Favourite Poem? Post it here ...

by talesin 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • talesin

    Thanks, Peeps! Unfortunately, I've taken my meds, and can't think straight. Looking forward to enjoying reading on the morrow!



    * can't focus very well when muscle relaxers are involved * klass

  • Hortensia
    The Cremation of Sam McGee

     There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold, And the arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold. The northern lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was the night on the marge of Lake LaBarge I cremated Sam McGee. Now, Sam McGee was from Tennessee Where the cotton blooms and blows. Why he left his home in the south to roam 'Round the pole, God only knows. He was always cold, but the land of gold Seemed to hold him like a spell, Though he'd often say, in his homely way, He'd sooner live in hell. On a Christmas day we were mushing our way Over the Dawson Trail. Talk of your cold--through the parka's fold It stabbed like a driven nail. If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze 'Till sometimes we couldn't see. It wasn't much fun, but the only one To whimper was Sam McGee. And that very night as we lay packed tight In our robes beneath the snow, And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead Were dancing heel and toe, He turned to me, and "Cap", says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess, And if I do, I'm asking that you Won't refuse my last request." Well, he seemed so low I couldn't say no, And he says with a sort of moan, "It's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold 'Till I'm chilled clean through to the bone. Yet 'ta'int being dead, it's my awful dread Of the icy grave that pains, So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, You'll cremate my last remains." A pal's last need is a thing to heed, And I swore that I would not fail. We started on at the streak of dawn, But, God, he looked ghastly pale. He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day Of his home in Tennessee, And before nightfall, a corpse was all That was left of Sam McGee. There wasn't a breath in that land of death As I hurried, horror driven, With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid Because of a promise given. It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say, "You may tax your brawn and brains, But you promised true, and it's up to you To cremate those last remains." Now, a promise made is a debt unpaid, And the trail has its own stern code. In the days to come, 'though my lips were dumb, In my heart, how I cursed the load. In the long, long night by the lone firelight While the huskies 'round in a ring Howled out their woes to the homeless snows Oh, God, how I loathed the thing. And every day that quiet clay Seemed to heavy and heavier grow. And on I went, though the dogs were spent And the grub was getting low. The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, But I swore I would not give in, And often I'd sing to the hateful thing, And it hearkened with a grin. 'Till I came to the marge of Lake LaBarge, And a derelict there lay. It was jammed in the ice, and I saw in a trice It was called the "Alice May". I looked at it, and I thought a bit, And I looked at my frozen chum, Then, "Here", said I, with a sudden cry, "Is my crematorium." Some planks I tore from the cabin floor And lit the boiler fire. Some coal I found that was lying around And heaped the fuel higher. The flames just soared, and the furnace roared, Such a blaze you seldom see. Then I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal And I stuffed in Sam McGee. Then I made a hike, for I didn't like To hear him sizzle so. And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, And the wind began to blow. It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled Down my cheek, and I don't know why, And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak Went streaking down the sky. I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with gristly fear. But the stars came out, and they danced about 'Ere again I ventured near. I was sick with dread, but I bravely said, "I'll just take a peek inside. I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked", And the door I opened wide. And there sat Sam, looking calm and cool In the heart of the furnace roar. He wore a smile you could see a mile, And he said, "Please close that door. It's fine in here, but I greatly fear You'll let in the cold and storm. Since I left Plumbtree down in Tennessee It's the first time I've been warm." There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold, And the arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold. The northern lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was the night on the marge of Lake LaBarge I cremated Sam McGee. 
  • Rocky_Girl

    Solitude Ella Wheeler Wilcox Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone.

    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.

    Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air.

    The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care.

    Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go.

    They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe.

    Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all.

    There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life's gall.

    Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by.

    Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die.

    There is room in the halls of pleasure For a long and lordly train,

    But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    Forgive me for liking Billy Collins' poems: I really like this one though I can't remembe why.


  • Quendi

    First, thanks sizemik for the poem you shared. I have added it to my Poety file in my computer and will share it with many other people. I have several favorite poems I'd like to share starting with this one. --Quendi

    Inaugural Poem :

    On the Pulse of Morning

    Maya Angelou
    20 January 1993

    A Rock, A River, A Tree
    Hosts to species long since departed,
    Marked the mastodon,

    The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
    Of their sojourn here
    On our planet floor,
    Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
    Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

    But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
    Come, you may stand upon my
    Back and face your distant destiny,
    But seek no haven in my shadow.

    I will give you no more hiding place down here.

    You, created only a little lower than
    The angels, have crouched too long in
    The bruising darkness,
    Have lain too long
    Face down in ignorance.

    Your mouths spilling words
    Armed for slaughter.

    The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
    But do not hide your face.

    Across the wall of the world,
    A River sings a beautiful song,
    Come rest here by my side.

