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Claire

Poetic Wanderings

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He stood alone in some queer sunless place

Where Armageddon ends. Perhaps he longed

For days he might have lived; but his young face

Gazed forth untroubled: and suddenly there thronged

Round him the hulking Germans that I shot

When for his death my brooding rage was hot.

 

First verse of Enemies by Siegfried Sassoon

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The hand that signed the paper felled a city;

Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,

Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;

These five kings did a king to death.

 

The Hand That signed the Paper - Dylan Thomas

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It was the arrival of the kings

that caught us unawares;

we'd looked in on the woman in the barn,

curiosity you could call it,

something to do on a cold winters night;

we'd wished her well -

that was the best we could do, she was in pain,

and the next thing we knew

she was lying on the straw

- the little there was of it -

and there was this baby in her arms.

 

First verse of 'The Adoration of The Magi' by Christopher Pilling

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The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;

There is no armour against Fate;

Death lays his icy hand on kings:

Sceptre and Crown

Must tumble down,

And in the dust be equal made

With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.

 

 

Death The Leveller - James Shirley

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Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

 

Under my window, a clean rasping sound

When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:

My father, digging. I look down.

 

From 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney

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Some thirty inches from my nose

The frontier of my Person goes

And all the untilled air between

Is private pagus or demesne.

Stranger, unless with bedroom eyes

I beckon you to fraternize,

Beware of rudely crossing it :

I have no gun - but I can spit.

 

W.H. Auden

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The Auden was new to me, Obskua, thanks for posting it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Your trail runs to the westward,

And mine to my own place;

There is water between our lodges,

And I have not seen your face.

 

But since I have read your verses

'Tis easy to guess the rest,-

Because in the hearts of children

There is neither East nor West.

 

By Rudyard Kipling

 

The first two verse of 'To James Whitcomb Riley', (on receiving a copy of his "Rhymes for Children").

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That was a sneaky one Tess! I did try and think of something using one of the Scots words but gave up!

 

His Feet are shod with Gauze-

His Helmet, is of Gold,

His Breast, a Single Onyx

With Chrysophrase, inlaid.His Labor is a Chant-

His Idleness-a Tune-

Oh, for a Bee's experience

Of Clovers, and of Noon!

 

Emily Dickinson

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That was a sneaky one Tess! I did try and think of something using one of the Scots words but gave up!

Isn't it wonderful, impossible to read without a Scottish accent!

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More Kipling!

 

Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!

Hide from your neighbour as much as you please,

But all that has happened, to us you must tell,

Or else we will give you no honey to sell!"

 

First verse of 'The Bee-Boy's Song',

from 'Puck of Pook's Hill'

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And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.

 

from Wordsworth's 'The Tables Turned'

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Oh come with me, and be my love,

I keep a flat for mating.

There's half-an-hour before the bus -

Let's do it while we're waiting.

 

Roger McGough

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Waiting

by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

 

My love will come

will fling open her arms and fold me in them,

will understand my fears, observe my changes.

In from the pouring dark, from the pitch night

without stopping to bang the taxi door

she'll run upstairs through the decaying porch

burning with love and love's happiness,

she'll run dripping upstairs,she won't knock,

will take my head in her hands,

and when she drops her overcoat on a chair,

it will slide to the floor in a blue heap.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not sure if this is permissable, as the linking word is the title of the poem, but doesn't appear in the text.

Unless I alter the link to 'my love', of course!

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Before the Roman came to Rye, or out to Severn strode,

The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.

A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,

And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;

A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread

The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

 

I knew no harm of Bonaparte, and plenty of the Squire,

And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;

But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed

To straighten out the crooked road the English drunkard made,

When you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in out hands,

That night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

 

G.K. Chesterton (poet, and as it turns out, prophet)

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He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

 

The Eagle by Tennyson

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Twas on a lofty vase's side,

Where China's gayest art had dyed

The azure flowers that blow;

Demurest of the tabby kind,

The pensive Selima, reclined,

Gazed on the lake below.

 

Her conscious tail her joy declared;

The fair round face, the snowy beard,

The velvet of her paws,

Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,

Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,

She saw; and purred applause.

 

Thomas Gray - Ode on the death of a favourite cat

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the last few lines of Thomas Hood's 'No!'

 

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,

No comfortable feel in any member--

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

November

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,

Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade

When in eternal lines to time thow grow'st.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

Sonnet 18 - William Shakespeare

 

I couldn't bear to shorten it, sorry!! :)

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Don't apologise, it deserves to be here in its entirety. Hope people feel the same about my offering!

 

Abou Ben Adhem

 

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)

Awoke one night from a deep dreamof peace,

And saw, within the moonlight in his room,

Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

An angel writing in a book of gold: -

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the presence in the room he said,

'What writest thou?' - The vision raised its head,

And with a look made all of sweet accord,

Answered,'The names of those who love the Lord.'

'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'

Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerly still; and said, 'I pray thee then,

Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night

It came again with a great wakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blest,

And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

 

by Leigh Hunt

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I love this one, by Emily Dickinson. Do go and read the rest of it. It reminds me of the huge skies you get when driving round Lincolnshire, and every time I read it, it hangs around in my head for days afterwards.

 

There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter Afternoons—

That oppresses, like the Heft

Of Cathedral Tunes—

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Night - Francis William Bourdillon

 

The night has a thousand eyes,

And the day but one;

Yet the light of the bright world dies

With the dying sun.

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There's a whisper down the line at 11.39

When the Night Mail's ready to depart,

Saying "Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?

We must find him or the train can't start."

All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters

They are searching high and low,

Saying "Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble

Then the Night Mail just can't go."

At 11.42 then the signal's nearly due

And the passengers are frantic to a man--

Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear:

He's been busy in the luggage van!

He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes

And the signal goes "All Clear!"

And we're off at last for the northern part

Of the Northern Hemisphere!

 

Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat - T.S. Eliot

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Yes, I remember Adlestrop -

The name, because one afternoon

Of heat the express-train drew up there

Unwontedly.It was late June.

 

First verse of 'Adlestrop' by Edward Thomas

 

It's the last verse I love!

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