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Author Topic: Poems that Inspire  (Read 6828 times)

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Offline Esk

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Poems that Inspire
« on: 05/26/14, 11:13:49 PM »
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I enjoy poetry, both its writing and the reading thereof. Thought I would start a thread where we can share our favorite poems with one another. This next poem is written by Gregory Djanikian:

So much of the world exists
without us

the mountain in its own steepness

the deer sliding
into the trees becoming
a darkness
in the woods' darkness.

So much of an open field
lies somewhere between the grass
and the dragonfly's drive and thrum

the seed and seedling,
the earth within.

But so much of it lies in someone
standing alone at the edge of a field
with a life apart

feeling for a moment
the plover's cry
on the tongue

the curve and plumb
of the apple bough
in limb and bone.

So much of it between
one thing and another,

days of invitation,
then of release and return.

"So Much of the World" by Gregory Djanikian from Dear Gravity. Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014.
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2014/05/24

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Crimsen

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #1 on: 05/26/14, 11:30:31 PM »
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WOOT!  A new poetry thread. I love poetry too... A lot of what inspires me in poetry found in the Bible. Yes, I am a woman of faith... it's true :). I am many things. Anyway, one of my most inspiring poems is found in the book of Isaiah where the prophet talks about the suffering servant. I believe, just millions of other Christians all over the world believe, that Jesus' death fulfills this prophecy/poem, and the reason I find it is inspiring, especially since we celebrated Easter last month is that God in Jesus comes down and identifies with humankind in terms of our suffering, and being at the mercy of human oppression. So I'm going to post an excrept of it in the New International Version:


He grew up before [God] like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Isaiah 53:2-9

All of Isaiah 53

Offline Cordae

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #2 on: 05/27/14, 01:20:48 AM »
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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
                      W.B. Yeats



Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #3 on: 05/27/14, 05:51:08 AM »
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I ask my mother to sing

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I've never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.

But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.

Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.

"I Ask My Mother to Sing" by Li-Young Lee, from Rose. BOA Editions, 1993.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Joshmaul

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #4 on: 05/27/14, 06:56:21 AM »
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I first heard this recited, worded slightly differently, by Tommy Makem on a Clancy Brothers concert album (the first time I heard the Yeats poem posted earlier was also by Tommy Makem, in footage from a solo concert show that I found on YouTube).

He stumbled home from Clifden fair
With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.
Yet there was something in his air
That told of kingship long ago.
I sighed - and inly cried
With grief that one so high should fall so low.

But he snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,
And waved it toward the sunset sky.
Some old sweet rapture through him went
And kindled in his bloodshot eye.
I turned - and inly burned
With joy that one so low should rise so high.


- "High and Low", James H. Cousins (1873-1950)
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows


Offline Crimsen

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #5 on: 05/27/14, 09:25:30 AM »
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Macbeth Act 2, scene 1- The Dagger Soliloquy

   Is this a dagger which I see before me,   
    The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.   
    I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
 
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
    To feeling as to sight? or art thou but   
    A dagger of the mind, a false creation,   
    Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?   
    I see thee yet, in form as palpable    40   
    As this which now I draw.
    Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;   
    And such an instrument I was to use.   
    Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,   
    Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,   
    And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
    Which was not so before. There's no such thing:   
    It is the bloody business which informs   
    Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one halfworld   
    Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse    50   
    The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
    Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,   
    Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,   
    Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.   
    With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design   
    Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
    Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear   
    Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,   
    And take the present horror from the time,   
    Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:    60   
    Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
    A bell rings.   
    I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.   
    Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell   
    That summons thee to heaven or to hell

Offline Karmic

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #6 on: 05/27/14, 11:26:50 AM »
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Ahh MacBeth has so many good siloquies!  You beat me to it Crim, here is mine (or the first one, I have a couple in mind..)

I love this soliloquy not only for the whole of it, and my love of Shakespere. But also due to my love of the novel written by Faulkner, "Sound and The Fury" (which yes is the allusion to the following...)

