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  #61  
Old 20.12.2009, 09:49
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

Περιμένοντας τους Βαρβάρους
Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης


—Τι περιμένουμε στην αγορά συναθροισμένοι;
Είναι οι βάρβαροι να φθάσουν σήμερα.
—Γιατί μέσα στην Σύγκλητο μια τέτοια απραξία;
Τι κάθοντ' οι Συγκλητικοί και δεν νομοθετούνε;
—Γιατί οι βάρβαροι θα φθάσουν σήμερα.
Τι νόμους πια θα κάμουν οι Συγκλητικοί;
Οι βάρβαροι σαν έλθουν θα νομοθετήσουν.
—Γιατί ο αυτοκράτωρ μας τόσο πρωί σηκώθη,
και κάθεται στης πόλεως την πιο μεγάλη πύλη
στον θρόνο επάνω, επίσημος, φορώντας την κορώνα;
—Γιατί οι βάρβαροι θα φθάσουν σήμερα.
Κι ο αυτοκράτωρ περιμένει να δεχθεί
τον αρχηγό τους. Μάλιστα ετοίμασε
για να τον δώσει μια περγαμηνή. Εκεί
τον έγραψε τίτλους πολλούς κι ονόματα.
—Γιατί οι δυο μας ύπατοι κ' οι πραίτορες εβγήκαν
σήμερα με τες κόκκινες, τες κεντημένες τόγες·
γιατί βραχιόλια φόρεσαν με τόσους αμεθύστους,
και δαχτυλίδια με λαμπρά γυαλιστερά σμαράγδια·
γιατί να πιάσουν σήμερα πολύτιμα μπαστούνια
μ' ασήμια και μαλάματα έκτακτα σκαλισμένα;
Γιατί οι βάρβαροι θα φθάσουν σήμερα·
και τέτοια πράγματα θαμπόνουν τους βαρβάρους.
—Γιατί κ' οι άξιοι ρήτορες δεν έρχονται σαν πάντα
να βγάλουνε τους λόγους τους, να πούνε τα δικά τους;
Γιατί οι βάρβαροι θα φθάσουν σήμερα·
κι αυτοί βαριούντ' ευφράδειες και δημηγορίες.
—Γιατί ν' αρχίσει μονομιάς αυτή η ανησυχία
κ' η σύγχυσις. (Τα πρόσωπα τι σοβαρά που έγιναν).
Γιατί αδειάζουν γρήγορα οι δρόμοι κ' οι πλατέες,
κι όλοι γυρνούν στα σπίτια τους πολύ συλλογισμένοι;
Γιατί ενύχτωσε κ' οι βάρβαροι δεν ήλθαν.
Και μερικοί έφθασαν απ' τα σύνορα,
και είπανε πως βάρβαροι πια δεν υπάρχουν.
Και τώρα τι θα γένουμε χωρίς βαρβάρους.
Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί ήσαν μια κάποια λύσις.


English translation: http://users.hol.gr/~barbanis/cavafy/barbarians.html
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  #62  
Old 21.12.2009, 19:49
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

Not sure if it can be called *poem* but I appreciate to read it.


I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.


@gata : impressive poem, will definitely try to learn some Greek

@ Moonlightshadow : that's more than a poem for me.....
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  #63  
Old 21.12.2009, 22:14
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

@Bertrand

Yes, for me too. I´m sure we´ll never forget that.
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  #64  
Old 21.12.2009, 22:31
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

hmm...there's an old thread on the same topic...

in any case, one of my fav is Sonnet 30
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  #65  
Old 21.12.2009, 22:34
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

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Και τώρα τι θα γένουμε χωρίς βαρβάρους.
Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί ήσαν μια κάποια λύσις.
This poem should be nailed to the desk of every President and Prime Minister on the planet.

Wise words! Thank you, Gata.
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  #66  
Old 21.12.2009, 22:41
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

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This poem should be nailed to the desk of every President and Prime Minister on the planet.

Wise words! Thank you, Gata.
And i remember when we were forced to learn his poems at school everybody was laughing at the more "risque" jokes. Kavafis was gay by the way

Its only after leaving school that we appreciate them
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  #67  
Old 21.12.2009, 23:16
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

i can't choose a favorite... i have many but here is one i do love...
sherman alexie:

Little Big Man

I got eyes, Jack, that can see
an ant moving along the horizon
can pull four bottles shattering
down from the sky and recognize
the eyes of a blind man

who told me once, The future is yours
and I believed him until he left me
without a campfire, without an axe
to chop down a tree and build myself
a chair, house, cold drink.

