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Favorite lines of poetry


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#1 runnjump

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:35

We live in a very prosaic world, yet Frost astutely noted that the poet's job was to lodge a few lines where they will be hard to get rid of. What lines have been most memorable to you?

ID the lines if you like, but it's more fun to let others guess.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Poetry:
I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it,
One discovers in it, after all, a place for the genuine.

---------------------------------------------------------------

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

---------------------------------------------------------------

One can think of no devotion
greater than being shore to the ocean,
holding the curve of one position
counting an endless repetition.

Edited by runnjump, 13 June 2008 - 02:37.

E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

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#2 Clydesdave

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:12

"Charge for the guns!" he said:

I use this line in speaking from time to time. It means a couple of things. To some it means just what it says; "Charge for the guns!". For those who know the poem, and the context from which it flows, it might mean something else. happyberet.gif
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#3 Ondina

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:27

Amor constante más allá de la muerte

Cerrar podrá mis ojos la postrera
sombra que me llevare el blanco día,
y podrá desatar esta alma mía hora a su afán ansioso lisonjera;

mas no, de esotra parte, en la ribera,
dejará la memoria, en donde ardía:
nadar sabe mi llama la agua fría,
y perder el respeto a ley severa.

Alma a quien todo un dios prisión ha sido,venas que humor a tanto fuego han dado,
medulas que han gloriosamente ardido:

su cuerpo dejará, no su cuidado;
serán ceniza, mas tendrá sentido;
polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado.

Love constant beyond Death

Perhaps whatever final shadow that the shining day may bring could close my eyes,
and this my soul may well be set aflight
by time responding to its longing sighs;but it will not, there on the farther shore
its memory leave behind, where once it burned:
my flame the icy current yet can swim,
and so severe a law can surely spurn.

Soul by no less than a god confined,veins that such a blazing fire have fueled,
marrow to its glorious flames consigned:

The body will abandon, not its woes;
will soon be ash, but ash that is aware;
dust will be, but dust whose love still grows.

Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas. 1580-1645. Who says a satiric cynic can't fall in love?

#4 Songwind

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:11

Speaking of Frost "The Road Less Traveled":
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one lest traveled by,
And that has made all the difference!

"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening"
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep.
(Thankfully, this one is no longer so significant to me as it once was. It stood out to me for reason of the widely accepted interpretation of the imagery.)

e e cummings, "Annie Died the othe Day":
Saints and sinners, go your way.
Youths and maidens, let us pray.

Song lyrics, but they are often poetry, for my money. Pink Floyd, from The Wall:
In ones and in twos, the ones who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand, and some gathered together in bands
The bleeding hearts and the artistes make their stand.
And when they've given their all, some stagger and fall.
After all, it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall.

Kipling "Tree Song":
Do not tell the priest our plight
For he would call it a sin,
But we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring summer in!
And we bring you good news by word of mouth,
Good news for cattle and corn.
Now is the sun come up in the south,
By oak, and ash, and thorn!

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#5 Ray

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 17:08

Shakespeare's Sonnet 20:

A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue, all 'hues' in his controlling,
Much steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she (soapy mouth)'d thee out for women's pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.

Ray

#6 jon

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 22:01

Juventud, divino tesoro,
Ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
Y a veces lloro sin querer.

Rubén Darío--"Canción de otoño en primavera"

Youth, divine treasure,
already you leave to not return!
When I want to cry, I do not cry. . .
and at times I cry without wanting to. . .

Rubén Darío--"Song of Autumn in Spring"

Sounds much better in the original Spanish...

#7 the joan collins special

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 22:45

Bukowski - i met a genius

I met a genius on the train
today
about 6 years old,
he sat beside me
and as the train
ran down along the coast
we came to the ocean
and then he looked at me
and said,
it's not pretty.

it was the first time I'd
realized
that.


it's ours
...
that space
there
before they get to us
ensures
that
when they do
they won't
get it all

ever.


Eliot is played out, but I still like the closing of this one
...
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


edit.
Oh yeah, and this one. Anyone familiar with it?
...
It's the light they believe kills.

We drink and load again, let them crawl

for all they're worth into the darkness we're headed for.


Edited by the joan collins special, 13 June 2008 - 22:48.


