Favorite Poems?

By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2012-04-09 01:16:29 -0500
Started 2012-04-06 18:20:19 -0500

In high school I hated poetry but I think it was because I lacked the life-experience to understand a lot of the emotions expressed in them. My favorite poem is by Edna St Vincent Millay and I'd like to share it with you.

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in some difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Thank you my DC friends for all your advice and support! Do you have a favorite poem you'd care to share?

15 replies

flipmom 2012-04-08 14:54:51 -0500 Report

My daughter wrote this poem when her poppop was dying of cancer.. =(

*What A Little Girl Sees*

What a little girl sees,

Is a hive full of bees,

A little boy lost and crying,

An old man who's left there dying,

She sees a world in need of care,

A certain someone that will always be there,

She sees a strange lady with a strange nose,

A funny looking statue in a funny pose,

She sees marbles there to scatter,

But what she sees, does it really matter?


Young1s 2012-04-07 19:58:35 -0500 Report

Had this poem framed when I was a young girl and kept it to this day. The message seems so fitting now for this new journey in my life.

Don't Quit
by Marian Kane/Jolly

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow —
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out —
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit —
It's when things seem worse that you must not quit.

I found out that for some reason, this poem was originally published anonymously. But the authors family and childhood teachers (nuns) verified it's authenticity and the fact that it was originally written in 1927.

Type1Lou 2012-04-08 14:13:53 -0500 Report

Dear Patricia, I can see why this is one of your favorites. And it certainly applies to all of us here struggling to manage our companion, diabetes! Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!

Bamberg 2012-04-07 18:44:10 -0500 Report

This is my wife's favorite Millay poem. It was printed on the mass card at her funeral.

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night,
But ah my friends
And oh my foes
It gives a lovely light.

Type1Lou 2012-04-08 14:24:56 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing Bamberg! I love Edna St Vincent Millay's work. I remember a teacher in high school English rhapsodizing about Renascence. I'm sorry I didn't have the life experience then to fully appreciate the sentiments…although I still don't think I can fully appreciate Beowulf!

Bamberg 2012-04-08 15:57:14 -0500 Report

Renascence is a terrific poem. The only poet I like better than Millay is Emily Dickimson.

Type1Lou 2012-04-08 17:25:59 -0500 Report

The Belle of Amherst! I'm a UMASS grad so was familiar with Miss Dickenson and also like her very much.

Bamberg 2012-04-09 01:16:29 -0500 Report

As if I asked a common Alms
And in my wondering hand
A stranger pressed a kingdom
And I, bewildered, stand.

As if I asked the Orient
Had it for me a morn
And it should loft its purple dykes
And shatter me with Dawn.

Emily Dickinson

As you say, the Belle of Amherst.

Bamberg 2012-04-07 18:40:55 -0500 Report

Millay is one of my favorite poets. This one is particularly apt for this time of year. This is from memory so I may not have it exactly right.

Spring rides no horses down the hill
But comes on foot, a goose girl still
For all the loveliest things there be
Come simply, so it seems to me.
If ever I said in grief or pride
I tired of honest things, I lied
And should be cursed forever more
With love in laces like a whore
And neighbors cold, and friends unsteady
And Spring on horseback like a lady.

jayabee52 2012-04-06 23:35:29 -0500 Report

one of my favorites is a piece of doggerel which gives what I think is good advice:

"Be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet, 'cause you'll never know from day to day, which ones you'll have to eat!" I try to live by these words.

Type1Lou 2012-04-07 08:57:57 -0500 Report

I've certainly eaten my fair share of words! I'll have to commit your doggerel to memory and work hard to live by it. Thanks for sharing James. (Another of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice": " Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. But if I had to perish twice, I've seen enough of hate, to know that ice is also great and would suffice.")

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