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  1. #1

    Your favorites.

    http://www.online-literature.com/shelley_percy/672/

    "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    I met a traveller 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 on 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.

    Beautiful rhythm and word choices. It's also a nice diversion from Shelley's other works, like "Ode to the West Wind," and the other writers of the Romantic Period (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, and Keats). Sure, loving nature is fine, but the futility and paradoxical message of this piece just about sweeps every other poem during the era.

    http://www.geneseo.edu/~easton/humanities/SwiftLady'sDR.html

    "The Lady's Dressing Room" by Jonathan Swift

    I would post this poem in its full form, but it's pretty long.

    Most people think of "Gulliver's Travels" or "A Modest Proposal" when they hear Swift. And although the former is unique and the latter probably the best essay in the history of literature, Swift is most shocking for actually writing an excellent poem. He also uses the word "Shit" in this poem, something that you don't see in a lot of the literature during his time.

    The poem is basically shattering the notion that ladies are very different from men. A man, Strephon, enters a lady's dressing room and finds a lot of disgusting filth that obviously came from the lady of his dreams. A couple of hilarious excerpts, including the pinnacle of the poem during which Swift uses profanity:

    "Hard by a filthy basin stands,
    Fouled with the scouring of her hands;
    The basin takes whatever comes,
    The scrapings of her teeth and gums,
    A nasty compound of all hues,
    For here she spits, and here she spews.
    But oh! it turned poor Strephon's bowels,
    When he beheld and smelt the towels,
    Begummed, besmattered, and beslimed
    With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grimed."

    And the best part of Swift's classic:

    "So things which must not be exprest,
    When plumpt into the reeking chest,
    Send up an excremental smell
    To taint the parts from whence they fell,
    The petticoats and gown perfume,
    Which waft a stink round every room.
    Thus finishing his grand survey,
    Disgusted Strephon stole away
    Repeating in his amorous fits,
    Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!"

    Finally, a rather overlooked piece from Edgar Allen Poe:

    http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/poe/works/.../con_worm.html

    The Conqueror Worm

    Lo! 'tis a gala night
    Within the lonesome latter years!
    An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
    In veils, and drowned in tears,
    Sit in a theatre, to see
    A play of hopes and fears,
    While the orchestra breathes fitfully
    The music of the spheres.
    Mimes, in the form of God on high,
    Mutter and mumble low,
    And hither and thither fly-
    Mere puppets they, who come and go
    At bidding of vast formless things
    That shift the scenery to and fro,
    Flapping from out their Condor wings
    Invisible Woe!

    That motley drama- oh, be sure
    It shall not be forgot!
    With its Phantom chased for evermore,
    By a crowd that seize it not,
    Through a circle that ever returneth in
    To the self-same spot,
    And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
    And Horror the soul of the plot.

    But see, amid the mimic rout
    A crawling shape intrude!
    A blood-red thing that writhes from out
    The scenic solitude!
    It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
    The mimes become its food,
    And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued.

    Out- out are the lights- out all!
    And, over each quivering form,
    The curtain, a funeral pall,
    Comes down with the rush of a storm,
    While the angels, all pallid and wan,
    Uprising, unveiling, affirm
    That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
    And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

    First, the perfection of Poe's construction should always be noted. So many times when people talk about poetry, they forget to mention the godly poetic skill of Poe. It's not just because he writes about dark and dreary things. The technical superiority of his poetry is nearly unrivaled. It flows like almost nothing else. The last couple of lines of this particular poem are surprising and tragic.

  2. #2
    Miniver Cheevy -- Edwin Arlington Robinson

    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.

    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.

    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam's neighbors.

    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.

    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.

    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.

    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.

    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.



    A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

    As virtuous men pass mildly away,
    And whisper to their souls to go,
    Whilst some of their sad friends do say
    The breath goes now, and some say, No:

    So let us melt, and make no noise,
    No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
    'Twere profanation of our joys
    To tell the laity our love.

    Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,
    Men reckon what it did and meant,
    But trepidation of the spheres,
    Though greater far, is innocent.

    Dull sublunary lovers' love
    (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
    Absence, because it doth remove
    Those things which elemented it.

    But we by a love so much refined
    That our selves know not what it is,
    Inter-assur'd of the mind,
    Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

    Our two souls therefore, which are one,
    Though I must go, endure not yet
    A breach, but an expansion,
    Like gold to aery thinness beat.

    If they be two, they are two so
    As stiff twin compasses are two;
    Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
    To move, but doth, if th' other do.

    And though it in the centre sit,
    Yet when the other far doth roam,
    It leans and hearkens after it,
    And grows erect, as that comes home.

    Such wilt thou be to me, who must
    Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
    Thy firmness makes my circle just,
    And makes me end where I begun.




  3. #3
    C.B.
    Guest
    I'll just give some names, well a name I guess, in english ive only ever read Edgar Allen poe. I like Annabel Lee, A dream within a dream, Dreams, To one in Paradise, Alone, various others, but I prefer poetry in Spanish, but I haven't read enough in english I suppose

  4. #4
    Christopher Logue has been writing Homer's Iliad in modern language. The entire work is called War Music and it consists of six books; Kings, The Husbands, War Music, All Day Permanent Red, Homer Cold Calls, and the final book which not been written.

    The book War Music contains Kings, The Husbands, and War Music. The writing is absolutely fantastic. Here is an exerpt from All Day Permanent Red:

    See an East African lion
    Nose tip to tail tuft ten, eleven feet
    Slouching towards you
    Swaying its head from side to side
    Doubling its pace, its gold-black mane
    That stretches down its belly to its groin
    Catching the sunlight as it hits
    Twice its own length a beat, then leaps
    Great forepaws high great claws disclosed
    The scarlet insides of its mouth
    Parting a roar as loud as sail-sized flames
    And lands, slam-scattering the herd.
    "This is how Hector came on us."
    "Don't imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music, or that you can please the expert before you have spent at least as much effort on the art of verse as an average piano teacher spends on the art of music." - Ezra Pound

  5. #5
    Galivanting, this is my favorite Edwin Arlington Robinson piece:

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from head to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But he still fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
    and admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

  6. #6
    Galivanting, this is my favorite Edwin Arlington Robinson piece:

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from head to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But he still fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
    and admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

  7. #7
    Galivanting, this is my favorite Edwin Arlington Robinson piece:

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from head to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But he still fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
    and admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

  8. #8
    wasn't as good the third time.
    Andy
    Performance Dates & Nonsene:
    Hidden Content

  9. #9
    "Child" by Sylvia plath, we only did her poetry vaguely in English class but this was the one that struck me the most, I think its the last three lines that will always stay with me, especially since it was one of the last poems she wrote before she died.

    Child

    Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
    I want to fill it with color and ducks,
    The zoo of the new
    Whose name you meditate --
    April snowdrop, Indian pipe,
    Little

    Stalk without wrinkle,
    Pool in which images
    Should be grand and classical

    Not this troublous
    Wringing of hands, this dark
    Ceiling without a star

  10. #10

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