Jack, how much pain is there
in the world? I think there's only one kind
and we all keep moving around it in circles
like clumsy pioneers, over the same ground
until the landscape becomes so familiar
we settle down and call it home.

Seems like everybody wants to be an Indian.
Why should you be any different, Jack?
Still, when you rub the red dirt off your pale nose
your little insanities vanish.
Listen: the proof is glass.
When an Indian looks through a window
it's like a mirror. When the Indian looks
into a mirror, it's like a window.

I know you have dreams, Jack. We all want
an acre of land, love, and a full stomach.
Without that, we couldn't listen to the wind
without anger. But I've been sitting in a cold room
watching stars through a hole in the roof.
That bright star to the north doesn't have a name
I know. Like everything else, it will break my heart.
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Last edited by amaraya; 22.12.2009 at 00:25.
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  #68  
Old 21.12.2009, 23:49
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

Enivrez-vous

Il faut être toujours ivre.
Tout est là:
c'est l'unique question.
Pour ne pas sentir
l'horrible fardeau du Temps
qui brise vos épaules
et vous penche vers la terre,
il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.
Mais de quoi?
De vin, de poésie, ou de vertu, à votre guise.
Mais enivrez-vous.
Et si quelquefois,
sur les marches d'un palais,
sur l'herbe verte d'un fossé,
dans la solitude morne de votre chambre,
vous vous réveillez,
l'ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue,
demandez au vent,
à la vague,
à l'étoile,
à l'oiseau,
à l'horloge,
à tout ce qui fuit,
à tout ce qui gémit,
à tout ce qui roule,
à tout ce qui chante,
à tout ce qui parle,
demandez quelle heure il est;
et le vent,
la vague,
l'étoile,
l'oiseau,
l'horloge,
vous répondront:
"Il est l'heure de s'enivrer!
Pour n'être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps,
enivrez-vous;
enivrez-vous sans cesse!
De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise."

----Charles Baudelaire

English translation: http://poetry.eserver.org/enivrez-vous.html
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  #69  
Old 22.12.2009, 00:07
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

I haven't. Thanks for asking. Cissy rubbish.
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  #70  
Old 22.12.2009, 09:32
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

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I haven't. Thanks for asking. Cissy rubbish.
Nice haiku. Thanks for sharing.
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  #71  
Old 22.12.2009, 09:39
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

Well this is my wife's favorite. I like it a lot.

Funeral Blues
W H Auden

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.
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  #72  
Old 22.12.2009, 09:59
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

Strange Meeting - Wilfred Owen

It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.

Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then ,as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, -
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.

With a thousand pains that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
'Strange friend,' I said, 'here is no cause to mourn.'
'None,' said that other, 'save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress.
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels,
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.

I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now...'

Always gives me a chill.....
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  #73  
Old 22.12.2009, 10:15
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?



The End. Short and to the point.
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  #74  
Old 22.12.2009, 10:58
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

As my most Fav poem is already posted by OP, the lesser ones would have to do now

One of my favs, translation from a Sanskirit verse.

Dear; if you would love me true,
What use are the joys of heaven to me.
But if you would not love me true,
What use are teh joys of heaven to me.

And one by Renegade Loverboy, Byron

She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless chimes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies
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  #75  
Old 22.12.2009, 11:00
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Re: Do you have a favourite poem?

A fart is a musical sound
Which comes from the land of Bum
It travels down the valley of Trousers
And comes out with a musical hum

A fart is a mechanical sound
Which gives the bowels ease
It warms the bed in Winter
And suffocates the fleas


(7 yrs old are easily entertained.)
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  #76  
Old 22.12.2009, 12:14
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Re: Do you have a favourite poem?

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(7 yrs old are easily entertained.)
Oh, I didn't know you were so young.


(sorry, I wasn't able to miss such an opportunity...)
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  #77  
Old 22.12.2009, 14:21
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Re: Have you got a favourite poem?

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Don't anyone dare quote "If"
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  #78  
Old 18.07.2010, 23:26
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Re: Your Favourite Poems

What a GREAT thread!!

One of my all time favourite poems:

Inniskeen Road: July Evening

The bicycles go by in twos and threes -
There's a dance in Billy Brennan's barn tonight,
And there's the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.

I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom. I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.

