What is your favorite stanza or quote from a poem? Mine is from "Anactoria", by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 - 1909). I just love these lines.

"That I could drink thy veins as wine, and eat
Thy breasts like honey! that from face to feet
Thy body were abolished and consumed,
And in my flesh thy very flesh entombed!"

Tags: cannibalism, consumption, love, poem, poetry

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One of my favourite stanzas is from a poem by Mikhail Lermontov (I think I have mentioned that guy before...). He was a Russian poet, often compared to Lord Byron. I especially like the two last sentences of this poem:

The Sail

A lone white sail shows for an instant,
Where gleams the sea, an azure streak.
What left it in its homeland distant?
In alien parts what does it seek?

The billow play, the mast bends creaking,
The wind, impatient, moans and sighs...
It is not joy that it is seeking,
Nor is it happiness it flies.

The blue wave dance, they dance and tremble,
The sun's bright ray caress the seas.
And yet for storm it begs, the rebel,
As if in storm lurked calm and peace!

(Again I'm not sure about the translation, but it is the best I have found so far on the Internet, in my opinion)
Hi Marit,

It takes a poet to translate a poem.

I have 2 favorite poems that have always stuck in my mind for some reason. I'll post them separately. My favorite stanza is:

"Billie Holiday got lost on the subway and stayed there forever.
Raised little peace-of-mind gardens in out of the way stations,
And will go on living in wrappers of jazz silence forever, loved.

It's from the poem, "Afterwards, They Shall Dance", by Bob Kaufman

     Afterwards, They Shall Dance

In the city of St. Francis they have taken down the statue of St. Francis,
And the hummingbirds all fly forward to protest, humming feather poems.

Bodenheim denounced everyone and wrote, Bodenheim had no sweet marijuana dreams,
Patriotic muscateleer, did not die seriously, no poet love to end with, gone.

Dylan took the stone cat's nap at St. Vincent's, vaticaned beer, no defense;
That poem shouted from his nun-filled room, an insult to the brain, nerves,
Save now from Swansea, white horses, beer birds, snore poems, Wales-bird.

Billie Holiday got lost on the subway and stayed there forever.
Raised little peace-of-mind gardens in out of the way stations,
And will go on living in wrappers of jazz silence forever, loved.

My face feels like a living emotional relief map, forever wet.
My hair is curling in anticipation of my own wild gardening.

Poor Edgar Allan Poe died translated, in unpressed pants, ended in light,
Surrounded by ecstatic gold bugs, his hegira blessed by Baudelaire's orgy.

Whether I am a poet or not, I use fifty dollars' worth of air every day, cool.
In order to exist I hide behind stacks of red and blue poems
And open little sensuous parasols, singing the nail-in-the-foot song, drinking cool beatitudes.

Thanks for posting this fine work, AE. I share your favorite stanza. It's rather gloomy but the words dance.

My favorite stanza from this poem by Galway Kinnell, is the last one.

First Song

Then it was dusk in Illinois, the small boy
After an afternoon of carting dung
Hung on the rail fence, a sapped thing
Weary to crying. Dark was growing tall
And he began to hear the pond frogs all
Calling on his ear with what seemed their joy.

Soon their sound was pleasant for a boy
Listening in the smoky dusk and the nightfall
Of Illinois, and from the fields two small
Boys came bearing cornstalk violins
And they rubbed the cornstalk bows with rosins
And the three sat there scraping of their joy.

It was now fine music the frogs and the boys
Did in the towering Illinois twilight make
And into dark in spite of a shoulder's ache
A boy's hunched body loved out of a stalk
The first song of his happiness, and the song woke
His heart to the darkness and into the sadness of joy.
Galway Kinnell is one of my favourite poets. Here is a link to another succulent morsel. Rapture
That's very well done.
Hey Dallas,

A sensual stanza . . . reminds me of the Eucharist and transubstantiation.
Yes, a very sensual excerpt, expressing so much longing for connection.

On this note: when I was religious I used to think of the eucharist as a hug from god. Now I feel the much healthier hugs from nature are those awesome sunset moments, no woo required. 

This verse of Alexander Pope has stuck with me since I was at school.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!


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