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 Post subject: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:45 am 

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 3761
Today is National Poetry Day! :D
May be we could share our favourite poem so that others read poems they maybe still do not know?
It might be hard to choose just one ; so feel free to choose several if you think this is what you prefer. You could also add a line or two to explain why this particular poem resonates strongly with you.

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:56 am 

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 3761
Personally, I chose this poem by Siegfried Sassoon. It is linked to the horror of WW1, but I am personally drawn to this poem because - once an adult- I have lived many years in Middle Eastern countries where many people have no knowledge about classical music (whilst I find this music extremely powerful); therefore the first stanza resonates strongly with me, nearly eclipsing the rest of the poem!



FROM you, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart,
The substance of my dreams took fire.
You built cathedrals in my heart,
And lit my pinnacled desire.
You were the ardour and the bright
Procession of my thoughts toward prayer.
You were the wrath of storm, the light
On distant citadels aflare.


Great names, I cannot find you now
In these loud years of youth that strives
Through doom toward peace: upon my brow
I wear a wreath of banished lives.
You have no part with lads who fought
And laughed and suffered at my side.
Your fugues and symphonies have brought
No memory of my friends who died.


For when my brain is on their track,
In slangy speech I call them back.
With fox-trot tunes their ghosts I charm.
‘Another little drink won’t do us any harm.’
I think of rag-time; a bit of rag-time;
And see their faces crowding round
To the sound of the syncopated beat.
They’ve got such jolly things to tell,
Home from h.e.l.l with a Blighty wound so neat...
. . . .

And so the song breaks off; and I’m alone.
They’re dead ... For God’s sake stop that gramophone.

PS: I added some dots in a word so that this word does not appear like this ***

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:17 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 14010
I like lots of poetry but post this as my favourite 'fun' poem:

Goodbat, Nightman by Roger McGough (1937-)

God bless all policemen
and fighters of crime,
May thieves go to jail
for a very long time.

They’ve had a hard day
helping clean up the town,
Now they hang from the mantelpiece
upside down.

A glass of warm blood
and then straight up the stairs.
Batman and Robin
are saying their prayers.

* * *

They’ve locked all the doors
and they’ve put out the bat,
Put on their batjamas
(They like doing that)

They’ve filled their batwater-bottles
made their batbeds,
With two springy battresses
for sleepy batheads.

They’re closing red eyes
and they’re counting black sheep.
Batman and Robin
Are falling asleep.

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:43 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1126
This is my current "favourite" poem. I only discovered it this year when we bought a book of WW1 poems in the museum at Ypres. My ds found that this poem resonated most clearly with his impressions of our few days visiting the WW1 trenches/cemeteries etc so we have read it a lot and I know what he means.

The Hero

'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the mother said,
And folded up the letter that she'd read.
'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:18 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:55 pm
Posts: 266
Irresistible thread, where to start?


An accident happened to my brother Jim
When somebody threw a tomato at him.
Tomatoes are juicy and don't hurt the skin,
But this one was specially packed in a tin.

(My youngest loved this, one of many she memorised from the Usborne Book of Poemes for Young Children, which she loved so much I think it was her "transitional object" :lol: )

I loved the wordplay in this myself when I was about 10:

I had a hippopotamus

I had a hippopotamus; I kept him in a shed
And fed him upon vitamins and vegetable bread.
I made him my companion on many cheery walks,
And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalks.

His charming eccentricities were known on every side.
The creature's popularity was wonderfully wide.
He frolicked with the Rector in a dozen friendly tussles,
Who could not but remark on his hippopotamuscles.

If he should be affected by depression or the dumps
By hippopotameasles or hippopotamumps
I never knew a particle of peace 'till it was plain
He was hippopotamasticating properly again.

I had a hippopotamus, I loved him as a friend
But beautiful relationships are bound to end.
Time takes, alas! our joys from us and robs us of our blisses.
My hippopotamus turned out to be a hippopotamissus.

My housekeeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye.
She did not want a colony of hippopotami.
She borrowed a machine gun from her soldier-nephew, Percy
And showed my hippopotamus no hippopotamercy.

My house now lacks the glamour that the charming creature gave.
The garage where I kept him is as silent as a grave.
No longer he displays among the motor-tires and spanners
His hippopotamastery of hippopotamanners.

No longer now he gambols in the orchard in the Spring;
No longer do I lead him through the village on a string;
No longer in the mornings does the neighbourhood rejoice
To his hippopotamusically-modulated voice.

I had a hippopotamus, but nothing upon the earth
Is constant in its happiness or lasting in its mirth.
No life that's joyful can be strong enough to smother
My sorrow for what might have been a hippopotamother.

Patrick Barrington

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 1287
The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W B Yeats

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: Cheshire
The best idea for a general thread yet,thanks JE :D

Could posters please put their poems in context,why they chose the poem;what it means to them;what is their interpretation......

This could be very educational and fun for adults and all of our children.

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:47 pm
Posts: 3302
‘Last Curtain’

I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
and life will take its leave in silence,
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.
Yet stars will watch at night,
and morning rise as before,
and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.
When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.
Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got
—let them pass.
Let me but truly possess
the things that I ever spurned
and overlooked.

Translated from the original Bengali -Rabindranath Tagore
(sadly all these poems lose some of their magic in translation)

by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation from the original urdu by Michael R. Burch

Life becomes even more complicated
when a man can’t think like a man ...

What irrationality makes me so dependent on her
that I rush off an hour early, then get annoyed when she's "late"?

My lover is so striking! She demands to be seen.
The mirror reflects only her image, yet still dazzles and confounds my eyes.

Love’s stings have left me the deep scar of happiness
while she hovers above me, illuminated.

She promised not to torment me, but only after I was mortally wounded.
How easily she “repents,” my lovely slayer!

by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation from the original urdu by Michael R. Burch

Do not strike the melancholy chord tonight! Days smoldering
with pain in the end produce only listless ashes ...
and who the h*ll knows what the future may bring?
Last night’s long lost, tomorrow's horizon’s a wavering
mirage. And how can we know if we’ll see another dawn?
Life is nothing, unless together we make it ring!
Tonight we are love gods! Sing!

Do not strike the melancholy chord tonight!
Don’t harp constantly on human suffering!
Stop complaining; let Fate conduct her song!
Give no thought to the future, seize now, this precious thing!
Shed no more tears for temperate seasons departed!
All sighs of the brokenhearted soon weakly dissipate ... stop dithering!
Oh, do not strike the same flat chord again! Sing!

Poets I have loved but many in this country may not have come across. Adored by tens of millions through the ages across South Asia.

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8766
Location: Buckinghamshire
Spike Milligan:

There are holes in the sky
Where the rain comes in
They're ever so small
That's why rain is so thin.

And then there's "The Ning Nang Nong", Benjamin Zephaniah and R D Laing.

You may not want to engage with me on the subject of poetry. :mrgreen:

 Post subject: Re: Poetry
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8598
Twas brillig!
and the slithey toves did gyre & gimble in the wabe...
All mimsy were the borogroves
and the mome raths outgrabe!

(Might not be quite right as totally from memory - learnt it from splendid year 6 teacher in 1970)

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