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Favorite rhymed metric verse written after 1950 (e.g. Wilbur and Gunn)

by marcus
Tags: 1950, favorite, gunn, metric, rhymed, verse, wilbur
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marcus
#37
May13-10, 01:25 AM
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Refusal to mourn the death, by fire,... by D. Thomas

Never until the mankind-making,
bird, beast, and flower
fathering, and all humbling darkness
tells with silence the last light breaking
and the still hour
is come, of the sea tumbling in harness--

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead,
and the synagogue of the grain of corn--
shall I let pray the shadow of a sound,
or sow my salt seed
in the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

the majesty, and burning, of the child's death.

I shall not murder
the mankind of her going with a grave truth,
or blaspheme down the stations of the breath
with any further
elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
robed in the long friends:
the grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother.

Secret by the unmourning water
of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.
marcus
#38
Jul1-10, 04:35 PM
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Humorous 12-line poem by Wilbur--I think it is about serendipitous invention, the creative accident.

MIND

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
that beats about in caverns all alone
contriving by a kind of senseless wit
not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore:
darkly it knows what obstacles are there
and so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
in perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
that in the very happiest intellection
a graceful error may correct the cave.
ViewsofMars
#39
Oct7-10, 07:56 AM
P: 463
I really like this poem. You can sense the rhythmic vowels. It's the unspoken word within the dancing mind of a woman to a man.

The Conversation
by Jane Hirshfield

A woman moves close:
there is something she wants to say.
The currents take you one direction, her another.
All night you are aware of her presence,
aware of the conversation that did not happen.
Inside it are mountains, birds, a wide river,
a few sparse-leaved trees.
On the river, a wooden boat putters.
On its deck, a spider washes its face.
Years from now, the boat will reach a port by the sea,
and the generations of spider descendants upon it
will look out, from their nearsighted, eightfold eyes,
at something unanswered
marcus
#40
Oct7-10, 03:26 PM
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The topic of the thread is rhymed metric verse. I'm hoping other people will contribute some, particularly if it was written in the past 60 years. One reason I'm especially interested in collecting recent rhymed verse here is that it seems to be making a comeback, after a lengthy "modernist" period.

Please see what you can dig up, recent verse that rhymes and scans, and that you like.

Here is one by Sylvia Plath, called Mad Girl's Love Song.
It is in a traditional rhymed form, called a villanelle. An example of a well-known villanelle is Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night..."
A villanelle has 6 short stanzas, each with 3 lines except the last, which has four lines.
The first stanza's first and third lines get alternatively repeated verbatim to close subsequent stanzas---so there is a kind of echo that goes on throughout the poem. Here is Sylvia Plath's villanelle.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I lift my lids and all is born again
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red
and arbitrary darkness gallops in.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
and sung me moonstruck, kissed me quite insane
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade--
exit seraphim and enter Satan's men.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
but I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead.
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
ViewsofMars
#41
Oct7-10, 04:00 PM
P: 463
Quote Quote by marcus View Post
The topic of the thread is rhymed metric verse. I'm hoping other people will contribute some, particularly if it was written in the past 60 years. One reason I'm interested in collecting rhymed verse in particular is that it seems to be making a comeback, after a lengthy "modernist" period.
Hi marcus. I thought you should know that many people that take a University Creative Writing course or Poetry course are encouraged to write contemporary poetry, though they have studied metric verse. I attend a lot of "Poetry Salons" at different universities and bookstores. It is extremely rare to hear a poem that is strickly rhymed metric verse. I wonder where you got the idea that 'rhymed metric verse is making a comeback'. I noticed you started this topic in July 2008 and only one other person besides myself has contributed a rhymed metric verse poem. Poetry is about the creative placement of vowels.

Most "Beat" or "Slam" poets today like pounding out what you term as rhymed metric verse. Have you written any poetry? I do realize you started this topic but as you can see you haven't gotten much response since you last started the thread. Also, poets are normally flexible. Don't you agree?

I can't wholeheartedly agree with this statement of yours, "One reason I'm interested in collecting rhymed verse in particular is that it seems to be making a comeback, after a lengthy "modernist"
period." As far as Sylvia Plath goes, I never really liked her poetry that much. Dylan was a song writer. I haven't heard any of Sylvia's poetry that has been sung. Have you? Just curious.
Also, Jane Hirshfield is pretty awesome.

Thanks,
Mars
marcus
#42
Oct7-10, 04:12 PM
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If you want to ask questions and/or argue about recent trends, please start a thread about rhymed versus unrhymed. I might join the discussion, and mention some things I've noticed recently. Others might be interested. This thread was started to be a collection.

If you want to start your own collection of favorite poems, in your own thread, please do!

=================

To add to this collection of favorite rhymed metric verse, here is one by Ogden Nash:

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
that practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle,
in such a fix, to be so fertile!

