We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
UNDER a spreading chestnut tree The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands; And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long, His face is like the tan; His brow is wet with honest sweat, He earns whate'er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night, You can hear his bellows blow; You can hear him swing his heavy sledge With measured beat and slow, Like a sexton ringing the village bell, When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school Look in at the open door; They love to see the flaming forge, And hear the bellows roar, And watch the burning sparks that fly Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church, And sits among his boys; He hears the parson pray and preach, He hears his daughter's voice, Singing in the village choir, And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice, Singing in Paradise! He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies; And with his hard, rough hand he wipes A tear out of his eyes.
Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught! Thus at the flaming forge of life Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought!
Reminds me of 10th grade English. I seriously considered dropping out of school because of this crap. My 10th grade English teacher was a pretentious jerk. I barely passed and only because feigned interest. I am not sure a poet has ever done anything of value in this world.
Yeah that was kinda grouchy. Just the way I remembered it. I was impatient to live life and school was a major obstacle. I still to this day believe that more than half of the time our kids spend in school is a waste of time. I guess it is only some/most poetry I dislike. I have read Beowulf and Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and liked them both but they seem more like a book than poetry. I think I need to turn over a new leaf and stop being so negative.
1) We had to memorize this poem and a few others in 7th grade. My best friend and I always recited it as
...And the muscles of his scrawny arms
Are strong as rubber bands.
Lame, but it still cracked us up.
2) Yeah, OneGuy, gotta agree with you that "I am not sure a poet has ever done anything of value in this world." Lemme see:
Ecclesiastes - a vanity project.
Petrarch? Some Italian poet from the 13th century.
At least Milton wrote Aeropostale or something.
Yeats? what a sap! Kind of inconsequential in Irish History.
Yes, but all that's ancient history. Calling Vaclev Havel...
One guy, how insensitive of you! If you were woke, you would recognize that all of life is poetry. Poetry is how the world is distilled into delicate pearls of wisdom. But you are a philistine, so giving you a poem is like casting pearls before swine.
A young schizophrenic named Struther
When told of the death of his brother
Said "Yes, it's too bad,
But I can't feel too sad -
After all, we still have each other."
I do indeed have a limited exposure to poetry. I can recite a few limericks but they would get me banned. To me poetry is like music. You probably don't like all music but you probably really like some music. To me music is just something I sometimes hear in the background like when my wife is driving she puts on a music station. I pretty much don't care as long as it isn't too loud. But there are people who feel like music is the most important thing in the world. I don't get it any more then I get poetry. Music probably never saved a life or defeated evil, ditto for poetry. They are diversions from life. My diversion of choice is to travel. I would imagine that there are people who don't like travel in much the same way I don't like poetry (or more correctly don't like poetry for poetry's sake). But in the example I was offering I pointedly expressed that I thought it was a mistake to force poetry on students. I still feel that way.
There is poetry, and there is verse. I would classify Longfellow as verse (kind of bouncy and sentimental).
Here is a website on which over 21k "voters" have ranked poets. "Who are the best poets of all time?" Apparently the ranking keeps changing as people continue to vote. At the top is (justifiably) Shakespeare. There are a few others I would not want to "live without". https://www.ranker.com/list/best-poets/ranker-books
"What oft was thought but ne'er so well express'd" --this line by Pope was not meant to refer to poetry, but I think it is apt.
“True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd;
Something whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind."
How unfortunate for me that I'm the only one ignorant, ill educated, and hick enough that my immediate association with this poem is The Statler Brothers in the guise of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys.