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Good Poems that Everyone Hasn't Read

SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
edited November 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Just like the title says. Post some.

Post The Raven and you will be scourged from the electronic presence of your betters you juvenile lackwit philistine. That freaking William Carlos Williams number about the plums in the icebox will be the last thing to escape your grubbing tapping fingers before the men in black riot gear bust down your door and subject you to Righteous Vengence that involves painful and humiliating penetrations - but not if you are in to that kind of thing and would get off on it you sick degenerate stain on humanity. In that case your plums will be removed.

So Robinson Jeffers is someone I came across today. I like his poems.

robinson-jeffers.jpg
That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Political hatreds.

Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

Speaker on
«13

Posts

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
    My love, you are in my heart.
    It was preordained we should part
    And be reunited by and by.
    Goodbye: no handshake to endure.
    Let's have no sadness — furrowed brow.
    There's nothing new in dying now
    Though living is no newer.

    Sergei Aleksandrovich Yesenin

    always a favourite of mine, though I hope not too popular for the thread at hand.

    Ego on
    Erik
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I like Stephen Crane. His poems don't rely on complex language.

    The most famous ones are maybe
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."
    and
    A man feared that he might find an assassin;
    Another that he might find a victim.
    One was more wise than the other.
    I also kinda like
    There was a land where lived no violets.
    A traveller at once demanded: "Why?"
    The people told him:
    "Once the violets of this place spoke thus:
    'Until some woman freely gives her lover
    To another woman
    We will fight in bloody scuffle.'"
    Sadly the people added:
    "There are no violets here."

    But the best is
    I was in the darkness;
    I could not see my words
    Nor the wishes of my heart.
    Then suddenly there was a great light --

    "Let me into the darkness again."

    deadonthestreet on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    "Vilanelle" WH Auden

    Time can say nothing but I told you so,
    Time only knows the price we have to pay;
    If I could tell you, I would let you know.

    If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
    If we should stumble when musicians play,
    Time can say nothing but I told you so.

    There are no fortunes to be told, although
    Because I love you more than I can say,
    If I could tell you, I would let you know.

    The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
    There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
    Time can say nothing but I told you so.

    Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
    The vision seriously intends to stay;
    If I could tell you, I would let you know.

    Suppose the lions all get up and go,
    And all the brooks and soldiers run away?
    Time can say nothing but I told you so.
    If I could tell you, I would let you know.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    "Late Air," Elizabeth Bishop

    From a magician’s midnight sleeve
    the radio-singers
    distribute all their love-songs
    over the dew-wet lawns.
    And like a fortune-teller’s
    their marrow-piercing guesses are whatever you believe.

    But on the Navy Yard aerial I find
    better witnesses
    for love on summer nights.
    Five remote lights
    keep their nests there; Phoenixes
    burn quietly, where the dew cannot climb.

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  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I like that one. I'll have to look up Elizabeth Bishop.

    Speaker on
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Digging, By Seamus Heaney
    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

    Under my window a clean rasping sound
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
    My father, digging. I look down

    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.

    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
    He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
    To scatter new potatoes that we picked
    Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

    By God, the old man could handle a spade,
    Just like his old man.

    My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner's bog.
    Once I carried him milk in a bottle
    Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
    To drink it, then fell to right away
    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
    Over his shoulder, digging down and down
    For the good turf. Digging.

    The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
    Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
    Through living roots awaken in my head.
    But I've no spade to follow men like them.

    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I'll dig with it.

    RMS Oceanic on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    I like that one. I'll have to look up Elizabeth Bishop.

    Elizabeth Bishop, along with James Merrill and Ezra Pound, is my favorite poet.

    edit* I suggest getting Geography III, a single volume which was rereleased in the FSG Classics imprint.

