A weekly meme hosted @ The Blue Bookcase.
This week's question is:
What is your favourite poem & why?
What a great opportunity this is to discuss poetry, which doesn't come up all too often in book blogging. In fact, many people are averse to poetry because in school, they were either taught poetry in a stringent, dull, line-by-line analysis or they weren't exposed to it often enough to truly appreciate it.
My favourite poem has always been "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, because it evokes such fear and excitement in the reader, especially if read in the spooky tone that its rhythm suggests. The best reading of the poem is by far from The Simpsons by James Earl Jones for the series' very first Treehouse of Horror Hallowe'en episode:
Sorry that the picture quality is poor but this is the only complete version on YouTube.
Another favourite of mine that can't help mentioning is "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, which I discovered in my 19th century lit class at university & has always stuck with me. When reading it, I imagine how Keats looks into the soul of a painter that created the images etched on the urn and how their existence is lived through its admirers instead of itself.
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'