====================
EDIT TO REPLY TO NEXT POST, #43
Views,
I don't want to clutter this thread with conversation. If you want to start a thread about it I'll be happy to contribute what I've seen in the way of signs of a verse comeback (glimmerings in the New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, recent anthology, the annual conference---a gathering of poets who use traditional-and-allied form). I don't want to mess this thread up with just talk about changing poetry fashions.
ViewsofMars
#43
Oct7-10, 04:41 PM
P: 463
Quote Quote by marcus View Post
If you want to ask questions and/or argue about recent trends, please start a thread about rhymed versus unrhymed. I might join the discussion, and mention some things I've noticed recently.
I have no need to argue. You were the one that stated: “
Quote Quote by marcus View Post
One reason I'm especially interested in collecting recent rhymed verse here is that it seems to be making a comeback, after a lengthy "modernist" period.


I think it is only fair, since you made the statement, that I have every right to ask for the evidence here on this topic, because I don't wish to start another topic pertaining to this issue. I see no harm in asking.
marcus
#44
Oct8-10, 12:36 AM
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To continue with this collection of rhymed metric verse, here is one called "Everness" by Jorge Luis Borges. This is typed from memory (it's a poem worth learning by heart) so may have minor errors in punctuation etc.

Sólo una cosa no hay: es el Olvido.
Dios, que salva el metal, salva la escoria.
Y cifra en su profética memoria
las lunas que serán, y las que han sido.

Ya todo está: los miles de reflejos
que entre los dos crepúsculos del día
su rostro fue dejando en los espejos,
y los que irá dejando todavía.

Y todo es una parte del diverso
cristal de esa memoria--el universo.
No tienen fin sus arduos corredores

y las puertas se cierran a tu paso:
sólo al otro lado del ocaso
verás los Arquetipos y Esplendores.
marcus
#45
Oct8-10, 01:19 AM
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Here is the Wilbur translation of that Borges sonnet. Again I type from memory since the translation is also a poem that is well worth knowing by heart:

One thing does not exist: Oblivion.
God saves the metal, and he saves the dross--
and his prophetic memory guards from loss
the moons to come, and those of evenings gone.

Everything is: the shadows in the glass,
which, in between the day's two twilights, you
have scattered by the thousands, and shall strew
henceforward in the mirrors as you pass.

And everything is part of that diverse
crystalline memory, the universe.
Whoever through its endless mazes wanders

hears door on door click shut behind his stride,
and only from the sunset's farther side
shall view at last the Archetypes and Splendors.
marcus
#46
Oct8-10, 01:36 AM
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This Robert Frost poem is another one worth knowing by heart. It is about wanting to get answers from the Universe, wanting to be told meaning and purpose, but not getting answers---only finally....a sense of perspective. It is called "Choose something like a star."


Oh star, the fairest one in sight,
we grant your loftiness the right
to some obscurity....of cloud...
(it would not do to say "of night"
since dark is what brings out your light);
some mystery becomes the proud,
but to be wholly taciturn
in your reserve is not allowed:

Say something to us we can learn
by heart, and when alone repeat,
say something! And it says, I burn.
But say with what degree of heat:
talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade,
use language we can comprehend--
tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
but does say something in the end,
and steadfast as Keat's Eremite,
not even stooping from its sphere,
it asks a little of us here:
it asks of us a certain height.

So when at times the mob is swayed
to carry praise or blame too far,
we may choose something like a star
to stay our minds on, and be staid.
ViewsofMars
#47
Oct8-10, 01:51 AM
P: 463
Quote Quote by marcus View Post
Other people's reactions help.
Ok. Great news from you. I appreciate it.

EDIT TO REPLY TO NEXT POST, #43
Views,
I don't want to clutter this thread with conversation. If you want to start a thread about it I'll be happy to contribute what I've seen in the way of signs of a verse comeback (glimmerings in the New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, recent anthology, the annual conference---a gathering of poets who use traditional-and-allied form). I don't want to mess this thread up with just talk about changing poetry fashions.
This is my *reaction* to your most recent comment. First off you can call me Mars. Bye the way, my observations (views) reflect what I have earlier stated. If your reaction is to ignore them then so be it. Also, one of my hobbies is poetry. I’ve been writing poetry for over 30 years. I’ve work-shopped and critiqued the poetry of Poet Laureates and many brilliant Professors of Poetry from around the globe. And, I am very much aware what is happening in the world of poetry today.

Marcus, thank you. I wish you the very best and would love to read a poem of yours. If you love poetry, you must be writing poetry.
marcus
#48
Oct8-10, 08:27 AM
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Most of the poems I've collected here are ones I know by heart and have typed in from memory---a few earlier in the thread were copy-paste entries but at a certain point I began applying a kind of selection rule:
if you have to paste it in, then it doesn't belong.
I only put in rhymed metric verse, and only verse that I've found memorable, so I know it by heart and can recite while out on walks in the openspace hills near here.

So my suggestion to anyone who wants to add some favorite R.M.V. to this collection is
learn it by heart first, and then type it in from memory
(make sure it's good enough to know by heart.)