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2009
    Carrion Comfort, by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

    NOT, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
    Not untwist -- slack they may be -- these last strands of man
    In me or, most weary cry "I can no more." I can;
    Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
    But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
    Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
    With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
    O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

    Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
    Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
    Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
    Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
    Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
    Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

    Bogart on
  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker, I love you.
    Dean Young wrote:
    Upon Hearing of My Friend's Marriage Breaking Up, I Envision Attack
    From Outer Space


    Even in September noon, the ground hog
    casts his diving shadow: summer will never
    end and when it does it will never come again.
    I've only the shadows of doubts, shadows
    of a notion. The leaves turn in tarnished
    rain like milk. Hearts, rotund with longing,
    explode like dead horses left in a creek,
    our intentions misunderstood, misrepresented
    like that day they turned the candles
    upside down, thumped them out and we all
    lost our jobs. Nothing personal. Handshakes around.
    Of course we're not guilty
    of what we've been accused of
    but we're guilty of so much else, what's it matter,
    I heard on the radio. I hate the radio,
    how it pretends to be your friend.
    You could be eating, you could be driving around
    and then you're screaming, What, what did that fucker say
    but by then it's someone else with the voice
    of air conditioning saying, Take cover,
    storm on the way. It's amazing
    word hasn't gotten back to us from irritated
    outer space how some creatures of spine and light
    have finally had enough. Shut up, they beep back
    but we're so dense, so unevolved, we think
    it's just the usual interference: Bill next door
    blending his Singapore Slings during Wheel
    of Fortune. Right now they're working on something
    that'll make our fillings fall out,
    turn our checking accounts to dust,
    something far more definitive.
    There's a man starting his mower in the bedroom.
    There's a woman burning photos in the sink.
    I hate the phone, how it pretends to be
    your friend, but I called you anyway,
    got some curt, inchoate message that means
    everyone's miserable, little shreds of your heart
    rain down on me, twitching like slivered worms.
    Upstairs, they're overflowing the tub again,
    they're doing that Euripidean dance. I knew
    a guy in college who stuck his head through a wall.
    It seemed to decide something, to make us all
    feel grateful, restored to simple things:
    cars starting, cottage cheese, Larry, Curly, Mo.
    It was, of course, a thin wall, a practice wall,
    a wall between nowhere and nowhere's bedroom,
    nothing like that 16th century woodcut
    where the guy pokes through the sky into
    the watchback of the cosmos. Tick, tick.
    The cosmos gives me the creeps.
    I like a decent chair where you can sit
    and order a beer, be smiled at while you wait
    for a friend who just had his sutures removes,
    who rolls a quarter across his knuckles
    to get them working again.
    I Know a Man

    As I sd to my
    friend, because I am
    always talking,—John, I

    sd, which was not his
    name, the darkness sur-
    rounds us, what

    can we do against
    it, or else, shall we &
    why not, buy a goddamn big car,

    drive, he sd, for
    christ’s sake, look
    out where yr going.

    MrMister on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    Carrion Comfort, by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

    NOT, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
    Not untwist -- slack they may be -- these last strands of man
    In me or, most weary cry "I can no more." I can;
    Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
    But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
    Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
    With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
    O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

    Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
    Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
    Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
    Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
    Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
    Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

    That's a fairly widely-taught poem, but Hopkins is an excellent poet of meter and rhyme.

    Evil Multifarious on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    Carrion Comfort, by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

    NOT, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
    Not untwist -- slack they may be -- these last strands of man
    In me or, most weary cry "I can no more." I can;
    Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
    But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
    Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
    With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
    O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

    Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
    Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
    Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
    Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
    Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
    Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

    That's a fairly widely-taught poem, but Hopkins is an excellent poet of meter and rhyme.

    Spring Rhythm, bitches. Anyone interested in metrics should read Poetic Meter and Poetic Form by Paul Fussell. It is incredibly detailed and one of my favorite books.


    "Erat Hora," Ezra Pound


    "Thank you, whatever comes." And then she turned

    And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers

    Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,

    Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes

    One hour was sunlit, and the most high gods

    May not make boast of any better thing

    Than to have watched that hour as it passed.

