Poems: National Poetry Month

I know I usually do a commentary before I introduce my next subject, however as this is the last day of national poetry month; I wanted to jump right in. I love poetry, so I thought I might share my favorite poems with you, I love poetry, however I can’t share all of them with you so I chose just two of the many I absolutely love, and my reflections on them. I have also put one of my own poems 2012. Enjoy.

 

John Donne

Love’s Alchemy.

 

Some that have deeper digg’d love’s mine than I,

Say, where his centric happiness doth lie.

I have loved, and got, and told,

But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,

I should not find that hidden mystery.

O ! ’tis imposture all ;

And as no chemic yet th’ elixir got,

But glorifies his pregnant pot,

If by the way to him befall

Some odoriferous thing, or medicinal,

So, lovers dream a rich and long delight,

But get a winter-seeming summer’s night.

 

Our ease, our thrift, our honour, and our day,

Shall we for this vain bubble’s shadow pay?

Ends love in this, that my man

Can be as happy as I can, if he can

Endure the short scorn of a bridegroom’s play?

That loving wretch that swears,

‘Tis not the bodies marry, but the minds,

Which he in her angelic finds,

Would swear as justly, that he hears,

In that day’s rude hoarse minstrelsy, the spheres.

Hope not for mind in women ; at their best,

Sweetness and wit they are, but mummy, possess’d.

 

There is something so beautifully sinister about John Donne; I absolutely adore his love/hate relationship with love, which makes this ‘love’ poem even more intriguing. I read this poem first when I was seventeen and I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t really think you could make a love poem that was ‘angry’, in my mind it was all roses and sunlight, soft beautiful images, but with Donne I was surprised but pleased, there is such bold honesty about his poems, so much hurt and raw emotion, so many layers I discover every time I read. My favourite line is ‘Ends love in this’ one of the single most powerful lines I have ever read, it’s so artfully done, I love the way he’s questioning the whole institution of what it means to love and be loved, ends love in this, is this loves extent? Is this the power of love? Is this what everyone wants? – Question after question, there is so much emotion and confusion he evokes with that simple line.

 

John Keats

Ode to a nightingale

MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbnes pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:

‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,                   5

But being too happy in thine happiness,

 

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death,

Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,

To take into the air my quiet breath;

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,        55

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,

 

Ahh Mr Keats how much I love these two stanzas, for very different reasons, from the beginning we are arrested, my heart aches, it’s sad, so unnerving in the imagery it creates, already the scene is set. His continuation with ‘and a drowsy numbness pains my senses’ it creates a confused sense of unease – a an almost drunken state but not quite, because he seems to be choked with emotion so much so that he is made numb, he’s not over emotional – he just has a heavy heart and hat is so much worse.

The next stanza, I have memorised forever, to me it sounds like a suicide letter, yet it’s not sad or angry, there is something so content about the tone, how easily he could just slip into deaths arms. Death has been personified, not something that should be feared but someone, who you softly whisper to in the night. I love that he used the word rich, like he would enrich himself to die, death is not the end, just another stage, it shouldn’t be feared, but something to look forward to with reflection.

 

 

Annabel Ashalley-Anthony

The Letter: 2012

I dreamt one day the world would end,

That this to me, this letter send:

I, done with life, though it seems wrong

I wish to cease my spinning song

So adieu, say I to life and love

And away I go like a soft white dove.

 

 

This poem I wrote last year, the Mayans predicted that the world would end everyone was going crazy, disaster movies everywhere, documentaries everything. I just thought how does the earth feel? Maybe the world will end because the earth is feeling suicidal, maybe the earth has had enough of putting up with humans with pollution with everything and has decided to die. 

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2 comments on “Poems: National Poetry Month

  1. perrycson says:

    I really like this poem about you but it seem you are still not certain. Life is not what you think it is. Do you know what no one wishes to talk about? Hate…! We all have it, but it is how easily we understands it.
    always remember….
    The funniest moments shared with …. friends,families& enemies. The key of life is Joy & the symbol is Hope.

    • Obengbia says:

      I understand why you might think this poem is about me, of course everything I write will have an imprint of a part of my personality, but this poem was really about how I thought the earth might feel, humans pollute the earth claim lands, draw borders, on the earth which is a living thing so should be treated thus. I will write a poem about Hate.

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