I love AA Milne poems, and this is a verse from one of my favorites.
I especially like this poem because when the doctor sees the dormouse, he listens to his chest and has him say, "99", as I teach my students to do (an assessment technique to discover consolidation). Here is the first verse:
There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)
And all the day long he'd a wonderful view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)
Kalleh, what a cute poem! I was not familiar with this work, and enjoyed reading the entire verse.
My favorite is Dorothy Parker. I love her "dark side". The first of her poems, I took notice of when I was in high School (a million years ago!)
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Kalleh, why would you say 'Ninety-nine', while I look at your chest...???
["if I may be so presumptuous", he said with a straight face.]
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
--Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)
Astral, perhaps when your doctor or nurse has listened to your chest, you have been told to say, either "99" or "A"? If the clinician hears muffled sounds with her stethoscope, it can indicate a consolidation in the lungs, ie pneumonia or a tumor.
Nice poems, Morgan & Ghoti!
Another Milne favorite of mine:
Lines and Squares
Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956
Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"
And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and steps on a line."
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It's ever so portant how you walk.
And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!"
DO YOU WALK ON THE LINES OR SQUARES??????
I have always found this a very haunting poem.
Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
We slowly drove--He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility--
The rest can be viewed at: www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=1177
Here's one I posted on another site recently, but it bears repetition:
I lately lost a preposition;
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair
And angrily I cried, "Perdition!
Up from out of under there."
Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor,
And yet I wondered, "What should he come
Up from out of under for?"
From: John Moore. 1961 You English words. A book about them)
The grammar has a rule absurd
Which I would call an outworn myth:
"A preposition is a word
You mustn't end a sentence with!"
--- (author unknown to me)
And arnie, as a Londener, may appreciate Winston Churchill's comment when a junior corrected him for that very grammatical sin: "This is the sort of impertinence up with which I will not put!"
(The quote appears in so many slightly-different forms that I suspect it may be apocraphyal rather than real.)
[This message was edited by Embellishment on Tue Jul 16th, 2002 at 09:03 AM.]
On the squares, definitely.
As kids we recited, "Step on a crack, / break your grandma's back." How odd that that habit stays with me lo these ____ decades later.
Forgive me for digressing just a bit with a question for arnie, our Londoner.
Milne so often wonderfully captures the way a small child speaks, and you can almost hear the child's voice. (For example, his poem at www.vwtrike.com/poem.htm: "And Nanny's very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did" and also "She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did.") Another fine example is a poem that Kallah quotes ("But only the sillies believe their talk; / It's ever so portant how you walk").
But the latter also calls the bears’ dens the lairs. A perfectly good word, but to my ear it would sound odd coming from the mouth of a US child. Arnie, to your ear does it sound like a word that an upper-class British child of today, or of Milne’s time, would commonly use?
Hmm... Christopher Robin is a revoltingly "goody-goody" child, who probably even pays attention to his teachers. At the age of five or six he is able to read and write. He shows every indication of developing into a nerd.
"Lair", certainly, is not the sort of word used by most kids that age, but given his precocity it could well have been used by CR. If a child used a special word for a lion's abode it would probably be den.
I searched some poetry sites to find a poem that I wanted to post here. I didn't find it; though I did find one that seems so appropriate for a word site:
All along, he wants us to know,
the simple solution he offers
has been right there, obvious
as his open palm. No wonder
he seems a little angry with us,
who have spent our time shrugging
our shoulders and teetering our right
hands back and forth, while he's
found this truth that makes right
and wrong perfectly divisible.
Does our doubt return
because of the loneliness
we sense in him, forming precise
compartments with his hands
at the lectern inside his small
beam of light? Or is it the absence
in his speech of an expression for two
things at once no language
seems complete without: mas o menos,
comme ci, comme ça, or that
stubborn, beautiful word though.
[This message was edited by Kalleh on Wed Jul 17th, 2002 at 01:17 PM.]
A very nice poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796), which I find particularly interesting because of the spelling of "luve".
A Red, Red Rose
O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Very romantic, Morgan!
Here is the last verse of a funny poem for educators. I couldn't find it on the web, but it is entitled, "A Grouchy Good Night to the Academic Year", by Ted Pauker
But our new Education Department
Confuses confusion again.
'Those teach who can't do' runs the dictum,
But for some even that's out of reach:
They can't even teach - so they've picked 'em
To teach other people to teach.
Then alas for the next generation,
For the pots fairly crackle with thorn,
Where psychology meets education
A terrible bullshit is born.
by Edgar Allan Poe
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 of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
To continue, see: www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html
How to choose from among the wealth of poetry in the English language? Many of the classic poems you all have posted are very dear to me. Here's one that I love by a lesser known poet, Carol Ann Duffy:
Not a red rose or a satin heart
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.
Its platinum loops shrink to a ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Note for non-Latin scholars:
Dulce et decorum est/Pro patria mori is a line from the Roman poet Horace. It can be translated as "It is a sweet and proper thing to die for one's country".
To A Thesaurus
by Franklin P. Adams
O precious codex, volume, tome
Book, writing, compilation, work,
Attend the while I pen a pome,
A jest, a jape, a quip, a quirk.