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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest 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
    Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

    GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
    Dim, through the misty panes 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, 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
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Death

    He's dead
    the dog won't have to
    sleep on his potatoes
    any more to keep them
    from freezing

    he's dead
    the old bastard -
    he's a bastard because

    there's nothing
    legitimate in him any
    more
    he's dead
    he's sick-dead

    he's
    a godforsaken curio
    without
    any breath in it

    he's nothing at all
    he's dead
    shrunken up to skin

    Put his head on
    one chair and his
    feet on another and
    he'll lie there
    like an acrobat -

    Love's beaten. He
    beat it. That's why
    he's insufferable -

    because
    he's here needing a
    shave and making love
    an inside howl
    of anguish and defeat -

    he's come out of the man
    and he's let
    the man go -
    the liar

    Dead
    his eyes
    rolled up out of
    the light - a mockery

    which
    love cannot touch -

    just bury it
    and hide its face
    for shame.

    setrajonas on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Dulce et Decomrum is a very very well known poem, DUE.

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2009
    That's a fairly widely-taught poem.

    I know one about comparing somebody to a summer's day I'm sure will be new to you.

    Bogart on
  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fire as Verb and Noun
    Working from a carefully developed understanding of his place in an
    oppressed culture, [Alexie] focuses on the need to tear down obstacles
    before nature tears them down. Fire is therefore a central metaphor: a
    sister and brother-in-law killed, a burnt hand, cars aflame.
    —Publisher’s Weekly

    Sherman, I’m so sorry your sister was killed by a metaphor.

    —Donna Brook

    1.

    Fire, then
    turn the page and

    2.

    more fire.

    3.

    I know only a little about it:
    fire.
    There is something about the color
    of the flames that can reveal
    what chemicals fuel the fire.
    I remember that simple fact.
    What color are the flames that rise
    off a burning body?
    What color were the flames that rose
    off my sister’s and brother-in-law’s bodies?
    If they were the same color
    does that mean they loved each other?
    If they were different
    does that mean they were soon to be divorced?
    Maybe I should strike a match
    to my skin and use the light
    to search for the perfect woman
    and hold her tightly
    against my flames until

    4.

    she collapses into ash.

    5.

    If I were, let’s say, to come across a burning house
    on the way back home from the supermarket
    could I change the color of the flames
    if I emptied the contents of my shopping bags
    onto the blaze? Would the firemen run from hydrant
    to hydrant and dodge Golden Delicious apples
    while the station house Dalmation licked
    the puddle of Pepsi as the old white man
    cursed me for wasting the food
    which could feed all of the Third World?
    So many questions
    and then a Holocaust here, a Holocaust there

    6.

    a Holocaust everywhere.

    7.

    Let’s say I am a Jew.
    I am a Jew
    who lost a sister and brother-in-law
    in the ovens
    during World War II. No, let’s say
    I am an American
    Indian who had heated bayonets
    held against his hands
    until they blistered
    and blossomed open. No, let’s say
    this all happened to me
    because I can’t tell the difference
    between the size of a metaphor
    and the temperature
    of the flame. No, let’s say
    I only believe in two metaphors:
    God and God
    as the Burning Bush
    which uses our questions
    like kindling.

    8.

    On the application for a driver’s license, they will ask you this: What do
    you do, as you are driving down the freeway toward a car aflame with
    the passenger still trapped inside, when a flicker of insecurity becomes a
    sudden roar inside you and convinces you there is somebody driving behind
    you who is much more deserving of saving a life?

    9.

    a. You drive past the burning car to the next exit, pull into the closest
    parking lot, and weep violently.
    b. You stop the car, open your door, roll to the pavement, and wave
    your arms wildly, as if you were a small bird too small for flight.
    c. You call your mother on your cellular phone and blame her for
    everything that’s gone wrong in your life.
    d. You search the radio stations for news of the next solar eclipse.

    10.

    e. None of the above.

    11.

    What do you do
    when your sister burns
    like a bad firework?
    She sparks
    and sputters
    smokes uselessly
    and leaves
    only a shell
    a husk
    and the smell
    and the smell
    and the smell and

    12.

    it smells exactly like what it is.

    13.