    Each of you a bordered country,
    Delicate and strangely made proud,
    Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

    Your armed struggles for profit
    Have left collars of waste upon
    My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

    Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
    If you will study war no more. Come,

    Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
    The Creator gave to me when I and the
    Tree and the stone were one.

    Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
    Brow and when you yet knew you still
    Knew nothing.

    The River sings and sings on.

    There is a true yearning to respond to
    The singing River and the wise Rock.

    So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
    The African and Native American, the Sioux,
    The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
    The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
    The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
    The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
    They hear. They all hear
    The speaking of the Tree.

    Today, the first and last of every Tree
    Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

    Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

    Each of you, descendant of some passed
    On traveller, has been paid for.

    You, who gave me my first name, you
    Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
    Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
    Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
    Other seekers--desperate for gain,
    Starving for gold.

    You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ...
    You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
    Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
    Praying for a dream.

    Here, root yourselves beside me.

    I am the Tree planted by the River,
    Which will not be moved.

    I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
    I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

    Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
    For this bright morning dawning for you.

    History, despite its wrenching pain,
    Cannot be unlived, and if faced
    With courage, need not be lived again.

    Lift up your eyes upon
    The day breaking for you.

    Give birth again
    To the dream.

    Women, children, men,
    Take it into the palms of your hands.

    Mold it into the shape of your most
    Private need. Sculpt it into
    The image of your most public self.
    Lift up your hearts
    Each new hour holds new chances
    For new beginnings.

    Do not be wedded forever
    To fear, yoked eternally
    To brutishness.

    The horizon leans forward,
    Offering you space to place new steps of change.
    Here, on the pulse of this fine day
    You may have the courage
    To look up and out upon me, the
    Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

    No less to Midas than the mendicant.

    No less to you now than the mastodon then.

    Here on the pulse of this new day
    You may have the grace to look up and out
    And into your sister's eyes, into
    Your brother's face, your country
    And say simply
    Very simply
    With hope
    Good morning.

  • Quendi

    Here is the poem that best sums up my feelings about leaving the WTS behind. --Quendi

    The Road Not Taken
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,
    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
      —Robert Frost
  • Quendi

    And finally, these two by John Masefield which sum up my love for ships and the sea. --Quendi


    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the


    And all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by,

    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white

    sail’s shaking,

    And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running


    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

    And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-

    gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s

    like a whetted knife.

    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover

    And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s


    —John Masefield

    A Wanderer’s Song

    A wind’s in the heart of me, a fire’s in my heels,

    I am tired of brick and stone and rumbling wagon-wheels;

    I hunger for the sea’s edge, the limits of the land,

    Where the wild old Atlantic is shouting on the sand.

    Oh I’ll be going, leaving the noises of the street,

    To where a lifting foresail-foot is yanking at the sheet;

    To a windy, tossing anchorage where yawls and ketches


    Oh I’ll be going, going, until I meet the tide.

    And first I’ll hear the sea-wind, the mewing of the gulls,

    The clucking, sucking of the sea about the rusty hulls,

    The songs at the capstan in the hooker warping out,

    And then the heart of me’ll know I’m there or there-


    Oh I am tired of brick and stone, the heart of me is sick,

    For windy, green, unquiet sea, the realm of Moby Dick;

    And I’ll be going, going, from the roaring of the wheels,

    For a wind’s in the heart of me, a fire’s in my heels.

    —John Masefield

  • PenelopePaige

    Off the top of my head; (Hope I get it right!)

    With rue my heart is laden

    For golden friends I had

    For many a rose-lipt maiden,

    For many a lightfoot lad

    By brooks too broad for leaping

    the lightfood lads are lain

    the rose-lipt girls are sleeping

    in fields where roses fade

  • sizemik

    I got some comfort from Kipling in some darker times . . . this one carries some personal meaning.

    The Mother's Son

    I have a dream -- a dreadful dream -- A dream that is never done. I watch a man go out of his mind, And he is My Mother's Son. They pushed him into a Mental Home, And that is like the grave: For they do not let you sleep upstairs, And you aren't allowed to shave. And it was not disease or crime Which got him landed there, But because They laid on My Mother's Son More than a man could bear. What with noise, and fear of death, Waking, and wounds and cold, They filled the Cup for My Mother's Son Fuller than it could hold. They broke his body and his mind And yet They made him live, And They asked more of My Mother's Son Than any man could give. For, just because he had not died, Nor been discharged nor sick, They dragged it out with My Mother's Son Longer than he could stick.... And no one knows when he'll get well -- So, there he'll have to be: And, 'spite of the beard in the looking-glass, I know that man is me! 
  • Hopscotch

    These are two of my favourites:


    by William Butler Yeats

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


    and this one (found it nicely illustrated on sapphyr.net)


    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)


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