What is a poem? It shows some deep naked truth in the fewest words. A poem tells a whole story without telling a story, shares the pain without the tears, and the beauty without a picture. When we hear “two roads diverged”, we don’t need to know what choices confronted the person. When the poet says, “into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the six hundred”, there is an eternal truth there, not bound by time. I just took one sentence from many different poems (poets’ names are mentioned below) and jumbled them up to make a whole new poem – just for fun. And it is amazing that just one sentence conveys so much meaning that it stands alone beautifully in its own right and yet beautifully blends to give meaning to other sentences. Hope you will want to dig up and read each of these poems and try matching the poet with the sentence of their poem.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
You tell me of our future that you plann’d
The sea has nothing to give but a well excavated grave
Where none can call his brother a slave.
Do not go gentle into that good night
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.
Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the six hundred
Because I could not stop for death
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
So since I’m still here livin’, I guess I will live on
My soul has grown deep like the rivers
When I am sitting at my desk and I have feelings
Had we but world enough and time
I could’ve died for love–But for livin’ I was born
I heard a lover sing Under an arch of the railway: ‘Love has no ending.
the clothes hamper is full of rimes & meters in want of mending
That time when I moved among happenings
There was truth so unshrinking and starry-shining
There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.
The glass hall empties; awaits another coming. But she never leaves, our sole certainty.
W. H. Auden, Karen Swank-Fitch, Pablo Neruda, Maud Montgomery, Mark Strand, Edwin Thumboo, Robert Frost, Christina Rosetti, Frances Draper, Marianne Moore, Dylan Thomas, D. H. Lawrence, Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Jordan Davis, Andrew Marvell