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In reply to the discussion: Favorite Poets/Poems [View all]


(17,671 posts)
15. I'm not much into poetry but here's a couple
Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:59 PM
Dec 2013

by Robert Francis

His art is eccentricity, his aim
How not to hit the mark he seems to aim at,

His passion how to avoid the obvious,
His technique how to vary the avoidance.

The others throw to be comprehended. He
Throws to be a moment misunderstood.

Yet not too much. Not errant, arrant, wild,
But every seeming aberration willed.

Not to, yet still, still to communicate
Making the batter understand too late.


D. H. Lawrence
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
i o And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Favorite Poets/Poems [View all] Pendrench Dec 2013 OP
My dear Pendrench... CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2013 #1
Hi CaliforniaPeggy -Thank you for the suggestions! Pendrench Dec 2013 #2
Hi, Tim! CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2013 #3
There are so many! And so many styles. But here's some of what I like. nolabear Dec 2013 #4
Hi nolabear - Thank you for your reply (and suggestions)! Pendrench Dec 2013 #6
I am woefully under-educated in poetry OriginalGeek Dec 2013 #5
Hi OriginalGeek - Thank you very much for posting this :) Pendrench Dec 2013 #8
You are most welcome OriginalGeek Dec 2013 #10
:) Pendrench Dec 2013 #11
Then apparently you didn't watch the Breaking Bad series, either. n/t DebJ Dec 2013 #20
Hi DebJ - Pendrench Dec 2013 #35
Warning: Breaking Bad is extremely addicting. DebJ Dec 2013 #78
Speaking of English class... pipi_k Dec 2013 #24
Lol yep! OriginalGeek Dec 2013 #32
Hi pipi_k Pendrench Dec 2013 #36
And pipi_k Dec 2013 #45
9th? I'm impressed! I taught it to seniors! (One of my faves, too!) WinkyDink Dec 2013 #27
I went all 4 years of high school to a private christian school OriginalGeek Dec 2013 #31
The Second Coming malthaussen Dec 2013 #7
Hi malthaussen - Thank you very much for responding to my post Pendrench Dec 2013 #9
That poem has always stayed with me. Powerful and haunting. NCarolinawoman Dec 2013 #19
Yeah, did he write that 100 years ago... or yesterday? n/t malthaussen Dec 2013 #48
Exactly! n/t NCarolinawoman Dec 2013 #79
You beat me to it - that's one of my favorites, too. The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2013 #23
Philip Larkin Spider Jerusalem Dec 2013 #12
Hi Spider Jerusalem - Pendrench Dec 2013 #37
"I Saw Myself" by Lew Welch begin_within Dec 2013 #13
Hi begin_within - Pendrench Dec 2013 #38
Ego Tripping demmiblue Dec 2013 #14
Hi demmiblue - Pendrench Dec 2013 #39
I'm not much into poetry but here's a couple rrneck Dec 2013 #15
Hi rrneck - Pendrench Dec 2013 #40
My favorite poem aint_no_life_nowhere Dec 2013 #16
Hi aint_no_life_nowhere - Pendrench Dec 2013 #34
Language Learning || Spoken Word by Hollie McNish Xipe Totec Dec 2013 #74
My favorite poem in the world is by Lord Byron Prisoner_Number_Six Dec 2013 #17
Hi Prisoner_Number_Six - Pendrench Dec 2013 #41
Wilfred Owen -- DULCE ET DECORUM EST Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #18
I once taught a unit of "war poetry;" this was included. GREAT poem. WinkyDink Dec 2013 #28
One of very few that really opened my mind to the power of poetry. nt Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #29
I wrote a Brit Lit final paper contrasting Owen's gritty realism to Tennyson's fantasy jingoism Rhythm Dec 2013 #33
Mine, too! And Rupert Brooke: WinkyDink Dec 2013 #82
Hi Demo_Chris Pendrench Dec 2013 #42
Thank you. You as well. nt Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #49
Another woefully deficient pipi_k Dec 2013 #21
Hi pipi_k Pendrench Dec 2013 #43
I am my favorite poet Tobin S. Dec 2013 #22
I bow pipi_k Dec 2013 #25
Hi Tobin S. Pendrench Dec 2013 #44
I've always been partial to the Cavalier and the Romantic poets; the Harlem Renaissance poets; and WinkyDink Dec 2013 #26
Hi WinkyDink Pendrench Dec 2013 #46
Wow - thanks everyone!! Pendrench Dec 2013 #30
Someone already posted WB Yeats, so here is a favorite by Wallace Stevens panader0 Dec 2013 #47
Hi panader0 Pendrench Dec 2013 #50
To Autumn LWolf Dec 2013 #51
Hi LWolf Pendrench Dec 2013 #55
3 favorites of great passion by Dickenson, Tennyson and Whitman Rowdyboy Dec 2013 #52
Hi Rowdyboy Pendrench Dec 2013 #56
And you also! Rowdyboy Dec 2013 #77
Dickinson's "I dwell in possibility" CTyankee Dec 2013 #53
Hi CTyankee Pendrench Dec 2013 #57
I thank you so much! What a nice meeting with you...it is a great poem.. CTyankee Dec 2013 #71
I've always liked Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" cyberswede Dec 2013 #54
Hi cyberswede - Pendrench Dec 2013 #58
+10! Locut0s Dec 2013 #59
The sun's gone dim, and the moon's gone black elleng Dec 2013 #60
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone Locut0s Dec 2013 #61
WOW, Locut0s, elleng Dec 2013 #63
Hi Locut0s Pendrench Dec 2013 #67
Good one! Great...loved it! CTyankee Dec 2013 #72
Allen Ginsberg - A Supermarket in California Locut0s Dec 2013 #62
Allen Ginsberg - Howl Locut0s Dec 2013 #64
Dylan Thomas - Fern Hill (Probably my favourite of all poems) Locut0s Dec 2013 #65
Dylan Thomas - Poem in October Locut0s Dec 2013 #66
Henry Reed, Naming of Parts Locut0s Dec 2013 #68
Pedro Palacios Almafuerte - Pui Avanti! Xipe Totec Dec 2013 #69
Hi Xipe Totec Pendrench Dec 2013 #86
e.e. cummings: elleng Dec 2013 #70
Gerard Manley Hopkins elleng Dec 2013 #73
Dylan Thomas, Child's Christmas in Wales elleng Dec 2013 #75
Wow thanks for that. I love Dylan Thomas. Had not read that before... Locut0s Dec 2013 #81
You should hear him recite it, Locut0s! elleng Dec 2013 #85
Hi elleng Pendrench Dec 2013 #87
Thanks, Tim. elleng Dec 2013 #93
I tend to skew old from my days as an English Lit major, but: ok_cpu Dec 2013 #76
Hi ok_cpu Pendrench Dec 2013 #88
My choices may be slightly controversial, but to name one, I was pretty partial to Allen Ginsberg nomorenomore08 Dec 2013 #80
Hi nomorenomore08 Pendrench Dec 2013 #89
Kipling - IF BlueCollar Dec 2013 #83
Kipling was brilliant ailsagirl Dec 2013 #84
Hi ailsagirl Pendrench Dec 2013 #91
Hey, Pendrench-- Happy New Year! ailsagirl Dec 2013 #96
Hi BlueCollar Pendrench Dec 2013 #90
I'm a huge fan of Coleridge and his obsession for dreary epics. Chan790 Dec 2013 #92
Elegy for Jane Zorro Dec 2013 #94
Alfred Edward Housman (One of my favorite poets) Sognefjord Dec 2013 #95
Somewhat along those same lines Zorro Dec 2013 #97
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