Friday, April 29, 2011

What's Your Favorite Poem?

("Ulysses' Dream", 1893, Nicolae_Vermont_-_Visul_lui_Ulise.jpg‎ (382 × 275 pixels, file size: 24 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Though National Poetry Month is nearly over for 2011, I hope you continue to appreciate poetry year 'round.

I like many different kinds of poetry from many different poets, old and new. When I consider what I would call my favorite poem, though, "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is still the one I choose. I'd like to think we all have a heroic heart within us that keeps us seeking, striving, and finding at any age. Here's the last part:

...Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Read the whole poem here

or listen to Sir Lewis Casson recite it:

Alfred Lord Tennyson - Ulysses - Lewis Casson by poetictouch

What's one of your favorite poems?


  1. I've got a choice
    At the end of this rope
    To run from the storm
    Or get out of the boat
    I've got a chance
    To laugh at defeat
    Pull out my sword
    And never retreat
    I've got a choice
    Either leave or stay
    Follow the world
    Or follow the Way
    To stand on the Rock
    And become the clay
    I've got a chance
    To trust and obey

    Bert Johnson

  2. I've always been partial to "The way to hump a cow is not"... Although I don't really know what that poem is about, I've assumed it is in reference to politicians. As such, the prose quite makes me laugh!

  3. to each his own, cbeck, but the politician reference does make some sense

  4. Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art
    Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
    And watching, with eternal lids apart,
    Like nature's patient sleepless eremite,
    The moving waters at their priestlike task
    Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
    Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
    Of snow upon the mountains and the moors;
    No yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
    Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
    To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
    Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
    Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
    And so live ever or else swoon to death.

    Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art
    by John Keats

  5. Shawn, an excellent choice. Thanks for posting.