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yes thats a wonderful poem


here's part of Wild Strawberries by Robert Graves


Strawberries that in gardens grow

Are plump and juicy fine,

But sweeter far as wise men know

Spring from the woodland vine.


No need for bowl or silver spoon,

Sugar or spice or cream,

Has the wild berry plucked in June

Beside the trickling stream.

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You lose your love for her and then it is her who is lost.

You tried not to hurt and yet

Everything you touched became a wound.

You tried to mend what cannot be mended,

You tried, neither foolish nor clumsy,

To rescue what cannot be rescued.


You failed,

And now she is elsewhere

And her night and your night

Are both utterly drained.


How easy it would be

If love could be brought home like a lost kitten

Or gathered in like strawberries,

How lovely it would be;

But nothing is ever as perfect as you want it to be


Brian Patten - And nothing is ever as you want to be


(Big hangover that from the days when I thought unrequited love was the coolest, chicest thing on the planet)

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Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”



Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



*Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good . night




Just the first two verses, although I could have copied and pasted the whole poem, as I have this 'bookmarked' on my eMac., so that I can call it up and read it whenever I like!

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I have met them at close of day

Coming with vivid faces

From counter or desk among grey

Eighteenth centuy houses.

I have passed with a nod of the head

Or polite meaningless words,

Or have lingered awhile and said

Polite meaningless words,

And thought before I had done

Of a mocking tale or a gibe

To please a companion

Around the fire at the club,

Being certain that they and I

But lived where motley is worn:

All changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.


(Rather appropriately "Easter 1916" W.B.Yeats).

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Slowly, silently, now the moon

Walks the night in her silver shoon;

This way, and that, she peers, and sees

Silver fruit upon silver trees;

One by one the casements catch

Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;

Couched in his kennel, like a log,

With paws of silver sleeps the dog;

From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep

Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;

A harvest mouse goes scampering by,

With silver claws, and silver eye;

And moveless fish in the water gleam,

By silver reeds in a silver stream.


'Silver' by Walter de la Mare

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Bright yellow, red and orange,

The leaves come down in hosts,

The trees are Indian princes,

But soon they'll turn to ghosts,

The scanty pears and apples,

Hang russet on the bough,

It's Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,

'Twill soon be winter now,

Robin, Robin redbreast,

O Robin Dear,

And well away! My Robin,

For pinching times are near.



This is the middle verse of Goodbye, Goodbye to Summer by William Allingham (1824-1889)

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Only God,my dear,

Could love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.




For Anne Gregory



Tho I was tempted to cheat by using apple for apples and going to Christina Rossetti



My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is glader than all these

Because my love is come to me

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And the slopes and rills in undistinguished grey

Melt away

That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair

Waits me there

In the turret whence the charioteers caught soul

For the goal,

When the king looked, where she looks now, breathless, dumb

Till I come.


Robert Browning - Love Among the Ruines

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The tattered outlaw of the earth,

Of ancient crooked will,

Starve, scourge, deride me - I am dumb,

I keep my secret still.


Fools ! For I also had my hour;

One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout about my ears,

And palms beneath my feet.


From 'The Donkey' - G.K. Chesterton

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How appropriate, to return to 'The Donkey' at Easter!



It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one in three.

'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,

Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?'



First verse only of 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Bloody men are like bloody buses -

You wait for about a year

And as soon as one approaches your stop

Two or three others appear.


You look at them flashing their indicators,

Offering you a ride.

You're trying to read the destinations,

You haven't much time to decide.


If you make a mistake there is no turning back.

Jump off,and you'll stand there and gaze

While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by

And the minutes,the hours, the days.




Bloody Men Wendy Cope

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O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,

Missing so much and so much?

O fat white woman whom nobody loves,

Why do you walk through the fields in gloves,

When the grass is soft as the breast of doves

And shivering sweet to the touch?

O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,

Missing so much and so much?


-- Frances Cornford To a fat lady seen from the train

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When I was a child in the 50s, the world seeemed to be full of single women 'of a certain age', many of them were my school teachers. As I got older, my friends and I felt contempt for these women who had never found a man, and vowed that we would not fall into the pit of spinsterdom. It was not until many years later that I discovered the reason for their single state, and the sacrifice they had made.


In honour of these very private women I am including the whole of


'Dolls' by Robert William Service


She said: "I am too old to play

With dolls," and put them all away,

Into a box, one rainy day.


I think she must have felt some pain,

She looked so long into the rain,

Then sighed: "I'll bring you out again;


"For I'll have little children too,

With sunny hair and eyes of blue

And they will play and play with you.


"And now good-bye, my pretty dears;

There in the dark for years and years,

Dream of your little mother's tears."


Eglantine, Pierrot and Marie Claire,

Topsy and Tiny and Teddy Bear,

Side by side in the coffer there.


Time went by; one day she kneeled

By a wooden Cross in Flanders Field

And wept for the One the earth concealed;


And made a vow she would never wed,

But always be true to the deathless dead,

Until the span of her life be sped.


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


More years went on and they made her wise

By sickness and pain and sacrifice,

With greying tresses and tired eyes.


