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Old 11-27-2007, 02:44 AM
AJay2000 AJay2000 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 366
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

I'll be as cliche as possible - Howl.

[/ QUOTE ]

I hardly think saying 'Howl' is your favorite is being cliche. Saying something like 'Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening' would have to be considered cliche.

I love these threads because I usually get to see poems and poets that I am not that familiar with, and also because I usually get to post some of my favorite William Carlos Williams poems.

I am reading a Ginsberg anthology, however, so I am now in a Ginsberg mood - I find I prefer the following much more than 'Howl' (at the moment of course.) Some of the reasons why I enjoy this poem in particular are highlighted in bold type:

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go [censored] yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black [censored].
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:17 AM
MikeNaked MikeNaked is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,065
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

My favorite at the moment because I can relate to the struggle between focus and the wandering mind. Also, Billy Collins is just fantastically light-hearted.

Fool Me Good
Billy Collins

I am under the covers
waiting for the heat to come up
with a gurgle and hiss
and the banging of the water hammer
that will frighten the cold out of the room.

And I am listening to a blues singer
named Precious Bryant
singing a song called "Fool Me Good".

If you don't love me baby, she sings,
would you please try to fool me good?

I am also stroking the dog's head
and writing down these words,
which means that I am calmly flying in the face
of the Buddhist advice to do only one thing at a time.

Just pour the tea,
just look into the eye of the flower,
just sing the song
one thing at a time

and you will achieve serenity,
which is what I would love to do
as the fan-blades of the morning begin to turn.

If you don't love me baby,
she sings as a day-moon fades in the window
and the hands circle the clock,

would you please try to fool me good?

Yes, Precious, I reply,
I will fool you as good as I can,
but first I have to learn
to listen to you with my whole heart,
and not until you have finished

will I put on my slippers,
squeeze out some toothpaste,
and make a big foamy face in the mirror,

freshly dedicated to doing one thing at a time
one note at a time for you, darling
one tooth at a time for me.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:48 PM
BigPoppa BigPoppa is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Mid-Life Crisis
Posts: 3,614
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

This poem sums me up better than I could have ever done myself:

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

- Robert Service
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:49 PM
SeeYouSoon SeeYouSoon is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fearing death by water
Posts: 19
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

The first part of T.S. Eliot's "Preludes"

The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:40 AM
quirkasaurus quirkasaurus is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 428
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

okay -- mine is from Akino Arai -- a japanese song writer,
in japanese, it's phonetically very beautiful, and
the translation is very cool.

she's actually singing about the moment of death when
the soul is transported away from the body...

in japanese:

kiri fukai mori no iriguchi
mezamete kuroi tori o miru
dare ga sono koe o kiita

at the entrance of a deep misty forest
awakening, i see a black bird
who's voice is that i heard?

The rest here ( in a page coincidentally I helped create )
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:01 PM
Hollywade Hollywade is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,328
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

Also, I have a sort of guilty pleasure one - I like some of the tub-thumping, dramatic poetry of Tennyson and suchlike, and this is one I actually had to memorise and recite at school, but I really dig it:

Invictus, by William Henry

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

[/ QUOTE ]

My boss gave me a copy of this one last year when I was in his office for the fifth time telling him how much I hated my job and that I couldn't do it anymore.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:09 PM
Hollywade Hollywade is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,328
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

BTW, I'm sure it's a typo, but the poem is by Yeats

[/ QUOTE ]

"Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such a friend."

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Old 11-29-2007, 10:20 AM
sokiraJ sokiraJ is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Finland
Posts: 180
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

The first part of T.S. Eliot's "Preludes"

[/ QUOTE ]


I love T.S. Eliot. I find some parts in Four Quartets very inspiring.

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

"The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."

"Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching."
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:39 PM
JJH3984 JJH3984 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,876
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

Eh... so many... for now:

City of Light --Larry Levis

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island Minnesota --James Wright

A Blessing --James Wright

The Language --Robert Creeley

There are more, but that's good for now. The reasons are the same. Each of these shifts something about me when I read it.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:54 PM
JimRivett JimRivett is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: LA California
Posts: 407
Default Re: Your favorite poem and why

I don't know about favourites, but here are a couple that are at the top of my list possibly because of their honesty

The Ballard of Redding Goal by Oscar Wilde

La Belle Dame Sans Mercii by John Keats
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