View Full Version : Favourite/Most moving poetry (and why?)

7th May 2004, 18:03
This does it for me...brings a tear to the eye every time.

A particularly good aviation line in there too. Perhaps that's why.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum...
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He Is Dead'
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W. H. Auden

7th May 2004, 18:51
I may have posted this before but it would have been a long time ago and “senior moments” seem to be more frequent nowadays, so I’ll post it anyway.

First I’ll tell you the “why” and you should then understand the “how” it moves me.

My wife loved poetry and I bought her a small anthology the year before she died. About a month before she died (although we didn’t know that then of course) she asked me to look at a particular poem in the book. I had great difficulty reading it and she simply smiled at me when I was done. My wife was a religious person with a very strong faith.

At her funeral I decided that I would read the poem to the assembled throng. Because I knew what effect it had had on me, I rehearsed it 5 times with the kids (the youngest was 15) and Jane’s mum and dad as the audience, in an attempt to ensure they were OK at the Service. In the event that proved to be necessary as they all had a major and cathartic weep on the first 2 or 3 rehearsals but - on the day - the ploy worked ..... thankfully. In the act of reading it and to ensure that I maintained control publicly (it’s a man thing I guess) I gripped my hands together out of sight of the congregation behind the lectern. …… I broke the little finger of my left hand in 2 places.

The poem:

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

By Amelia Josephine Burr.

Strange – having thought that I was no longer susceptible to bouts of sadness over this event in my life, I am totally unashamed to confess that my keyboard is wet. (Must have spilled me single malt!)

tony draper
7th May 2004, 19:16
I like this one, short and to the point yet full of yearning nostalgia and loss.

Blue Remembered Hills.
Into my heart an air that kills

From yon far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills,

What spires, what farms are those?

That is the Land of Lost Content,

I see it shining plain,

The happy highways where I went,

And cannot come again.

7th May 2004, 20:37
So here hath been dawning
Another blue Day;
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?

Out of Eternity
This new Day is born;
Into Eternity
At night will return.

Behold it aforetime
No eye ever did:
So soon it for ever
From all eyes is hid.

Here hath been dawning
Another blue day;
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?

Every day is precious! Carpe Diem!

7th May 2004, 21:07
On this day in 1945, the German High Command unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

The following was composed in 1943 by Sgt. Maurice Dudley Chasmer, wireless operator - Air Gunner with 434 Squadron RAF.

"I would not have you grieve when I am gone,
I have no sorrow that my life is spent,
As happy a man as ever sun shone on,
My life has been a joy, and I'm content.
I have known the glory of an English day,
The soft whisper of rain on grateful trees,
The happy song of birds at break of day,
The drifting wood-smoke on the evening breeze.
No regrets that all these things are fled,
I shall find joy whatever lies ahead."

On the night of 27/28 September 1943, 73 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 429, and 434 Squadrons were joined by 9 Wellingtons from 432 Squadron for an attack at Hanover.

Halifax V LK-917 coded WL-X, of 434 squadron of which Sgt Chasmar was a member failed to return from this operation.

The crew of WL-X were:-

P/O O. Lytle RCAF
Sgt E. Elder RAF
Sgt H. Lindsay RAF
W/O2 R. Pedlar RCAF
F/Sgt J. Monteith RCAF
Sgt M. Chasmar RAF
F/Sgt H. Hansell RCAF
F/Sgt J. Leach RCAF


7th May 2004, 21:32
Ik zag Cecilia komen
op een zomernacht
twee oren om te horen
twee ogen om te zien
twee handen om te grijpen
en verre vingers tien
Ik zag Cecilia komen
op een zomernacht
aan haar rechterhand is Hansje
aan haar linkerhand is Grietje
Hansje heeft een rozekransje
Grietje een vergeet-mij-nietje
de menseëter heeft ze niet gegeten
ik heb ze niet vergeten
ei ei ik en gij
de ezel speelt schalmei
voor Hansje en voor Grietje
Hansje met zijn rozekransje
Grietje met haar vergeet-mij-nietje
zijn langs de sterren gegaan
Venus is van koper
de andere zijn goedkoper
de andere zijn van blik
en van safraan
is Janneke-maan
Twee oren om te horen
twee ogen om te zien
Twee handen in het lege
en verre vingers tien

Paul van Ostaijen (1896-1928).

7th May 2004, 21:48
Hansel and Gretel was written by the Grimm Brothers, they were German, not Dutch.


7th May 2004, 21:49
Sonnet no. 110

Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new.
Most true it is that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely. But, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end;
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.