-Patrick Kavanagh
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  #79  
Old 18.07.2010, 23:33
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Re: Your Favourite Poems

Forgot about this thread, like your poem Mrs T

Here is one I found recently...bit on the long side but a mate of mine with his new girlfriend has just reached the writing poetry stage (puke) and he showed me this one,

The Female of the Species is more deadly than the Male

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail,
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag, the wayside cobra, hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can,
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail -
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws -
'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale -
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the others tale -
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations, worm and savage otherwise,
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise;
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger; Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue - to the scandal of the Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same,
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity - must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions - not in these her honor dwells -
She, the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else!

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate;
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions - in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him, who denies!
He will meet no cool discussion, but the instant, white-hot wild
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges - even so the she-bear fights;
Speech that drips, corrodes and poisons - even so the cobra bites;
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw,
And the victim writhes with anguish - like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of abstract justice - which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern; shall enthrall but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him and Her instincts never fail,
That the female of Her species is more deadly than the male!
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Old 18.07.2010, 23:37
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Re: Your Favourite Poems

White Pig

A family decides to have a party.
It is a graduation or birthday.
The father buys a little white pig,
just enough for his wife and six kids
with something left over for someone special.
The father has no idea how to kill a pig
but he meets a man in a bar who says,
Don't worry, I have killed hundreds of pigs.
He is a young man with a big smile.
On the day of the party, the young man arrives
early in the morning. I have no knife,
he says. And he takes the bread knife
and begins sharpening it on a stone.
He sharpens the knife and drinks brandy.
The white pig trots through the house.
The children have tied a blue ribbon
around her neck and the baby's blue bonnet
on her head. The pig thinks she is very cute.
She lets the children feed her cookies and
ride on her back. The man with the smile keeps
sharpening and drinking, sharpening and drinking.
The morning is getting late. Why don't you
do something? says the father. The pig pokes
her head around the door, then scampers away.
The young man drinks more brandy. It is nearly noon.
Why don't you kill the pig? says the father.
He wants to get it over with. The young man
looks sullenly at the floor, looks sullenly
at the father and his neat little house.
He gets to his feet and sways back and forth.
You're drunk, says the father. The young man
raises the knife. Not too drunk to kill a pig,
he shouts. He stumbles out of the kitchen.
Where's that bitch of a pig? he shouts.
The pig is upstairs with the children.
I'm ready, says the young man, now I'm
really ready. He rushes up the stairs
and into the room where the pig is playing.
You whore! he shouts. He drives at the pig
and stabs her in the leg. The pig squeals.
Outside, shouts the father, you have to kill her
outside! The pig is terrified and rushes
around the room squealing and bleeding on the rug.
The blue bonnet slips down over one eye.
You slut! shouts the young man. He leaps
at the pig and stabs her in the shoulder.
The children are screaming. The parents are shouting.
The young man chases the pig through the whole house.
You whore, you slut, you little Jew of a pig!
Outside, outside! shouts the father. He knows
the rules, knows how a pig should be killed.
For the pig, it's a nightmare. The blue bonnet
has slipped down over both eyes and she can
hardly see. She squeals over and over. There is
no sound in the world like that one.
At last the young man traps the pig
in the laundry room. He leaps on her.
You black bitch of a pig! he shouts. He stabs
the pig over and over. The children
stand in the doorway crying. The father
is crying. His wife hides in the bedroom.
What a great party this has turned out to be.
Finally the pig is dead. The young man
holds her up by the hind legs. Again he is
smiling. This is one dead pig! he shouts.
He has probably stabbed her over two hundred times.
The pig looks like a piece of Swiss cheese.
The young man carries the pig to the kitchen
and begins to butcher her, then he helps
to cook the pig. All afternoon the house
is full of wonderful smells. The children
hide in their bedrooms. The mother and father
scrub and scrub to clean up the blood. At last
the pig is ready to be eaten. It is a party,
maybe a graduation or birthday.
The children refuse to come downstairs.
The mother and father don't feel hungry.
The young man sits at the table by himself.
He is served by a neighborhood girl hired
to wash the dishes. He eats and eats. Tasty,
he says, there's nothing so tasty as a young pig.
He drinks wine and laughs. He stuffs himself
on the sweet flesh of the little white pig.
Late at night he is still eating. The children
are in bed, the parents are in bed. The father
lies on his back and listens to the young man singing --
hunting songs, marching songs, songs of journeys
through dark places, songs of conquest and revenge.

--Stephen Dobyns
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