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Dear F-list_a favor
icon words_poetry
I do realize Poetry Month is over. Still...

...on my mission101 list
one of my projects under Reading is:

9. Collect 100 favorite poems
11. Make into a book
An idea I snagged from emptyed 's mission101 list

to which I added
10. Marry each poem with artwork and photos

I have it in my mind that I would like to finish this project before I die so...
I can either cut the list back to say...50 poems OR
and even better I have to believe,
I can broaden the definition of favorite
to include not only mine but the favorites of Others.

Which - surprise surprise - is where you come in.

If you would like to add to my potential book,
which will ultimately be given to my now fifteen year old daughter, Lauren, then

please leave me your favorite poem in the comments.
I will create a section for yours separate from mine.
I already have ten --Shelley, Ginsberg, O'Hara, Ashbery, Carroll
(Jabbwocky which is Lauren's favorite at the moment)
and a few I picked from all the wonderful Poetry month posts.

Your poems can be somewhat risque or suggestive,
alter all, she is being raised by me.
And rather short as opposed to seriously long, would probably be preferable.
But, that having been said, my Shelly contribution is 'Adonais', which
if you know the poem, is very very long.

I'll add your username as contributed by...if you want.
And I won't...if you don't.
But the name of the poet would really be nice.

Thanks in advance...if you play. And if you don't, that cool.
There's always next time.

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i have so many favorite poems. i'll have to think about this for a while before adding one. but i'm definitely going to add one.

oh wait, i have mine. this is kind of down there on my favorites list but this one has stuck with me since i first read it.

The Dead

The dead are always looking down on us, they say.
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a long afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.

- Billy Collins

this is another favorite too, possibly my favorite by rilke: http://www.geocities.com/renate_h/french13.html

okay, i'll stop there before i really start getting into poet mode.

I have so many to recommend! I grew up reading poetry.

Since this is for your daughter, I really want to add "Mad Girl's Love Song" by Sylvia Plath. It was my favorite poem when I was 15.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

somewhere i have never travelled - by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Carl Sandburg

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden
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 forever: 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 woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I can't believe how perfect this is because my husband and I took Lauren to Chicago just last summer and she, along with both of us, fell in love with it. what an amazing city, and what a great poem for it. Thank you, thank you, this is going in.

Monet Refuses the Operation

Ack, I have lots of favorites! I will post a few and you can choose whichever one(s) you like best.

Monet Refuses the Operation
by Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the street lights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
on parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Sonnet IX
by Pablo Neruda

There where the waves shatter on the restless rocks
the clear light bursts and enacts its rose,
and the sea-circle shrinks to a cluster of buds,
to one drop of blue salt, falling.

O bright magnolia bursting in the foam,
magnetic transient whose death blooms
and vanishes -- being, nothingness -- forever:
broken salt, dazzling lurch of the sea.

You and I, Love, together we ratify the silence,
while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,
collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:

because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,
galloping water, incessant sand,
we make the only permanent tenderness.

Re: Monet Refuses the Operation

So far, I have received the most wonderful poems, every one a gem, but this may be close to my favorite and not just because I relate completely although I would never be able to describe my own very poor, although not due to old age, eyesight so beautifully.

notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.'

Perfect. Thank you.

I have to echo what someone said, but then didn't do, lol...I have many "favorite" poems, rather like favorite books, it goes by mood. But I will pick one and get back to you with it. Probably something by Sara Teasdale. What a great idea.


PS My husband surprised me with the book on Frank O'Hara that you recc'd so I am looking forward to a good read this weekend.

I looked up some of her poems and I think that this is one of my favorites that I would especially want to pass on to my daughter, or yours as it fits my feelings about finding the right man--mind you, not the perfect man, but the right one.

Because, by Sara Teasdale

Oh, because you never tried
To bow my will or break my pride,
And nothing of the cave-man made
You want to keep me half afraid,
Nor ever with a conquering air
You thought to draw me unaware --
Take me, for I love you more
Than I ever loved before.

And since the body's maidenhood
Alone were neither rare nor good
Unless with it I gave to you
A spirit still untrammeled, too,
Take my dreams and take my mind
That were masterless as wind;
And "Master!" I shall say to you
Since you never asked me to.

'PS My husband surprised me with the book on Frank O'Hara that you recc'd so I am looking forward to a good read this weekend.'

The one by Joe LeSuere? How wonderful of your husband. I hope you like it. It is different because, while it is about O'Hara, it's more about what Joe remembers as he reads the poetry and about the world they lived in. And, remember, he wasn't able to finish it. Let me know what you think.

And as I've told a couple of lovely people leaving me poetry, feel free to leave more than one, that's just fine.

Ha, my favorite poems are not age appropriate but great idea. <3

by the time I get this done, she'll probably be close to 17. Sure there's not one that might be okay. Lauren is relatively sophisticated. Come on, there has to one, please. Bet you're sorry now you commented.

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