School of Economic Science
Favourite Poems
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    School of Economic Science - Study Forums Forum Index -> Poetry Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Stephen Bagnold



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Blackheath, London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here’s another favourite – a rather sombre but haunting poem by Charles Causley entitled the Song of the Dying Gunner. Something so striking in the brightness of its imagery and its compassion. First a shiver, then the utter pathos of the whole thing.

Oh mother – my mouth is full of stars
As cartridges in the tray.
My blood is a twin-branched scarlet tree
That runs, all runs, away.
Oh Cooks to the galley is sounded off
And the lads are down in the mess
But I lie done by the forrard gun
With a bullet in my breast.
Don’t send me a parcel at Christmas time
Of socks and nutty and wine
And don’t depend on a long weekend
By the Great Western Railway Line.
Farewell, Aggie Weston, the barracks at Guz.
Hang my Tiddley suit on the door.
I’m sewn up neat in a canvass sheet
And I shan’t be home no more.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really explain why I have never quite forgotten this poem. I came across it when I started to look more closely at American poetry.

I think it's because it presents, quite openly, the 'fictional' nature of all the arts : an image, a situation, an action, persons or people, are presented, and we are invited, in Coleridge's words, to enter into 'the willing suspension of disbelief' and to bring all our faculties to care about what is being presented. And then if we realise that the artist, too, cares deeply about the characters he or she has 'imagined', so that he brings more of his art to the encounter, this can take us even deeper into ourselves : strangers become neighbours, and neighbours are loved as ourself... and then the heart may melt, and the message and the smile of art may be glimpsed... film does this for the majority of people today; Garbo, or 'Brief Encounter', can work this magic on us.


Mother And Daughter And Words Of Love


'Words are everything else in the world.' - Wallace Stevens


l
The scene is this: mother, daughter, a child's book, and a world.
This doctor's office of languishing onlookers,
appear to know the facile words of the book,
and the milky words of a protected childhood.
They have cupped this tiny face, the onlooking strangers,
rolling their eyes over the restorative picture.
The mother reads from the little book,
holding the book in front of her daughter's eyes,
girlish eyes, round like ambivalent worlds,
perusing the pages, an ink of fantasy,
as there was knowledge in the book,
and knowledge in her mother's hands,
which pressed a warm print into the colored cover,
as the girl is baptized amid the throes of phrases.
Children and books are joined at one
by maternal eyes, rising from the isolation
of mothers, daughters and curious strangers.

Yet the eyes of the this young one stared everywhere
except at the indifferent book - stared at the faces of the others
waiting like wan plants under a wan sky.
No simple text held magic for young eyes
titillated by the faces of people whose blank, older faces
she would some day mimic,
forty springs, forty Aprils from this day
marked by fairy tale words,
and a mother's literate hands,
wringing out of a small book, language and love.

ll
This is the world. Mother reading, daughter not looking,
as someday daughter will read
and mother will not look,
when mother's gaze has perused the ceilings,
has laid on white stucco her sweet sight,
has made the attempt at grasping, a glowing try,
in days of strange homes and strange embraces,
in days when tears strive to be less than tears,
in the days when families will dwindle to memory.
There is language and there is love,
and there are lives, a continuum
imitating the two. They are the two. They are their lives.
And life does its inevitable reversals;
daughter becomes the mother, mother becomes the daughter;
they are reversed, yet still a unit of love.
Within the psalmic present, balance lives:
this is a mother/daughter union of words;
words deeply assertive as the natural sun,
from literary mouths where the nouns are gold,
and a voyeuristic world, watching the two, warmly joined,
and lost in the sound of recitation.



Lamont Palmer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend told me yesterday how this poem has run through her marriage and her widowhood... so it deserves an honoured place here :


If I Could Tell You


Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose all the lions get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.



W.H. Auden
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of the most often read 'threads' on this site, and potentially one of the most valuable. It really needs more offerings of much-loved poems -- please ?

Moderator
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one's set as a hymn in some hymnbooks (omitting the second verse, not so easy to sing...) : a good way of affirming it for yourself ! I love in it, 'the sound of the man' :


The Elixir


Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.

Not rudely, as a beast,
To run into an action;
But still to make Thee prepossest,
And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye;
Or it he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heav'n espy.

All may of Thee partake:
Nothing can be so mean,
Which with his tincture--"for Thy sake"--
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine:
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th' action fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.



George Herbert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dining-Room Tea


When you were there, and you, and you,
Happiness crowned the night; I too,
Laughing and looking, one of all,
I watched the quivering lamplight fall
On plate and flowers and pouring tea
And cup and cloth; and they and we
Flung all the dancing moments by
With jest and glitter. Lip and eye
Flashed on the glory, shone and cried,
Improvident, unmemoried;
And fitfully and like a flame
The light of laughter went and came.
Proud in their careless transience moved
The changing faces that I loved.

