Having gone through a four-year English course has had me exposed to a lot of literature, and a lot of poems, like sometimes more than I would ever want to go through, but I still prefer them to novels; they’re shorter and somehow capture something so special that too many words will spoil.
So I thought that I’d start this week with a few verses that just changed my poetic landscape. These are the poems that have stood out in my mind after the four muddled years of reading poetry.
1. Rain on a Grave by Thomas Hardy
Soon will be growingGreen blades from her mound,And daisies be showingLike stars on the ground,Till she form part of them –Ay – the sweet heart of them,Loved beyond measureWith a child’s pleasureAll her life’s round.
2. I’m Sorry I Don’t Respond by Fernando Pessoa
Each of us is many persons.
To me I’m who I think I am,
But others see me differently
And are equally mistaken.
I was exposed to Pessoa in my European Literature class and just fell in love with the voice in the poems. I would just love to learn Portuguese just to be able to read the original text and get the full semantics of the lines. But as an English translation this verse still speaks and relates to me.
3. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;Thy firmness makes my circle just,And makes me end where I begun.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
I couldn’t help but put this entire poem in (’cause it’s just one verse long). I remember really well that I had stuck this poem to the front cover of my first poetry journal. I ended up writing 80 poems in that one, and this poem stood as a model for all of them.
5. i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it inmy heart)i am never without it(anywherei go you go,my dear;and whatever is doneby only me is your doing,my darling)
I’d love to know what poems have affected you and the ones that just stand out to you. So please feel free to comment on the poems you love.
Till next time,