Ten Poems


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Say it, say a new joy, a fresh start, a new body. Longing in the heart too stark to be denied. I can tell the difference with my eyes closed between the real thing and a nose, between coming and the nostalgia of an old rose falling away from its bud.

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Out of a state of mind and body oppressive as a living room suite in red mohair or a five room stucco bungalow replete with bath in tile, decalcomanias of tulips or windmills on cupboard doors, and hardware floors. Out of a slavish imitation of goodness, failing by the margin of spirit; out of a payment of dues, a public display for approval or disapproval of approved or disapproved public actions; out of all spontaneity perishd.

Why at my age do I go on talking with you when the air stifles in this close room? Why after twenty-eight years do I stew in this pot of decencies — a backwater Bohemian watching, assenting as the perennial doom moves in.

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How lovely, my demoiselle lets fall the golden waves to grace her fair embitterd face. I brought these guests with me? I meant a jolt out of old ways. I brought these guests with me. Flee, flee the company of shame.

Never to cast shame off. One thought of casting off these things is itself the burst of joy. Deceit stayeth the free speech and had I one hour to live, to speak, I would be damnd perpetually. Yet Time tells us the most wretched in Pusan know North Korean Communists are worse, the enemy, more wretchd.

And we imagine such an evil state by imagining out of ourselves ourselves conquering ourselves, a relentless victory, an unknown potential change in things, corrupting the good meat upon the plate, souring the wine like bad blood and blackening the bread with mould in U.

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This is what we are fighting for. To make real unrealities of our fear. To force the enemy to the ground from which he rose and crush them there. To render wretchedness acute and all protesting voices mute.

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Christians might well as Armageddon see this battleground of hopeless piety to challenge such a Nothing fell and cast from Heaven into hell. The Master of Mandrake Park I is not one of the ones who is waging the war. He grows old in the dark preceding the day they are fighting for. The Master of Mandrake Park sat with his mechanical head on his knees and laughd as the blood gushd forth whenever it started to sneeze.

The mechanical head had to be wound up each hour until it glowerd with spiritual power and gave forth with ease astonishing bursts of direful curses and intending impending prophecies of ordinary catastrophies. Who hoo are you wonderful Mandrake Park? Mr Mandrake Park is chillingly bland. He holds his wet right hand in his wet left hand and sits with his mechanical head on his knees which answers his ventral request with a sneeze.

Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden

II The moon is riding crooked in the air. Her rays whirl round like burning hair. Mr Mandrake Park has man-like eyes that shine like stars in winter skies. He carries a War as a cloak round his humpd back. He carries reports, clackety clack. Who is the Master crooked as a root with his cry like a hymnis solemnis rippd from old wood? What does the clock count half pest sick? Lady MacMandrake Park is ill at ease, she watches her shadow rise from her side and silently glide to the darkening window where it leans on the sill.

What does the clock strike? Almost past saving. Old Doctor Shinbone lets in the winter wind to howl at her bedclothes licking her extremities chilling her enormities yessing her nose. What did learned Coleridge know in the fastness of his heart that turnd him from the spirit world to the years of ceaseless talk? Who followd after Christabel and waited at the door? What brightness of the air would come if he wrote more? What a tragic good appetite! One aspect of the work of art or poem or creation is to realize what is thought and felt. Now go play.

Tightly written? Not as tightly written as a mathematical equation. Look at the number of stresses per line, which vary between three and four and five, dictated not by the poem's internal requirements but by the writer's random impositions. In an equation, nothing is random.

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You analysis is pretty good, but you failed to mention the most compelling part of the poem, which is its hypnotic three-beat line. No matter how you twist and contort it, "grace" does not rhyme with "ways. Maybe as a novelty item, but I don't like for kids to think that poety is just a game, unless they understand that it's the most serious game in the world. Over the years I have found students in many states and of all ages deeply interested in "We Real Cool" by Gwen Brooks. It stirs discussion and debate and works well as a choral reading. Etheridge Knight: "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane" This is their favorite poem of the semester; if you can find a recording of this being read by Knight, please share it with them.

These are not necessarily my favorites, but they're the ones the beginning writers clamor to discuss. No offense but these were the kind of poems that made me hate college. I was so depressed in college. Teach Shelley or Ginsberg. Try teaching Hart Crane. William Carlos Williams' "The red wheelbarrow" one of the most anthologized poems in the U. In the Dickinson poem, the near rhyme of the words "port" and "chart" is quaint and endearing.

Technicality is the most insignificant part of a poem. It is there to serve the passion and intent of the heart. Counting and measuring should be left to the carpenter. No Wallace Stevens? There are too many poems to choose from but these guys should be in the mix. It is not uncommon to confuse artistry with self-expression and craftsmanship with carpentry, but there has never been an artist who wasn't also a consummate craftsman.

I must agree with Lisa. Anyone who is more conscious of beats and syllables is missing the point. The meter should serve the message or emotion a poem is attempting to convey, but at its core poetry is language aiming to wake us up to life. I am more interested in an image within a poem and how it makes me feel than whether or not the author stayed within the confines of "structure". Why all this concern in the comments with 'perfect end-rhyme'? Perfect assonance end rhyme is monotonous and most poets know how and when to break the metronomic flow.

That is, when they use rhyme at all! I liked these choices, though of course there are so many more. And how about some great Canadian poets?

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I have found all of the poems on this list to be powerful, and have gotten good response from students on almost all of them. If you are looking for tight meter and ryhme, "The Mill" will not disappoint. And just because it is my ultimate favorite, I would have to add "Ode to Autumn" by Keats. I cannot start the Fall without it.

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