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Unread 10-15-2018, 05:41 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 14,293

My own list would overlaps with much of what has been posted so far, but I'd like to single out a poem or two that is not as canonical and therefore some of you might not know or think about in this context.

Alan Dugan's Funeral Oration for a Mouse is pretty great. Stanley Kunitz's The Portrait is another of my very favorites. I could name many by Catherine Tufariello that make the list, though I suppose lots of people here already know them. "The Doorman," "Aubade," "Clear Water," to name just three that I think you can easily find online. ("Aubade" in particular is ridiculously good).

In the children's world, any number of poems from Milne's "Now We Are Six" volume would qualify here. And Browning's "Pied Piper of Hamlein." And Dr Seuss's "Horton Hears a Who" is pretty great, in my opinion.
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Unread 10-15-2018, 11:15 PM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
Posts: 3,093

Originally Posted by Cally Conan-Davies View Post
Thomas Hardy. The Self Un-seeing
Yes to this! I don't find too many other people who have this on their list, or even know it well -- even old-time Hardy fans. Good reminder, too: I need start re-reading Hardy again. Thanks for that!

David R.
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Unread 10-16-2018, 03:11 AM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
Posts: 3,093

At first, I was like, "nah, that's too hard." Then I was like, "what the hell, just do it off the top of your head." Then I was like, "the original post was like 'current active membership' and you're an infrequent use-to-be." But then I was like "what the hell" again. So, here's mine (woefully incomplete, and in no order at all):

Robert Frost -- "Choose Something Like a Star," "Mending Wall," "A Line-Storm Song"
E. A. Robinson -- "Rueben Bright," "Dear Friends," "Amaryllis"
Emily Dickinson -- "Meeting by accident," "Because I could not stop for death," "It's all I have to bring today"
Thomas Hardy -- "The Self-Unseeing," "The Weary Walker," "The Darkling Thush"
William Wordsworth -- "The world is too much with us"
Edna St. Vincent Millay -- "What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why," "I will put chaos into fourteen lines"
Richard Hugo -- "Places and Ways to Live," "Death Of The Kapowsin Tavern," "Wheel of Fortune"
John Hollander -- "At the New Year"
Tony Hoagland -- "I Have News for You"
Timothy Steele -- "Toward the Winter Solstice"
Daniel Anderson -- "Standard Time"
Claude McKay -- "America"
Christina Rossetti -- "A Birthday"
Charles Bukowski -- "i met a genius," "man in the sun"
Robert Johnson -- "Malted Milk," "Love in Vain"
William Shakespeare -- "Be not afeared; the isle is full of noises (from The Tempest)"
Kay Ryan -- "Home to Roost"
Fray Luis de Leon -- "Al Salir de la Carcel," "La Vida Retirada"
Lynne Knight -- "To the Young Man Who Cried Out 'What Were You Thinking?' When I Backed into His Car"
Langston Hughes -- "Let America be America Again"
Louise Bogan -- "A Tale"
Wang Wei -- "Zhongnan Mountain Retreat"
Charles Reznikoff -- "Te Deum"
Kenneth Patchen -- "In Order To"
Lope de Vaga -- "Varios Efectos del Amor"

David R.

Last edited by David Rosenthal; 10-16-2018 at 03:15 AM.
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Unread 10-16-2018, 03:19 AM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,968

David R.! Long time no see -- good to see you! I'm in your boat, not active, and went through the same thinking before posting mine. I look forward to reading your personal canon in the hours to come. I don't know most of them. Glad you decided to post, in the end!

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Unread 10-16-2018, 03:42 AM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,554

Many wonderful responses in this thread, thanks all. This is a busy week for me, but hopefully next week I'll get a chance to settle in and enjoy a bunch of what's in this thread.
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Unread 10-16-2018, 12:55 PM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,923

To the Roaring Wind
Bleecker Street, Summer
Another Green World
the soundtrack to Donkey Kong Country 2
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Unread 10-16-2018, 01:08 PM
Rob Wright Rob Wright is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA, U.S.A.
Posts: 792

What an interesting thread. I suppose I'd have to list all the poems I've committed to memory (some of these are rather faded.)

"The Shampoo" Elizabeth Bishop
"Love Calls us to the Things of this World" Richard Wilbur
"Root Cellar" by Theodore Roethke
"Musée des Beaux Arts" W.H. Auden
"Skunk Hour" Robert Lowell
Adelstrop" Edward Thomas
"The Drowned Children" Louise Glück
"The Sick Rose"
"On Sleep" John Keats
"Autumn" John Clare
"Sonnet for Helene, 47" Pierre de Ronsard

Once again, what a great thread.
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Unread 10-16-2018, 05:21 PM
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Michael F Michael F is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: a foothill of the Catskills
Posts: 930

I agree, great engagement here. I have a lot to read, which I love.

Rogerbob, "Horton" is kinda visionary, isn't it? Like "The Lorax". Seuss was way ahead of everyone.
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Unread 10-21-2018, 08:36 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,906

Between this thread and the thread "The Movies" here on General Talk I am steeped in treasures. These will be my cup of tea for eternity.
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Unread 10-27-2018, 02:01 PM
Chiago Mapocho Chiago Mapocho is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 226
Default Rose Kelleher's Enlightenment was a wonderful find. Also, thanks for reminding me of

Oh, man, Rose Kelleher's Enlightenment was a wonderful find. I love the thread's encyclopedic nature, gathering such a net of literary works. Thank you for reminding me of Duffy's Prayer, which I haven't read in long whiles, but which I used to keep next to my bed once teddy bears and toys got obsolete.

