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Favourite poem?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by crazykitty, May 8, 2012.

  1. I'm looking for a little last minute inspiration for poems for my year 11 so they can practise form their unseen poetry exam. Obviously I am hoping that one of these poems will make them finally realise how marvellous poetry can be. [​IMG]
    Can anyone think of a poem that is both accessible and marvellous?
     
  2. You probably cover this one but I love it.
    DULCE ET DECORUM EST(1)
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares(2) we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest(3) began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots(4)
    Of tired, outstripped(5) Five-Nines(6) that dropped behind.
    Gas!(7) Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets(8) just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime(9) . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes(10) and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering,(11) choking, drowning.
    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud(12)
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest(13)
    To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.(15)
    Wilfred Owen
    8 October 1917 - March, 1918
     
  3. Oh and...
    <table cellpadding="4" cellspacing="4" align="center"><tr><td>Night Train by W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)
    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. Her 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?
    </td></tr></table><table cellpadding="4" cellspacing="4" align="center"><tr><td>Night Train by W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)
    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. Her 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?
    </td></tr></table><table cellpadding="4" cellspacing="4" align="center"><tr><td>Night Train by W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)
    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. Her 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?
    </td></tr></table>Night Mail...I love the rhythm.
     
  4. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I like Night Train. Some of the others were a bit difficult to follow to be honest!
     
  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Possibly not suitable for Year 11 but I love the rhythm of this:
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I'll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I'll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don't you take it awful hard
    'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
    Diggin' in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I'll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I've got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history's shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that's rooted in pain
    I rise
    I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.


    Maya Angelou
     
  6. Another one by Carol Ann...
    'Stealing'
     
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Sea Fever - John Masefield

    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

    And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,

    And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

    To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;

    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

    Cargoes - John Masefield

    QUINQUIREME of Nineveh from distant Ophir,

    Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

    With a cargo of ivory,

    And apes and peacocks,

    Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

    Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

    Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,

    With a cargo of diamonds,

    Emeralds, amythysts,

    Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

    Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,

    Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,

    With a cargo of Tyne coal,

    Road-rails, pig-lead,

    Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
     
  8. Some lovely suggestions - thank you.
    I was going to use 'Your Dad Did What?' after being introduced to it on the What makes you cry?' thread, but then realised it was a little too relevant for one of my students so needed a quick replacement. I shall provide the others in a revision pack.
    I love seeing what other people enjoy - great to see which poems I also love, and to be introduced to some new ones! [​IMG]
     
  9. Especially at this time of the year, what about
    Daffodils
    by William Wordsworth?
    Relevant, accessible and marvellous!


     
  10. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    Oh, MSB Thank you so much. I had totally forgotten Sea Fever.
    I had to learn these at school and used to know them by heart but I've forgotten now.
     
  11. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Oh, I had forgotten 'Stealing'! Another guaranteed to bring tears in the lesson. I have loved Duffy for decades. Such a worthy poet laureate. Stealing was the stimulus for some brilliant GCSE Drama work too.
     
  12. Joi

    Joi New commenter

    The Price
    Sometimes it catches when the fumes rise upagainst the kind of life you settled for.
    Stuart Henson
     
  13. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I sometimes I think I'm turning into my mother who found new things difficult to take on board.
    Lots of the poems quoted here seem just like a piece of prose written with short lines and breaks in strange places.[​IMG] Some of them don't even make much sense to me.
    I like real poetry with rhyme and rhythm (if for no other reason than to prove that I can spell both of these words)
    I think it's good to teach the modern poetry but it's sad that the kids don't seem to see the lovely classics that I learnt in school.
     
  14. I loved English at school, and particularly liked studying poems in depth, taking them apart and studying every line. Just reading them, I sometimes feel a bit like Dozymare and know that I am missing something.

    However most of the poems above seemed quite accessible to me - some quite harrowing so I wouldn't want to read them!

    I still remember snatches of poems learned at school - was it Donne - "but at my back I always hear/Time's winged chariot..." and TS Eliot - " ... is the greatest treason/to do the right thing for the wrong reason" (Murder in the Cathedral). We also did Keats' Hyperion but somehow that didn't stick - I don't know why.
     
  15. i adore that poem, but yes, you have to check your audience. What about
    My Parents kept me from children who were rough




    My parents kept me from children who were rough

    and who threw words like stones and who wore torn clothes.

    Their thighs showed through rags. They ran in the street

    And climbed cliffs and stripped by the country streams.

    I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron

    And their jerking hands and their knees tight on my arms.

    I feared the salt coarse pointing of those boys

    Who copied my lisp behind me on the road.

    They were lithe, they sprang out behind hedges

    Like dogs to bark at our world. They threw mud

    And I looked another way, pretending to smile,

    I longed to forgive them, yet they never smiled.
    I'll be using it tomorrow


     
  16. thebigonion

    thebigonion New commenter

    The Horses
    Barely a twelvemonth after
    The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
    Late in the evening the strange horses came.
    By then we had made our covenant with silence,
    But in the first few days it was so still
    We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
    On the second day
    The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
    On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
    Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
    A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
    Nothing. The radios dumb;
    And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
    And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
    All over the world. But now if they should speak,
    If on a sudden they should speak again,
    If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
    We would not listen, we would not let it bring
    That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
    At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
    Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
    Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
    And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
    The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
    They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
    We leave them where they are and let them rust:
    'They'll molder away and be like other loam.'
    We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
    Long laid aside. We have gone back
    Far past our fathers' land.
    And then, that evening
    Late in the summer the strange horses came.
    We heard a distant tapping on the road,
    A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
    And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
    We saw the heads
    Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
    We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
    To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
    As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
    Or illustrations in a book of knights.
    We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
    Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
    By an old command to find our whereabouts
    And that long-lost archaic companionship.
    In the first moment we had never a thought
    That they were creatures to be owned and used.
    Among them were some half a dozen colts
    Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
    Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
    Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
    But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
    Our life is changed; their coming our beginning. Edwin Muir
     
  17. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    I feel we are having a surfeit of this woman who doesn't seem to me to have a poetic bone in her body.
     
  18. I can't get enough of her! Although I am very familiar with these poems so it is nice to be introduced to something new.
    I think I, also, have a soft spot for sad poems. I like a poem that makes me want to cry. Not in front of the year 11s though - they, too, make me want to cry in their own special way.
     
  19. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Which one of these women are you referring to?
     

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