Home Main Category Clubhouse

Not a poetry expert or even much of a fan.

GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
In school it was not exactly my favorite genre of Literature, but this poem has always “touched” me, for lack of better words.  I wonder if there are others out there you guys find some meaning in?

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by
John Donne



 

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Replies

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Merrritt Island, FLPosts: 25,219 Senior Member
    I've never been really big on poetry - although I've seen a few that were meaningful, some by a certain member here. I've written one or two in my time, but that's about it. I enjoy Tolkien's poetry and songs.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Kinda partial to the Nantucket series myself.
    :D

    Seriously though, I get that poem. It carries a lot of meaning the way things are today. United we Stand and all that...
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,750 Senior Member
    I used to write poetry, with some modest success.  Then switched to Fiction, which I have also had some success.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    I used to write poetry, with some modest success.  Then switched to Fiction, which I have also had some success.
    Got some works to share?
  • AccipiterAccipiter New Member Posts: 898 Senior Member
    Rudyard Kipling If

    If you can keep your head when all about you 
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss[es];
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your [or our] turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on [to it] when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count [on you,] with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


    Apparently free thought is punished, and conformity is required, while peckerless cowards run the show.

    ECHO...ECHO....echo...

    Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!

    Karma.........It’s a bitch.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
     

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    I have often pondered the true meaning of his words and why they mean much to me.  While a HUGE believer in the words, "All men are created equal." I'm not enamored with the current interpretation that this means we are all the same, which interestingly enough seems to be a huge driver of the current conservative/liberal chasm.

    I do believe that these words were spoken when a man was expected to judge his peers as he would be judged himself and people were expected to be "of substance" or simply fail and die since there were precious few safety nets in place.

    I do believe that when such a person of substance, however you define this personally, dies it does diminish your universe.  My best friend's passing a couple of years ago was a devastating experience for me and the bells did toll for me to a degree because I still feel diminished without him in the world.  

    But I also believe that some clods are washed away to the benefit of the continent...
  • AccipiterAccipiter New Member Posts: 898 Senior Member

    Laugh, and the world laughs with you; 
    Weep, and you weep alone.
    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own.
    Sing, and the hills will answer; 
    Sigh, it is lost on the air.
    The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
    But shrink from voicing care.

    Rejoice, and men will seek you; 
    Grieve, and they turn and go.
    They want full measure of all your pleasure,
    But they do not need your woe.
    Be glad, and your friends are many; 
    Be sad, and you lose them all.
    There are none to decline your nectared wine,
    But alone you must drink life's gall.

    Feast, and your halls are crowded; 
    Fast, and the world goes by.
    Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
    But no man can help you die.
    There is room in the halls of pleasure
    For a long and lordly train,
    But one by one we must all file on
    Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    Apparently free thought is punished, and conformity is required, while peckerless cowards run the show.

    ECHO...ECHO....echo...

    Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!

    Karma.........It’s a bitch.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    I like mine a bit simpler.

    "Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHbogh SuvwI' yIvup"

    Pity the warrior who slays all his foes.
    -- Klingon Proverb
    😁
    There's a deep meaning there if you look for it.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Swampland, FLAPosts: 5,100 Senior Member
    Always been a poetry fan, even wrote some,
    My all time favorite 

    HOW DID YOU DIE

    Did you tackle that trouble that came your way 
      With a resolute heart and cheerful
    Or hide your face from the light of day
      With a craven soul and fearful
    Oh troubles a ton , or troubles an ounce
      Or a trouble is what you make it
    And it isnt the fact that your hurt that counts
      But only how did you take it

    You are beaten to earth ? Well well whats that?
      Come up with a smiling face
    Its nothing against you to fall down flat
      But to lie there -- thats disgrace
    The harder your thrown , why the higher you bounce
      Be proud of your blackened eye
    It isnt the fact that your licked that counts
      But how did you fight -- and why

    And though you be done to death, what than
     If you battled the best you could
    If you played your part in the world of men
      Why the critic will call it good
    Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce
      And weather hes slow or spry
    It isnt the fact that your dead that counts
     But only how did you die?

    EDMUND VANCE COOKE  1866 - 1932

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Merrritt Island, FLPosts: 25,219 Senior Member
    This is a song, but what is a song but poetry put to music:

    The Impossible Dream.

    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    To run where the brave dare not go
    To right the unrightable wrong
    To love pure and chaste from afar
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star
    This is my quest, to follow that star
    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
    To fight for the right
    Without question or pause
    To be willing to march
    Into hell for a heavenly cause
    And I know if I'll only be true
    To this glorious quest
    That my heart will lay peaceful and calm
    When I'm laid to my rest
    And the world will be better for this
    That one man scorned and covered with scars
    Still strove with his last ounce of courage
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To reach the unreachable star


    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,821 Senior Member
    That's really good, Paul. You better copyright it before you lose it.

