Other people's poems

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Postby Alabaster Crashes Down » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:38 pm

Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words can also hurt me.
Stones & sticks break only skin,
while words are ghosts that haunt me.

Slant and curved the word-swords fall
to pierce and stick inside me.
Bats and bricks may ache through bones,
but words can mortify me.

Pain from words has left its scar
on mind and heart that's tender.
Cuts and bruises now have healed;
it's words that I remember.





and...


Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Chops"
because that was the name of his dog
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X's
and he had to ask his father what the X's meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it.

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Autumn"
because that was the name of the season
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question"
because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle's Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly

That's why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it "Absolutely Nothing"
Because that's what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn't think
he could reach the kitchen.




and those are my two fave poems by other people. you got any?
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Postby elko » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:58 pm

I really like the second one.

To be honest I don't read much poetry, only the stuff we had to read in school, but I really like Simon Armitage's work. I don't think it has a title, but there's a poem that begins 'Those bastards in their mansions...' that I adore. Also heard him on Mark Radcliffe's show the other week, he's dead funny.
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Postby Still Ill » Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:45 pm

Wow, I like the second one, too. So bittersweet. Anyone know the children's book, 'Love You Forever', by Robert Munsch. Can never finish the short story without getting choked up. Except he grows up, completes the circle of life. Where's the poem from, Alabaster?
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Postby girl_afraid » Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:15 pm

My favourite poet is Philip Larkin, and, as luck would have it, one of his collections, 'High Windows' is one of our set texts in Eng Lit. <!--emo&:)-->Image<!--endemo--> I know lots of people think he's a grumpy old lecherous moany git, but lots of his poems are absolutely beautiful and incredibly poignant - this is one of my favourites:

The Explosion

On the day of the explosion
Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In the sun the slagheap slept.

Down the lane came men in pitboots
Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke,
Shouldering off the freshened silence.

One chased after rabbits; lost them;
Came back with a nest of lark's eggs;
Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.

So they passed in beards and moleskins,
Fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter,
Through the tall gates standing open.

At noon there came a tremor; cows
Stopped chewing for a second; sun
Scarfed as in a heat-haze dimmed.

The dead go on before us, they
Are sitting in God's house in comfort,
We shall see them face to face--


Plain as lettering in the chapels
It was said, and for a second
Wives saw men of the explosion

Larger than in life they managed--
Gold as on a coin, or walking
Somehow from the sun towards them,

One showing the eggs unbroken.
Last edited by girl_afraid on Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
England is mine, it owes me a living
But ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno...
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn't like the old days anymore
No, it wasn't like those days
Am I still ill...?
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Postby chicken » Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:39 pm

wow friggin wow that's a poem!!! i'm going to share that one with some profs at work.

right now i'm hooked on this one, by galway kinnell:

St. Francis And The Sow


The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Galway Kinnell


i think the spacing is a little messed up on that version, but you get the drift. "the spiritual curl of the tail" is a great line--concrete yet absract in itself. strangely the oxymoron makes sense in that line. great thread, great reading.
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Postby Sweet and Tender Hooligan » Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:34 am

i think Thomas Hardy is rather great.
I'm spellbound, but a woman divides
And the hills are alive with celibate cries
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Postby reclamation » Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:54 pm

Oh me oh my!!!!

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

*love*
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Postby Noonan McKane » Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:57 am

Rest now, Dylan; Welsh whisky drinking champion, 1953!

It IS class, Reclamation, isn't it? That's my father's favourite ever poem.

Larkin, too, GA. Yes indeed. The "Rock And Roll John Betjeman".
Philip Larkin has a poem about retired racehorses, called "At Grass", which I first read at Kilmarnock College in 1988 and have been thinking about ever since.
So great. So, so great.


I'll chip in this:

'Tower Of Song'
_____________

Now my friends have gone and my hair is grey,
And I ache in the places where I used to play,
And I'm crazy for love, but I'm not coming on.

I'm just paying my dues, every day, in the tower of song.

I said to Hank Williams, "How lonely does it get?",
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet,
But I hear him coughing, all night long,
One hundred floors above me, in the tower of song.

I was forced into this, I had no choice,
I was born with the gift of this golden voice,
And twenty-seven angels, from the great beyond,
They tied me to this table right here in the tower of song.

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll,
I'm very sorry baby, doesn't look like me at all,
And I'm standing by the window, where the light is strong,
Won't ever let a woman kill me, not in the tower of song.

