Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Which is your favourite poem and why?

(207 Posts)
Bakingmad0203 Wed 06-Jan-21 12:12:43

I have just finished watching Hope Gap and that made me think about poets and poetry.
I think my favourite is Home Thoughts from Abroad by Robert Browning because it makes me appreciate living here especially in the Spring, and having lived and worked abroad I know what it’s like to be homesick. I learnt it at school when I was about 11 and can still recite it word for word!

GrannyGravy13 Wed 06-Jan-21 12:20:45

The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear

My Paternal Grandpa made sure I could recite it before I started school, it brings back fond memories of him (he also taught me how to spell my first word Constantinople my teacher was suitably impressed by both) He was a great believer in all round knowledge.

BigBertha1 Wed 06-Jan-21 12:27:55

The Lady of Chaillot - just so sad and was appropriate to me at a certain time- ' a curse has come upon me'!

Lucretzia Wed 06-Jan-21 12:34:22

I love Roger McGough's poetry

kittylester Wed 06-Jan-21 14:06:06

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116. 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds.....'

Missfoodlove Wed 06-Jan-21 14:14:55

Cargoes by John Masefield.
“ Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir”
It was captivating to me as a 10 year old child.

Grandma70s Wed 06-Jan-21 14:19:53

Tell Me Not Here by Housman, such musical verse.

Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, the ultimate concise description of an English country station.

The Oxen by Thomas Hardy, a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas poem.

I have hundreds of favourites, though. I try to learn some by heart, but I’m getting worse at that. It was so easy when I was young..

Whitewavemark2 Wed 06-Jan-21 14:25:32

Morning Song by Sylvia Plath. Has been since I was a new mother.

Esspee Wed 06-Jan-21 14:29:42

Mine is Song by Kath Walker an aboriginal Australian who changed her name to Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

It helped me greatly when I lost my husband to cancer 16 years ago and I have never had another poem affect me in the way that one did.

I recommend you all read it.

3dognight Wed 06-Jan-21 14:34:20

The Highwayman - Alfred Noyes

Just love it. So dramatic and atmospheric, a teacher read it to our class when I was about 12 and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up!

Viridian Wed 06-Jan-21 14:48:12

The Light at St Ives by Sylvia Kantaris. The light is so special there and this poem moves me.

Niobe Wed 06-Jan-21 14:49:46

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

Doodledog Wed 06-Jan-21 14:52:31

Esspee

Mine is Song by Kath Walker an aboriginal Australian who changed her name to Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

It helped me greatly when I lost my husband to cancer 16 years ago and I have never had another poem affect me in the way that one did.

I recommend you all read it.

Thank you for this recommendation. I didn't know the poem, and have googled. I agree, it is very good.

I struggle to say which is my favourite poem, as so much depends on my mood when I read them.

I do love Prayer, by Carol Ann Duffy, for the way it finds faith in the everyday things that sustain us, and the way we look for something to believe in, even if religion is not for us:

Prayer

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

But if you ask me tomorrow I would give a different answer smile

Gossamerbeynon1945 Wed 06-Jan-21 15:03:28

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jnr

Grandma70s Wed 06-Jan-21 15:09:21

3dognight -

In my teens I knew The Highwayman from memory. I used to recite it to myself when I was very bored in lessons. It takes exactly eight minutes, if I remember correctly. Sometimes I’d have to say it, silently of course, three or four times. It got me through a few double German Literature lessons!

NannyJan53 Wed 06-Jan-21 15:11:48

Sea Fever by John Masefield

One of the first poems I learnt as a child.

janeainsworth Wed 06-Jan-21 15:16:25

Quite a long time ago now, somebody posted a poem on Gransnet that had been found in the pocket of an airman who had been killed. It was to his girlfriend at home. It was anonymous.

I copied & pasted it into my phone. Then one day I’d exceeded my storage & Apple deleted all my notes & I could never recover them.

I’ve never been able to find the poem - if anyone has any ideas, I’d be really grateful.

As for my favourite - WB Yeats, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.
And A Prayer for My Daughter.

Doodledog Wed 06-Jan-21 15:25:37

Can you remember anything about it, jane? A line, or even a phrase would be a help.

How annoying to lose something that way. I also store things in the Notes app, and didn't realise there was a risk of losing them. I'll be sure to save elsewhere, too.

Mamardoit Wed 06-Jan-21 15:40:35

Ring Out Wild Bells by Tennyson. I thought of it again this NYE for some reason.

Used to like hearing church bells ringing in the New Year. It's a pity we have fireworks now and everyone says it's tradition.
I'm sure I don't remember people setting of fireworks at NY before 2000.

Viridian Wed 06-Jan-21 15:45:38

Is it this one Jane?
High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee
An Anglo-American aviator and poet. Magee served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States entered the war; he died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.

Moonlight113 Wed 06-Jan-21 15:52:24

There's a line from a poem by Louis McNeice. "Content to be under the thunder and lightning with you. And happy with the sunlight in the garden."

I just love that.

eazybee Wed 06-Jan-21 16:05:58

An Arundel Tomb Philip Larkin

'What will survive of us is love.'

Every time I go to Chichester I visit the Cathedral and the tomb.
Haven't been able to go for over a year now.

lemongrove Wed 06-Jan-21 16:06:14

I have two favourites,
Poem In October by Dylan Thomas
Churchgoing by Philip Larkin

They are both slightly melancholic but very evocative and ultimately hopeful.

aquagran Wed 06-Jan-21 16:06:23

3dognight The Highwayman is my favourite too. It might have been me who read it to you. I read it to oh so many classes and they all loved it...or so they said!

lemongrove Wed 06-Jan-21 16:07:33

Niobe

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

It’s very sinister!😱