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11 December 2008 @ 12:53 pm
Ferlinghetti - Coney Island of the Mind  

 

Tell me, what is your favourite poem?

 
 
 
ex_chateaux on December 11th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost:

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


This poem is me, basically. I don't think it will ever stop being my favourite.
unrefin3d.unrefin3d on December 11th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
John Donne
Triple Fool
I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry ;
But where's that wise man, that would not be I,
If she would not deny ?
Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain ;
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when 'tis read.
Both are increasèd by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.

Negative Love
I NEVER stoop'd so low, as they
Which on an eye, cheek, lip, can prey ;
Seldom to them which soar no higher
Than virtue, or the mind to admire.
For sense and understanding may
Know what gives fuel to their fire ;
My love, though silly, is more brave ;
For may I miss, whene'er I crave,
If I know yet what I would have.

If that be simply perfectest,
Which can by no way be express'd
But negatives, my love is so.
To all, which all love, I say no.
If any who deciphers best,
What we know not—ourselves—can know,
Let him teach me that nothing. This
As yet my ease and comfort is,
Though I speed not, I cannot miss.

Song
GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
Miss_Bonzaimiss_bonzai on December 11th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't studied poetry in a long time, so all my favorites are nostalgic.

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allen Poe
Miss_Bonzaimiss_bonzai on December 11th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Runner Up
America

It's long, here's a link: http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88v/america.html

Allen Ginsberg
Re: Runner Up - breathemysoul on December 11th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Runner Up - miss_bonzai on December 11th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Runner Up - alexandra_spy on December 11th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
i guess the winter makes you laugh a little sloweragainstsex on December 11th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
goldthroat on December 11th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
whitman or eliot, no contest
a little sprightly otaybreathemysoul on December 11th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
the moon by Kerouac
The moon her magic be, big sad face
Of infinity. An illuminated clay ball
Manifesting many gentlemanly remarks

She kicks a star, clouds foregather
In Scimitar shape, to round her
Cradle out, upsidedown and old time

You can also let the moon fool you
With imaginary orange-balls
Of blazing imgainary light in fright

As eyeballs, hurt & foregathered,
Wink to the wince of the seeing
Of a little sprightly otay

Which projects spikes of light
Out the round smooth blue balloon
But full of mountains and moons

Deep as the ocean, high as the moon,
Low as the lowest river lagoon
Fish in the Tar and pull in the Spar

Billy the Bud and Hanshan Emperor
And all wall moongazers since
Daniel Machree, Yeats see

Gaze at the moon ocean marking
the face -

In some cases
The moon is you

In any case
The moon.
Caeciliaohcaecilia on December 11th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
sorry to be a whiner and not answer your question, but could you pleeeease resize that image?
homemadehumanhomemadehuman on December 11th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
“Lies I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently”
Raul Gutierrez

Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.
Tiny bears live in drain pipes.
If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.
The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.
Books get lonely too.
Sadness can be eaten.
I will always be there.
(Deleted comment)
wild_flowergirlwild_flowergirl on December 11th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Byron
that is one of my favourites too :)
Bambi Jones.el_bunabla on December 11th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Have you heard Ferlinghetti's recording of A Coney Island of the Mind with Dana Colley? So good.

I don't have a favourite poem, but I've been enjoying Samuel Beckett's & Wislawa Szymborska's lately.
finella lorckbel_ebat on December 11th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
Purple Bathing Suit by Louise Glück

I like watching you garden
with your back to me in your purple bathing suit:
your back is my favorite part of you,
the part furthest away from your mouth.

You might give some thought to that mouth.
Also to the way you weed, breaking
the grass off at ground level
when you should pull it up by the roots.