You can say I have grown bitter, of this you can be sure,
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor,
And there's a mighty judgement coming,
But I may be wrong,
You see I hear these funny voices, in the tower of song.

So I'll bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back,
They're moving us tomorrow to a tower down the track,
But you'll be hearing from me, baby,
Long after I'm gone,
I'll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the tower of song.

_______________________________________________________
(Yes, I cheated. Yes, they're song lyrics. Yes, I've paraphrased and butchered and chopped them up. I just like it, OK? Give me a wee chance!)
Last edited by Noonan McKane on Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rubygirl » Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:59 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-reclamation+Mar 26 2005, 11:54 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (reclamation @ Mar 26 2005, 11:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Oh me oh my!!!! 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

        <!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><div class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd-->
OMG, Reclamation,
Dylan Thomas is my favourite poet! When I first saw this thread I immediately started thinking that I should post here some verse of his or other; I was going through some of his poems last night and now I come here and see your post.
How interesting.
I am not that much into poetry as a matter of fact, I am not acquainted with the works of many poets but this thread is now giving me a chance to hmm, easily access some good stuff.
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Postby Noonan McKane » Fri May 13, 2005 2:13 am

The World Turned Upside Down
__________________________

In sixteen forty nine, to St George's Hill,
A ragged band they called The Diggers came to show the people's will,
They defied the landlords, they defied the law,
They were the dispossesed reclaiming what was theirs.

We come in peace they said, to dig and sow,
We come to work the land in common and to make the waste land grow,
We are free men, though we are poor,
You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now.

The sin of property we do disdain,
No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain,
By theft and murder they took the land,
Now everywhere the walls spring up at their command.

They make the laws, they train us well,
The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell,
We will not worship the god they serve,
The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor men starve.

We work, we eat together, we need no swords,
We will not bow to the masters nor pay rent to the lords,
We are free men, though we are poor,
You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now.
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Postby chicken » Sun May 15, 2005 6:11 pm

i've had larkin's "the explosion" posted on the bulletin board outside my office for months now.

it's quite fun to watch the calculus professors stop, read it, shake their linear heads, and move on. HA!!
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Postby The Boy with a thorn in his side » Sun May 15, 2005 6:16 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-Noonan McKane+May 13 2005, 02:13 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Noonan McKane @ May 13 2005, 02:13 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> The World Turned Upside Down
__________________________

In sixteen forty nine, to St George's Hill,
A ragged band they called The Diggers came to show the people's will,
They defied the landlords, they defied the law,
They were the dispossesed reclaiming what was theirs.

We come in peace they said, to dig and sow,
We come to work the land in common and to make the waste land grow,
We are free men, though we are poor,
You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now.

The sin of property we do disdain,
No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain,
By theft and murder they took the land,
Now everywhere the walls spring up at their command.

They make the laws, they train us well,
The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell,
We will not worship the god they serve,
The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor men starve.

We work, we eat together, we need no swords,
We will not bow to the masters nor pay rent to the lords,
We are free men, though we are poor,
You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now. <!--QuoteEnd--> </td></tr></table><div class='postcolor'> <!--QuoteEEnd-->
That song is excellent, Billy Bragg is a very skilled wordsmith.

Must I paint you a picture?
It's bad timing and me
We find a lot of things out this way
And there's you
A little black cloud in a dress
The temptation
To take the precious things we have apart
To see how they work
Must be resisted for they never fit together again
If this is rain let it fall on me and drown me
If these are tears let them fall
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Postby Noonan McKane » Sun May 15, 2005 6:30 pm

He is. Billy's one of the best.

'The World Turned Upside Down' is a pretty old, 'trad' number, however.

Well pleased that you recognised it from Bill's rendition, though!

'Must I Paint You A Picture' is first class, yes. That album, 'Workers Playtime' is quite something.

I reckon his tour de force is 'Talking With The Taxman About Poetry', 1986.

Whaddya reckon?
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Postby The Boy with a thorn in his side » Sun May 15, 2005 6:36 pm

I would say his classic song would have to be A New England, but some of my favourites are Greetings to the new Brunette, Accident Waiting to Happen and She's got a new Spell.
I love how he manages to use such frank metaphors in songs like A Lover Sings.
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Postby elko » Sun May 15, 2005 7:52 pm

'A New England' would be my favourite too.

Some of what he's done with Wilco, taking old Woody Guthrie lyrics is phenomenal.
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