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Favorite Poem

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,597
Points
24
We have lots of music threads. How 'bout a poetry thread?

My favorite poem is Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. It impacts me very deeply.

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.


Here is some explanation of the poem from its author, Randall Jarrell:

A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the fetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose.
I've tried to recite this poem. I just can't do it without my voice cracking. The first person viewpoint makes this poem so very personal.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,959
Points
30
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Longfellow
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,022
Points
34
The fat cat on the mat
May seem to dream
Of nice mice that suffice
For him or cream;
But he free maybe
Walks in thought
Unbowed, proud, where loud
Roared and fought,
Lean and slim, his kin
Or deep in den
In the east, feasted on beasts
And tender men

Where woods loom in gloom --
Far now they be
Fierce and free
And tamed is he;
But fat cat on the mat
Kept as a pet
He does not forget

Sam Gamgee
Red Book of Redmarch
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
26,738
Points
55
'Richard Cory' has long been a favorite of mine. Despite being a downer, I like how the poem conveys the message that people's inner states often have little relationship to their life's external circumstances.

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was richyes, richer than a king
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
4,999
Points
21
'Richard Cory' has long been a favorite of mine. Despite being a downer, I like how the poem conveys the message that people's inner states often have little relationship to their life's external circumstances.

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was richyes, richer than a king
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Mine too. And if I'm not mistaken, the line from Richard Cory started us down a long impromptu poetry road a few year's back....
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,547
Points
22
The goal is to dream
But also to act on what is possible
To trust that time will unfold
And life will ripen
And that where we are now
Is not where we'll be forever

(Maura Sheehe)
 
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Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,264
Points
43
The Charge of the Light Brigade
BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,579
Points
50
"Though fog or night the scene encumbers,
Why don't all buildings show their numbers
On lintel, wall or door?
Why can't a house say good and plenty,
'Hey look at me! I'm Nineteen-twenty,
The joint you're looking for!'

"Why can't our thoroughfares, our highways,
Our squares, our streets, our parks, our byways,
Have signs where all can see?
'I'm Lincoln Place.' 'I'm Pershing Corner.'
'I'm Avenue Ignatius-Horner.'
'I'm Boulevard Legree.'

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"So, dwellings, mansions, roadways, alleys,
As well as rivers, mountains, valleys
And hamlets near and far
Throughout this self-effacing nation,
We really want the information;
Please tell us who you are! "​

— Arthur Guiterman
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
302
Points
14
The Blue House, by Tomas Transtromer


It is night with glaring sunshine. I stand in the woods and look towards my house with its misty blue walls. As though I were recently dead and saw the house from a new angle.
It has stood for more than eighty summers. Its timber has been impregnated, four times with joy and three times with sorrow. When someone who has lived in the house dies it is repainted. The dead person paints it himself, without a brush, from the inside.
On the other side is open terrain. Formerly a garden, now wilderness. A still surf of weed, pagodas of weed, an unfurling body of text, Upanishades of weed, a Viking fleet of weed, dragon heads, lances, an empire of weed.
Above the overgrown garden flutters the shadow of a boomerang, thrown again and again. It is related to someone who lived in the house long before my time. Almost a child. An impulse issues from him, a thought, a thought of will: “create. . .draw. ..” In order to escape his destiny in time.
The house resembles a child’s drawing. A deputizing childishness which grew forth because someone prematurely renounced the charge of being a child. Open the doors, enter! Inside unrest dwells in the ceiling and peace in the walls. Above the bed there hangs an amateur painting representing a ship with seventeen sails, rough sea and a wind which the gilded frame cannot subdue.
It is always so early in here, it is before the crossroads, before the irrevocable choices. I am grateful for this life! And yet I miss the alternatives. All sketches wish to be real.
A motor far out on the water extends the horizon of the summer night. Both joy and sorrow swell in the magnifying glass of the dew. We do not actually know it, but we sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route. While the sun burns behind the islands.
 
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