Oops wrong button- trying again with a request and new poem.

Hello everyone. I sometimes attend an interfaith group on Sundays and this week our topic of discussion is inspirational poetry. I was hoping you would share your most inspiring or heartening poems, or simply poems that have stayed with you. And unrelated, I will post a poem that I wrote recently for fun.

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Jeez. I uploaded the file with my class comments and process. Either this will be entertaining or annoying. Sorry!
I like your poem a lot. The combination of romantic and realistic is a success.
I think I've posted this before but it's still a favourite of mine and is an inspiration.

Invictus
1875
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond the place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Re After Twenty Years of Marriage:

This is a loving, lovely poem that gets at the reality of a long-term relationship (and I love it!). A long time ago I used to go to sleep every night with one arm under my wife's neck as I held her close. I would wake up with my arm asleep and hurting. That stopped after a while, and years later she told me that it was also uncomfortable for her. After forty-two years, some of the romance is gone and all of the discomfort, but none of the love. Thanks for reminding me.

Incidentally, clicking on your link only yields html.
Congratulations on 42 years of marriage! I think the subject of this long term relationship at the pont of many years IS inspiration for poetry. Marriage becomes its own poetry - so much is said in so few words, but body language is so well read, and the knowledge of the partner becomes something beyond superficial meanings of intimate. Glad you enjoyed. Karen
A poem I love and have for a long time is Richard Wilbur's "The Writer.

The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairway, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again it is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted the sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of a door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top.

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten . I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

Richard Wilbur (1976)


A poem of my own that I'm fond of and has stood the test of time was written when my wife and I had been married twenty years (imagine that!) and follows.

Blanket Cosmology

As I’m walking the dog in the park,
I see them sitting there,
completely absorbed in one another.
The crystal clear day,
the hint of winter to come,
mean as little to them
as world politics,
the space shuttle,
or the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
And I remember how once
you and I would come to the park,
and on a 5x7 section of heaven
we’d arrange our lives
so we could see the universe
in one another’s eyes.

Chris Brockman, 1988
Lovely-it transports me to that "universal" feeling. Here's hoping you can still feel as nonchalant about the Dow Jones average.
Galway Kinnell is one of my favorite poets. I've posted another of his poems elsewhere in this group. The following poem, “Duck Chasing”, is one of his earlier poems. It presages a comment he made, later in life, that “our deepest desire is to be one with all creation”. This playful poem reflects that attitude toward life. He mimics the duck, not to capture it but to experience its "duckness".

Duck Chasing

I spied a very small brown duck
Riding the swells. “Little duck!”
I cried. It paddled away,
I paddled after it. When it dived,
Down I dived too: too smoky was the sea,
We were lost. It surfaced
In the west, I swam west
And when it dived I dived,
And we were lost and lost and lost
In the slant smoke of the sea.
When I cam floating up on it
From the side, like a deadman,
And yelled suddenly, it took off,
It skimmed the swells as it ascended,
Brown wings burning and flashing
In the sun as the sea it rose over
Burned and flashed underneath it.
I did not see the little duck again.
Duck-chasing is a game like any game.
When it is over it is all over.

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