Favourite poems

147 posts in this topic

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 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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Sorry, I didn't read the earleir posts.


A poem for a nostalgic post Christmas day  for expats?


It was in our school readers.


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.

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Tupac Shakur



And 2Morrow

Today is filled with anger
fueled with hidden hate
scared of being outcast
afraid of common fate

Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face
nightmares 2 humanities
and morally disgraced

Tonight is filled with rage
violence in the air
children bred with ruthlessness
because no one at home cares

Tonight I lay my head down
but the pressure never stops
knawing at my sanity
content when I am dropped

But 2morrow I c change
a chance 2 build a new
Built on spirit intent of Heart
and ideals based on truth

and tomorrow I wake with second wind
and strong because of pride
2 know I fought with all my heart 2 keep my
dream alive



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Hermit hoar, in solemn cell,
Wearing out life’s evening gray,
Smite thy bosom, Sage, and tell,
What is bliss? And which the way?

Thus I spoke; and speaking sigh’d;
Scarce repress’d the starting tear;
When the hoary sage reply’d:
“Come, my lad, and drink some beer.”

Samuel Johnson on the occasion of his 68th birthday, recorded by James Boswell.


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Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England


Lord Byron


"Tis done and shivering in the gale

The bark unfurls her snowy sail;

And whistling o’er the bending mast,

Loud sings on high the fresh’ning blast;

And I must from this land be gone,

Because I cannot love but one.


But could I be what I have been,

And could I see what I have seen

Could I repose upon the breast

Which once my warmest wishes blest

I should not seek another zone,

Because I cannot love but one.


‘Tis long since I beheld that eye

Which gave me bliss or misery;

And I have striven, but in vain,

Never to think of it again:

For though I fly from Albion,

I still can only love but one.


As some lone bird, without a mate,

My weary heart is desolate;

I look around, and cannot trace One friendly smile or welcome face,

And ev’n in crowds am still alone, Because I cannot love but one.

And I will cross the whitening foam,

And I will seek a foreign home;

Till I forget a false fair face,

I ne’er shall find a resting-place;

My own dark thoughts I cannot shun,

But ever love, and love but one.


The poorest, veriest wretch on earth

Still finds some hospitable hearth,

Where Friendship’s or Love’s softer glow

May smile in joy or soothe in woe;

But friend or leman I have none,’

Because I cannot love but one.


I go but wheresoe’er I flee

There’s not an eye will weep for me;

There’s not a kind congenial heart,

Where I can claim the meanest part;

Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone,

Wilt sigh, although I love but one.

To think of every early scene,


Of what we are, and what we’ve been,

Would whelm some softer hearts with woe But mine, alas! has stood the blow;

Yet still beats on as it begun,

And never truly loves but one.


And who that dear lov’d one may be, Is not for vulgar eyes to see;

And why that early love was cross’d, Thou know’st the best,

I feel the most; But few that dwell beneath the sun

Have loved so long, and loved but one.

I’ve tried another’s fetters too, With charms perchance as fair to view;

And I would fain have loved as well,


But some unconquerable spell Forbade my bleeding breast to own A kindred care for aught but one. ‘

Twould soothe to take one lingering view,

And bless thee in my last adieu;

Yet wish I not those eyes to weep For him that wanders o’er the deep;

His home, his hope, his youth are gone,

Yet still he loves, and loves but one. "


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Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home

Strangeness made sense

The salt rebuff of speech insisting so on difference, made me welcome


Living in England has no such excuse

These are my customs and establishments

It would be much more serious to refuse

*Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence*


Philip Larkin, The Importance of Elsewhere

He refers to living in Belfast and living in Hull later.


Relevant to living in Germany maybe.


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