loved poems

i'm posting some of my favourite poems here along with relevant links

Herakleitos - Robert Crawford

eftir Kallimachos

When they telt me
Ye'd deed
Wey bak,
I grat,
Yon nicht
We sat oot gabbing
Till the cauld
Peep o day.
An sae, ma auld
Halikarnassian pal
Ye got seik
And noo ye're someplace
Deid in the grun -
But thae sangs, aa
Yon nichtingales o yourn,
Still soun
Lik they sounded
When we set oot
An sat oot
Twa young men.
Daith taks the lot,
They sey,
But, ach,
Thae sangs
He's nivver
Gonnae get.

in memory of Mick Imlah

telt - told; deed - died; grat - wept; gabbing - talking; peep o day - dawn; seik - ill; yourn - yours; soun - sounded

this poem makes me very emotional. click here for a link to it elsewhere, although i personally found it in 'poems of the decade 2011-2020'

I, being born a woman and distressed - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

i consider this somewhat of an ode to the one night stand. my mum recommends this poem to buffy in s6, after she (spoiler) starting sleeping with spike.

The Orange - Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange—
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.

click here for a link to a brand new collection of wendy cope's poetry featuring the orange & a brief explainer of it by cope herself. i fucking love this poem its just so simple and so powerful.

A 14 Year Old Convalescent Cat in Winter - Gavin Ewart

I want him to have another living summer,
to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre –
because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer,
is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre –

I want him to lie stretched out, contented,
revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm,
an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented
by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm

to settle on him – postponed for another season
that last fated hateful journey to the vet
from which there is no return (and age the reason),
which must soon come – as I cannot forget.

this poem reminds me of my beloved 17 year old elderly gentleman cat, heimdall. i've known him almost my entire life and watching him slow down makes me very emotional. click here for his rainbow bridge page. click here for gavin ewart's page on poetry archive, featuring a recording of him reading this very poem.

Love Song of the Bat with Vertigo - Martín Espada

Oh your hair! How I long to stroke your hair with the tip of my wing
like the giant in that book about mice and men, so I escape your attic,
a mouse with wings, soaring above the mousetraps smeared with
peanut butter in your kitchen. You shriek at me and hand the giant
standing next to you a bat, not a bat like me, but a bat for hitting
baseballs, now a bat to hit bats, so I sail high and away, four times
around the room, a fastball slipping from the hand of the sweaty pitcher
who puts the tying run on first in the ninth inning. You toss the giant
a bucket to catch me, and suddenly I am incarcerated up against
the wall, so I beat my wings inside the bucket the way a drummer
improvises a solo, a song for you that silences the chatter in the nightclub.
The bucket dumps me into the night air, a bat with vertigo, and I flap
away upside down, searching the darkness for the light glimmering
from your hair, like the waterfall in that cave where all good bats go to die.

this just absolutely captured my heart the first time i read it. i feel like i can feel the soul of this little bat and that it resonates with mine somehow. click here for this poem's listing and a short biography of the author.