Here's a sonnet by Edna Millay that certainly makes the cut, by that standard:

What lips my lips have kissed, and where and why
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
under my head till morning, but the rain
is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

upon the glass, and listen for reply.
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
for unremembered lads who not again
will turn to me at midnight, with a cry.

Thus, in winter, stands the lonely tree,
nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
yet knows its boughs more silent than before--

I do not know what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
a little while, that in me sings no more.
G037H3
#49
Oct8-10, 09:26 AM
P: 326
Let’s play musical chairs, one of my favorite games,
especially now that you and I have traded place.
You walk around and choose to dump there for a change,
there is a way for you to win this race.
Criss Cross a Turn, your shirt inside out,
you like to think, I can’t see what you are but the tables have turned.
What goes around comes around, you’re about to get burned,
flip the script you’re checking in, I’m checking you out.

You’re just too sweet, till you get on my nerves and hurt like cavities,
you left a bad taste in my mouth, my sour patch kid.
You and me, its no mystery, no magic trick.
Let me hear this broken record again, just scratch my beat.
I can be your new favorite waste of time, and you’ll be mine,
all I want is your attention, it’s all the same thing.
Are you in? What’s it gonna be?
Don’t roll with the punches, make it hard for me baby.

[3x]
Drop you like a needle on the record, scratch my itch, watch you run in circles, hit the beat.
Drop you like a needle on the record, front way switch, go around in circles, hit the beat.

[Repeat song from beginning]

[2x]
Drop you like a needle on the record, scratch my itch, watch you walk in circles, hit the beat.
Drop you like a needle on the record, front way switch, go around in circles, hit the beat.

....................................................................... ................................................

seriously though, poetry is dead :3
marcus
#50
Oct8-10, 10:24 AM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
Most of the poems I've collected here are ones I know by heart and have typed in from memory---a few earlier in the thread were copy-paste entries but at a certain point I began applying a kind of selection rule:
if you have to paste it in, then it doesn't belong.
...
I'll re-enter from memory some of those on pages 1 and 2 of this thread that may have been pasted at first but have since been learned. This by Anna Akhmatova (whose husband was executed in the Stalin purges and whose son went to the gulag) is dated 1935:

This happened when only the dead wore smiles--
they rejoiced at being safe from harm,
and Leningrad dangled from its jails
like an unnecessary arm,

and when the beaten and convicted
marched in mindless dull-eyed throngs,
when railroad whistles were restricted
to singing separation songs.

The stars of death stood overhead,
and guiltless Russia, that pariah,
writhed under boots, all blood bespattered,
and the wheels of many a black mariah.


Lynn Coffin's translation--rhymed & metric like Akhmatova's original "Requiem"
which will live, as the Russian language itself lives.
marcus
#51
Oct9-10, 02:43 PM
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About reciting poetry from memory, turns out there's a national contest for highschool kids

It's sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and called Poetry Out Loud (POL). Started in 2005 on a pilot basis, expanded in 2006, and includes all states. Over 300,000 highschoolers participated in 2010. First local level, then a countywide judging where each contestant recites several poems. Then statewide---here is the California run-offs: one contestant from each county, each contestant delivering 3 poems:
http://www.cac.ca.gov/artsnews/whats...ail.php?id=180

The page gives links to text of many of the poems, and it gives video clips of each of the recitations. The poems range from John Donne to Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Billy Collins.

The national POL folks post a list of poems that contestants can choose from. It's about reciting poems by others, not one's own (as in a slam or reading). I think some of the young people have coaches---in many cases their delivery was subtle, understated, sensitive---not hammed, but letting the poem speak

Here's the current list of eligible poems:
http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems/browsepoems.html

They keep striking poems from the list and adding new ones---to keep it fresh. Here's the list of removed poems (some have been recited a lot, indeed have been delivered by the contest winners in past years.)
http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems/ineligible.html
marcus
#52
Aug5-11, 08:35 PM
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By now this thread has gotten away from the restriction to post-1950. Here is one by Jose Marti, cuban:

http://www2.fiu.edu/~fcf/jmarti.html

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero,
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca.
Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo,
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo,
Cultivo una rosa blanca.


I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly.
And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose.
marcus
#53
Aug5-11, 08:47 PM
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Ruben Dario


El cisne en la sombra parece de nieve;
su pico es de ámbar, del alba al trasluz;
el suave crepúsculo que pasa tan breve
las cándidas alas sonrosa de luz.

Y luego, en las ondas del lago azulado,
después que la aurora perdió su arrebol,
las alas tendidas y el cuello enarcado,
el cisne es de plata ,bañado de sol.

Tal es, cuando esponja las plumas de seda,
olímpico pájaro herido de amor,
y viola en las linfas sonoras a Leda,
buscando su pico los labios en flor.

Suspira la bella desnuda y vencida,
y en tanto que al aire sus quejas se van,
del fondo verdoso de fronda tupida
chispean turbados los ojos de Pan.

just found this, not sure what I think of it.


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