#8 Richard

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:59

From the Codex Burensis:

Omnia sol temperat
purus et subtilis;
novo mundo reserat
faciem Aprilis,
ad amorem properat
animus herilis,
et iocundis imperat
deus puerilis.

Rerum tanta novitas
in solemni vere
et veris auctoritas
iubet nos gaudere;
vias praebet solitas;
et in tuo vere
fides est et probitas
tuum retinere.

Ama me fideliter!
fidem meam nota;
de corde totaliter
et ex mente tota
sum praesentialiter
absens in remota.
Quisquis amat taliter,
volvitur in rota.


(Written by an unknown Goliardic poet in the 13th century)

========

The sun, pure and simple, moderates all.
Out of a new world it reveals the face of April.
The spirit of the master hastens to love,
And a boyish god rules among the pleasant folk.

So great a renewal of nature in festive spring!
And the influence of spring commands us to rejoice.
It shows us the accustomed ways, and in your spring
It is faith and honesty to keep the one who is yours.

Love me faithfully, mark my promise.
In my full heart and my whole mind
I am with you even though absent at a distance.
Whoever loves in such a way is turned on the wheel.

(My translation, with no attempt to do more than render the Latin into English. Poetical rendering is left as an exercise for the student.)
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#9 Rufus

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 04:05

My two favourite poems are "Vitae Lampada" by Lord Tennyson and "The Donkey" by G.K. Chesterton. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" is up there too. I love all three of them in their entirety.
Bryan

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#10 Splicer

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 05:30

I'd be very pleased to learn who can ID these from memory:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
There lie they and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.


and (very different source):

The people and the leaders walk hand in hand
The people and the leaders walk hand in hand
They're on the right road!
They're going the wrong direction.

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#11 Shangas

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 05:30

My friend, you would not tell, with such high zest,
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: *Dulce Et Decorum Est,
Pro Patria Mori*


Latin: "It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country".

Edited by Shangas, 14 June 2008 - 05:32.

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#12 the joan collins special

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 07:46

QUOTE(Splicer @ Jun 14 2008, 05:30 AM) View Post
I'd be very pleased to learn who can ID these from memory:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
There lie they and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.


not really a poem, is it?
1984?

#13 sumgaikid

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 13:54

From Robert Frost(Fire and Ice):

Some say the world will end in fire
And some say ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

John

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#14 Silas

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 00:03

"Tis strange, but oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles
To betray us in deepest consequence."

Banquo to Macbeth on believing the prophecies of the 3 witches.

#15 MissIveniv

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:07

"Thy only love sprung from thy only hate/ too early seemed unknown, but known too late." - Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

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#16 Splicer

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:13

QUOTE(the joan collins special @ Jun 14 2008, 12:46 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Splicer @ Jun 14 2008, 05:30 AM) View Post
I'd be very pleased to learn who can ID these from memory:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
There lie they and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.


not really a poem, is it?
1984?


I think it's really a poem; just one that comes from a fictional prose context. And yes, 1984.

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#17 Philip1209

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:00

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is one of my favorites.
The first stanza kicks literary butt:
QUOTE
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'


And the last line of the later stanzas is unforgettable:
QUOTE
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'




#18 Bananafish

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:45

Used to like this before I outgrown the macabre:

...
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
...


Now I like this:

...
So long as men can breath or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
...


#19 DanF

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 07:30

One of my favorites, from David Tucker, a former US Poet laureate:


The Dancer

Class is over, the teacher
and the pianist gone,
but one dancer
in a pale blue
leotard stays
to practice alone without music,
turning grand jetes
through the haze of late afternoon.
Her eyes are focused
on the balancing point
no one else sees
as she spins in this quiet
made of mirrors and light-
a blue rose on a nail-
then stops and lifts
her arms in an oval pause
and leans out
a little more, a little more,
there, in slow motion
upon the air.

David Tucker


And here is a link to a great poem by Billy Martin, another former US Poet Laureate

The Lanyard:

http://www.bestcigar...he_lanyard.html


Or the Youtube version, if you like to watch and listen. http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Dan

Edited by DanF, 16 June 2008 - 07:31.

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#20 runnjump

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 17:15

Mayflies,
whose cellophane wings refract
like their hundred eyes the repetitious sun,
have so little power to abstract
they taste each pleasure new, one by one,

-Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.






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