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Photograph Notre Dame taken by Eugene Atget

 

 

Over the course of my life, I have encountered many poems that have touched me or played a significant role in my relationships and my life.  All literature has been a golden path for me, leading me through the wonderful labyrinth of life, but poetry has become that special touchstone I fondly remember and return to.  I try to see everything through the eyes of a poet, looking at it from all angles, creating metaphor, and feeling it with my every sense.  True poets do this naturally, without thought, they only filter thought through their eyes and to the page.  It is to this I aspire.

 

The Road Not Taken-Robert Frost- One of the only poems of his I like, if you believe it.  I do not agree with the critics who say he is one of the best American poets of our time, especially those who also place Carl Sandburg in that category.  But this poem reminds me of the time my mother read it to me as a child.  It is still one of her favorites as well.

Music I Heard with You-Conrad Aiken- I often feel this way after a loss, mostly relationships as I have been fortunate not have had many of my relatives/loved ones pass on.

As I Grew Older-Langston Hughes-  When a dream dies, it is a thing of such pain and sorrow that the air is crisp and quiet in mourning and disbelief.  It is cold there, and one needs the sun to warm, to grow another dream.  Langston Hughes is one of the greatest poets of this century, and his dream lives on.

Too Blue-Langston Hughes-  For the really dark days when nothing, not even the Muse, can stand you.

Dreams-Langston Hughes- This is one of my creative life mantras.  It is short and sweet; often simplicity is the most beautiful way to get a thought across.  Dreams can happen!

Forget Thee?-John Moultrie- I haven't been able to locate this whole poem.  But here is a piece of it dealing with obsession, something we have all felt at one point or another.

Untitled 1-Pablo Picasso- Not only was he a fabulous artist, but a wonderful poet as well.  I always read this poem when I need to feel the power of the artist, the ego surging, knowing you can create anything, do anything, and people will remember.

Untitled 2-Pablo Picasso-  Another urging of the surge of creation.  Each time it is like a new day beginning, and you can make it take the form of whatever you'd like it to be.  You have that power.

Ebb-Edna St. Vincent Millay-  Absolutely one of the best descriptive poems.  I own this feeling, I think.  It feels like I have had it enough for it to bear my name; I bear its scars.

Love is Not All- Edna St. Vincent Millay- This sonnet is so true.  And I thought I would show something from this talented poet other than  "How Do I Love Thee...?" which is so cliche.

I Become a Transparent Eyeball- Ralph Waldo Emerson-   For anyone who has reveled in the beauty of nature, pure and untouched by anything but the eyes of man; for anyone who has divined great energy and inspiration from our Mother Earth, this poem is for us.

Barter-Sara Teasdale-  Another life mantra.   Love is fleeting, get it while you can.  And if it is truly love, you will never regret, for you will have participated in something that can never die; it is the life force.

Midsummer-Sidney King Russell-  This poem always reminds me of the one that got away, Adam.  That love nearly had us, then let us slip through her fingers, shall always haunt me.  This is also for unrequited love of any sort, probably my greatest inspiration.

Annabel Lee-Edgar Allen Poe-  I think this is one of my father's favorites; I know he loves Poe.  I do too, as he loves to showcase the dank, dark places of the soul, those places I love to frequent in my own writing as well.

Hope-Emily Dickinson-  The power of hope is nothing to be laughed at.   When everything else in the world fails you, even when you fail yourself, hope is what leads you out of the darkness on a silvery leash made of dreams.

Philosophy-John Kendrick Bangs-  I always likened the light in this piece to creativity.  There are many ways to spark it, and it never runs out.  When out of ideas, you can take from dreams.  And then that cycle continues again.

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled-e.e. cummings- One of the best love poems I have ever read.  It is the detailed description of emotion, the passion of imagery and the brilliant mind of cummings himself that makes it so.
The Goat-footed Balloon Man-e.e. cummings

Sunflower Sutra-Alan Ginsberg- Absolutely one of the best poems to come out of the Beat Generation, in my opinion.  It holds in it everything the Beat held dear (which might not seem like much at first glance...Beat has an acquired taste, I think), industrialism, freedom, and the discovery of one's beautiful soul.  An paragon for descriptive imagery.

Song- Alan Ginsberg- Another passionate love poem.   The Beat and its poetry, art and literature continues to hold a special place in my heart as an artist.  It was a time of experimentation in many arenas, but artists like Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs changed the way of the word, the form of poetry, and the imagery of the modern age with their contributions.

Footnote to Howl-Alan Ginsberg- Probably one of the most famous of the notable beat poems, it and its namesake were surely what got Ginsberg's name on the map.  Powerful use of rhythm and diction, this is how the Beat got it's name.  It even sounds like a mad jazz drummer's solo!

Jabberwocky-Lewis Carroll
Leda and the Swan-W.B. Yeats
The Two Trees-W.B. Yeats
Stolen Child-W.B. Yeats
The Lady of Shalott-Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Coming of Arthur-Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Highwayman-Alfred Noyes
Horses-Pablo Neruda
Hesitate to Call-Louise Gluck

 

 

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