Random lines of poetry

117 posts in this topic

of the handfull of poems i have memorized, one has been posted, "nothing gold can stay" by robert frost.


another of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings, wrote, "may i feel said he"


may i feel said he

(i'll squeal said she

just once said he)

it's fun said she


(may i touch said he

how much said she

a lot said he)

why not said she


(let's go said he

not too far said she

what's too far said he

where you are said she)


may i stay said he

(which way said she

like this said he

if you kiss said she


may i move said he

is it love said she)

if you're willing said he

(but you're killing said she


but it's life said he

but your wife said she

now said he)

ow said she


(tiptop said he

don't stop said she

oh no said he)

go slow said she


(cccome?said he

ummm said she)

you're divine!said he

(you are Mine said she)


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Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,

That's newly sprung in June:

Oh my luve is like the melodie,

That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,

So deep in luve am I;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi' the sun;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!

And fare thee weel a while!

And I will come again, my luve,

Tho' it were ten thousand mile!


Apologies for the format, but you get the idea...


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I remeber being read these as as child:


Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,

Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,...




From a Railway Carriage

by Robert Louis Stevenson.


Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;

And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows, the horses and cattle:



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OK, to make up for my buzz-killing Philip Larkin, here's Edna St. Vincent Millay:


My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—

It gives a lovely light!


Fun fact: this poem, and many of Emily Dickinson's*, can be sung to the tune of "Yellow Rose of Texas."


*see, for example

-- I heard a fly buzz when I died

-- Because I could not stop for Death


People who understand iambs and anapests could probably explain why.


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Tying in with nina's nod to W.H. Davies in post 12, here's Edward Thomas:





Yes, I remember Adlestrop --

The name, because one afternoon

Of heat the express-train drew up there

Unwontedly. It was late June.


The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.

No one left and no one came

On the bare platform. What I saw

Was Adlestrop -- only the name


And willows, willow-herb, and grass,

And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,

No whit less still and lonely fair

Than the high cloudlets in the sky.


And for that minute a blackbird sang

Close by, and round him, mistier,

Farther and farther, all the birds

Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.


Thomas was a critic who supported Davies, renting him a cottage and promoting his career. Killed in WWI, like so many.

Capenhurst station on the Liverpool-Chester line used to be a dead ringer for Adlestrop.


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OK, to make up for my buzz-killing Philip Larkin

My favourite poet, though this is my favourite verse of his, from 'An Arundel Tomb':


Time has transfigures them into

Untruth. The stone fidelity

They hardly meant has come to be

Their final blazon, and to prove

Our almost-instinct almost true:

What will survive of us is love.


And yes, to a certain TT'erin, if you're wondering if it's me. It is. ;).


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One bit I can vaguely remember from O level class - e.e. cummings.


Yuh doan unnerstan

yuh doan unner


etc. etc.


and it ends something like...


dem little yeller bastards

we're gonna civilize em.


Now.. let's see how accurate my memory is... can I find it online?







ydoan o

yunnuhstand dem

yguduh ged


yunnuhstan dem doidee

yguduh ged riduh

ydoan o nudn








lidl yelluh bas

tuds weer goin




Well.. not bad for .. blimey... nah.. it can't be 29 years ago. I'm only 28! Honest!


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During my early schooldays our local milkman was a true Cockney. The following “masterpieces” are but two of several he taught me. My English teacher later found some of them written in my exercise book – a painful mistake ...!



Wot a marf ’e’d got,

Wot a marf.

When ’e wos a kid,

Goo’ Lor’ luv’ll

'is pore ol’ muvver

Must ’a’ fed ’im wiv a shuvvul.


Wot a gap ’e’d got,

Pore chap,

’E’d never bin known to larf,

’Cos if ’e did

It’s a penny to a quid

’E’d ’a’ split ’is fayce in ‘arf.


