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  • Favourite Poem

    I have always loved poetry, and there have been several excellent poetry anthologies published recently.

    I thought that this was timely moment to open up a poetry thread asking you what your favourite poem is.

    Having checked out the copyright situation, it is permissable to reproduce a poem for "criticism or review".

    "In addition to the specified exceptions, there exists a group of exemptions which fall within the scope of ‘fair dealing'. Material reproduced for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study, for criticism or review or for the reporting of current events is included in this group. If material is reproduced for these purposes, provided it is genuinely and fairly used for the stated purpose, and is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, it may be considered fair dealing and thus exempt from clearance."

    (http://www.cla.co.uk/copyright_infor...t_information)

    I still remember the emotional jolt of Philip Larkin's "An Arundel Tomb", but a poem that has haunted me for years is "Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson.

    Richard Cory

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935),

  • #2
    http://genius.com/2700772

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by barnflatwyngarde View Post
        I have always loved poetry, and there have been several excellent poetry anthologies published recently.

        I thought that this was timely moment to open up a poetry thread asking you what your favourite poem is.

        Having checked out the copyright situation, it is permissable to reproduce a poem for "criticism or review".

        "In addition to the specified exceptions, there exists a group of exemptions which fall within the scope of ‘fair dealing'. Material reproduced for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study, for criticism or review or for the reporting of current events is included in this group. If material is reproduced for these purposes, provided it is genuinely and fairly used for the stated purpose, and is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, it may be considered fair dealing and thus exempt from clearance."

        (http://www.cla.co.uk/copyright_infor...t_information)

        I still remember the emotional jolt of Philip Larkin's "An Arundel Tomb", but a poem that has haunted me for years is "Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson.

        Richard Cory

        Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
        We people on the pavement looked at him:
        He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
        Clean favored, and imperially slim.

        And he was always quietly arrayed,
        And he was always human when he talked;
        But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
        "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

        And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
        And admirably schooled in every grace:
        In fine, we thought that he was everything
        To make us wish that we were in his place.

        So on we worked, and waited for the light,
        And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
        And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
        Went home and put a bullet through his head.

        Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935),
        I did not know this until a few years ago. President Theodore Roosevelt was so impressed by the work of Robinson, he arranged to give him a small Federal Civil Service job so he could earn a living, and work on publishing his poetry.

        There are many fine poems. One of my favorite ones is by an Australian poet of the 19th Century, Adam Lindsay Gordon (who, given "Richard Cory's" fate was a suicide in 1870).

        "We eat and drink or ere we die,
        (the sunlight flashes on the sea)
        Three hundred soldiers feasted high
        An hour before Thermopylae.
        Leonidas poured out the wine,
        And shouted ere he drained the cup,
        'Ho! comrades, let us gaily dine--
        This night with Pluto we shall sup.'
        And if they leaned upon a reed,
        And if that reed was slight and slim,
        There's something good in Spartan creed--
        The lights are growing dim."

        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          I love the poems of Walt Whitman. This is one of the shortest and most beautiful, I think:



          WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER

          by: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

          WHEN I heard the learn'd astronomer,
          When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
          When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
          When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
          How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
          Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
          In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
          Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
          Last edited by Pcdunn; 01-17-2016, 05:14 PM. Reason: Correction
          Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
          ---------------
          Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
          ---------------

          Comment


          • #6
            For me have to be the Banjo

            Probably Clancy of the overflow, just ahead of The Man From Snowy river.

            I didn't include Waltzing Matilda that's more than just a Poem.


            I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
            Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
            He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
            Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: “Clancy, of The Overflow”.

            And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
            (And I think the same was written in a thumbnail dipped in tar)
            ‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
            “Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

            In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
            Gone a-droving “down the Cooper” where the western drovers go;
            As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
            For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

            And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
            In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
            And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
            And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.

            I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
            Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
            And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
            Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

            And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
            Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
            And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
            Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

            And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
            As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
            With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
            For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

            And I somehow fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
            Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
            While he faced the round eternal - of the casebook and the journal
            But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of the overflow.
            G U T

            There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jeff might like this one :

              http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets...eman/poems/818

              Comment


              • #8
                There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
                That the colt from old Regret had got away,
                And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
                So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
                All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
                Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
                For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
                And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.


                There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
                The old man with his hair as white as snow;
                But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up -
                He would go wherever horse and man could go.
                And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
                No better horseman ever held the reins;
                For never horse could throw him while the saddle girths would stand,
                He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.


                And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
                He was something like a racehorse undersized,
                With a touch of Timor pony - three parts thoroughbred at least -
                And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
                He was hard and tough and wiry - just the sort that won't say die -
                There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
                And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
                And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.


                But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
                And the old man said, "That horse will never do
                For a long a tiring gallop - lad, you'd better stop away,
                Those hills are far too rough for such as you."
                So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend -
                "I think we ought to let him come," he said;
                "I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
                For both his horse and he are mountain bred.


                "He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
                Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
                Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
                The man that holds his own is good enough.
                And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
                Where the river runs those giant hills between;
                I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
                But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen."


                So he went - they found the horses by the big mimosa clump -
                They raced away towards the mountain's brow,
                And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the jump,
                No use to try for fancy riding now.
                And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.
                Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,
                For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,
                If once they gain the shelter of those hills."


                So Clancy rode to wheel them - he was racing on the wing
                Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
                And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring
                With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
                Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
                But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
                And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
                And off into the mountain scrub they flew.


                Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black
                Resounded to the thunder of their tread,
                And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back
                From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.
                And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way,
                Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
                And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good day,
                No man can hold them down the other side."


