General Question

Joab007's avatar

What is your favorite poem, short story, or essay?

Asked by Joab007 (32points) 1 month ago
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21 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I don’t have just one. My tastes change based on the mood I am in.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

A modest proposal by Jonathan Swift

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The Tyger

By William Blake

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

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

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

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
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?

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

gorillapaws's avatar

Still the same as when you asked in 2018.

“At First She Came to Me Pure”
Translated from Spanish
by Juan Ramón Jiménez

At first she came to me pure,
dressed only in her innocence;
and I loved her as we love a child.

Then she began putting on
clothes she picked up somewhere;
and I hated her, without knowing it.

She gradually became a queen,
the jewelry was blinding…
What bitterness and rage!

…She started going back toward nakedness.
And I smiled.

Soon she was back to the single shift
of her old innocence.
I believed in her a second time.

Then she took off the cloth
and was entirely naked…
Naked poetry, always mine,
that I have loved my whole life!

HP's avatar

I’ve been thinking about this one since it appeared here. At the time I realized that I hadn’t a clue. And as I suspected, it’s almost surely unlikely to change.

Poseidon's avatar

I have two favourite poems. One is a Lewis Carroll nonsense poem called “You Are Old Father William” and the other “The Captain of the Gate by an unknown author:

“You are old, Father William the young man said,
And your hair has become very white;
Yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again”

“You are old” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door
Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“n my youth” said the sage as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment, one shilling the box
Allow me to sell you a couple”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose with the bones and the beak
Pray how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life”

“You are old” said the youth “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough” Said his father “don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!”

The Captain of the Gate:

“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods”

I don’t have a short story as such but my favourite book is a relatively unknown fictional work about a man killed in a car crash and his afterlife.

It is called Pitman’s Progress written by Mason, Douglas .

filmfann's avatar

Ulysses
By: Lord Alfred Tennyson
Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

zenvelo's avatar

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

SnipSnip's avatar

I don’t have a favorite. This one came first to mind. I saw it yesterday.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep-by-mary-elizabeth-frye

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

“Masque of the Red Death” by Poe. Strange guy, but great writer.

flutherother's avatar

The Kaleidoscope by Douglas Dunn

To climb these stairs again, bearing a tray,
Might be to find you pillowed with your books,
Your inventories listing gowns and frocks
As if preparing for a holiday.
Or, turning from the landing, I might find
My presence watched through your kaleidoscope,
A symmetry of husbands, each redesigned
In lovely forms of foresight, prayer and hope.
I climb these stairs a dozen times a day
And, by the open door, wait, looking in
At where you died. My hands become a tray
Offering me, my flesh, my soul, my skin.
Grief wrongs us so. I stand, and wait, and cry
For the absurd forgiveness, not knowing why.

snowberry's avatar

I don’t know who wrote it, but a framed copy of this poem was always in my home as a child:

There was a little dachshund once
So long he had no notion
How long it took to notify his tail of his emotion.

And thus it was that while his eyes
Were filled with woe and sadness
His little tail kept wagging on
Because of former gladness

smudges's avatar

I have many; this is one. I love the rhythm of it.

Rock Me to Sleep
Elizabeth Akers Allen – 1832–1911

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
Rock me to sleep, mother — rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,—
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber’s soft calms o’er my heavy lids creep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead tonight,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood’s years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

WhyNow's avatar

Coka cola came to town
Pepsi cola shot him down
Dr. Pepper fixed him up
Now they’re after 7-up!

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

I’ve always liked Kipling too. Not politically correct in this Age, I get that. But I like his poems and short stories anyway. “You may talk o’er gin and beer, when your quartered safe out here, and you’re sent to penny fights and Aldershot it. But when it comes to slaughter you will do your work on water, and you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of him that’s got it. /// Though I’ve beaten you and flayed you, by the livin’ Gawd that made you, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

Brian1946's avatar

This one is by Hugh Noze Hoo:

The sky’s all wrong,
Tranquility’s Sea eludes you
First the clouds,
Then the Earth blocks your view
You want to hug
But the empty sky dissuades you
Where’s the light,
From the Sun of the Night?
You look down
What’s that on the ground?
It’s a pale glow
Now your eyes are sky bound
Light rains on you
Brought by clouds from the Moon.

rockfan's avatar

The Yellow Wallpaper

Dutchess_III's avatar

The Gift of the Magi.

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