Favourite poems

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The English Language

 

Some words have different meanings,

and yet they’re spelt the same.

A cricket is an insect,

to play it — it’s a game.

 

On every hand, in every land,

it’s thoroughly agreed,

the English language to explain

is very hard indeed.

 

Some people say that you’re a dear,

yet dear is far from cheap.

A jumper is a thing you wear,

yet a jumper has to leap.

 

It’s very clear, it’s very queer,

and pray who is to blame

for different meanings to some words,

pronounced and spelt, the same?

 

A little journey is a trip,

a trip is when you fall.

It doesn’t mean you have to dance

whene’er you hold a ball.

 

Now here’s a thing that puzzles me:

musicians of good taste

will very often form a band —

I’ve one around my waist!

 

You spin a top, go for a spin,

or spin a yarn may be —

yet every spin’s a different spin,

as you can plainly see.

 

Now here’s a most peculiar thing —

’twas told me as a joke —

a dumb man wouldn’t speak a word,

yet seized a wheel and spoke.

 

A door may often be ajar,

but give the door a slam,

and then your nerves receive a jar —

and then there’s jars of jam.

 

You’ve heard, of course, of traffic jams,

and jams you give your thumbs.

And adders, too, one is a snake,

the other adds up sums.

 

A policeman is a copper,

it’s a nickname (impolite!)

yet a copper in the kitchen

is an article you light.

 

On every hand, in every land,

it’s thoroughly agreed —

the English language to explain

is very hard indeed!

 

Harry Hemsley

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Of Titans and Timesheets

===========================

 

the Gods were immortal

the old stories say

so let's take a look

at what they're doing today

 

 

King Zeus and Queen Hera

not just husband and wife

but brother and sister

so they're both serving life

 

 

the god of the dead Hades

works for TV

it seems he's a natural

as a quiz show MC

 

 

Poseidon once ruled

the sea's full extent

now he's credited on "Bay Watch"

as a _beach consultant_

 

 

the huntress and virgin

was pure Artemis

she had her name changed

and is now Artems.

 

 

Aphrodite more lovely

than Helen of Troy

appears on the pages

of this month's Playboy

 

 

Apollo whose chariot

shone like the sun

is now driving taxicab

871

 

 

Athene the goddess

of wisdom and sciences

has a new job designing

kitchen appliances

 

 

that swift young god

the messenger Hermes

now runs a pizza

delivery service

 

 

Hephaestus the craftsman

a true artisan

designs cheap plastic toys

to be made in Taiwan

 

 

with his music and sex-drive

the half-goat god Pan

was a natural to start

his own rock 'n' roll band

 

 

Eros whose arrows

brought love said the bards

now writes bad verses

for twee greeting cards

 

 

Medusa and sisters

provide for the gentry

the most realistic

lawn ornamentry

 

 

the Cyclops now leads

a campaign to ban

as discriminatory

those stereograms

 

 

the Kraken has sadly

left this mortal coil

washed up on a beach dead

covered in oil

 

 

the tormenting Furies

drove men to confession

they still have that job

they sing country and western

 

 

the Muses have found

inspiration has gone

and now they are writers

of humdrum sitcoms

 

 

but of all the old Gods

none did succeed more

than overworked Ares

whose profession is --

war!

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that is why

I kiss the sky goodbye

As I wipe each tear from my eye

with the panties I stole on the sly.

 

 

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If you have ever been on the Grabben in Vienna, you might know the clock I am referring to...

 

If there was a place

where dreams explained to me were,

I’d shun the dread of sleep

for the knowing to occur.

Cast away the evil brought in waves

by thoughts unclear

and reason with the tragedy

of happiness and fear.

 

Find the time to save the self

which turns wrong into right,

ease the burden oft that comes

when falling or aflight.

Spend the moment after,

destined always to be late

I’ll meet you by the clock

that always almost strikes midnight.

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Of Titans and Timesheets

 

Bravissimo! Brilliant! Loved it. Big grin.

 

I have always like the Greek and Roman myths and legends and will think of them differently in the future.

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O, My Luve is Like a Red, Red Nose

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

 

O, my luve is like a red, red nose,

Like snot, my passion o'erflows.

Though I may sniff or hawk or blow

I cannae stop this am'rous flow.

Like phlegm that does fill up my lungs,

Like mucus that does coat my tongue,

Thy love has infected me,

And I dinnae want a remedie.