                When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull,
                It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
                The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
                Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
                But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
                And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
                And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
                While the others stood and watched in very fear.


                He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
                He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
                And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat -
                It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
                Through the stringybarks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
                Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
                And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
                At the bottom of that terrible descent.


                He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill,
                And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
                Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
                As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.
                Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
                In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
                On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
                With the man from Snowy River at their heels.


                And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
                He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
                Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
                And alone and unassisted brought them back.
                But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
                He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
                But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
                For never yet was mountain horse a cur.


                And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
                Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
                Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
                At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
                And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway
                To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
                The man from Snowy River is a household word today,
                And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
                G U T

                There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't think I have a favourite poem, it's a bit like my taste in music, it depends on the mood I'm in.

                  Having said that, even though I'm not an particular fan, two Christina Rossetti poems stick in my mind. If I have a funeral I want her "When I am dead my dearest" read out and her "Goblin Market" is the only poem that ever shocked me.
                  dustymiller
                  aka drstrange

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gut, this Banjo Paterson fellow writes splendid stuff. Reminds of a cross between Kipling's story poems ("East is east and West is west / And never the twain shall meet") and American cowboy poetry. (If I can find an example of the latter that I like, I'll post it here.)

                    Dr. Strange, you have great taste! Both of those are excellent poems, and "Goblin Market" stands as a great example of fantasy in verse.
                    Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                    ---------------
                    Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                    ---------------

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                      Gut, this Banjo Paterson fellow writes splendid stuff. Reminds of a cross between Kipling's story poems ("East is east and West is west / And never the twain shall meet") and American cowboy poetry. (If I can find an example of the latter that I like, I'll post it here.)

                      Dr. Strange, you have great taste! Both of those are excellent poems, and "Goblin Market" stands as a great example of fantasy in verse.
                      Not unlike the cowboy poetry.

                      He also wrote Waltzing Matilda (which to many Aussies is a 2nd national anthem in fact I suspect more Aussie know the words to Matilda than to Advance Australia Fair)

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwvazMc5EfE

                      He also did few comedy type Mulga Bills Bicycle, The Bush Christening and The man from Ironbark.

                      But I've always had a soft spot for Clancy
                      G U T

                      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Robert,

                        I did like the poem about Civil Servants - it strikes home a bit. First time I ever read one of Betjamen's poems, and he was poet laureate at one point.

                        Gut I like "Waltzing Mathilda", and feel it should be the national anthem of Australia. Once on these threads explained to me the story in the background of the bushranger's suicide in the poem. But it has such a lively flow, despite the ultimate tragedy involved.

                        The following Poe poem was the one I chose for my entry in my university year book when I graduated.

                        Gaily bedight,
                        A gallant knight,
                        In sunshine and in shadow,
                        Had journeyed long,
                        Singing a song,
                        In search of Eldorado

                        But he grew old--
                        This knight so bold--
                        And o'er his heart a shadow
                        Fell as he found
                        No spot of ground
                        That looked like Eldorado

                        And, as his strength
                        Failed him at length,
                        He met a pilgrim shadow--
                        "Shadow," said he,
                        "Where can it be?--
                        This land of Eldorado?"

                        "Over the mountains
                        Of the Moon,
                        Down the Valley of the Shadow,
                        Ride, boldly ride,"
                        The shade replied,--
                        "If you seek for Eldorado."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know about it being my absolute favourite, but I've always been struck by AE Housman's poetic comment on the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895.

                          'Oh who is that Young Sinner'

                          Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
                          And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
                          And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
                          Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

                          'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
                          In the good old time 'twas hanging for the colour that it is;
                          Though hanging isn't good enough and flaying would be fair
                          For the nameless and abominable colour of his hair.

                          Oh a deal of pains he's taken and a pretty price he's paid
                          To hide his poll or dye it of a mentionable shade;
                          But they've pulled the beggar's hat off for the world to see and stare
                          And they're haling him to justice for the colour of his hair.

                          Now 'tis oakum for his fingers and the treadmill for his feet
                          And the quarry-gang at Portland in the cold and in the heat,
                          And between his spells of labour in the time he has to spare
                          He can thank the God that made him for the colour of his hair.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's far from great poetry that moves the soul but it is just so damn cool and has always been one of my favorites as I am fascinated with the Alaskan Gold Rush.

                            The Shooting of Dan McGrew
                            By Robert W. Service

                            A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
                            The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
                            Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
                            And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

                            When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
                            There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
                            He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
                            Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
                            There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
                            But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

                            There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
                            And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
                            With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
                            As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
                            Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
                            And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

                            His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
                            Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
                            The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
                            So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
                            In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
                            Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands — my God! but that man could play.

                            Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
                            And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
                            With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
                            A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
                            While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
                            Then you've a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.

                            And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans,
                            But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
                            For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
                            But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love —
                            A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true —
                            (God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, — the lady that's known as Lou.)

                            Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
                            But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
                            That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
                            That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
                            'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
                            "I guess I'll make it a spread misere", said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

                            The music almost died away ... then it burst like a pent-up flood;
                            And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
                            The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
                            And the lust awoke to kill, to kill ... then the music stopped with a crash,
                            And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
                            In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
                            Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
                            And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
                            But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,
                            That one of you is a hound of hell. . .and that one is Dan McGrew."

                            Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
                            And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
                            Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
                            While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.

                            These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
                            They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
                            I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
                            The woman that kissed him and — pinched his poke — was the lady that's known as Lou.

                            c.d.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A stirring rendition :

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ETEfIGCKg

                              Comment

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