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  1. #1
    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    What's your favourite poem?

    Was just reading this again and wondered, what do the folks at WAB consider as the best poem they ever read?

    Legate, I come to you in tears—My cohort ordered home!
    I’ve served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
    Here is my heart, my soul, my mind—the only life I know.
    I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!

    The Roman Centurion's song - Rudyard Kipling

  2. #2
    Military Professional
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    Kipling is my preferred choice too. Although known as "the soldiers poet" he also excelled when writing about the sea. McAndrews Hymn (1893) will appeal to mariners, engineers and the Scots. Mulhollands Contract (1894) for the religious. the Irish and the drinkers! My favourite is The "Mary Gloster" (1894)
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

  3. #3
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    I have a fair few - T.S Elliot's "The hollow men", "Funeral Blues" by W.H Auden, "Easter 1916", "An Irish airman forsees his death", and "The Wild Swans at Coole", all by W.B Yeats.

    Padraig Pearse's Is Mise Eire, and Irish language poem from which I get my subtitle, is extremely moving, despite being only 4 lines long (Is mise Eire means "I am Ireland" - the poem is writen from Eire's perspective).

    I also adore Seamus Heaney's small snippet that he sent to an English publisher in Protest of being included in a "British Poetry" book (Heaney's proudly Irish and as you should know to be called British is quite an Insult to an Irishman):

    So Be advised,
    My Passport's Green,
    No glass of ours was ever raised
    In toast of the Queen
    - what a legend ) !
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

  4. #4
    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    Just read the mary gloster...yep good stuff
    and of cource have to mention High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor texasjohn's Avatar
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    Charge of the Light Brigade.

  6. #6
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    "Please Mother, don't stab Father with the bread knife.

    Remember, twas a gift when you were wed.

    But if you must stab Father with the bread knife,

    please Mother, use another for the bread."

    Robert Service
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  7. #7
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    "Please Mother, don't stab Father with the bread knife.

    Remember, twas a gift when you were wed.

    But if you must stab Father with the bread knife,

    please Mother, use another for the bread."

    Robert Service
    ) )

  8. #8
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Kipling..this one is just four lines but says a lot.

    I keep six serving honest men,
    (They taught me all I knew),
    Their names are What and Why and When
    and How and Where and Who



    It's about questioning life..but means different things to different people

  9. #9
    Military Professional sappersgt's Avatar
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    "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden".

    It's very touching in English but has a real ring to it in German.

    I read it at my company Sergeants funeral, first in the original German and then had his son read it in English. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

    Ich hatt' einen Kameraden, Einen bessern findst du nit.
    Last edited by sappersgt; 09 Feb 08, at 19:18.
    Reddite igitur quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo
    (Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's)

  10. #10
    Pocket Ashley's Mom Military Professional Southie's Avatar
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    Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. A beautiful poem about a real woman!!

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I'm telling lies.
    I say,
    It's in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It's the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    Men themselves have wondered
    What they see in me.
    They try so much
    But they can't touch
    My inner mystery.
    When I try to show them
    They say they still can't see.
    I say,
    It's in the arch of my back,
    The sun of my smile,
    The ride of my breasts,
    The grace of my style.
    I'm a woman

    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head's not bowed.
    I don't shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.
    When you see me passing
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It's in the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    the palm of my hand,
    The need of my care,
    'Cause I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.
    Last edited by Southie; 09 Feb 08, at 19:32.
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11
    Bluesman's beloved Military Professional Capt Bluesman's Avatar
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    I like Shakespeare's sonnet 130, with the idea that we are not loved because we are beautiful, but beautiful because we are loved.

    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 damasked, 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.

    I also like this 16th century english lyric, by an unkown author. I can feel just how cold and lonely the author must have been.

    Western wind, when will thou blow
    The small rain down can rain?
    Christ, if my love were in my arms
    And I in my bed again!

  12. #12
    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    How clear, how lovely bright,
    How beautiful to sight
    Those beams of morning play;
    How heaven laughs out with glee
    Where, like a bird set free,
    Up from the eastern sea
    Soars the delightful day.

    To-day I shall be strong,
    No more shall yield to wrong,
    Shall squander life no more;
    Days lost, I know not how,
    I shall retrieve them now;
    Now I shall keep the vow
    I never kept before.

    Ensanguining the skies
    How heavily it dies
    Into the west away;
    Past touch and sight and sound
    Not further to be found,
    How hopeless under ground
    Falls the remorseful day.

    AE Houseman

  13. #13
    Senior Reader Senior Contributor entropy's Avatar
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    Roses are red

    Violets are blue

    Holomorphic functions are boring

    And so are Fourier transforms

  14. #14
    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropy View Post
    Roses are red

    Violets are blue

    Holomorphic functions are boring

    And so are Fourier transforms
    Aieee!!! mathematics!!! the horror, the horror.......

  15. #15
    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!"

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought --
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    "And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
    He chortled in his joy.

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Lewis Caroll -The Jabberwocky

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