    For a short while, when much younger, I wrote poetry, too. But I gave it up rather quickly because the damned firemen kept hosing it off the overpass.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,750 Senior Member
    edited October 2019 #13
    GunNut said:
    Gene L said:
    I used to write poetry, with some modest success.  Then switched to Fiction, which I have also had some success.
    Got some works to share?

    No, I haven't written much since 1993 or so.  I was published in The Southern Review which is a very prestigious literary journal for why I won the Andrew Lytle award in 1990, Appalachian Heritage, some other magazines I can't remember the names of.  All were Literary journal quarterlies, kind of, well, you can look up the definition.

    I got a MFA in Creative Writing in 1990, and taught it in Continuing Education classes in three different colleges around Raleigh and Durham, NC.  These were not college students, but adults.  Non credit courses.

    And, of course, I was editor of Primitive Archer magazine for several years a few years back.  I'm still listed in the banner as "Editor Emeritus".

    As for the copyright thing, it's not necessary.  Copy right means the right to copy, and is kind of a corporate thing for especially brands.  You have to register a copyright for it to have any power. It's a legal procedure. I found this out from a lawyer in college who said very few people are going to copy it in the first place, and if you have it stored on your computer you can prove date if the issue ever comes up...which it won't.  It's very difficult to get anything published in anywhere but a self-publishing firm, which are best avoided.

    If you go to a college library and look up the publications, they should have my stories archived. 

    When my wife got ill with cancer, I lost the will to write and now I've forgotten how.

    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    ...

    As for the copyright thing, it's not necessary.  Copy right means the right to copy, and is kind of a corporate thing for especially brands.  You have to register a copyright for it to have any power. It's a legal procedure. I

    ...

    When my wife got ill with cancer, I lost the will to write and now I've forgotten how.

    As to Copyrighting, what Gene said. The work is yours from the moment you pen the material. If someone steals your work and you want to prove it in court, it's smart to copyright the material. (Somewhat longer process than registering but carries more weight in court)

    Otherwise, you can just register it completely online with the WGA (Writers Guild of America)

    It's up to you if you're worried about anyone stealing from you or not.

    I'm sure you haven't forgotten a thing, it's just been so long you don't really recognize it anymore. Blow the cobwebs out. After all, you've been relating memorable stories to us forums denizens for quite some time. 👍

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Northland, New ZealandPosts: 954 Senior Member
    edited October 2019 #15
    My Dad has always quoted For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    High flight by John Gillespie Magee is an old favourite of mine, my Grandfather was RAAF '39-'46, he liked it too.  

    A few Seamus Heaney poems are meaningful to me, particularly "Digging", resonates with some aspirations I have for my children.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member

    Live Your Life

    So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
    Trouble no one about their religion;
    respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.

    Love your life,
    perfect your life,
    beautify all things in your life. 

    Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
    Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
    even a stranger, when in a lonely place. 

    Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

    When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
    If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.
    Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

    When it comes your time to die,
    be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death,
    so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. 

    Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

     Chief Tecumseh 1768-1813
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    That's awesome!
    One of my all time favorites.  I have a framed copy of it on my desk.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,696 Senior Member
    Kipling excerpt I keep over my desk at work:

    When harf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch
    Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch
    She's human as you are - you treat her as sich
    And she'll fight for the young British soldier

    Do the maintenance kids!  ;)
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
     
    FLOWER in the crannied wall,
    I pluck you out of the crannies,
    I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
    Little flower—but if I could understand
    What you are, root and all, and all in all,        5
    I should know what God and man is.
     
    Flower in the Crannied Wall
     
    Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron (1809–92)
     
    Had to study that one in English Lit in HS. Never really made much sense until I got into the nuclear power game. Then it hit me like a brick. That little flower is made up of atoms, and they in turn are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and they are made up of even tinier subatomic particles, and those sub atomic particles are made up of even tinier sub atomic particles, and no one yet knows how far down the rabbit hole those particle sizes go. To be able to understand a single simple atom, at all its levels, is the ability to understand the universe and everything within it.

    And my favorite poetry is limericks, the bawdier they are the better I like them.  :p
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,750 Senior Member
    True, but did Alfred Lord Tennyson know about atoms?  You (no disrespect)  interpreted it in 21st or 20th century terms, but I'm not sure that's what Tennyson meant in the 19th century. 

    Which is the wonder of poetry....it universal application. 
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    True, but did Alfred Lord Tennyson know about atoms?  You (no disrespect)  interpreted it in 21st or 20th century terms, but I'm not sure that's what Tennyson meant in the 19th century. 

    Which is the wonder of poetry....it universal application. 
    He raised a question for which, at the time, there was no answer. We have some of the answers now, but the answers just raise more questions.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    This isn't the who poem since it's kinda long but I've always admired St. Crispin's Day.
    ... Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be rememberèd—
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.



    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement