Thursday, September 6, 2012

Help! I’ve fallen into a poetry patch and I can’t get out!

When I Was One-and-Twenty
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
‘Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;

Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.’
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
‘The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;

’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.’
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

Abou Ben Adhem
by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold: —
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
“What writest thou?” — The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf ’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Go To Father

“Go to father,” she said
When he asked her to wed.
Now she knew that he knew
That her father was dead,
And she knew that he knew
What a life he had led,
So she knew that he knew
What she meant when she said,
“Go to father.”

Crossing the Bar
by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


  1. I feel enriched after reading this anthology!

  2. You can get help for your poetry addiction
    Some say it is a terrible affliction
    Most poetry may be fanciful fiction
    But to me it's a glorious benediction...
    I'm just saying...

  3. Clutching at Camel Straws.

    Oh Robert dear Robert oh Robert pray see
    This straw I offer from me to thee
    You are miréd within a poetry patch
    Clutch a hold and t'other end I'll catch,
    And pull you out of thine anxiety attack.
    (But alas there was one poem too much
    And that straw did break my camel's back!)

  4. I am just able to discern that my readers are a varied lot, poetry-wise. Canadians and Lancastrians enjoy reading poems, pure and simple. Yorkshirians and Kiwi birds, on the other hand, try their hand at it themselves.

    All of you may be interested in a site called Representative Poetry Online, which I discovered when I Googled Katherine's aabbcbc rhyme scheme and came up with a single poem, "March: An Ode" by Charles Swinburne". On closer examination, though, Swinburne's rhyme scheme is aabbabc, not aabbcbc. Since close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Katherine's ditty appears to be unique in the annals of rhyme scheme history, at least among the 4,700 English and French poems by over 700 poets spanning 1,400 years on the aforementioned web site.

    Y.P.'s rhyme scheme is aaaa (plus b if the last line is part of the poem, which fact I am unclear as to whether), a sort of limerick gone horribly wrong.

  5. My Daddy thinks I'm special too.