman
who nobody wants
and everybody used.
They say you’re crazy
cause you not crazy enough
to kneel when told to kneel.
Hey, big woman -
with scars on the head
and scars on the heart
that never seem to heal -
I saw your light
and it was shining.
You gave them love.
They gave you s h i t.
You gave them you.
they gave you hollywood.
They purr at you
cause you know how to roar
and back it up with realness.
Rhinocerous woman,
big momma in a little world.
You closed your eyes
and neon spun inside your head
cause it was dark outside.
You read your bible
but god never came.
Your daddy woulda loved you
but what would the neighbors say.
They hate you momma
cause you expose their madness.
And their cruelty.
They can see in your eyes
a thousand nightmares
that they have made come true.
Black woman. Baad woman.
Wear your bigness on your chest like a badge
cause you done earned it.
Strong woman. Amazon.
Wear your scars like jewelry
cause they were bought with blood.
They call you mad.
And almost had you
believing that s h i t.
They called you ugly.
And you hid yourself
behind yourself
and wallowed in their shame.
Rhinocerous woman -
this world is blind
and slight of mind
and cannot see
how beautiful you are.
I saw your light.
And it was shining
B-wavy likes this.
3c/4a

Last edited by Po; 05-17-2012 at 02:45 PM.
Jabberwocky.
RebeccaK likes this.
The best revenge is living well. The second best revenge is fire ants.
I was never a huge poetry fan, but i took some American Lit courses in college and fell in love with some of the greats. Like, anything by Walt Whitman or Robert Frost ("Good fences make good neighbors" is a genius line!)

I absolutely love "i carry your heart with me" by e e cummings. That's the one with, "i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)".

And I also love "The Embankment" by Thomas Ernest Hulme (about a soldier dying during WWI):

(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night.)
Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth's the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

Ok now I just want to talk about poetry.

Last edited by vanek07; 05-17-2012 at 02:54 PM.
I love everything by Emily Dickinson, but this one is one of my favs:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
Originally Posted by thelio
Love Emily!

My favorite of hers is "Wild Nights."

I think my favorite all time poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay. "Being Born a Woman and Distressed" is one of my personal faves.

Oh and Maya Angelou! I have a copy of "Phenomenal Woman" from back in college that I still pull out and read when I'm feeling "less than."
Originally Posted by LAwoman
Eta: I had not read spider or lady v's responses when I wrote mine. Cool!
Originally Posted by LAwoman
I drive by the house Emily Dickinson was raised in every weekend. I think they have a museum there.

I love Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken'.


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Central Massachusetts

One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
so many! but I found this one on tumblr and I love it:

Persons
People can walk
but not
handsanitizers
Because
handsanitizers
don’t
have
legs

-written by a first grader
nynaeve77 likes this.
made up of 98.822% silliness!!

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