Poems I Cherish

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A while ago, I remember seeing a tag on facebook about books that you cherish. A few bloggers that I follow also did posts about books they cherish, and I want to. However, today I stumbled across a poem that I hadn't read for a while, and I think that I was meant to read it. So, I thought I would list my favorite poems, the poems I cherish, and invite you to do the same. 

1. "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I performed this poem my senior year of high school in this poetry competition thing... that I can't remember the name of. I didn't win my class (I forgot a line) but I grew to love this poem. It's about passion, and never giving up even in the face of certain failure, or in the poem, death. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Plus, here it is being read by Tim McGraw. You're welcome.



2. "Love After Love" by Derek Walcott
I remember seeing this book that was called "Poems that make Grown Men Cry" which I thought was inherently sexist, but I digress. I was flipping through, and found this one. Guess who it makes cry? Tom Hiddleston. His reading of the poem basically made me cry. 




Now it's a go-to for me, especially in terms of self-love and gratitude. Every line of this poem stirs something in my heart, but I really get teary around the second stanza, at the line:

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

For me, this is an incredibly beautiful message, as I feel rather lost, and rather unlovable at times. When I have those kinds of thoughts, I read this poem. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. You will love yourself, you will grow into someone you recognize, and you will love yourself. You may not now, but you will.

I also get teary at the last line, and the culmination. For me, this poem evokes an image of you eating, and giving wine and bread, giving thanks for your life, somewhat like Thanksgiving. But, instead of being grateful for other things, or for outside things, etc. you are grateful for yourself. It's a place I'd like to get to. 

3. "i carry your heart with me" by e. e. cummings



I have visions of my wedding day (very far in the future, but there hopefully) and think about how this would hopefully describe how I feel. I want to hold someone's heart in mine, and I want to be able to trust my heart to someone else's. You trust me with your heart, and I trust you with mine, and that's love. 

4. "The More Loving One" by W.H. Auden





If equal affection cannot be
let the more loving one be me.

Every time I read this poem, and come across this line, I just think about how vulnerable that is, and how amazing it is to be that vulnerable. That's basically what this poem is about, at least the way I read it: You may not love me, or even give a shit about me, but I will still always love you more. It's vulnerable, and powerful, and scary. But if it came down to it, if no one loved me, I would still rather be the loving one. 

I love Auden, and would venture to even say that he is one of my favorite poets, if not my favorite. I'm in love with "Funeral Blues" (of course, after Four Weddings and a Funeral, who isn't?), and "As I Walked Out One Evening."

5. "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou



If there was ever a battle cry for the confident woman, it would be this poem. I read this poem when I need a pick-me-up. Where do you get your confidence? From you... from all that you are... from every part of your body and soul. That's what makes a person phenomenal. All hail Queen B? Nah, all hail Maya Angelou, the original Phenomenal Woman.

What are your favorite poems? Are there any that you absolutely treasure? 



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