One of my favorites is also from Alexander Pope, though I can not recall the context. It must of course have been from one of his satirical pieces:
"Sir, I admit your general rule
That every poet is a fool.
But you yourself may go to show it
That every fool is not a poet."
It's been years since I've revisited Pope. Thanks for this.
I love that Pope stanza too. He deserves to be better known these days.
There are a handful of poems I remember from high school. Some of them left a larger impression than others, but none in quite the fashion of "Patterns," by Amy Lowell. Its final statement Its final statement manages to be at once mildly sensual and unremittingly tragic, all at once:
In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?
Interesting. I guess only a woman could have written that.
Thanks everyone for all the inspiring poetry. I have no business trying to hang with you artists but here I am. I'm sure many will recognize this Tennyson piece from Ulysses that has stuck with me all these years, the first 4 lines are my unfulfilled anthem:
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
Beautiful stuff Annet, thanks for sharing this. I especially like the first four lines.
These few lines are the reason I ever began to write.
I often see flowers from a passing car
That are gone before I can tell what they are.
I want to get out of the train and go back
To see what they were beside the track.