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Thread: What's your favourite poem?

  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
    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 20:18.
    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)

  8. #8
    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 20:32.
    “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

  9. #9
    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!

  10. #10
    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
    ) )

  11. #11
    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

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    John Greenleaf Whittier wrote the first part and I am not sure who added the last part (may have been him for all I know). I saw it written this way once and I liked it:

    "For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

    "Let's add this thought unto this verse,
    It might have been a great deal worse."
    Last edited by THL; 10 Feb 08, at 00:28.
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

  13. #13
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    I also like this one by Charles Hanson Towne:



    Around the corner I have a friend,
    In this great city that has no end;
    Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
    And before I know it a year is gone,

    And I never see my old friend's face,
    For life is a swift and terrible race.
    He knows I like him just as well
    As in the days when I rang his bell

    And he rang mine. We were younger then,
    And now we are busy, tired men:
    Tired with playing a foolish game,
    Tired with trying to make a name.

    "Tomorrow," I say, "I will call on Jim,
    Just to show I am thinking of him."
    But tomorrow comes - and tomorrow goes,
    And the distance between us grows and grows.

    Around the corner! - yet miles away . .
    "Here's the telegram, Sir. . .
    'Jim died today'."
    And that's what we get, and deserve in the end:

    Around the corner, a vanished friend.
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    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
    Four lines Lukins?
    What about the rest?


    I send them over land and sea,
    I send them east and west;
    But after they have worked for me,
    I give them all a rest.

    I let them rest from nine to five,
    For I am busy then,
    As well as breakfast, lunch and tea,
    For they are hungry men.
    But different folk have different views,
    I know a person small-
    She keeps ten million serving-men,
    Who get no rest at all!

    She sends them abroad on her own affairs,
    From the second she opens her eyes-
    One million Hows, two million Wheres,
    And seven million Whys!
    Last edited by glyn; 10 Feb 08, at 00:38.
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

  15. #15
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    W. H. Auden

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