    There is a grave on the Spokane Indian Reservation
    where my sister is buried. I can take you there.
    Ai wrote:
    The Mother's Tale

    Once when I was young, Juanito,
    there was a ballroom in Lima
    where Hernan, your father,
    danced with another woman
    and I cut him across the cheek
    with a pocketknife.
    Oh, the pitch of music sometimes,
    the smoke and rustle of crinoline.
    But what things to remember know
    on your wedding day.
    I pour a kettle of hot water
    into the wooden tub where you are sitting.
    I was young, free.
    But Juanito, how free is a woman?—-
    born with Eve’s sin between her legs,
    and inside her,
    Lucifer sits on a throne of abalone shells,
    his staff with the head of John the Baptist
    skewered on it.
    And in judgment, son, in judgment he says
    that women will bear the fruit of the tree
    we wished so much to eat
    and that fruit will devour us
    generation by generation,
    so my son,
    you must beat Rosita often.
    She must know the weight of a man’s hand,
    the bruises that are like the wound of Christ.
    Her blood that is black at the heart
    must flow until it is red and pure as His.
    And she must be pregnant always
    if not with child
    then with the knowledge
    that she is alive because of you.
    That you can take her life
    more easily than she creates it,
    that suffering is her inheritance from you
    and through you, from Christ,
    who walked on his mother’s body
    to be the King of Heaven.

    MrMister on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Dulce et Decomrum is a very very well known poem, DUE.

    Yeah. I know.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Poetic Meter and Poetic Form is a fantastic book that everyone should read if they're taking an English class at all

    Evil Multifarious on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Poetic Meter and Poetic Form is a fantastic book that everyone should read if they're taking an English class at all

    ^5

    /pulloutatomicwedgie

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  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    You are coming so close to violating the rules of this thread that I feel compelled to warn you that while your exact address has not been given to the barbaric men in black who police its sanctified code they have been spotted in your area and are particularly crazed with bloodlust, and virulent sleepless rage that hunts unblinkingly for a victim.

    Speaker on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    You are coming so close to violating the rules of this thread that I feel compelled to warn you that while your exact address has not been given to the barbaric men in black who police its sanctified code they have been spotted in your area and are particularly crazed with bloodlust, and virulent sleepless rage that hunts unblinkingly for a victim.

    Sigh. Okay. I'm leaving. I am sorry.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaking of metrically interesting poems, I defy anyone to read this one aloud and not get into the rhythm:

    Moriturus


    If I could have
    Two things in one:
    The peace of the grave,
    And the light of the sun;

    My hands across
    My thin breast-bone,
    But aware of the moss
    Invading the stone,

    Aware of the flight
    Of the golden flicker
    With his wing to the light;
    To hear him nicker

    And drum with his bill
    On the rotted window;
    Snug and still
    On a gray pillow

    Deep in the clay
    Where digging is hard,
    Out of the way,–
    The blue shard

    Of a broken platter–
    If I might be
    Insensate matter
    With sensate me

    Sitting within,
    Harking and prying,
    I might begin
    To dicker with dying.

    For the body at best
    Is a bundle of aches,
    Longing for rest;
    It cries when it wakes

    "Alas, ‘tis light!"
    At set of sun
    "Alas, ‘tis night,
    And nothing done!"

    Death, however,
    Is a spongy wall,
    Is a sticky river,
    Is nothing at all.

    Summon the weeper,
    Wail and sing;
    Call him Reaper,
    Angel, King;

    Call him Evil
    Drunk to the lees,
    Monster, Devil–
    He is less than these.

    Call him Thief,
    The Maggot in the Cheese,
    The Canker in the Leaf–
    He is less than these.

    Dusk without sound,
    Where the spirit by pain
    Uncoiled, is wound
    To spring again;

    The mind enmeshed
    Laid straight in repose,
    And the body refreshed
    By feeding the rose–

    These are but visions;
    These would be
    The grave's derisions,
    Could the grave see.