This to me is inseparable from a lovely lady's memory. I had always loved her, and she me, but neither of us realised it. We each married someone else. We met again, the flame rekindled, and we dreamed of the future. Then the reality hit us that the guilt we would feel, as we both had families by now, would poison and destroy what we had.

So we walked away.

That was 22 years ago, and not a single day has passed when she has not been in my thoughts.

7th May 2004, 21:57
Here's how Babelfish handles the translation of Paul van Ostaijen's poem.

"I saw hearing see two ears Cecilia to come on a summer night two eyes to two seizing hands and distant fingers ten I saw coming Cecilia on a summer night to its rechterhand are Hansje to its linkerhand Grietje Hansje have rozekransje Grietje a vergeet-mij-nietje the menseëter have them have not been eaten I have them do not forget egg egg I and gij the rest plays schalmei for Hansje and for Grietje Hansje with its rozekransje Grietje with its vergeet-mij-nietje along the ASTRE has will be be venus is cheaper of purchaser other other of can and of safraan Janneke-maan are two hear ears two eyes two see hands in empty and distant fingers ten."

Doesn't really ring true.

7th May 2004, 22:13
The poem that I would call my favourite varies with the moment and, at the moment, it is this by W.B. Yeats

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths
Enwrought with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light
I would spread the cloths under you feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

...and almost anything by Rupert Brooke.



7th May 2004, 22:21

you might like this one

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux (there is no happy love)


Rien n'est jamais acquis à l'homme. Ni sa force
Ni sa faiblesse ni son cœur. Et quand il croit
Ouvrir ses bras son ombre est celle d'une croix
Et quand il croit serrer son bonheur il le broie
Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Sa vie elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes
Qu'on avait habillés pour un autre destin
A quoi peut leur servir de ce lever matin
Eux qu'on retrouve au soir désœuvrés incertains
Dites ces mots ma vie et retenez vos larmes
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Mon bel amour mon cher amour ma déchirure
Je te porte en moi comme un oiseau blessé
Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer
Répétant après moi les mots que j'ai tressés
Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Le temps d'apprendre à vivre il est déjà trop tard
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos cœurs à l'unisson
Ce qu'il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson
Ce qu'il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson
Ce qu'il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne soit douleur.
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit meurtri.
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit flétri.
Et pas plus que de toi l'amour de la patrie
Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne vive de pleurs.
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.
Mais c'est notre amour à tous les deux.

Georges Brassens has written music for this poem and interpreted it (except the last verse).
Danielle Darieux sings it in "Huit Femmes" (8 Women)

Found a partial translation here (http://www.poplyrics.net/waiguo/soundtrack/8femmes/001.htm)

7th May 2004, 22:38

The Road Not Taken is also one of my favourites, excellent stuff :ok:

7th May 2004, 23:11
Philip Larkin always managed to say in verse what a lot of people think but cannot say.


I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
--The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused--nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear--no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

7th May 2004, 23:11
My favorite poem is Desiderata by Max Erhmann. The poem was written in the 1920's I think, just good common sense.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

7th May 2004, 23:12
....and another Larkin special!

This Be the Verse

They f**k you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f***ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

8th May 2004, 00:38
From Garrison Keillior:

Dogs don't lie, and why should I?

When strangers come, they growl and bark;
they know their loved ones in the dark.

And so may I, by night or day, be just as full of truth as they.

Divergent Phugoid!
8th May 2004, 00:42
High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Has to be up there with the best IMHO.

:ok: :ok:

8th May 2004, 02:48
Written as a song rather than poetry, but words to live by nonetheless.

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that,
The coward-slave we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
Tha man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that,
Gie fools their silks, an' knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man, for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men, for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, c'ad a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that,
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof, for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband star, an' a' that:
The man o' independant mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will, for a' that,)
That Sense an' Worth o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

8th May 2004, 06:40
Mr Draper,
Do you know who your poem is by?

I heard it read on the radio some years ago and always remember the line '.......the land of lost content'.
I was going to write here and ask if anyone knew the poem that had that line in!

tony draper
8th May 2004, 07:21
Sorry Bill, I should have posted the author,tiz by the Shropshire poet AE Housman.


8th May 2004, 08:07
Father's funeral, early 2000, I took the task as the eldest of eulogy. Rather more composed than I'd hoped 'til I used the verse that best epitomised him, in my memory:

They do not grow old as we grow old,
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. . .