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Playing a staid round of online bridge, one of my opponents writes this over the table:


I wish I was a glow worm

For a glow worm is never glum

For how can you be grumpy

When a light shines out your bum


It does not get more random than that.


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An Alphabet

A is for Parrot which we can plainly see

B is for glasses which we can plainly see

C is for plastic which we can plainly see

D is for Doris

E is for binoculars I'll get in five

F is for Ethel who lives next door

G is for orange because we love to eat when we can get them because they come from abroad

H is for England and (Heather)

I is for monkey we see in the tree

J is for parrot which we can plainly see

K is for shoetop we wear to the ball

L is for Land because brown

K is for Venezula where the oranges come from

N is for Brazil near Venezuela (very near)

O is for football which we kick about a bit

T is for Tommy who won the war

Q is a garden which we can plainly see

R is for intestines which hurt when we dance

S is for pancake or whole-wheat bread

U is for Ethel who lives on the hill

P is arab and her sister will

V is for me

W is for lighter which never lights

X is for easter--have one yourself

Y is a crooked letter and you can't straighten it

Z is for Apple which we can plainly see


This is my story both humble and true

Take it to pieces and mend it with glue


- John Lennon


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The saddest thing I ever did see

Was a woodpecker pecking on a plastic tree.

He looked at me and "Friend" says he,

"Things ain't as sweet as they used to be."

-Shel Silverstein


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Happy Columbus Day, all you folks from the New World!


Most kids only remember the first few lines...


IN 1492


In fourteen hundred ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.


He had three ships and left from Spain;

He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.


He sailed by night; he sailed by day;

He used the stars to find his way.


A compass also helped him know

How to find the way to go.


Ninety sailors were on board;

Some men worked while others snored.


Then the workers went to sleep;

And others watched the ocean deep.


Day after day they looked for land;

They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.


October 12 their dream came true,

You never saw a happier crew!


"Indians! Indians!" Columbus cried;

His heart was filled with joyful pride.


But "India" the land was not;

It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.


The Arakawa natives were very nice;

They gave the sailors food and spice.


Columbus sailed on to find some gold

To bring back home, as he'd been told.


He made the trip again and again,

Trading gold to bring to Spain.


The first American? No, not quite.

But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.


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“A sane man could not espouse a more intimate friend that you.”


Paul Durcan, The Berlin Wall Cafe.


Gefunden by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Ich ging im Walde

So fuer mich hin,

Und nichts zu suchen,

Das war mein Sinn.


Im Schatten sah ich

Ein Bluemchen stehn,

Wie Sterne leuchtend

Wie Aeuglein schoen.


Ich wollt es brechen,

Da sagt’ es fein:

Soll ich zum Welken,

Gebrochen sein?


Ich grubs mit allen

Den Wuerzeln aus,

Zum Garten trug ichs

Am huebschen Haus.


Und pflantz es wieder

Am stillen Ort:

Nun zweigt es immer

Und blueht so fort.


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From Girl Scout camp


White wings that never grow weary,

That carry me cheerily over the sea.

Night falls, I long for my deary;

I spread out my white wings and sail home to thee.


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I found this hand written into a second-hand book of poetry I used in secondary school and just can't forget it


In the small circle of pain within the mind

You still shall twist and turn

One endless round of thought

To justify your actions to yourself

Weaving a fiction Which unravels as you weave

Living forever in a world of makebelieve

Which never is belief


My other favourite is an excerpt form Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen


Everybody knows that you love me baby

Everybody knows that you really do

Everybody knows that you've been faithful

Oh give or take a night or two

Everybody knows that you've been discreet

But there were so many people you just had to meet

Without your clothes

And everybody knows


After that, you just can't forget Vogon poetry....


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with an irish accent


"There once was a man from madras,

with a pair of balls made of brass.

In stormy weather,

they clang together,

and sparks flew out of his ass.


Roses are red,

the sky is blue.

If you leave me,

I'll Fu**ing kill you.


(found carved into a bathroom wall in some truck stop on the A6)


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