    Here is the wish
    Of one that died
    Like a beached fish
    On the ebb of the tide:

    That he might wait
    Till the tide came back,
    To see if a crate,
    Or a bottle, or a black

    Boot, or an oar,
    Or an orange peel
    Be washed ashore . . . .
    About his heel

    The sand slips;
    The last he hears
    From the world's lips
    Is the sand in his ears.

    What thing is little?–
    The aphis hid
    In a house of spittle?
    The hinge of the lid

    Of the spider's eye
    At the spider's birth?
    "Greater am I
    By the earth's girth

    "Than Mighty Death!"
    All creatures cry
    That can summon breath–
    And speak no lie.

    For he is nothing;
    He is less
    Than Echo answering
    "Nothingness!"–

    Less than the heat
    Of the furthest star
    To the ripening wheat;
    Less by far,

    When all the lipping
    Is said and sung,
    Than the sweat dripping
    From a dog's tongue.

    This being so,
    And I being such,
    I would liever go
    On a cripple's crutch,

    Lopped and felled;
    Liever be dependent
    On a chair propelled
    By a surly attendant

    With a foul breath,
    And be spooned my food,
    Than go with Death
    Where nothing good,

    Not even the thrust
    Of the summer gnat,
    Consoles the dust
    For being that.

    Needy, lonely,
    Stitched by pain,
    Left with only
    The drip of the rain

    Out of all I had;
    The books of the wise,
    Badly read
    By other eyes,

    Lewdly bawled
    At my closing ear;
    Hated, called
    A lingerer here–

    Withstanding Death
    Till Life be gone,
    I shall treasure my breath,
    I shall linger on.

    I shall bolt my door
    With a bolt and a cable;
    I shall block my door
    With a bureau and table;

    With all my might
    My door shall be barred.
    I shall put up a fight,
    I shall take it hard.

    With his hand on my mouth
    He shall drag me forth,
    Shrieking to the south
    And clutching at the north.

    Hachface on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Do Shakespeare sonnets count as stuff everyone hasn't read? Because I doubt everyone has read all of them and there's a couple I really like.

    Henroid on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    /pullout

    i never don't

    the rites for Cousin Vit

    Carried her unprotesting out the door.
    Kicked back the casket-stand. But it can't hold her,
    That stuff and satin aiming to enfold her,
    The lid's contrition nor the bolts before.
    Oh oh. Too much. Too much. Even now, surmise,
    She rises in the sunshine. There she goes,
    Back to the bars she knew and the repose
    In love-rooms and the things in people's eyes.
    Too vital and too squeaking. Must emerge.
    Even now she does the snake-hips with a hiss,
    Slops the bad wine across her shantung, talks
    Of pregnancy, guitars and bridgework, walks
    In parks or alleys, comes haply on the verge
    Of happiness, haply hysterics. Is.

    -Gwendolyn Brooks

    Evil Multifarious on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    hah, I was going to post Be Angry at the Sun when I saw this thread title

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Philosopher King The AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Buffalo Bill's
    defunct
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    stallion
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    Jesus

    he was a handsome man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    Mister Death

    e e cummings is rad.

    LoserForHireX on
    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    John Donne isn't that popular, right?

    Air and Angels

    TWICE or thrice had I loved thee,
    Before I knew thy face or name;
    So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
    Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be.
    Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
    Some lovely glorious nothing did I see.
    But since my soul, whose child love is,
    Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
    More subtle than the parent is
    Love must not be, but take a body too;
    And therefore what thou wert, and who,
    I bid Love ask, and now
    That it assume thy body, I allow,
    And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.
    Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
    And so more steadily to have gone,
    With wares which would sink admiration,
    I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught;
    Thy every hair for love to work upon
    Is much too much; some fitter must be sought;
    For, nor in nothing, nor in things
    Extreme, and scattering bright, can love inhere;
    Then as an angel face and wings
    Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
    So thy love may be my love's sphere;
    Just such disparity
    As is 'twixt air's and angels' purity,
    'Twixt women's love, and men's, will ever be.