A song had been rattling around the vacant garrets of the mind, since I dunno when, which adopted a much stronger effect after that. Made doubly memorable, after the ex kicked me out 6 mnths previous. Gilbert O'Sullivan,

In a little while from now if I'm not feeling any less sour,
I promised myself to treat myself to visit a nearby tower.
In climbing to the top I'd throw myself off
In an effort to make clear to whomever what it's like
when you're shattered,
Left standing in the lurch, at a church where people saying,
"My God, that's tough, she stood him up, no point in us remaining,
we might as well go home." As I did on my own,
Alone again, naturally.

Looking back over the years, [whatever else has appeared]
I remembered I cried when my father died
never wishing to hide the tears.
At 65 years old, my mother, God rest her soul,
couldn't understand why the only man
she had ever loved had been taken,
Leaving her to start with a heart so badly broken
In spite encouragement from me no words were ever spoken,
and when she passed away, I cried and cried all day,
Alone again , naturally.

Verse and musical lyrics are effective in that they distil human emotion. IMHO

8th May 2004, 08:07
Hi Dantruck,

Try any of the various books and poems by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. (Flight to Arras, Wind Sand and Stars, even a kid's book, The Little Prince) A few good poems and lots of wonderful aviation related prose.

8th May 2004, 09:33
Ta Mr Draper :)

8th May 2004, 10:42
Thanks Fragman, I'll look that up.

Meanwhile, here's another favourite of mine. The real clever part is that, if you read it out loud, you can hear the rhythm of the wheels clattering along the tracks.

Night Mail

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.
Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.
Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.
Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

(W H Auden)

8th May 2004, 11:38
Divergent, you beat me to it, well said; and I believe that (John) Gillespie Maggee was only twenty when he died, some three weeks after his beautiful and moving piece was completed.

My second favourite has to be from Edgar Alan Poe.

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore -

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping - rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -

Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -

This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping - tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you" - here I opened wide the door: -

Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!" -

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore! -

Merely this and nothing more.

Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before.

"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -

Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore; -

'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore -

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above this chamber door -

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered -

Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before -

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before,"

Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,

Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -

Till the dirges of his Hope the melacholy burden bore

Of 'Never-nevermore.'"

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -

On this Home by Horror haunted - tell me truly I implore -

Is there - is there balm in Gilead? tell me - tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore.

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting -

"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting - still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a Demon that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted - nevermore!

(First Published in 1845)

8th May 2004, 12:32

That's another favourite. Thank you for reminding me of it.

I particular enjoy the version done by The Simpsons. James Earl Jones narrated while Bart and Homer acted out the scene. Bart was the Raven. Marge was Homer's lost Lenore.

8th May 2004, 14:10

Seeing that reminded me of a post I saw on here last year. Quite a story.Nevermore (http://www.pprune.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=86411&highlight=Nevermore)

8th May 2004, 15:55
Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree,famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first. spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

(I have really no idea about why I get choked up reading this, although it`s obviously Dylan Thomas remembering a lost chidhood....don`t we all?)

8th May 2004, 20:37
Even If You Weren’t My Father

Father, even if you weren’t my father,
were you an utter stranger,
for your own self I’d love you.
Remembering how you saw, one winter morning,
the first violet on the wall across the way,
and with what joy you shared the revelation;
then, hoisting the ladder to your shoulder,
out you went and propped it to the wall.
We, your children, stood watching at the window.

And I remember how, another time,
you chased my little sister through the house
(pigheadedly, she’d done I know not what).
But when she, run to earth, shrieked out in fear,
your heart misgave you,
for you saw yourself hunt down your helpless child.
Relenting then, you took her in your arms
in all her terror: caressing her, enclosed in your
embrace as in some shelter from the brute
who’d been, one moment since, yourself.

Father, even were you not my father,
were you some utter stranger,
for your innocence, your artless tender heart,
I would love above all other men
so love you

Camillo Sbarbaro

8th May 2004, 21:12
It's a wonderful thing.
Rope is thicker, but string is quicker.

Spike Milligan.
I'll get me coat.

I too like The Simpsons version of The Raven. It made me go out and find the origional.
who says TV isn't educational.
not edited for spelling

tony draper
8th May 2004, 22:11
This one always struck me as profound.

High up in the North
In the land called Svithjod,
there stands a Rock

It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide.

Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.

When the rock has thus been worn away,
then a single day of eternity will have gone by.

8th May 2004, 22:47
Dreaming when dawn's left hand hand was in the sky
I heard a voice within the tavern cry,
"Awake, my little ones, and fill the cup
Before life's liquor in its cup be dry!"

Come fill the cup and in the fire of Spring,
The winter garment of repentance fling:
The bird of time has but a little way
To fly-and Lo! the bird is on the wing.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door as in I went.

