5 Poetry Verses that Changed Me

1 silver lining - monday

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 growing
    Green blades from her mound,
And daisies be showing
    Like stars on the ground,
Till she form part of them –
Ay – the sweet heart of them,
Loved beyond measure
With a child’s pleasure
    All her life’s round.
I’ve reiterated this poem countless of times in my past blog and my tumblr’s title is just the line “daisies be showing like stars on the ground”. I just love the imagery. Plus, there is so much tenderness in this verse.

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.
I think to understand and appreciate this verse requires a read of the full conceit, but I love it on its own. It suggests that long distance is more of an expansion or a stretch of love rather than an abrupt interruption or breach of it. This one came from one of my close readings during junior college. It was one of the poems that just stuck out to me, even after all those other poems during my college days.
4. Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
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 in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
My main inspiration for my form of poetry these days. This is probably the verse that started it all. It taught me that words are not the only words. Form and punctuation is just as powerful.

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,

cumuoloq ❤

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4 thoughts on “5 Poetry Verses that Changed Me

  1. I’m currently studying English Literature with a focus in creative writing. I’ve recently been on a Charles Bukowski rage. But I thought I’d share my favorite poem of all time by Oscar Wilde:

    Never regret thy fall,
    O Icarus of the fearless flight
    For the greatest tragedy of them all
    Is never to feel the burning light.

  2. Pingback: An Introduction to Thomas Hardy | Words' Sanctuary

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