For I would pen, engross, indite,
Transcribe, set forth, compose, address,
Record, submit - yea, even write,
An ode, an elergy to bless -
To bless, set store by, celebrate,
Approve, esteem, endow with soul,
Commend, acclaim, appreciate,
Immortalize, laud, praise, extol
Thy merit, goodness, value, worth,
Expedience, utility -
O manna, honey, salt of earth,
I sing, I chant, I worship thee!
How could I manage, live, exist,
Obtain, produce, be real, prevail,
Be present in the flesh, subsist,
Have place, become, breathe or inhale
Without thy help, recruit, support,
Assistance, rescue, aid, resort,
Favor, sustention and advance?
Alas! Alack! And well-a-day!
My case would then be dour and sad.
Likewise distressing, dismal, grey,
Pathetic, mournful, dreary, bad.
Though I could keep this up all day,
This lyric, elegaic song,
Meseems hath come the time to say
Farewell! Adieu! Goodbye! So long!
Myrrhine, "To a Thesaurus" is just perfect for a word board! Thanks!
How about one from good old Ogden(One of the
reasons I like to take the back roads):
Song of the Open Road
I think that I shall never see
A billboard as lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
[This message was edited by Kalleh on Wed Jul 24th, 2002 at 11:25.]
[This message was edited by Kalleh on Wed Jul 24th, 2002 at 11:26.]
"Not In Vain"
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,--
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
No apologies for posting two of Wilfred Owen's poems in succession; his poetry affects me deeply.
you who never arrived
in my arms, beloved,
who were lost from the start,
i don't even know what songs
would please you. i have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave
of the next moment.
all the immense images in me-the far-ff,
deeply felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and unsuspected
turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing wi5h the life of the gods-
all rise within me to mean you,
who forever elude me.
you, beloved, wdho are all the gardens
i have ever gazed at, longing.
an open window in a country house-,
and you almost stepped out, pensive,
to meet me.
streets that i chanced upon, -you had just
walked down them and vanished.
and sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were
still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
who knows? perhaps the same bird echoed
through both of us yesterday, separate,
in the evening....
rainer maria rilke
austrian, b. 1875, d. 1926
i'm glad i could share this, it's special to me. especially g lad today.
Special to me is The Calf-Path by Sam Walter Foss. Just slightly too long to put here, but I'll exerpt the beginning to tempt you to try the link.
quote:Full text at www.absolutedesign.com/dave/poetry/swf-the_calf-path.html
I just found this today in JAMA:
September of stone.
That day everyone,
in some way, wrote a poem.
That day needed words
the way creatures and crops need fields.
For whenever there are fields,
something is free.
Of all the few reasons for gladness,
the requiem's song
within each, helped us visit
a ground personal,
marking our own terrorists
from the lineup
and seek them out,
in caves distant as marrow.
With time though, rhetoric luffed.
Words split like serpent's tongue,
going one way towards grace,
the other towards a void
of dark-goggled men
shooting sparks at steel,
towards the solemn white-gloved
triangulation of flags.
Those rising smokes begot October.
Autumnal trees menstrually cast
leaves yellow with remembering,
pressed to a clot of dampness.
Today there is a low tide pause.
In the sink, last night's rice
is dying in a bowl.
A paint-scraped dinghy
is turned over, on the sand,
I have learned this lesson before.
It's not that the wind is cold
or the morning dreary.
It's that your heart is broken.
Michael Zack, MD
that's an amazing poem. it seems so true. it sounds so true.
wfc, do I recall you mentioning T.S.Eliot's poems about cats? I'm not familiar with them, and if you are, could you give us one of your favorites?
Thanks, wildflowerchild. While I loved the poem, I was hestitant to post it because I was afraid it was too macabre for this thread.
Therefore, to keep this thread lighthearted, I will post a verse from another Milne poem that I love. The poem, The King's Breakfast is too long to post its entirety. This is my favorite verse:
The King said,
And then he said,
"Oh deary me!"
The King sobbed,
"Oh deary me!"
And went back to bed.
"Could call me
A fussy man;
A little bit
Of butter for
Hic et ubique asked for something from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. They are a little long to post here, but here's a link to them online:
Here's one of the shorter ones:
The Naming of Cats
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
one of my dad's and my last conversations before he died was about whether animals have a name for us. for humans. also, a particular name for their owner. when i asked my dad, he said immediately yes. he loved animals. so thanks..
Reminded of TS Eliot, here's the final verses of one of his best, Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
Raymond Chandler, of all people, gives us some literary critiscm in The Long Goodbye:
"`I grow old... I grow old... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.` What does that mean, Mr. Marlowe?"
"Not a bloody thing. It just sounds good."
He smiled. "That is from the `Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.` Here's another one. `In the room women come and go/Talking of Michael Angelo.' Does that suggest anything to you, sir?"
Yeah -- it suggests to me that the guy didn't know very much about women."
"My sentiments exactly, sir. Nonetheless I admire T. S. Eliot very much."
"Did you say, 'nonetheless'?"
that's pretty funny! i can see humphrey bogart saying that. actually, that's hilarious.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
~~by Jenny Joseph
Revival of an old one....
I received this poem, beautifully framed, for Nurse's Week. I love it!
A Victorian crazy quilt.
A nursing career.
What do they have in common?
Held together by heart and hand.
with unforgettable moments.
A work in progress,
Chaotic yet controlled.
the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts.
In the end we will not remember
the years we spent in nursing.
We will remember only the moments.
~ Melodie Chenevert, RN