And then one evening of weary rain,

She opened the old oak box again,

And her heart was clutched with an ancient pain


For there in the quiet dark they lay,

Just as they were when she put them away...

O but it seemed like yesterday!


Topsy and Tiny and Teddy Bear,

Eglantine, Pierrot and Marie Claire,

Ever so hopefully waiting there.


But she looked at them through her blinding tears,

And she said: "You've been patient, my pretty dears;

You've waited and waited all these years.


"I've broken a promise I made so true;

But my heart, my darlings, is broken too:

No little Mothers have I for you.


"My hands are withered, my hair is grey;

Yet just for a moment I'll try to play

With you as I did that long dead day...


"Ah no, I cannot. I try in vain . . .

I stare and I stare into the rain . . .

I'll put you back in your box again.


"Bless you, darlings, perhaps one day,

Some little Mother will find you and play,

And once again you'll be glad and gay.


"But when in the friendly dark I lie,

No one will ever love you as I . . . .

My little children . . . good-bye . . . good-bye."

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Well my rather light offering must have gone through at the same time as Megustaleer's wonderfully moving one. So heres the first verses from Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol


He did not wear his scarlet coat,

For blood and wine are red,

And blood and wine were on his hands

When they found him with the dead,

The poor dead woman whom he loved,

And murdered in her bed.


He walked amongst the Trial Men

In a suit of shabby grey;

A cricket cap was on his head,

And his step seemed light and gay;

But I never saw a man who looked

So wistfully at the day.


I never saw a man who looked

With such a wistful eye

Upon that little tent of blue

Which prisoners call the sky,

And at every drifting cloud that went

With sails of silver by.


I walked, with other souls in pain,

Within another ring,

And was wondering if the man had done

A great or little thing,

When a voice behind me whispered low,

"That fellow's got to swing."


Dear Christ! the very prison walls

Suddenly seemed to reel,

And the sky above my head became

Like a casque of scorching steel;

And, though I was a soul in pain,

My pain I could not feel.


I only knew what hunted thought

Quickened his step, and why

He looked upon the garish day

With such a wistful eye;

The man had killed the thing he loved

And so he had to die.


Yet each man kills the thing he loves

By each let this be heard,

Some do it with a bitter look,

Some with a flattering word,

The coward does it with a kiss,

The brave man with a sword!

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And is it true? For if it is,

No loving fingers tying strings

Around those tissued fripperies,

The sweet and silly Christmas things,

Bath salts and inexpensive scent

And hideous tie so kindly meant,


No love that in a family dwells,

No carolling in frosty air.

Nor all the steeple shaking bells,

Can with this single Truth compare -

That God was Man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine.


The last two verses of 'Christmas' by John Betjeman...my very favourite Christmas poem, I think.


Once upon a time I could recite it!

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Pied Beauty

by Gerard Manley Hopkins




Glory be to God for dappled things—

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.



All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

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MORNING and evening

Maids heard the goblins cry:

"Come buy our orchard fruits,

Come buy, come buy:

Apples and quinces,

Lemons and oranges,

Plump unpecked cherries-

Melons and raspberries,

Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,

Swart-headed mulberries,

Wild free-born cranberries,

Crab-apples, dewberries,

Pine-apples, blackberries,

Apricots, strawberries--

All ripe together

In summer weather--

Morns that pass by,

Fair eves that fly;

Come buy, come buy;

Our grapes fresh from the vine,

Pomegranates full and fine,

Dates and sharp bullaces,

Rare pears and greengages,

Damsons and bilberries,

Taste them and try:

Currants and gooseberries,

Bright-fire-like barberries,

Figs to fill your mouth,

Citrons from the South,

Sweet to tongue and sound to eye,

Come buy, come buy."


First stanza of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. I know it's long but you just don't get the full effect by only giving a few lines, and it's such a sensuous poem I couldn't bear to cut it down completely....although I showed restraint by only putting the first stanza!!


Rest of the poem can be found here:


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Poetry of John Keats (1795-1821)



To Autumn


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,

Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

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Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,

"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice.

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore.

Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.

" 'Tis the wind, and nothing more."


From The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe


I absolutely love the last three poems in this thread....Ode to Autumn is in a similar vein to Goblin Market, they are both just so sensuous, you can almost taste them!


The Raven is equally atmospheric, albeit in a totally different tone!

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They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek by Sir Thomas Wyatt




THEY flee from me that sometime did me seek,

With naked foot stalking in my chamber.

I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek

That are now wild and do not remember

That sometime they put themselves in danger

To take bread at my hand; and now they range

Busily seeking with a continual change.


Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise

Twenty times better; but once in special,

In thin array after a pleasant guise,

When her loose gown did from her shoulders did fall,

And she me caught in her arms long and small,

Therewithall sweetly did me kiss,

And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"


It was no dream, I lay broad waking.

But all is turned thorough my gentleness,

Into a strange fashion of forsaking;

And I have leave to go of her goodness,

And she also to use newfangleness.

But since that I so kindly am served,

I would fain know what she hath deserved.



And I've been waiting for a chance to get this in coz I've loved it for years.

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