Inspiration, Lifestyle

5 Of My Favorite Poems Of All Time!

July 18, 2012 • By

Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!!  Thanks to those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning and as we come to the home stretch, it’s getting a little more (to borrow a phrase) Challenging!!  Anyways……I have a deep and abiding love for poetry.  It can be melodic, gut-wrenching, soul searching, powerful, melodramatic, seething or heartwarming.  I love it because it expresses so much in its simplest form and gets down to the heart of the matter.  I wanted to share my favorites and in turn, perhaps you can share yours with me!

Here are five poems that I’ve loved for years because each has taught me lessons that I needed to learn during a particular time of crisis or happiness in my life……

1. Nikki Giovanni’s “I wrote a good Omelet”

I wrote a good omelet…and ate a hot poem…
after loving you

Buttoned my car…and drove my coat home…in the
rain…
after loving you

I goed on red…and stopped on green….floating
somewhere in between…
being here and being there…
after loving you

I rolled my bed…turned down my hair…slightly
confused but…I don’t care…Laid out my teeth…and gargled my gown…then I stood
…and laid me down…to sleep…
after loving you

————————————

2. Veronica Shoftstall’s “After a while”

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

—————————–

3. Maya Angelou’s “Still I’ll rise”

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

——————————-

4. William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

———————-

5. Lord Byron’s “When we two parted”

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow–
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shrudder comes o’er me–
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee so well–
Long, long I shall rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met–
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive
If I should meet thee

After long years,
How should I greet thee?–
With silence and tears.

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