The list below, even after consciously omitting most of the top-of-mind poets out there, is quite long, and tries to catch a vast pastoral of aesthetics & sensibilities. Poets like Robert Frost, Auden, Dickinson, Shakespear, Donne, et all, shout in the background, dragged deep into the woods, pushing their way for inclusion, audible over the voice of trees.


James Pollock. The Museum of Death
Meghan O'Rourke's "Lost Sister" dialogue: The Lost Sister, Then This.
James Galvin. On the Sadness of Wedding Dresses

Li-Young Lee. The Gift
Kevin Young. On Being Blind
Edna Millay. What lips my lips have kissed and where and why

Weldon Kees. For My Daughter. Robinson.
Sara Borjas. Lies I Tell
Maggie Smith. Good Bones

Jordan Windholz. Bestiary
A. E. Stallings. Deus Ex Machina , The Tantrum, Aftershocks,
Fishing, Another Lullaby for Insomniacs, Whethering, Containment, Momentary, Explaining an Affinity for Bats
Melissa Broder. Salt

Ansel Elkins. Reverse: A Lynching
Phillip Larkin. High Windows
Jamaal May. There are Birds Here

Cathy Park Hong.
All the Aphrodisiacs
Wallace Stevens. Anecdote of the Jar, Of Mere Being
James Wright. A Blessing, Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

Carol Ann Duffy.
Yusef Komunyakaa.
Togetherness, The Land of Cockaigne, A Voice on an Answering Machine
W. S. Merwin. Homecoming, Rain Light, The New Song

Kim Addonizio. What the Dead Fear

Mark Mccloughan. Devotion (Reflection)
Cynthia Cruz. Twelve in Yellow-Weed at the Edge, Midnight Office, Self Portrait
Campbell Mccgrath.Emily and Walt,
Nox Borealis

Saeed Jones. The Blue Dress
Jennifer Chang. This Corner of the Western World, Pastoral
Rebecca Hazelton. The Good in the Evil World,

Ari Banias. The Happy, Fountain

Patrick Donnelly. Cradle-Song
Louise Bogan. Leave-Taking
Richard Wilbur. The Beautiful Changes

Alice Oswald. Slowed-Down Blackbird, Full Moon, Body, Flies
Claudia Emerson. Artifact
Kazim Ali. Hymn, The Failure of Navigating in the Valley, Sleep-Door

Nicholas Friedman. Not the Song, but After
Ocean Vuong. Toy Boat, Someday I'll Love Ocean Vuong, Aubade with Burning City
Mark Waldron. Las Aves Vacias, How Scrubbed Up Clean, The Stick

Clint Smith. The Drone
Caitlin Doyle. The Foley Artist's Apprentice
Sam Sax. Hermatology

Cally Conan-Davies.
Wompoo Fruit Dove, What This Is
Dorianne Laux. Heart
E. E. Cummings. i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

Barbara Jane Reyes. dear love
Gina Franco. The Stone is Wordless
Anna Jackson. Bees, so many bees

Amit Majmudar. Rites to Allay the Dead
Jericho Brown. Bullet Points, Another Elegy ["This is what our dying looks like"]
Khadjah Queen. Disposed, Theory: Synesthesia

Nina Powles. Last Eclipse, some titles for my childhood memoir
Ilya Kaminsky. We Lived Happily During the War
Hieu Minh Nguyen. Outbound

Jennifer Givhan. I am Dark, I am Forest
Jos Charles. from feeld
Louise MacNeise. Snow

Dilruba Ahmed. Snake Oil, Snake Bite
Wendy Xu. And then it was less bleak because we said so
Solmaz Sharif. Vulnerability Study

Danez Smith. Alternate Names for Black Boys, sideshow
Jack Underwood. Totem Pole
Elena Karina Byrne. Vertigo, Cow Song, During the Vietnam War

Jill Alexander Essbaum.
4:13 am, Poem
Adrian Matejka. Gymnopédies No. 3
Matthew Dickman. Bluebells

Nomi Stone. La Ghriba
Kaveh Akbar. Vines, Portrait of the Alcoholic Floating in Space with Severed Umbilicus, Gloves, Orchids are Sprouting Floorboards
Jane Huffman. Ode

Ernest Hilbert. Kite
Kamilla Aisha Moon. Cateracts

Edward Hiersch. The Unveiling

Bob Hicok
Leave a Message
When the wind died, there was a moment of silence
for the wind. When the maple tree died, there was always a place
to find winter in its branches. When the roses died, I respected the privacy
of the vase. When the shoe factory died, I stopped listening
at the back door to the glossolalia of machines.
When the child died, the mother put a spoon in the blender.
When the child died, the father dug a hole in his thigh
and got in. When my dog died, I broke up with the woods.
When the fog lived, I went into the valley to be held
by water. The dead have no ears, no answering machines
that we know of, still we call.


Osip Mandelstam. Alone I Stare into the Frost's White Face

Francis Ponge. Rain , The Trees Delete Themselves Inside a Fog-Sphere
Thomas Transtromer. After a Death
Wislawa Szymborska. Photograph from September 11, Identification

Alejandra Pizarnik.All Night I Hear The Noise of Moaning Water
Noah Bucholtz. The Moonlight
Robert Desnos. The Landscape

Last edited by Chiago Mapocho; 10-27-2018 at 07:53 PM.
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