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I recently ran across an old (OLD) book of poetry that I have had since I was a child, and I started to read it again. It brought back a lot of memories, as I loved this book when I was a kid, and I used to read through all 600 pages of it over and over! It was meant to be a book of poetry for children, but looking at it now, it had a lot of very sophisticated works in it.

When I was in eighth grade, we had to memorize a poem and recite it in front of the class. I memorized and recited Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky!" :D It was my absolute most favourite poem (and still ranks right up there).

In high school, I really liked Randall Jarrell's "Death of a Ball Turret Gunner."

Right now, it would be really hard for me to pick a favourite poem. There are so many that I really like. I am always drawn to Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening," and some of Shakespeare's sonnets are just too lovely to bear. But I would have to say my favourite poem of all poems would have to be T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." The imagery in that poem always haunts me after I read it, and I can never see it in a collection without stopping to read it again.
 

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I enjoy Robert Burns, T.S. Elliot and Henry Thoreau. When I was younger and had to read Thoreau. I wasn't all the thrilled :mad:

I came across a copy in a second hand store and re-read Walden Pond. It was so awesome. A portion, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
 

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i remember being frightened of the jabberwockery as a kid and wouldn't read it. how strange.
but in middle school, my english teacher read us the tell tale heart by poe for halloween one year and i became an instant fan. of course my fave poem is the raven, but i remember very clearly sitting in the library listening to this man read this tale and was so mesmerized by the story, waiting to see how it would end.
 

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Yes, sometimes you can't beat the oral tradition. I was a great fan of Poe as a kid. I was into the more sinister writers. :)
 

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halloweenfreak said:
i remember being frightened of the jabberwockery as a kid and wouldn't read it. how strange.
but in middle school, my english teacher read us the tell tale heart by poe for halloween one year and i became an instant fan. of course my fave poem is the raven, but i remember very clearly sitting in the library listening to this man read this tale and was so mesmerized by the story, waiting to see how it would end.
Yes. I loved Poe in Jr. High, I think that is middle school. I loved to hear my teacher The Raven too. Poe's work really invites reading out loud even though it's dark.
 

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Showing my heritgage here, but I love this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Hiawatha's Childhood

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water.
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Set-Water.
There the wrinkled old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha.
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes,
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
"Hush, the Naked Bear will hear thee!"
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this, that lights the wigwam?
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!"
Many things Nokomis taught him
Of the stars that shine in heaven;
Showed him lshkoodah, the comet,
lshkoodah, with fiery tresses,
Showed the Death-Dance of the spirits,
Warriors with their plumes and war-clubs
Flaring far away to northward
In the frosty nights of winter;
Showed the broad white road in heaven,
Pathway of the ghosts, the shadows,
Running straight across the heavens,
Crowded with the ghosts, the shadows.
At the door on summer evenings,
Sat the little Hiawatha,
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees,
Heard the lapping of the waters,
Sounds of music, words of wonder;
"Minne-wawa!" said the pine-trees,
"Mudway-aushka!" said the water.
Saw the fire-fly Wah-wah-taysee,
Flitting through the dusk of evening,
With the twinkle of its candle
Lighting up the brakes and bushes,
And he sang the song of children,
Sang the song Nokomis taught him;
"Wah-wah-taysee, little fire-fly,
Little flitting, white-fire insect,
Little, dancing, white-fire creature,
Light me with your little candle,
Ere upon my bed I lay me,
Ere in sleep I close my eyelids!"
Saw the moon rise from the water,
Rippling, rounding from the water,
Saw the flecks and shadows on it,
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And good Nokomis answered:
"Once a warrior, very angry,
Seized his grandmother, and threw her
Up into the sky at midnight;
Right against the moon he threw her;
'Tis her body that you see there."
Saw the rainbow in the heaven,
In the eastern sky the rainbow,
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"'Tis the heaven of flowers you see there;
All the wild-flowers of the forest,
All the lilies of the prairie,
When on earth they fade and perish,
Blossom in that heaven above us."
When he heard the owls at midnight,
Hooting, laughing in the forest,
"What is that?' he cried in terror;
"What is that," he said, "Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered;
"That is but the owl and owlet,
Talking in their native language,
Talking, scolding at each other."
Then the little Hiawatha
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How they built their nests in summer,
Where they hid themselves in winter,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Chickens."
Of all beasts he learned the language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How the beavers built their lodges,
Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
Why the rabbit was so timid,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Brothers."
 

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And my 19 year old son's favorite poem .

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt


Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."


"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"


Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"


"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."


The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!


And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt
 

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A poetice thread, very nice.

One of my favorites has also been an influence:

Wm Wordworth wrote
The World is Too Much with us
late & soon,
Getting & spending we lay waste our powers
Little we see in Nature that is ours.
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.
the sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
the winds that are howling at all hours & up gathered now like sleeping flowers; it moves us not.

Not the complete poem......
 

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Also often think of the works you all mentioned


Beware of the jabberwock my son....
&
Whose woods these are i think I know...

these are ones i've recited most (to entertain or annoy my family)
 

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Another Jabberwocky fan here! Sounds like alot of us had the same teachers in school. Poe's Raven, Tell Tale Heart and Anna Belle Lee.

Have been to Flander's Fields and Joyce Kilmer (Trees) State Park brought both of those poems Home.

Think of the Wreck of the Hesperus whenever I see a stormy sea and The Highwaymen with hoof beats.:D

Laurie in Bradenton
 

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When I was a child, my favorite poem was Shel Silverstein's "Listen to the Mustn'ts." I still think of it when someone I know attains a goal.

Listen to the mustn'ts, child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the never haves
The impossibles, the won'ts
Listen to the mustn'ts, child
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen, child
Anything can be
 

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My dad, for his own amusement, taught us all the Jaberwock by the time each of us was 5y/o. So I have to call that my favourite. I love Lewis Carroll. But I also love some of Auden's less obscure stuff. Robert Stevens (i think tha'ts his name) is also one of my faves.

babs
 

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oh, and Dr. Seuss
 

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of course my fave poem is the raven...
Once upon a midnight dreary, While I pondered, weak, and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, Suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone, gently rapping, Rapping at my chamber door.
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "rapping at my chamber door."
Only this and nothing more...
"


Ahhh, my alltime favorite poet and poem. I've been fascinated by this poem for as long as I can remember. It's so dark and eerie and spectacular. Another favorite of mine is "Annabel Lee".
 

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The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe has been my favorite poem since I read it in High School.
 

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My Favorite!!!!

Ebb
I KNOW WHAT MY HEART IS LIKE
SINCE YOUR LOVE DIED:
IT IS LIKE A HOLLOW LEDGE
HOLDING A LITTLE POOL
LEFT THERE BY THE TIDE,
A LITTLE TEPID POOL,
DRYING INWARD FROM THE EDGE.

~Edna St. Vincent Millay
 

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I have so many favorites. I love them all for their different styles and for their diverse outlooks. I love Emily Dickinson, Rod McKuen, Robert Frost, ee cummings, Ogden Nash. One of my favorite poems always reminds me of the many birthday parties that I gave for my children when they were young, it brings a smile to my face everytime I read it.

Children's Party
by Ogden Nash

May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party's over.
Since three o'clock I've done my best
To entertain each tiny guest.

My conscience now I've left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other's throats.

I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces.

Of similarities there's lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I've earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages.

Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. francis from here to Natchez.

Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other's abdomen.

Their joy needs another woe's to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults,

And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone's presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again,

But not till after the party's over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover

 
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