Till suddenly, and otherwhence,
I looked upon your innocence.
For lifted clear and still and strange
From the dark woven flow of change
Under a vast and starless sky
I saw the immortal moment lie.
One Instant I, an instant, knew
As God knows all. And it and you
I, above Time, oh, blind! could see
In witless immortality.

I saw the marble cup; the tea,
Hung on the air, an amber stream;
I saw the fire’s unglittering gleam,
The painted flame, the frozen smoke.
No more the flooding lamplight broke
On flying eyes and lips and hair;
But lay, but slept unbroken there,
On stiller flesh, and body breathless,
And lips and laughter stayed and deathless,
And words on which no silence grew.
Light was more alive than you.

For suddenly, and otherwhence,
I looked on your magnificence.
I saw the stillness and the light,
And you, august, immortal, white,
Holy and strange; and every glint
Posture and jest and thought and tint
Freed from the mask of transiency,
Triumphant in eternity,
Immote, immortal.

Dazed at length
Human eyes grew, mortal strength
Wearied; and Time began to creep.
Change closed about me like a sleep.
Light glinted on the eyes I loved.
The cup was filled. The bodies moved.
The drifting petal came to ground.
The laughter chimed its perfect round.
The broken syllable was ended.
And I, so certain and so friended,
How could I cloud, or how distress,
The heaven of your unconsciousness?
Or shake at Time’s sufficient spell,
Stammering of lights unutterable?
The eternal holiness of you,
The timeless end, you never knew,
The peace that lay, the light that shone.
You never knew that I had gone
A million miles away, and stayed
A million years. The laughter played
Unbroken round me; and the jest
Flashed on. And we that knew the best
Down wonderful hours grew happier yet.
I sang at heart, and talked, and eat,
And lived from laugh to laugh, I too,
When you were there, and you, and you.



Rupert Brooke


This wonderful poem, which used to be quoted often in the early years of the School, is here particularly with reference to fine postings by Elizabeth Maulton and Pete Blumsom in the 'New poems : Allcomers' thread..

125 of Rupert Brooke's poems (with some slight errors of transcription) can be accessed via Poemhunter.com -- where you can also read others of Mary Spain's poems, and David Taylor's...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people know of Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier' -- 'If I should die, Think only this of me...'

But here from that same collection, is a lesser-known poem written just before 'The Soldier' :


The Dead

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.



Rupert Brooke
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In times of peace, Rupert Brooke's poems, especially his war poems, have been written off as 'romantic youth'...

But come war, and now TV coverage of returning coffins and interviews with grieving families... and Brooke's poems touch again. Here's another of his 1914 poems from that same series :

The Dead

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.



Rupert Brooke
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 1134
Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last two stanzas are, to me, quite astonishing.

LAST LINES - Emily Bronte

NO coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life—that in me has rest,
As I—undying Life—have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as wither’d weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchor’d on
The steadfast rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes cease to be,
And Thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou—Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cloony The Clown

I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, "Go back to bed!"
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.

One day he said, "I'll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown."
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With "Hah-Hah-Hahs" and "Hee-Hee-Hees."
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, 'cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And he said,"THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT -
I'M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT."
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

Shel Silverstein

_________________
David
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie and milly and molly and may


maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.

ee cummings

_________________
David
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I join you, David, in praise of ee cummings ?

I guess we have to pick carefully among his poems (the most popular poet in America at the time of his death in the 1960s, now ridiculed by the conformists) for the sake of our readers... but all poetic readers of this site, I hope, will recognise his free spirit which sometimes, as with all poets, achieves little miracles in language..

i thank you God for most this amazing


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)



ee cummings


(dare I mention the third stanza in relation to the Chandogya Upanishad, Chapter 6, and to the Samkya system of Hindu philosophy...?)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the tissues at hand ? Here's one for the heart :


If


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!


*

Rudyard Kipling

[If you only know the Jungle Books -- there are a surprising 542 poems by him to be found on Poemhunter.com ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown--

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.
-
A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves.
Memory by memory the mind--

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.
-
A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea--

A poem should not mean
But be.


Archibald MacLeish (May 7, 1892–April 20, 1982) was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. He is associated with the modernist school of poetry. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times.

_________________
David
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle;--
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven,
If it disdained it's brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

_________________
David
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    School of Economic Science - Study Forums Forum Index -> Poetry Forum All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
This forum is sponsored by the School of Economic Science for use by its members; members of its branches; members
of affiliated schools worldwide and by all other Internet users interested in the study subjects presented.
Powered by phpBB Copyright © FSES, 2007. All Rights Reserved