Favourite poems

147 posts in this topic

As through the wild green hills of Wyre

The train ran, changing sky and shire,

And far behind, a fading crest,

Low in the forsaken west

Sank the high-reared head of Clee,

My hand lay empty on my knee.

Aching on my knee it lay:

That morning half a shire away

So many an honest fellow’s fist

Had well-nigh wrung it from the wrist.

Hand, said I, since now we part

From fields and men we know by heart,

For strangers’ faces, strangers’ lands,—

Hand, you have held true fellows’ hands.

Be clean then; rot before you do

A thing they’d not believe of you.

You and I must keep from shame

In London streets the Shropshire name;

On banks of Thames they must not say

Severn breeds worse men than they;

And friends abroad must bear in mind

Friends at home they leave behind.

Oh, I shall be stiff and cold

When I forget you, hearts of gold;

The land where I shall mind you not

Is the land where all's forgot.

And if my foot returns no more

To Teme nor Corve nor Severn shore,

Luck, my lads, be with you still

By falling stream and standing hill,

By chiming tower and whispering tree,

Men that made a man of me.

About your work in town and farm

Still you’ll keep my head from harm,

Still you’ll help me, hands that gave

A grasp to friend me to the grave


AE Housman, A Shropshire Lad XXXVII


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And finally this one, for those moments of Real homesickness; having grown up near the places mentioned, this one can actually make me cry:


'Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town

The golden broom should blow;

The hawthorn sprinkled up and down

Should charge the land with snow.


Spring will not wait the loiterer's time

Who keeps so long away;

So others wear the broom and climb

The hedgerows heaped with may.


Oh tarnish late on Wenlock Edge,

Gold that I never see;

Lie long, high snowdrifts in the hedge

That will not shower on me.


AE Housman, A Shropshire Lad, XXXIX


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Still I Rise


You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.


Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.


Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.


You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.


Maya Angelou


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One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster,


Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.


Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.


I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.


I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.


- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident

the art of losing's not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like a disaster.


Elizabeth Bishop


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One of my favorite poems (in my mother tongue language) is Ithaca (written in 1911) by Constantine Cavafy . One of the greatest Greek poets of the last 2 centuries.

His work has been translated in many languages. Ithaca is one of his most famous ones, while it references the Voyage of Ulysses back to his home in Ithaca, it is all about the journey of life and how we should get the most out of it.

As with every poem, even the best translation is not nearly half as good as the original, here is one anyway :


When you set sail for Ithaca,

wish for the road to be long,

full of adventures, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclopes,

an angry Poseidon — do not fear.

You will never find such on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, and your spirit

and body are touched by a fine emotion.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclopes,

a savage Poseidon you will not encounter,

if you do not carry them within your spirit,

if your spirit does not place them before you.

Wish for the road to be long.

Many the summer mornings to be when

with what pleasure, what joy

you will enter ports seen for the first time.

Stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase the fine goods,

nacre and coral, amber and ebony,

and exquisite perfumes of all sorts,

the most delicate fragrances you can find.

To many Egyptian cities you must go,

to learn and learn from the cultivated.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your final destination.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better for it to last many years,

and when old to rest in the island,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaca to offer you wealth.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful journey.

Without her you would not have set out on the road.

Nothing more does she have to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

For the extra Wow-factor : http://www.youtube.c...h?v=1n3n2Ox4Yfk (recited by Sir S.Connery and soundtracked by Vangelis)


Hope you like it!




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Fox In Socks







Knox in box.

Fox in socks.


Knox on fox in socks in box.


Socks on Knox and Knox in box.


Fox in socks on box on Knox.


Chicks with bricks come.

Chicks with blocks come.

Chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks come.


Look, sir. Look, sir. Mr. Knox, sir.

Let's do tricks with bricks and blocks, sir.

Let's do tricks with chicks and clocks, sir.


First, I'll make a quick trick brick stack.

Then I'll make a quick trick block stack.


You can make a quick trick chick stack.

You can make a quick trick clock stack.


And here's a new trick, Mr. Knox...

Socks on chicks and chicks on fox.

Fox on clocks on bricks and blocks.

Bricks and blocks on Knox on box.


Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.

Try to say this Mr. Knox, sir...


Clocks on fox tick.

Clocks on Knox tock.

Six sick bricks tick.

Six sick chicks tock.


Please, sir. I don't like this trick, sir.

My tongue isn't quick or slick, sir.

