Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Dave's Top 10 Countdown

The curator of the weird & wonderful attacks. Here is my Top 10. It was really difficult to select a 'top 10' because what makes one top, which is better, do I know one that IS better and all that came into my mind. My mind got crowded. And heavy, and sleepy, and achy. So I decided to be biased and chose 10 I personally liked (out of all the others) and therefore, would like to share with my future students...not necessarily at an academic level. I've put links up to the poems whilst a few others I've vom-ed out on this page because I'd really LIKE YOU TO READ them.

1. The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

2. Discipline by Herbert Spencer

3. Alabaster by Sarojini Naidu

LIKE this alabaster box whose art
Is frail as a cassia-flower, is my heart,
Carven with delicate dreams and wrought
With many a subtle and exquisite thought.

Therein I treasure the spice and scent
Of rich and passionate memories blent
Like odours of cinnamon, sandal and clove,
Of song and sorrow and life and love.

4. The Murderer's Wine or Le Vin de L'assassin by Charles Baudelaire

5. Echo by Christina Rosetti (I'd prefer Goblin Market but is that too controversial?)

Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope and love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter-sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brim-full of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death;
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

6. To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell (who can resist this one...might get mentioned with Robert Herrick)

MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE, and not just because she's from Birmingham...
(Blogspot being extremely temperamental and messing with my post. No idea what's wrong but original poem cna be read here: http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.com/2001/03/warning-jenny-joseph.html)
7. Warning by Jenny Joseph (this poem is famously aka 'When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple')
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
8. They Eat Out by Margaret Atwood
9. dying is fine)But death by E. E. Cummings

10. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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