How many times do I have to tell you
how the grass spreads, your little
pile notwithstanding, in a dark mass which
by smoothing over the surface you have finally
fully obscured? Watching you

stare into space in the tidy
rows of the vegetable garden, ostensibly
working hard while actually
doing the worst job possible, I think

you are a small irritating purple thing
and I would like to see you walk off the face of the earth
because you are all that's wrong with my life
and I need you and I claim you.
finella lorckbel_ebat on December 11th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
"I Confess" Alison Luterman

I stalked her
in the grocery store: her crown
of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness,
the way she placed yogurt and avocados in her basket,
beaming peace like the North Star.
I wanted to ask, "what aisle did you find
your serenity in, do you know how
to be married for 50 years, or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis."
but we don't request these things from strangers
nowadays. So I said "I love your hair."
finella lorckbel_ebat on December 11th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
"Love Letter Written in a Burning Building" Anne Sexton
I am in a crate, the crate that was ours,
full of white shirts and salad greens,
the icebox knocking at our delectable knocks,
and I wore movies in my eyes,
and you wore eggs in your tunnel,
and we played sheets, sheets, sheets
all day, even in the bathtub like lunatics.
But today I set the bed afire
and smoke is filling the room,
it is getting hot enough for the walls to melt,
and the icebox, a gluey white tooth.

I have on a mask in order to write my last words,
and they are just for you, and I will place them
in the icebox saved for vodka and tomatoes,
and perhaps they will last.
The dog will not. Her spots will fall off.
The old letters will melt into a black bee.
The night gowns are already shredding
into paper, the yellow, the red, the purple.
The bed -- well, the sheets have turned to gold --
hard, hard gold, and the mattress
is being kissed into a stone.

As for me, my dearest Foxxy,
my poems to you may or may not reach the icebox
and its hopeful eternity,
for isn't yours enough?
The one where you name
my name right out in P.R.?
If my toes weren't yielding to pitch
I'd tell the whole story --
not just the sheet story
but the belly-button story,
the pried-eyelid story,
the whiskey-sour-of-the-nipple story --
and shovel back our love where it belonged.

Despite my asbestos gloves,
the cough is filling me with black and a red powder seeps through my
veins,
our little crate goes down so publicly
and without meaning it, you see, meaning a solo act,
a cremation of the love,
but instead we seem to be going down right in the middle of a Russian
street,
the flames making the sound of
the horse being beaten and beaten,
the whip is adoring its human triumph
while the flies wait, blow by blow,
straight from United Fruit, Inc.
ilikecapslockilikecapslock on December 11th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
A Brief for the Defense -- Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.
ilikecapslockilikecapslock on December 11th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
and also:

"the crunch (2)" by Charles Bukowski
too much
too little
or too late

too fat
too thin
or too bad

laughter or
tears
or immaculate
unconcern

haters
lovers

armies running through streets of pain
waving wine bottles
bayoneting and fucking everyone

or an old guy in a cheap quiet room
with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
a clock's hands.

there is a lonliness in this world so great
that you can see it in blinking neon
in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich.

people are tired
strafed by life
mutilated by either love or no
love.

we don't need new governments
new revolutions
we don't need new men
new women
we don't need new ways
we just need to care.

people are not good to each other
one on one.
people are just not good to each other.

we are afraid.
we think that hatred signifies
strength.
that punishment is
love.

what we need is less false education
what we need are fewer rules
fewer police
and more good teachers.

we forget the terror of one person
aching in one room
alone
unkissed
untouched
cut off
watering a plant alone
without a telephone that would never
ring
anyway.

people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other.

and the beads swing and the clouds obscure
and dogs piss upon rose bushes
the kill beheads the child like taking a bite
out of an ice cream cone
while the ocean comes in and goes out
in and out
in the thrall of a senseless moon.

and people are not good to eachother.

midnightcalling on December 11th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Love Songs In Age

She kept her songs, they kept so little space,
The covers pleased her:
One bleached from lying in a sunny place,
One marked in circles by a vase of water,
One mended, when a tidy fit had seized her,
And coloured, by her daughter -
So they had waited, till, in widowhood
She found them, looking for something else, and stood

Relearning how each frank submissive chord
Had ushered in
Word after sprawling hyphenated word,
And the unfailing sense of being young
Spread out like a spring-woken tree, wherein
That hidden freshness sung,
That certainty of time laid up in store
As when she played them first. But, even more,

The glare of that much-mentioned brilliance, love,
Broke out, to show
Its bright incipience sailing above,
Still promising to solve, and satisfy,
And set unchangeably in order. So
To pile them back, to cry,
Was hard, without lamely admitting how
It had not done so then, and could not now.

(It's by Philip Larkin. I love it because it's a little narrative about a particular woman but says so much more about love and humanity and art.)