I get all those ticks and clocks, sir,

mixed up with the chicks and tocks, sir.

I can't do it, Mr. Fox, sir.


I'm so sorry, Mr. Knox, sir.


Here's an easy game to play.

Here's an easy thing to say...


New socks.

Two socks.

Whose socks?

Sue's socks.


Who sews whose socks?

Sue sews Sue's socks.


Who sees who sew whose new socks, sir?

You see Sue sew Sue's new socks, sir.


That's not easy, Mr. Fox, sir.


Who comes? ...

Crow comes.

Slow Joe Crow comes.


Who sews crow's clothes?

Sue sews crow's clothes.

Slow Joe Crow sews whose clothes?

Sue's clothes.


Sue sews socks of fox in socks now.


Slow Joe Crow sews Knox in box now.


Sue sews rose on Slow Joe Crow's clothes.

Fox sews hose on Slow Joe Crow's nose.


Hose goes.

Rose grows.

Nose hose goes some.

Crow's rose grows some.


Mr. Fox!

I hate this game, sir.

This game makes my tongue quite lame, sir.


Mr. Knox, sir, what a shame, sir.


We'll find something new to do now.

Here is lots of new blue goo now.

New goo. Blue goo.

Gooey. Gooey.

Blue goo. New goo.

Gluey. Gluey.


Gooey goo for chewy chewing!

That's what that Goo-Goose is doing.

Do you choose to chew goo, too, sir?

If, sir, you, sir, choose to chew, sir,

with the Goo-Goose, chew, sir.

Do, sir.


Mr. Fox, sir,

I won't do it.

I can't say.

I won't chew it.


Very well, sir.

Step this way.

We'll find another game to play.


Bim comes.

Ben comes.

Bim brings Ben broom.

Ben brings Bim broom.


Ben bends Bim's broom.

Bim bends Ben's broom.

Bim's bends.

Ben's bends.

Ben's bent broom breaks.

Bim's bent broom breaks.


Ben's band. Bim's band.

Big bands. Pig bands.


Bim and Ben lead bands with brooms.

Ben's band bangs and Bim's band booms.


Pig band! Boom band!

Big band! Broom band!

My poor mouth can't say that. No, sir.

My poor mouth is much too slow, sir.


Well then... bring your mouth this way.

I'll find it something it can say.


Luke Luck likes lakes.

Luke's duck likes lakes.

Luke Luck licks lakes.

Luck's duck licks lakes.


Duck takes licks in lakes Luke Luck likes.

Luke Luck takes licks in lakes duck likes.


I can't blab such blibber blubber!

My tongue isn't made of rubber.


Mr. Knox. Now come now. Come now.

You don't have to be so dumb now...


Try to say this, Mr. Knox, please...


Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.

While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.

Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.

Freezy trees made these trees' cheese freeze.

That's what made these three free fleas sneeze.


Stop it! Stop it!

That's enough, sir.

I can't say such silly stuff, sir.


Very well, then, Mr. Knox, sir.


Let's have a little talk about tweetle beetles...


What do you know about tweetle beetles? Well...


When tweetle beetles fight,

it's called a tweetle beetle battle.


And when they battle in a puddle,

it's a tweetle beetle puddle battle.


AND when tweetle beetles battle with paddles in a puddle,

they call it a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.




When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle

and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle...

...they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.




When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles

and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles...

...they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle

bottle paddle battle.




Now wait a minute, Mr. Socks Fox!


When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle

with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle,

THIS is what they call...


...a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled

muddled duddled fuddled wuddled fox in socks, sir!


Fox in socks, our game is done, sir.

Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.


-Dr. Seuss


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I dig,

You dig,

We dig,

He digs,

She digs,

They dig.


It's not a beautiful poem, but it's very deep.


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My First Time


The sky was dark,

The moon was high,

All alone, just she and I.

Her hair was soft,

Her eyes were blue,

I knew just what she wanted to do.

Her skin so soft,

Her legs so fine,

I ran my fingers down her spine.

I didn't know how,

But I tried my best,

I started by placing my hands on her breast.

I remember my fear, my fast-beating heart,

But slowly she spread her legs apart,

And when I did it I felt no shame.

All at once, the white stuff came,

At last it's finished, it's all over now,

My first time ever at milking a cow.


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The less-embellished version of FuzzyTony's poem:


We walked down the lane together,

The sky was studded with stars.

We reached the gate together,

I lifted for her the bars.

