Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Ten simple poems

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

By softwareNerd from Software Nerd,cross-posted by MetaBlog

On an old OO.net thread, some members said they weren't keen on poetry. So, I though I'd make a list of poems for poetry-newbies. I won't claim these are the best 10 for the purpose; more like the best 10 of the one that I had "top of mind".

1. Let's start with some fun. If you have a daughter entering her teens, you may appreciate "Romantic Age" by Ogden Nash.

2. A simple poem about a man admiring a woman. "She Walks in Beauty", by Lord Byron

3. "The Road Not Taken", by Robert Frost

4. Here is one in the voice of a soldier, fighting a war for a cause he does not understand. "The Man He Killed", by Thomas Hardy

5. "Love's Philosophy", by Shelley

6. "She Was a Phantom of Delight", by Wordsworth

7. "The Listeners", by Walter de la Mare (His "Someone Came Knocking" is one of my childhood favorites)

8. "Red, Red Rose", by Robert Burns

9. "The Children's Hour", by Longfellow

10. "Song to Celia" by Ben Jonson

And, as a bonus, I'd add Dylan Thomas, reciting his own poem "Do not go gentle into that good night".

What other poems would you recommend to specifically to get someone started?

SoftwareNerd?i=E8w6iPB SoftwareNerd?i=8txvgOb SoftwareNerd?i=LtOMmEb


Link to comment
Share on other sites

What other poems would you recommend to specifically to get someone started?

That depends on the person, but one good candidate would be Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty." (I'm especially fond of the fifth stanza.) You might also want to point them to Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight." Both might be longer than you had in mind, however. A good one (if a bit dark) by Robert Frost is "Once by the Ocean ." On a less serious note, a fun one I loved when I was little was Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Dumb Soldier."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

How can you speak of poetry and not include Shel Silverstein?! :D

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Forgotten Language

Ticklish Tom (This one's not got a very good ending, but makes me laugh most of the way through.)

Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (heehee)

To a Mouse by Robert Burns

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Kubla Khan

The Suicide's Argument


Sonnet 29


I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

To Autumn


To A Skylark

William Blake

Laughing Song

Something Childish, But Very Natural

Barbara Allen (Can anyone recommend me any more ballads?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Santiago read me this one during our wedding ceremony and it was awesome! I thought he wrote it just for us at first! :wub:


Dear Lady, I don't mind admitting to you

That my heart greatly trembled and shook at

The first time you happened to come to my view,

You were awfully hard not to look at!

Your manner was modest, I know that it was,

But your eyes were so brightly alert with

Sheer fun, that I flirted a little because

You truly were hard not to flirt with.

Then later acquaintance proved this very plain

Which all who have known you agree with,

To get on without you was sorrow and pain;

You were terribly hard not to be with.

So though I have struggled to keep my heart whole

It seems to be useless, and therefore,

I've fallen in love with you, body and soul,

You are frightfully hard not to care for.

I'd resolved I'd remain in a bachelor's state,

I thought I was cautious and wary,

Yet I march to the altar with manner elate,

You're impossibly hard not to marry!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By softwareNerd from Software Nerd,cross-posted by MetaBlog

On an old OO.net thread, some members said they weren't keen on poetry. So, I though I'd make a list of poems for poetry-newbies. I won't claim these are the best 10 for the purpose; more like the best 10 of the one that I had "top of mind".

I would just like to list four of my top poets:

Emily Dickinson

Sara Teasdale

Edna st. Vincent Millay

Berton Braley

Imaginary Gardens: A Study of Five American Poets by Rosemary Sprague, which, for me served as a fantastic intro to some poets. I rvad later such horrible selections of Dickinson poetry in Norton Anthologies, that if it wasn't a library copy, I would have torn the motherfucker to shreds, it was such an injustice/disservice to my dearest Emily. Plus, I can't remember an NA I actually liked that I read... But until I compile a good collection, I will merely list my top poets instead. I could not read this without mentioning them at the very least. I might post a few of my favorite of theirs later, but right now due to time, I will simply drop names.

I'm actually reading through the Dickinson Journal that I purchased access to and am a member of EDIS. she facinates me and the journal is one very selfish pleaure of mine to read through. It's taking me a long while too, I'm only on Vol 5, #2, but it's adding much depth to her poetic heights for me.

Edited by intellectualammo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Berton Braley: http://www.bertonbraley.com/

Also, I like the Richard Le Gallienne interpretation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Some examples:

Look not above, there is no answer there;

Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;

Near is as near to God as any Far,

And Here is just the same deceit as There.


And do you think that unto such as you;

A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew:

God gave the secret, and denied it me?--

Well, well, what matters it! Believe that, too.


"Did God set grapes a-growing, do you think,

And at the same time make it sin to drink?

Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus--

Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

My favorite!

One From One Leaves Two, by Ogden Nash

Higgledy piggledy, my black hen,

She lays eggs for gentlemen.

Gentlemen come every day

To count what my black hen doth lay.

If perchance she lays too many,

They fine my hen a pretty penny;

If perchance she fails to lay,

The gentlemen a bonus pay.

Mumbledy pumbledy, my red cow,

She's cooperating now.

At first she didnt understand

That milk production must be planned;

She didn't understand at first

She either had to plan or burst,

But now the government reports

She's giving pints instead of quarts.

Fiddle de dee, my next-door neighbors,

They are giggling at their labors.

First they plant the tiny seed,

Then they water, then they weed,

Then they hoe and prune and lop,

They they raise a record crop,

Then they laugh their sides asunder,

And plow the whole caboodle under.

Abracadabra, thus we learn

The more you create, the less you earn.

The less you earn, the more you're given,

The less you lead, the more you're driven,

The more destroyed, the more they feed,

The more you pay, the more they need,

The more you earn, the less you keep,

And now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray the Lord my soul to take

If the tax-collector hasn't got it before I wake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

This sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay is my favorite:

When I too long have looked upon your face,
Wherein for me a brightness unobscured
Save by the mists of brightness has its place,
And terrible beauty not to be endured,
I turn away reluctant from your light,
And stand irresolute, a mind undone,
A silly, dazzled thing deprived of a sight
From having looked too long upon the sun.
Then is my daily life a narrow room
In which a little while, uncertainly,
Surrounded by impenetrable gloom,
Among familiar things grown strange to me
Making my way, I pause, and feel, and hark,
Till I become accustomed to the dark.


Edited by bbrown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...