    Crimson King on
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    Do Shakespeare sonnets count as stuff everyone hasn't read? Because I doubt everyone has read all of them and there's a couple I really like.

    I would say as long as you avoid #1 and #18.

    But really, if people just start posting a bunch of them the lot of your should be rounded up with the contents of the Harvard Antiquities collection tied to your neck and flung into water that is just deep enough for you to drown but just shallow enough that you spend your last wretched minutes in a frenzied pathetic struggle to break the surface for air.

    And then the minnows should come and eat your eyes.

    Speaker on
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This might be verging on "really fucking popular", but I've always liked it anyway. Besides, I think I'm ready for the men in black.
    The tide rises, the tide falls,
    The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
    Along the sea-sands damp and brown
    The traveler hastens toward the town,
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.
    Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
    But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;
    The little waves, with their soft, white hands
    Efface the footprints in the sands,
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.
    The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
    Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
    The day returns, but nevermore
    Returns the traveler to the shore.
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.

    CycloneRanger on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    Do Shakespeare sonnets count as stuff everyone hasn't read? Because I doubt everyone has read all of them and there's a couple I really like.

    I would say as long as you avoid #1 and #18.

    But really, if people just start posting a bunch of them the lot of your should be rounded up with the contents of the Harvard Antiquities collection tied to your neck and flung into water that is just deep enough for you to drown but just shallow enough that you spend your last wretched minutes in a frenzied pathetic struggle to break the surface for air.

    And then the minnows should come and eat your eyes.

    I'll only post the one favorite then, which is #130.
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    Henroid on
  • PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    These aren't exactly obscure but
    Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
    The proper study of Mankind is Man.
    Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
    A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
    With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
    With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
    He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
    In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
    In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
    Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
    Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
    Whether he thinks too little, or too much;
    Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
    Still by himself, abus'd or disabus'd;
    Created half to rise and half to fall;
    Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
    Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
    The glory, jest and riddle of the world.
    and Spoilered for length
    S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
    A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
    Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
    Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
    Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
    Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
    Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherized upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question...
    Oh, do not ask, `` What is it? ''
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
    The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
    Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening.
    Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains.
    Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys.
    Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
    And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

    And indeed there will be time
    For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
    Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
    There will be time, there will be time
    To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
    There will be time to murder and create,
    And time for all the works and days of hands
    That lift and drop a question on your plate;
    Time for you and time for me.
    And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
    And for a hundred visions and revisions,
    Before the taking of a toast and tea.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.

    And indeed there will be time
    To wonder, ``Do I dare?'' and, ``Do I dare?''
    Time to turn back and descend the stair,
    With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
    [They will say: ``How his hair is growing thin!'']
    My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
    My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
    [They will say: ``But how his arms and legs are thin!'']
    Do I dare
    Disturb the universe?
    In a minute there is time
    For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

    For I have known them all already, known them all:
    Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
    I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
    I know the voices dying with a dying fall
    Beneath the music from a farther room.
    So how should I presume?

    And I have known the eyes already, known them all--
    The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
    And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
    When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
    Then how should I begin
    To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
    And how should I presume?

    And I have known the arms already, known them all--
    Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
    [But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
    Is it perfume from a dress
    That makes me so digress?
    Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
    And should I then presume?
    And how should I begin?
    . . . . .
    Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
    And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
    Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
    . . . . .
    And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep. . . tired . . . or it malingers,
    Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
    Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet--and here's no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
    And in short, I was afraid.

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
    Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
    Would it have been worth while,
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
    To say: `` I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all''--
    If one, settling a pillow by her head,
    Should say: ``That is not what I meant at all.
    That is not it, at all.''

    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    Would it have been worth while,
    After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
    After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor--
    And this, and so much more?--
    It is impossible to say just what I mean!
    But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
    Would it have been worth while
    If one, settling a pillow, or throwing off a shawl,
    And turning toward the window, should say:
    ``That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all.''
    . . . . .
    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous--
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

    I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.


    I do not think that they will sing to me.

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

    Bogart wrote: »
    That's a fairly widely-taught poem.

    I know one about comparing somebody to a summer's day I'm sure will be new to you.