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don't bury me if I should die

======================================

 

don't bury me if I should die

I don't want my bones to lie

six feet under - six feet down

covered by unfeeling ground

please don't leave me here alone

with nothing but a cold, hard stone

a name, two dates and nothing more

don't leave me for the worms to gnaw

 

instead

peel off my useless skin

and expose the meat that lies within

chop me, slice me, mince and dice me

mix me with those herbs and spices

turn me into sausages

and invite my friends round for the feast

lay me down on smoking Teflon

hear me sizzle as I fry

make my headstone mashed potato

warm and fluffy, piled up high

smother me in steaming gravy

let onions be my funeral wreath

give the mourners knives and forks

and tell the priest to cry "let's eat!"

so succulent!

such tender Tim!

I never knew he had such taste!

and he made so many sausages

let's have some more - a shame to waste

eat heartily my faithful friends

for this is how I want to end

 

don't bury me if I should die

if there's a heaven - let me fry!

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The Corporal's Lament

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

 

Let me tell you the sauce of my troubles

I was in love with Rosemary

And relished the chance of proving myself

to her father, the Colonel

And so one chilli November morning on the battlefront

I foolishly ignored the sage advice of my sergeant

(pride being a cinnamon everywhere)

And trying to curry the favour of the Colonel

I mustard my troops in a futile charge

To a-salt the basil-ica

We peppered the enemy with shot thyme after thyme

Moving dill-igently forward so fast

That the rest of the army could not ketchup

We went parsley outer walls and entered the courtyard

Not realising we were being fennelled into a trap

Until hidden enemy troops opened fire upon us

They had known we were cumin all along!

And so now I languish in jail

Knowing I will never see my Rosemary again

And all because my plans were betrayed by spice

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My all time favorite is by Maya Angelou "Phenomenal Woman"

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I'm telling lies.

I say,

It's in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It's the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can't touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can't see.

I say,

It's in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I'm a woman

 

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

Now you understand

Just why my head's not bowed.

I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It's in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,

'Cause I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

 

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Maya Angelou "Phenomenal Woman"

 

Can hear these lines being used as the lyrics to a soul song belted out by someone like Aretha Franklin or Etta James :)

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I didn't title this one. Obvious inspiration, just looking out the window last night.

 

 

 

 

Like dreams falling, comes the snow.

Cold tranquility.

 

The snowmen grow, like fairy mushrooms

dotting the white carpet.

A children's army, marching them to joy.

 

But nothing lasts forever.

The furious wind, the cruel rain

come like vengeance,

washing away the white.

 

And within a day, our dreams are gone.

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A Shel Silverstein poem, I think I memorized it when I was 8:

 

Peckin'

 

The saddest thing I ever did see

Was a woodpecker peckin' on a plastic tree.

He looked at me and, "Friend" says he,

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

 

The part that made it even better was the illustration next to it - this woodpecker looking so sad and confused! :D

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'If' by Rudyard Kipling

 

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 all 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!

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If you have ever been on the Grabben in Vienna, you might know the clock I am referring to...

 

If there was a place

where dreams explained to me were,

I’d shun the dread of sleep

for the knowing to occur.

Cast away the evil brought in waves

by thoughts unclear

and reason with the tragedy

of happiness and fear.

 

Find the time to save the self

which turns wrong into right,

ease the burden oft that comes

when falling or aflight.

Spend the moment after,

destined always to be late

I’ll meet you by the clock

that always almost strikes midnight.

 

post-10916-132724251786.jpg

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Anis Mojgani is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYg9Z5VspSY&feature=related

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Love's Philosophy

 

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

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 disdain'd its 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

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"Thank-You Note" by Wisława Szymborska

 

I owe so much

to those I don't love.

 

The relief as I agree

that someone else needs them more.

 

The happiness that I'm not

the wolf to their sheep.

 

The peace I feel with them,

the freedom –

love can neither give

nor take that.

 

I don't wait for them,

as in window-to-door-and-back.

Almost as patient

as a sundial,

I understand

what love can't,

and forgive

as love never would.

 

From a rendezvous to a letter

is just a few days or weeks,

not an eternity.

 

Trips with them always go smoothly,

concerts are heard,

cathedrals visited,

scenery is seen.

 

And when seven hills and rivers

come between us,

the hills and rivers

can be found on any map.

 

They deserve the credit

if I live in three dimensions,

in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space

with a genuine, shifting horizon.

 

They themselves don't realize

how much they hold in their empty hands.

 

"I don't owe them a thing,"

would be love's answer

to this open question.

 

• Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

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If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England's, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

 

The Soldier - Rupert Brooke

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Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away, into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning, stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann'd:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then, or pray.

And if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

 

Remember, Christina Rossetti

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