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Pingu's avatar

Would you share your favorite poem with me?

Asked by Pingu (692points) December 28th, 2012

Here’s part two of one of my favorites by William Butler Yeats, titled The Cat and the Moon:
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important, and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

The full text of the poem can be found here

What’s your favorite, simple poem?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Pingu's avatar

@marinelife classic Robert Frost. One of my favorites of his (though also one of his more grim pieces) is Out, Out-. The last sentence always disturbed me the most. Thanks for your response!

ucme's avatar

All things dull & ugly
All creatures short & squat
All things rude & nasty
The lord god made the lot
Each little snake that poisons
Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings
All things sick & cancerous
All evil great & small
All things foul & dangerous
The lord god made them all
Each nasty little hornet
Each beastly little squid
Who made the spikey urchin
Who made the sharks…he did
All things scabbed & ulcerous
All pox both great & small
Putrid foul & gangrenous
The lord god made them all

Monty Python.

dxs's avatar

I’ve definitely responded to a question like this before, and it was probably with the same two poems: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost and Morning Has Broken by Eleanor Farjeon. I do not have a vast knowledge of poetry because, to be honest, I don’t really appreciate it since the whole subjective realm doesn’t click with me most of the time. But these two, I can understand for the most part. I like Frost’s because I value people who do not conform to society and take “the [road] less traveled by”. I like Farjeon’s because…well… it is a hymn I always liked to play because the Gaelic tune is so upbeat and the lyrics are very powerful towards the praise of creation.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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.
(taken from

Morning Has Broken by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird;
Praise for the singing,
Praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall,
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass;
Praise for the sweetness,
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning,
Born of the one light
Eden saw play;
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
God’s re-creation
Of the new day.
(taken from

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

IF by Rudyard Kipling.

Ulysses, and The Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson.

i carry your heart by e.e. cummings.

rome1 by Robert Williams Buchanan (especially the stanza:
The gods are dead, but in their name
Humanity is sold to shame,
While (then as now!) the tinsel’d Priest
Sitteth with robbers at the feast,
Blesses the laden blood-stain’d board,
Weaves garlands round the butcher’s sword,
And poureth freely (now as then)
The sacramental blood of Men!

… and now one of my new favorites is the one that @ucme has just posted.

Pingu's avatar

Here’s another good one, called The Detached by Maya Angelou:
We die,
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets,
Stranglers to our outstretched necks,
Stranglers, who neither care nor
care to know that

We pray,
Savoring sweet the teethed lies,
Bellying the grounds before alien gods,
Gods, who neither know nor
wish to know that

We love,
Rubbing the nakednesses with gloved hands,
Inverting our mouths in tongued kisses,
Kisses that neither touch nor
care to touch if

Tropical_Willie's avatar

William Blake. 1757–1827

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies 5
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 10
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp 15
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 20

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Pingu's avatar

@Tropical_Willie that was beautiful.

bob_'s avatar

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Or so they tell me
I don’t know, I’m colorblind


Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Pingu I read that at the front of the Senior English class in High School.

Pingu's avatar

@Tropical_Willie which one?
Edit: wait, nevermind. lol

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Stephen Crane-“The Heart”

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter – bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

Seek's avatar

@bob_ I love it. Seriously, that needs to be a T-shirt.

Seek's avatar

Felis catus – is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

hearkat's avatar

After A While
©1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul

and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises

and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child

and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much

so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

Credit to @Shippy for including a line from this poem on another post, and reminding me of it. It was given to me by a coworker when I was going through my divorce, and hung on the wall of my bedroom for years. It speaks true to the lessons I needed to learn to find happiness within myself.

AshLeigh's avatar

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

tups's avatar

There too many to name.
This one has stuck with throughout time, though:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I won’t say this is my favorite poem, but this is definitely one of my favorite lines from a poem because it’s so true:

“Each thing I do, I rush through, so I can do something else”

—Stephen Dobyns

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I have quite a few poems that I enjoy, so like some others here, there is no one particular favorite that stands out.

However, a poem that I’ve fully or partially memorized is probably a good example to share on this thread, so here’s my contribution:


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Calloh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

SavoirFaire's avatar

My People

Initially, I too appeared between the legs
of a woman in considerable discomfort.
A rather grisly scene but fairly common
among my kind. Those early days, I must
admit: a bit of a blur but generally
I was provided for, wiped off
and kept away from the well.
Dressed as a shepherdess until
I could handle an ax, it was then
I saw the golden arches and tasted of
the processed cheese and left my field
forever, disastrously it must be said
although it has led me here, addressing you
in this grand and ugly hall, paid
a nominal fee and all the grapes
I can eat. Well, I’m told they’re grapes.
But I leap ahead when leaping backward
as well as vibrating in place
is more what’s called for,
much like the role of the tongue
in the bell. Hear that?
Reminds me of the coyotes of our youth
before we hunted them to near extinction
then expensively reintroduced because
it turned out they were the only solution
to our mouse problem, at least
on the outside, in the cribs. Inside,
it’s a grackle/possum/viper problem too,
even algae in some areas. Somehow
we’ve managed to ruin the sky
just by going about our business,
I in my Super XL, you in your Discoverer.
A grudging, fat-cheeked tribe,
we breed without season, inadvertently
or injected with quadruplets. The gods
we played with broke, they were made of glass.
The trees our fathers planted we will not see again.

Dean Young

SavoirFaire's avatar

How I Get My Ideas

Sometimes you just have to wait
15 seconds then beat the prevailing nuance
from the air. If that doesn’t work,
try to remember how many times
you’ve wakened in the body of an animal,
two arms, two legs, willowy antennae.
Try thinking what it would be like
to never see your dearest again.
Stroke her gloves, sniff his overcoat.
If that’s a no-go, call Joe
who’s never home but keeps changing
the melody of his message.
Cactus at night emits its own light,
the river flows under the sea.
Dear face I always recognize but never
know, everything has a purpose
from which it must be freed,
maybe with crowbars, maybe the gentlest breeze.
Always turn in the direction of the skid.
If it’s raining, use the rain
to lash the windowpanes or,
in a calmer mode, deepen the new greens
nearly to a violet. I can’t live
without violet although it’s red
I most often resort to.
Sometimes people become angelic when they cry,
sometimes only ravaged.
Technically, Mary still owes me a letter,
her last was just porcupine quills and tears,
tears that left a whitish residue
on black construction paper.
Sometimes I look at used art books at Moe’s
just to see women without their clothes.
How can someone so rich,
who can have fish whenever he wants,
go to baseball games,
still feel such desperation?
I’m afraid I must insist
on desperation. By the fourth week
the embryo has nearly turned itself
inside out. If that doesn’t help,
you’ll just have to wait which
may involve sleeping which may involve
dreaming and sometimes dreaming works.
Father, why have you returned,
dirt on your morning vest?
You cannot control your laughter.
You cannot control your love.
You know not to hit the brakes on ice
but do anyway. You bend the nail
but keep hammering because
hammering makes the world.

Dean Young

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