    Whose woods these are I think I know.....

    PantsB on
    11793-1.png
    day9gosu.png
    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    Speaker wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    Do Shakespeare sonnets count as stuff everyone hasn't read? Because I doubt everyone has read all of them and there's a couple I really like.

    I would say as long as you avoid #1 and #18.

    But really, if people just start posting a bunch of them the lot of your should be rounded up with the contents of the Harvard Antiquities collection tied to your neck and flung into water that is just deep enough for you to drown but just shallow enough that you spend your last wretched minutes in a frenzied pathetic struggle to break the surface for air.

    And then the minnows should come and eat your eyes.

    I'll only post the one favorite then, which is #130.
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    That's an awesome sonnet.

    Most of the poems I really like are either obviously popular, in a dead language, or limericks. Hillare Belloc's poems are pretty cool, though; I love the rhythm of Tarantella:
    Do you remember an Inn,
    Miranda?
    Do you remember an Inn?
    And the tedding and the spreading
    Of the straw for a bedding,
    And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
    And the wine that tasted of tar?
    And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
    (Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
    Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
    Do you remember an Inn?
    And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
    Who hadn't got a penny,
    And who weren't paying any,
    And the hammer at the doors and the din?
    And the hip! hop! hap!
    Of the clap
    Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
    Of the girl gone chancing,
    Glancing,
    Dancing,
    Backing and advancing,
    Snapping of the clapper to the spin
    Out and in--
    And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
    Do you remember an Inn,
    Miranda?
    Do you remember an Inn?

    Never more;
    Miranda,
    Never more.
    Only the high peaks hoar;
    And Aragon a torrent at the door.
    No sound
    In the walls of the halls where falls
    The tread
    Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
    No sound:
    But the boom
    Of the far waterfall like doom.

    Rhesus Positive on
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    Oh come on. This is the most famous of the Dark Lady sonnets.

    Hachface on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    Oh come on. This is the most famous of the Dark Lady sonnets.

    I dunno what Dark Lady is and I'm not a regular poetry reader (or books for that matter). One of my highschool English teachers brought this to our attention though and it stuck with me.

    And excuse me (princess) for treading on sellout ground of poetry. I'll just leave.

    Henroid on
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I really like this little doggerel by Auden. I'm pretty sure the title refers to the end of the Prague Spring, when the Soviets put a stop to a brief period of democratization in Czechloslovaki.
    W.H. Auden wrote:

    August 1968

    The Ogre does what ogres can,
    Deeds quite impossible for Man,
    But one prize is beyond his reach,
    The Ogre cannot master Speech:
    About a subjugated plain,
    Among its desperate and slain,
    The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
    While drivel gushes from his lips.

    Hachface on
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Prufrock?!?

    Are you trying to bring down The Heat?

    Speaker on
  • celandinecelandine Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Autumn is over the long leaves that love us,
    And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
    Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
    And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.

    The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
    And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
    Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
    With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.
    --Yeats

    Always my favorite. Might be too famous though.

    celandine on
    I write about math here:
    http://numberblog.wordpress.com/
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I think a general moratorium on Shakespeare, Eliot, and Frost would be a good policy.

    Hachface on
  • mightyspacepopemightyspacepope Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I have an English degree. I hate poetry. As you can imagine, I had a bit of a rough time in college. We did read some poems by Billy Collins, though, and he's goddamned incredible.

    Shoveling Snow with Buddha
    by Billy Collins
    In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
    you would never see him doing such a thing,
    tossing the dry snow over a mountain
    of his bare, round shoulder,
    his hair tied in a knot,
    a model of concentration.

    Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
    for what he does, or does not do.

    Even the season is wrong for him.
    In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid?
    Is this not implied by his serene expression,
    that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?

    But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
    one shovelful at a time.
    We toss the light powder into the clear air.
    We feel the cold mist on our faces.
    And with every heave we disappear
    and become lost to each other
    in these sudden clouds of our own making,
    these fountain-bursts of snow.

