Saturday, May 8, 2010

Poetry Nerd Alert! Part II

  • My muse Daniel Craig and I have selected two of our favorite poems. Well, of course Dan loves poetry! Poetry cuts to the core, evoking images and filling the reader with emotion while using very few words. I hope you enjoy this sample of brilliance.

Disclaimer: please forgive any inconsistencies with the font and spacing. My blog is doing all sorts of weird things today. It is possessed, I swear.

Now, I present to you The Match by Swinburne
  • If love were what the rose is,
  • And I were like the leaf,
  • Our lives would grow together
    In sad or singing weather,
    Blown fields or flowerful closes,
    Green pleasure or gray grief;
    If love were what the rose is,
    And I were like the leaf.
    If I were what the words are,
    And love were like the tune,
    With double sound and single
    Delight our lips would mingle,
    With kisses glad as birds are
    That get sweet rain at noon;
    If I were what the words are,
    And love were like the tune.

    If you were life, my darling,
    And I your love were death,
    We’d shine and snow together
    Ere March made sweet the weather
    With daffodil and starling
    And hours of fruitful breath;
    If you were life, my darling,
    And I your love were death.

    If you were thrall to sorrow,
    And I were page to joy,
    We’d play for lives and seasons
    With loving looks and treasons
    And tears of night and morrow
    And laughs of maid and boy;
    If you were thrall to sorrow,
    And I were page to joy.

    If you were queen of pleasure,
    And I were king of pain,
    We’d hunt down love together,
    Pluck out his flying-feather,
    And teach his feet a measure,
    And find his mouth a rein;
    If you were queen of pleasure,
    And I were king of pain.

    Okay, Mr. Swinburne. You are totally awesome, and I have a big literary crush on you.
    Dan just reminded me that I can't forget Walt Whitman. I chose to share a small portion of O Captain! My Captain!
    O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead. . .

    Whitman, American poet laureate of his day, wrote that poem for Abraham Lincoln, and it is perfection.

  • Thank you, blogging buddies, for reading through this post. Great poems like these taught me to love words as a child. Today, they inspire me to write fiction, and with my limited skill, to take common language and refashion it into something new and bright. As Frost would say, we writers take "the road less travelled" and indeed, that makes "all the difference."

  • Do you like poetry? Who are your favorite poets?


  1. I enjoyed these. Poetry is either hit or miss with me - though I envy anyone who can write it.

    I love that your muse is named Daniel Craig :)

  2. Now I'm crushing on Swinburn, too!

  3. Eeeks, your blog is doing some strange things! I enjoyed the crazy formatting! What's Daniel been drinking?

  4. Robert Louis Stephenson's The Swing, and Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay. (See my post for further explanation)

  5. I am sorry for the insane format, but I cannot get my blog to behave today.

  6. Both of these are great poems! I love the idea of hunting down love.

    My favorite poem is The Lady of Shalott.

  7. Aubrie! Tennyson is my favorite poet. Ullyses! Love it. The Lady of Shallot is also beautiful and tragic and I love it, too.

    Wendy- You can't go wrong with the two Roberts.

    Storyqueen - Everyone has a crush on Swinburne after reading The Match.

    Jaydee - I can't write poetry at all, but I do enjoy it when I'm in the mood.

  8. Oh my goodness you need a exorcism!!!!! Well not you - your blog. Maybe Danny Boy could recommend a suitably robed bishop to help you??

    But these poems are beautiful - so romantic and evocative. I am in AWE!

    I struggled through my poetry section of my writing course but was most pleased to scrape by with an 80% pass!!!! But lordy, never again!

    I do like John Betjeman because he makes me laugh!

    Take care

  9. I love these poems. I'll admit, unlike Daniel Craig, I'm intimidated by poetry. I just like it when I read it, but don't seek it out.

  10. While I was at school today I was pulling out my fave poetry books for next week. I like a wide variety - from Shel Silverstein to Margaret Atwood :)

  11. Those were so beautiful. I do love poetry, but I don't read it very much. I don't know why that is. . . Laziness I guess :)

    I'm so glad you posted these, and it was fun to find out that they made you love words as a child. I wonder who you discovered then? What poem was it that sparked that love?

    Have the happiest Mother's Day ever Roxie!:)

  12. I love thumbing through lit mags that come to my office--we have a journal exchange with Southern Review, Ploughshares and a half dozen others.

    I like contemporary stuff a lot. My faves are Denise Levertov, David Citino and Scott Cairns. I have to admit also love the Beat poets of the 50s, Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti. I named my cat Keats (though I prefer Byron of the Romantics).

  13. Hi Roxy, thanks for the poetic moment. I like listening to The Writer's Almanac where Garrison Keillor reads a poem of the day. I love Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. Mary Oliver is great. I have the best book of poetry called The Music Lover's Poetry Anthology.
    Happy Mom's Day!

  14. I'm a poetry cretin, although I do like Byron, Shelley (whiny I'm told) and John Donne. Quite a line up for someone with neither poetry nor romance in her soul. Your muse may be Daniel, but mine is Byron: mad, bad and dangerous to know. And as my man Lord B. says, "There is no instinct like that of the heart."

    Happy Mothers Day!

  15. Thanks for the poetry post. I love love poetry.

  16. Poetry is always a great break from the fiction I write, though I am not always so disciplined to seek it out. I know I should but that doesn't always matter, so thanks for this palette cleanser, and the follow.

  17. I love poetry. Some days I write it myself and other days I just listen for the rhythm in people's words, seeing the poetry all around me.


  18. I am such a lame-o. I can NOT believe I just spelled your name Roxie! What the heck!

    Total brain was on vaction day. :)

    And I would really love to come to that conference this weekend. It sounds great :) do you want to send me some info when you get a chance? No rush.