There was a door to which I found no key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seem'd-and then no more of Thee and Me.

Ah, fill the cup-what boots it to repeat.
How time is slipping underneath our feet:
Unborn tomorrow, and dead yesterday
Why fret about them if Today be sweet!

Lo! some we loved, the lov'liest and the best
That time and Fate have all their vintage press'd,
Have drunk their cup a round or two before
And one by one crept silently to rest.

Tis all a chequer board of nights and days
where destiny with men for pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the closet lays.

Just a few of my favourite Omar Khayyam verses.

Kipling is another fav.

You can keep High Flight. Apart from being not very good, it's also stolen!
Rather give me the last page of Neil Williams book "Aerobatics". That's real class!

8th May 2004, 23:31
OK, here's mine, Ozymandias by Percy Bysse Shelley:

"I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

I sometimes think that all of our leaders should be forced to read this poem aloud each and every morning of their respective terms of office.

8th May 2004, 23:38
I have several poets I like, I was considering submittimg High Flight or Ozymandias but I was beaten to it.

I have a strange satisfaction that nobody has submitted anything by Richard Lovelace, hence this beautiful but little read piece that has a quote many assume to be Shakespeare.

This was written whilst he was incarcerated by Cromwell's gang.

to Althea from Prison.

"WHEN Love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my Gates ;
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the Grates ;
When I lye tangled in her haire
And fettered to her eye ;
The Gods that wanton in the Aire,
Know no such Liberty.


When flowing Cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our carelesse heads with Roses bound,
Our hearts with Loyall Flames ;
When thirsty griefe in Wine we steepe,
When Healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the Deepe,
Know no such Libertie.


When (like committed linnets) I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetnes, Mercy, Majesty,
And glories of my KING ;
When I shall voyce aloud, how Good
He is, how Great should be ;
Enlarged Winds that curle the Flood,
Know no such Liberty.


Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage ;
Mindes innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage ;
If I have freedome in my Love,
And in my soule am free ;
Angels alone that sore above,
Injoy such Liberty.

9th May 2004, 04:48
Just been to the funeral of a friend and these words move me.

Ewan McColl

Take me to some high place of heather, rock and ling; scatter my dust and ashes, feed me to the wind. So that I will be part of all you see. The air you are breathing, I'll be part of the curlew's cry and the soaring hawk The blue milkwort and the sundew hung with diamonds. I'll be riding the gentle wind that blows through your hair; reminding you how we shared In the joy of living.

Hope you don't mind my intruding in your post, but this struck a strong chord with me. One of our favourite walks was on Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons. My oldest son and I placed my wife's ashes in the cairn at the top of Pen-y-Fan (shabby weather at the time). My youngest son and my niece planted a heather there a year later; on my last visit it was growing strongly. Thanks for the poem - not seen it before. :ok: :ok:

9th May 2004, 19:49
This one I stumbled over after breaking up with my first adult love, a woman I loved with every fibre of my being but I let go because she asked.

Saddest Poem
by Pablo Neruda - 1924

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

This is on the memorial to the airmen of WW2 at Plymouth Hoe.


Almight and all-present Power,
Short is the prayer I make to Thee,
I do not ask in battle hour
For any shield to cover me.

The vast unalterable way
From which the stars do not depart
May not be turned aside to stay
The bullet flying to my heart.

I ask no help to strike my foe,
I seek no petty victory here,
The enemy I hate, I know
To Thee is also dear.

But this I pray, be at my side
When death is drawing through the sky,
Almighty God, who also died
Teach me the way that I should die.

Sgt Hugh Brodie 460 Sqn RAAF

9th May 2004, 21:12
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Too many reasons why, but it never fails to move me.

9th May 2004, 21:37

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

Sheenagh Pugh

Reasons? I'm a firm believer that it's possible for each one of us to make a difference in this often-sh*tty world, and this poem to me really expresses that belief - if we're all thinking the sentiments in this poem, we can't go too far wrong, can we?

Sick Squid
10th May 2004, 02:08
But pleasures are like poppies spread

You seize the flower, its bloom is shed

Or like the snow falls in the river

A moment white........ then melts for ever

Robert Burns, Tam O'Shanter

10th May 2004, 04:20
Some of the saddest words ever written ...

I wasn't there that morning when my father passed away,
I didn't get to tell him all the things I had to say.
I think I caught his spirit later that same year,
I'm sure I heard his echo in my baby's new-born tears,
I just wish I could have told him in the living years.
(Mike and the Mechanics)