View Full Version : What are your favourite Poems?

11-27-2011, 02:17 AM
I was just wondering what people liked.

Some of mine are
Xanadu: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (and)
The Road Not Taken: both by Robert Frost

and lots more

What about you?

11-27-2011, 06:05 AM
I can't quote any one poem,
but these collections are each very dear to me:

Carl Sanburg's: The People Yes.
Robert Bly's: Silence in the Snowy Fields & The Light Around the Body. Any poem at all by Richard Brautigan.
Gerald Stern's: This Time.
Sharon Olds: The Vigil.

I could go on...

11-27-2011, 06:28 AM
My own. :D

11-27-2011, 06:32 AM
The Road Not Taken ~ Robert Frost

I have a collection that I really love by him but I don't remember the name of it.

11-27-2011, 12:03 PM
Bubble Trouble, by Margaret Mahy. So very much fun to read out loud.
For serious, I like Janet Frame's poetry and have a very soft spot for Invictus as well.

11-27-2011, 12:24 PM
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning - John Donne.

11-27-2011, 10:28 PM
The Commander's Footsteps by Aleksandr Blok

11-28-2011, 12:27 AM
I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Keats sonnet When I Have Fears.

I also had a lot of joy from Shelley's Alastor at one point in my life.

11-28-2011, 02:07 AM
I have quite a few, but two of them are from AWers -

(password is citrus)

La Femme Qui Pleure (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28703&highlight=Picasso), by William Haskins

and Mother, Wherefore (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=896614&postcount=62), by poetinahat (I can only link to a critiqued version, not the original post, but still it's worth a peek.)

11-28-2011, 02:40 AM
Lots of poems from 101 Famous Poems and A Child's Garden of Verses (Robert Louis Stevenson).

To name a few, but definitely not all:

Out to Old Aunt Mary's (James Whitcomb Riley)
Opportunity (Edward Rowland Sill)
The Gods of the Copybook Headings (Rudyard Kipling)

(Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Dumb Soldier
The Shadow
Foreign Lands

11-28-2011, 03:11 AM
And here are a couple of beauties -

It ain’t what you do it’s what it does to you (http://authorscoop.com/2008/10/06/midnight-poetry-it-aint-what-you-do-its-what-it-does-to-you/#comments), by Simon Armitage


In Memoriam (http://authorscoop.com/2010/12/31/midnight-poetry-for-new-years-eve-in-memoriam-ahh/), by Alfred Lord Tenneyson

11-28-2011, 06:41 AM
Almost anything that isn't Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I had to analyze that poem two years in a row in two different classes, and I didn't really care for it the first time around. I loves me some Ogden Nash any day of the week.

11-28-2011, 05:51 PM
I have quite a few, but two of them are from AWers -

(password is citrus)

La Femme Qui Pleure (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28703&highlight=Picasso), by William Haskins

and Mother, Wherefore (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=896614&postcount=62), by poetinahat (I can only link to a critiqued version, not the original post, but still it's worth a peek.)

william has many others worth mentioning here but i'll point out two of my favorites here;

The Self-Made Man
The Slow Crush of Time

both of which may or may not be found on his website. or maybe here somewhere. it's worth a search. ;)

11-29-2011, 12:23 AM
Mending Wall (Robert Frost)
The Man with the Hoe (Edwin Markham)

DL Hegel
11-29-2011, 05:20 AM
My own. :D

Yours too, and several other poets' works on AW.

Siri Kirpal
11-29-2011, 10:58 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Where to begin?

Yeats "Sailing to Byzantium"
Richard Lovelace "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars"
Many works by Gerald Manley Hopkins, especially "Pied Beauty"
& "God's Grandeur"
all of the prose poems in Robert Bly's This Body Is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood
Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, especially in Stephen Mitchell's translation
and Tagore's translation of his own Gitanjali.


Siri Kirpal

William Haskins
11-30-2011, 01:26 AM

Jon King
12-01-2011, 12:17 AM
"The Mad Girl's Love Song" by Sylvia Plath.

My favorite line is:

I close my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I open them, and all is born again.
I think I made you up inside my head.

I dunno, it just strikes me as beautiful and creepy.

12-01-2011, 12:28 AM
... Howl, by Ginsberg.
Also Quaker Graveyard, by Lowell.
(As to works by other poets it can be tossed in the trash heap for all I care.)

12-01-2011, 01:09 AM
Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen. I wish I could get back the chill I felt when reading it for the first time.

12-01-2011, 04:58 AM
Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen. I wish I could get back the chill I felt when reading it for the first time.

... was worth looking up, to my great surprise.

12-06-2011, 08:48 AM
The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam.

I've never actually read it (shamefully) but there is this bit on my wall:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

I love it!

Favourite poems... Hmm.

'Marriage' by Gregory Corso ("Bring me penguin dust!")

'Not Waving But Drowning' by Stevie Smith

And it's not my favourite but I recently read and liked this:

When they were wild
When they were not yet human
When they could have been anything
I was on the other side ready with milk to lure them,
And their father, too, each name a net in his hands

(Louise Erdrich)

Also, 'The Idea of Order at Key West'

And of course Philip Larkin's 'This Be the Verse'

They fuck 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 fucked 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.

And his last bit from 'An Arundel Tomb' which is so strange given his personality:

Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.


12-06-2011, 08:52 AM
... Howl, by Ginsberg.

'Howl' is mad... I can never figure out how to place it. It's cool though :)

12-06-2011, 08:59 AM
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot

kct webber
12-06-2011, 03:58 PM
The first book of poetry I ever got (when I was maybe 7 or 8) was Stephen Crane. I found it in my 103-year-old neighbor's house, and he gave it to me. (The neighbor was not only alive when Crane was writing, he bought the thing in New York right after it came out in 1899, as I understand it.) I still remember this one, verbatim, to this day.

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

12-06-2011, 04:23 PM
C.L.M by John Masefield, it's the only piece of writing I did, copied from a book, in two years of R.E in school.

12-06-2011, 04:25 PM
As much as I love reading poetry that is new and different to me!!

We must follow the same rules here at AW that apply to song lyrics. So, please... Do not quote entire poems unless we are completely certain that their copyright is in 'public domain'.

*last I checked, in the US, copyright can be assigned to the heirs of a writer for 50 years after their passing - this may have changed*

With that in mind... I wanted to share that most of Richard Brautigan's poetry now belongs to public domain and can be found here:


Including this:

30 Cents, Two Transfers, Love

Thinking hard about you
I got on the bus
and paid 30 cents car fare
and asked the driver for two transfers
before discovering
that I was

12-06-2011, 04:43 PM
I can never figure out how to place it.

... it fits in with Jazz of the era by Charlie Parker and the like. Despite its steady rhythm, its also got a lot of disharmony. "Madness" too:

"the sirens of Los Alamos wail,
the Staten Island ferry also wails,"

paralleling the world's.

01-05-2012, 07:35 PM
Oh and 'In Memoriam A. A. H.' by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Specifically this bit:


There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.

The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.

But in my spirit will I dwell,
And dream my dream, and hold it true;
For tho' my lips may breathe adieu,
I cannot think the thing farewell.

It's a bit odd considering I'm not religious, but Tennyson's evocation of a terrifyingly formless world (which the Victorians were only just discovering at the time) and his attempt to make a sort of spiritual home in the middle of it gives me goosebumps.

I hope it was OK to quote that. It's only a tiny chunk considering how long the poem is!

01-19-2012, 12:44 AM
... neat poem by Tennyson ^^
Plan to read the entirety of it.

Todd Young
01-19-2012, 01:01 AM
The Lady of Shalott