Tuesday Ten

For today’s post, I thought that I would share 10 quotes from ten of my favorite poets.  Since I had difficulty narrowing the poets down to just ten and then choosing which quotes to share, I may make this a monthly or bi-monthly post.  Time will tell. 😉  You will notice that the last quote is a full poem from Emily Dickinson.  That’s because I couldn’t just pick one line and because…well…it’s Emily Dickinson. 😉  May you enjoy these quotes as much as I do.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Maya Angelou (She would know all about courage. ❤ I thoroughly enjoy her writings and greatly admire her.)

“The temple bell stops
I still hear the sound coming
out of the flowers.”
~ Matsu Basho

“I felt that I had to write. Even if I had never been published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge.” Gwendolyn Brooks (A quote that I’m sure resonates with all writers. 🙂)

“A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.”  E.E. Cummings

“An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.” George Eliot  (My thoughts exactly! Foxes…an apt description of most politicians I’d say!)

“Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.” Robert Frost

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” Langston Hughes  (It was so hard to choose one quote.  I just love Langston Hughes!  He was a magician with words and my second favorite poet.)

“My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.” A.A. Milne (This is *so* me! I totally get Pooh Bear! LOL)

“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.” Anne Bronte (The Bronte sisters had a way with words. They used them to paint so many glorious pictures in my mind!)

“He ate and drank the precious Words —
his Spirit grew robust —
He knew no more that he was poor,
nor that his frame was Dust —

He danced along the dingy Days
And this Bequest of Wings
Was but a Book — What Liberty
A loosened spirit brings —”
~ Emily Dickinson  (Poem  #1587  Emily Dickinson just had a way with words.  She wove them into lovely living creations and let them loose to dance and flutter on the page and into her reader’s imaginations; for this very reason, she remains my favorite poet. Although Langston Hughes is neck to neck with her on my favorites list.)




5 thoughts on “Tuesday Ten

  1. Love this, Sue. Great choices! My personal favourite is a short poem by Housman that defined my life, and if it’s OK, I will quote it here.

    These, in the day that heaven was falling,
    the hour when Earth’s foundations fled,
    followed their mercenary calling
    and took their wages, and are dead.

    Their shoulders held the sky suspended,
    they stood, and Earth’s foundations stay.
    What God abandoned, these defended
    and saved the sum of things for pay.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andrew, thanks so much for sharing that poem. This is the first time I’ve read it. Feel free to share other poems that have meant a lot to you here in the comments section. Meeting a new poem/poet is often like meeting a new friend. 🙂


      • Sue, I’m glad you liked it! Here are a couple more that influenced me – first, Yeats’ “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”

        I know that I shall meet my fate
        Somewhere among the clouds above;
        Those that I fight I do not hate,
        Those that I guard I do not love;
        My country is Kiltartan Cross,
        My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
        No likely end could bring them loss
        Or leave them happier than before.
        Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
        Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
        A lonely impulse of delight
        Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
        I balanced all, brought all to mind,
        The years to come seemed waste of breath,
        A waste of breath the years behind
        In balance with this life, this death.

        And next, Tennyson’s “Ulysses”:

        It little profits that an idle king,
        By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
        Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
        Unequal laws unto a savage race,
        That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
        I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
        Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
        Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
        That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
        Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
        Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
        For always roaming with a hungry heart
        Much have I seen and known; cities of men
        And manners, climates, councils, governments,
        Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
        And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
        Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
        I am a part of all that I have met;
        Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
        Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
        For ever and forever when I move.
        How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
        To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
        As tho’ to breathe 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 gray spirit yearning in desire
        To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
        Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

        This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
        To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
        Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
        This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
        A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
        Subdue them to the useful and the good.
        Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
        Of common duties, decent not to fail
        In offices of tenderness, and pay
        Meet adoration to my household gods,
        When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

        There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
        There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
        Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
        That ever with a frolic welcome took
        The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
        Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
        Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
        Death closes all: but something ere the end,
        Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
        Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
        The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
        The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
        Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
        ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
        Push off, and sitting well in order smite
        The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
        To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
        Of all the western stars, until I die.
        It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
        It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
        And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
        Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
        One equal temper of heroic hearts,
        Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
        To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

        An, if I may, one more, “Fighting On”, by Henry Lee:

        I see no gleam of vic’try alluring,
        no hope of splendid booty or of gain.
        If I endure, I must go on enduring
        and my sole reward for bearing pain – is pain.
        Yet though the thrill, the zest, and the hope are gone
        something within me keeps me fighting on.

        Liked by 1 person

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