The Poetry Thread

We had one on TIA so thought I’d start one here. I wanted to get down in writing, before I forget it entirely, a poem I memorised over 20 years ago. I don’t know who it was by.

The Bitter End

He grabbed me round my slender neck,
I could not call or scream,
He dragged me to a dingy room,
Where we could not be seen,

He stripped away my flimsy wrap,
And looked upon my form,
I was so cold and damp and scared,
While he was hot and warm,

He pressed his feverish lips to mine,
I could not make him stop!
He drained me of my very self,
I gave him every drop

He made me what I am today,
That’s why you see me here,
An empty bottle thrown away,
That once was full of beer.


roses are grey
violets are grey
everything’s grey
i am a dog


You can’t have a poetry thread without some John Donne:

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy’or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.


Roses are red
Lillies are white
We conquered all of Europe
Everton are shite

Derek Mahon:

Everything is Going to be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The day rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

(Except of course on TAN if the poem or your post mentions the banned word s*n … substituted by ‘day’ here…)
I’m pretty sure he didn’t have that organ of the gutter press in mind when he wrote it…sigh)

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There once was a man from Madras,
who’s balls were constructed of brass,
in stormy weather, they clanked together
and sparks came out of his ass


There was a young girl from Cathay
On a slow boat to China one day
Was trapped at the tiller
By a sex-starved gorilla
And China’s a bloody long way!

Spike Milligan

Ah…so this is the level, eh?

I was actually told the following by a teacher…

There once was a man from Bombay,
Who fashioned a cunt out of clay,
The heat from his dick,
Turned the clay into brick,
And shredded his foreskin away.

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Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?


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A favourite of mine by Patrick Kavanagh

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay -
O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.

And who by fire, who by water
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial
Who in your merry merry month of may
Who by slow decay
And who, shall I say is calling…

And Who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate
Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt
Who by avalanche, who by powder
Who for his greed, who for his hunger
And who, shall I say is calling

And who by brave assent, who by accident
Who in solitude, who in this mirror
Who, by his lady’s command, who by his own hand
Who in mortal chains, who in power
And who, shall I say is calling

L. Cohen.

Not particularly fond of poetries. but I find this one extremely moving

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might
That His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.

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