    This is so much better than a sermon in church,
    I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
    This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
    and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
    I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

    He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
    as if it were the purpose of existence,
    as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
    you could back the car down easily
    and drive off into the vanities of the world
    with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

    All morning long we work side by side,
    me with my commentary
    and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
    until the hour is nearly noon
    and the snow is piled high all around us;
    then, I hear him speak.

    After this, he asks,
    can we go inside and play cards?

    Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
    and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
    while you shuffle the deck.
    and our boots stand dripping by the door.

    Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
    and leaning for a moment on his shovel
    before he drives the thin blade again
    deep into the glittering white snow.

    mightyspacepope on
  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Edna St. Vincent Millay is probably a bit borderline, particularly since I picked up most of these through various classes, but at least it's not Shakespeare:

    Bluebeard

    This door you might not open, and you did;
    So enter now, and see for what slight thing
    You are betrayed. . . . Here is no treasure hid,
    No cauldron, no clear crystal mirroring
    The sought-for truth, no heads of women slain
    For greed like yours, no writhings of distress,
    But only what you see. . . . Look yet again --
    An empty room, cobwebbed and comfortless.
    Yet this alone out of my life I kept
    Unto myself, lest any know me quite;
    And you did so profane me when you crept
    Unto the threshold of this room to-night
    That I must never more behold your face.
    This now is yours. I seek another place.



    Apostrophe To Man

    (On reflecting that the world
    is ready to go to war again)

    Detestable race, continue to expunge yourself, die out.
    Breed faster, crowd, encroach, sing hymns, build
    bombing airplanes;
    Make speeches, unveil statues, issue bonds, parade;
    Convert again into explosives the bewildered ammonia
    and the distracted cellulose;
    Convert again into putrescent matter drawing flies
    The hopeful bodies of the young; exhort,
    Pray, pull long faces, be earnest,
    be all but overcome, be photographed;
    Confer, perfect your formulae, commercialize
    Bacateria harmful to human tissue,
    Put death on the market;
    Breed, crowd, encroach,
    expand, expunge yourself, die out,
    Homo called sapiens.



    Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
    Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
    And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
    To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
    At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
    In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
    Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
    From dusty bondage into luminous air.
    O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
    When first the shaft into his vision shone
    Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
    Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
    Who, though once only and then but far away,
    Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.
    Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies

    Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
    The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
    Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

    Nobody that matters, that is. Distant relatives of course
    Die, whom one never has seen or has seen for an hour,
    And they gave one candy in a pink-and-green stripèd bag, or a jack-knife,
    And went away, and cannot really be said to have lived at all.

    And cats die. They lie on the floor and lash their tails,
    And their reticent fur is suddenly all in motion
    With fleas that one never knew were there,
    Polished and brown, knowing all there is to know,
    Trekking off into the living world.
    You fetch a shoe-box, but it's much too small, because she won't curl up now:
    So you find a bigger box, and bury her in the yard, and weep.

    But you do not wake up a month from then, two months,
    A year from then, two years, in the middle of the night
    And weep, with your knuckles in your mouth, and say Oh, God! Oh, God!
    Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies that matters, – mothers and fathers don't die.

    And if you have said, "For heaven's sake, must you always be kissing a person?"
    Or, "I do wish to gracious you'd stop tapping on the window with your thimble!"
    Tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow if you're busy having fun,
    Is plenty of time to say, "I'm sorry, mother."

    To be grown up is to sit at the table with people who have died, who neither listen nor speak;
    Who do not drink their tea, though they always said
    Tea was such a comfort.

    Run down into the cellar and bring up the last jar of raspberries; they are not tempted.
    Flatter them, ask them what was it they said exactly
    That time, to the bishop, or to the overseer, or to Mrs. Mason;
    They are not taken in.
    Shout at them, get red in the face, rise,
    Drag them up out of their chairs by their stiff shoulders and shake them and yell at them;
    They are not startled, they are not even embarrassed; they slide back into their chairs.

    Your tea is cold now.
    You drink it standing up,
    And leave the house.

    Elendil on
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