Best/Worst: Poetry Edition



  • I have a sort of love-hate relationship with poetry. Partially (completely) because of a middle school English teacher who, when we did poetry, insisted that all poetry must rhyme. Full stop. No exceptions. (I hated that lady for other reasons, too, but.)

    However, in efforts of betterment I've been slowly (so slowly because of the long-standing hatred) trying to expand myself over the years. So, what are your favorite poems? Alternatively, what are your least favorite (if you have one)?

    I have two favorites. One is perhaps cliche, but I love it anyway:
    Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
    the other is the one quoted in my (current) sig:
    Mary Elizabeth Frye's Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

    My least favorite I cannot currently find a link for. It was one we had to write an essay on in my course on poetry in my degree program. Downside: having to dissect and write a paper on that poem. Upside: I completely tore that poem apart, got a 100, and had the instructor ask if she could use my paper as an example in future classes.

    So: favorite poems? Most hated?
    Heck, thoughts on poetry in general?


  • Tutorialist

    But what was the poem?!?



  • @Derp said in Best/Worst: Poetry Edition:

    But what was the poem?!?

    I'll try to dig through my school shit when I get home and see if I can surface the link. I can't find it on a google search rn.



  • My least favourite poem is any poem written by people between thirteen and eighteen that think their crush is the love of their life and they'd die without them. I love poetry. I fucking hate teaching poetry.

    ETA: My favourite poem is XVII (I do not love you...) by Pablo Neruda.





  • I'm not a big poetry fan so not sure I have any favorite poems. That being said, here's a few I know and like...

    Rudyard Kipling's Tommy
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan
    Felicia Hemans' Casabianca

    I like the story of Kubla Khan that Coleridge woke up with the poem complete in his head after a dream he had but while he was writing it all down, someone came to the door and interrupted him and he could never recreate the rest of it.

    And Casabianca is about a real person, the son of a warship commander during the Battle of the Nile.

    As for Tommy... Well, because Kipling.


  • Pitcrew

    This one comes to mind a lot these days.

    I am tired of tears and laughter,
    And men that laugh and weep;
    Of what may come hereafter
    For men that sow to reap:
    I am weary of days and hours,
    Blown buds of barren flowers,
    Desires and dreams and powers
    And everything but sleep.


  • Pitcrew

    I like Dorothy Parker a lot.

    I like Percy Shelley's "Love's Philosophy" a lot.

    I like writing off-the-cuff limericks, as a lot of people on Spirit Lake found out one very weird morning.

    I also sometimes write poetry IC because whatever is happening strikes a particular character, and that's my favorite thing.

    I think Hemingway's poetry is Vogon poetry without the good bits.



  • @Coin Once I staffed on a game that had poets as the staff-naming theme. I took Dorothy Parker. Which is to say, I'm with you there. "Resumé" and "Comment" are always the first poems I think of.

    I also love limericks and at one point wrote a bunch of double-dactyls because apparently I like arbitrary scansion rules and forms that are frequently used for humour. Most of the poetry I really like has a sense of humour.

    ...I've also had the Vogon poetry memorized for decades now, and now I worry that might by definition put it in my 'favourite poems' list. Oh dear.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ninjakitten said in Best/Worst: Poetry Edition:

    I also love limericks and at one point wrote a bunch of double-dactyls because apparently I like arbitrary scansion rules and forms that are frequently used for humour. Most of the poetry I really like has a sense of humour.

    One of my recent characters wrote an ode to a girl in the form of twelve limericks.

    10/10, knocked it out the park.


  • Pitcrew

    Church Going

    Once I am sure there's nothing going on
    I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
    Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
    And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
    For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
    Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
    And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
    Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
    My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,

    Move forward, run my hand around the font.
    From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
    Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
    Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
    Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
    'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant.
    The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
    I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
    Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

    Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
    And always end much at a loss like this,
    Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
    When churches fall completely out of use
    What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
    A few cathedrals chronically on show,
    Their parchment, plate, and pyx in locked cases,
    And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
    Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

    Or, after dark, will dubious women come
    To make their children touch a particular stone;
    Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
    Advised night see walking a dead one?
    Power of some sort or other will go on
    In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
    But superstition, like belief, must die,
    And what remains when disbelief has gone?
    Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

    A shape less recognizable each week,
    A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
    Will be the last, the very last, to seek
    This place for what it was; one of the crew
    That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
    Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
    Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
    Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
    Or will he be my representative,

    Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
    Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
    Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
    So long and equably what since is found
    Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
    And death, and thoughts of these - for whom was built
    This special shell? For, though I've no idea
    What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
    It pleases me to stand in silence here;

    A serious house on serious earth it is,
    In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
    Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
    And that much never can be obsolete,
    Since someone will forever be surprising
    A hunger in himself to be more serious,
    And gravitating with it to this ground,
    Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
    If only that so many dead lie round.

    -Larkin



  • https://brevitymag.com/nonfiction/calcification/

    I had to dig up my essay on it. But here you go.

    To this day I think the instructor purposefully chose it to see who would, in our review essays (which focused on tone and mood) would be willing to point out just how bad it is and who would be too afraid to do so.


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