She raised her brown eyes to me:

There was nothing between us now,

For I was just the hired man

And she was a Jersey cow.


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'Sotally Tober' (The drunkard's poem)



Starkle, Starkle Little Twink,

Who the heck you are I think?

I am not under the affluence of inkahol

As some thinkle peep I am

I've had tee martoonis and a scottle of botch

And the drunker I sit here the longer I get.

So one more fink to drill by cup,

I've all day sober to Sunday up.


-- The Prunk Doet


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And in full:


Ballade of Soporific Absorption

By J.C.Squire


A wonderful tribute to liquid bread!


Ho! Ho! Yes! Yes! It's very all well,

You may drunk I am think, but I tell you I'm not,

I'm as sound as a fiddle and fit as a bell,

And stable quite ill to see what's what.

I under do stand you surprise a got

When I headed my smear with gooseberry jam;

And I've swallowed, I grant, a beer of lot -

But I'm not so think as you drunk I am.


Can I liquor my stand? Why, yes, like hell!

I care not how many a tossed I've pot,

I shall stralk quite weight and not yutter an ell,

My feech will not spalter the least little jot:

If you knownly had own! - well, I gave him a dot,

And I said to him, 'Sergeant, I'll come like a lamb -

The floor it seems like a storm in a yacht,

But I'm not so think as you drunk I am.


For example, to prove it I'll tale you a tell -

I once knew a fellow named Apricot -

I'm sorry, I just chair over a fell -

A trifle - this chap, on a very day hot -

If I hadn't consumed that last whisky of tot! -

As I said now, this fellow, called Abraham -

Ah? One more? Since it's you! Just a do me will spot -

But I'm not so think as you drunk I am.




So, Prince, you suggest I've bolted my shot?

Well, like what you say, and soul your damn!

I'm an upple litset by the talk you rot -

But I'm not so think as you drunk I am.


Sir. J.C.Squire


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Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in 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 will suffice.


Robert Frost


I was watching a TV show about how the world may end. Frost does this so well in so few words.


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A Mugging


When my guard was down they attacked from behind,

With a blow to the head - now I wake up to find,

There's a sort of red mist in front of one eye,

And my tongue's gone all rubbery and my mouth is so dry.

There's a part of my head that floats on its own,

And a pain when I move that just makes me groan.

My stomach and its contents have ceased to be friends,

And are now parting company via both ends.

I ought to get up but I'm frightened to try,

I just want to lie here and hope that I'll die.

I can't understand how I came to be caught,

By those two nasty muggers - red wine and port.


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More Robert Frost:





Oh, stormy stormy world,

The days you were not swirled

Around with mist and cloud,

Or wrapped as in a shroud,

And the sun’s brilliant ball

Was not in part or all

Obscured from mortal view

Were days so very few

I can but wonder whence

I get the lasting sense

Of so much warmth and light.

If my mistrust is right

It may be altogether

From one day’s perfect weather,

When starting clear at dawn,

The day swept clearly on

To finish clear at eve.

I verily believe

My fair impression may

Be all from that one day

No shadow crossed but ours

As though its blazing flowers

We went from house to wood

For change of solitude.


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Though Robert Frost is one of my favorite ...


I have a new one, my son:


The refreshing sea air coursing energy through me

The soothing smell of salt and life

Multi-colored sea birds fishing and screeching

The cozy warmth of the sun radiating through my body

The sky fashioned of velvet

This was the sunset in Mallorca


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Oh how I love thee my beautiful and tasty scone


All day long I dreamed of you
Lying there so temptingly
I couldn’t wait to hold you 

Just the thought of you filled me with desire 
I wanted you oh so badly…

And then I opened that door
The door that separated me from you

To my horror I found you had gone
You had simply vanished into thin air

Lying there in your place was a note 
I slowly scanned the lilac paper 
It read …

I’m sorry,  I couldn’t resist that last cream scone…
I slammed the fridge door shut so hard it nearly fell off its hinges!


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I posted this on another thread 6 years ago but IMHO its worth a reposting here...


Fission & Superstition


This is the tale of Frederick Wermyss

Whose parents were not on speaking terms,

So when Fred wrote to Santa Claus

It was in duplicate because

One went to Dad and one to Mum --

Both asked for some plutonium.


See the result: Father & Mother --

Without consulting one another --

Purchased a lump of largish size,

Intending them as a surprise,

These met in Frederick's stocking and

Laid level ten square miles of land.



Learn from this dismal tale of fission

Not to mix science with superstition.


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