This is not the whole thing, just the part that is my favorite...  and which I still recite sometimes today.  :aww:

...She should have died hereafter;
 There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
 Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
 To the last syllable of recorded time;
 And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
 The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
 Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
 That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
 And then is heard no more. It is a tale
 Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
 Signifying nothing.

Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Crimsen

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #7 on: 05/27/14, 11:50:08 AM »
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Ahh... When Macbeth finds out his wife is dead... So many Shakespeare solilloquys. One of my favorites is Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd


Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #8 on: 05/28/14, 04:29:59 PM »
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In tribute to Maya Angelou, who died today at age 86.


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

- Maya Angelou

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Alumar

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #9 on: 05/28/14, 06:25:37 PM »
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I was blessed at age 17 to witness Maya Angelou read this following poem live- and it shaped me. Every woman should have such inspiration in their own childhoods.

Phenomenal 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.

Maya Angelou
Quote
"Do not be one to let the WAR come to you. There is always choice, for as much as your heart knows, there is always hope."

Offline Auryn

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #10 on: 05/28/14, 06:42:10 PM »
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This one is well known, though it doesn't stop it from being not just my favourite poem, but where I go to for life advice.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life
keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata"
My drawing was not of a hat.
It was of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.



There are many ways to serve the Empire

Ilireth

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #11 on: 05/29/14, 09:46:27 AM »
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I've looked back on this one quite often.


How alike I am to this
A lonely and empty road
Devoid of all but me
In my travels
Such these people are
These pieces of me

Alas, they are not dead
Nor are they truly gone
Yet neither are they here
Dormant, asleep they lie
Wrapped within a cocoon
Of curfew and safety

Withheld are these people
These pieces of me
From their outside play
Not by their doing
Yet by their choice
Awaiting the next day bloom

So quiet is the night
So serene, yet deceiving
Young eyes watch from shelter
Following the lone wanderer
Traversing the beyond
If only in our own minds

Let the night never keep you
These pieces of me
Not from play nor from travel
The last saving grace
To brave lonely and empty
And find our own way

Travis Markham, "Nighttime Neighborhood"

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #12 on: 05/30/14, 06:05:49 PM »
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The Want of Peace - Wendell Berry

All goes back to the earth,
and so I do not desire
pride of excess or power,
but the contentments made
by men who have had little:
the fisherman's silence
receiving the river's grace,
the gardner's musing on rows.

I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men,
and that has bent my mind
and made me think of darkness
and wish for the dumb life of roots.

"The Want of Peace" by Wendell Berry from New Collected Poems. Counterpoint Press, 2012.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Crimsen

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #13 on: 05/30/14, 07:00:03 PM »
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Peggy's Cove by Khublakan27 on deviant art
Grant me the consecration of your lighthouse
not for the lunation of the checkered brow
I slit through hue and cry to access but
for its spiralling ascension to shelter
unweathered and immune
to the low-pressure misnomer
huffing in hurricane moods
and puffing out electrical recalcitrance

Grant me an audience with the apex
of your drowning man's gravity
and sear my impending pneumonia
with your salvational bulb
pulsating and warm as a wanted sunburn

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #14 on: 06/03/14, 09:55:06 PM »
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The Last Things I'll Remember
by Joyce Sutphen


The partly open hay barn door, white frame around the darkness,
the broken board, small enough for a child
to slip through.

Walking in the cornfields in late July, green tassels overhead,
the slap of flat leaves as we pass, silent
and invisible from any road.

Hollyhocks leaning against the stucco house, peonies heavy
as fruit, drooping their deep heads
on the dog house roof.

Lilac bushes between the lawn and the woods,
a tractor shifting from one gear into
the next, the throttle opened,

the smell of cut hay, rain coming across the river,
the drone of the hammer mill,
milk machines at dawn.


"The Last Things I'll Remember" by Joyce Sutphen from First Words. Red Dragonfly Press, 2010.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>