Poems

I don’t have a bone in my hand that supports me to write a poem.. Yet, I love reading them along.. Sometimes aloud in perfect solitude, with me, my thoughts, some silent melody whispering by my side and when am engrossed in the stillness of my thought.. Did I ever tell you that am a great Elizabeth Barret Browning Fan? I treasure her ‘Sonnets From Portuguese’.. Apart from that I love the depth of expression wherever I discover it. Here is a tribute to all those lovely poems that I have collected. They feed my anguish, fill my emotions, and make me pause and dwell on things within..

Leisure by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

The Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

***************************

I wandered like a lonely cloud.. or I wandered lonely like a cloud.. This poem is a beautiful reminiscence of all those childhood musings and guess this one is straight from those leafs of childhood.. Of taking delight in simplest joys, of the heartwarming beauty of nature and the bliss of solitude!

***************************

Dreams By Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Put Out My Eyes By Rainer Maria Rilke

Put out my eyes, and I can see you still,
Slam my ears to, and I can hear you yet;
And without any feet can go to you;
And tongueless, I can conjure you at will.
Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you
And grasp you with my heart as with a hand;
Arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true;
And if you set this brain of mine afire,
Then on my blood-stream I yet will carry you.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

***************************

Am touched by the fierce expressions that Maya Angelou’s poems flaunt. Be it ‘Phenomenal Woman’, ‘Still I Rise’, Or ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’.

***************************

A Walk By Rainer Maria Rilke

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far beyond the road I have begun,
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has an inner light, even from a distance-

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Sonnets from the Portuguese By Elizabeth Barret Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair By Pablo Neruda

DON’T GO FAR OFF, NOT EVEN FOR A DAY
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because –
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Song By Rainer Maria Rilke

You, whom I do not tell that all night long
I lie weeping,
whose very being makes me feel wanting
like a cradle.

You, who do not tell me, that you lie awake
thinking of me:—
what, if we carried all these longings within us
without ever being overwhelmed by them,
letting them pass?

Look at these lovers, tormented by love,
when first they begin confessing,
how soon they lie!

You make me feel alone. I try imagining:
one moment it is you, then it’s the soaring wind;
a fragrance comes and goes but never lasts.
Oh, within my arms I lost all whom I loved!
Only you remain, always reborn again.
For since I never held you, I hold you fast.

A Dream Within A Dream By Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

If By Rudyard Kipling

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:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on 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 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!

***************************

With the most powerful two letter word ‘If’, Rudyard Kipling weaves magic! It surely changes the way we look at life.

***************************

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter By JRR Tolkien

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Slow Dance By David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

Do you run through each day on the fly
When you ask “How are you?”
do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
running through your head?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste,
not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time
to call and say “Hi”?

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Some Excerpts Here…

Gurdeepak

“I walk in the desert,
where heat waves blow.
I burn my feet
everytime I slow
I growup in the wild
like a flower uncared
like nobody’s child
I’m dusty and smeared”

You Left Me by Emily Dickinson

“You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.”

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

I am, O Anxious One By Rainer Maria Rilke

If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream.
But when you want to wake, I am your wish,
and I grow strong with all magnificence
and turn myself into a star’s vast silence
above the strange and distant city, Time.

If You Forget Me By Pablo Neruda

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Dreams By Paul Laurence Dunbar

“What dreams we have and how they fly
Like rosy clouds across the sky;
Of wealth, of fame, of sure success,
Of love that comes to cheer and bless;
And how they whither, how they fade,
The waning wealth, the jilting jade —
The fame that for a moment gleams,
Then flies forever, — dreams, ah — dreams!”

From Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

The Wait By Rainer Maria Rilke

It is life in slow motion,
it’s the heart in reverse,
it’s a hope-and-a-half:
too much and too little at once.

Excerpt from “The Prophet” by Kahil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires,
let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook
That sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
And give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your
laughter rises was oftentime filled with your tears…
When you are joyous, look deep into
your heart and you shall find it is only
that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in
your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been
your delight.

From Poems of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

“You amuse me with your touch,
although I can’t see your hands.
You have kissed me with tenderness
although I haven’t seen your lips,
You are hidden from me,
yet it is you who keeps me alive…”

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind that was,
Lovers do not finally meet some where,
They are in each other all along..”

“By day I praised you and never knew it
By night I stayed with you and never knew it
I always thought that I was me – but No, I was you and never knew it.”

“Inside the Great Mystery that is,
we don’t really own anything.
What is this competition we feel then,
before we go, one at a time, through the same gate?”

“For years, copying other people,
I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.”

“You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So- I’ve brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.”

From ‘Let go – A winter’s Tale’

The tree understood the leaf’s quandary
And even as it wondered,
How was one to choose
Between holding on and letting go?
How could it tell the leaf
In separation, it isn’t the tree that withers…
Resigned as it were
To the play of nature
In its parting smile, it hid its sigh

Some More Are Captured Here..

21 responses

13 08 2007
MUDITHA KULASURIYA

All the poems written in this world are meaningful, b’cos any poem is meaningful…..but all the meaningful things in this world are not meaningful……. I like to write down this poem as I guess you love it truely for some reason or other,,,,,,,,

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest! 5
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; 10
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating 15
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife! 20

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us 25
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, 30
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, 35
Learn to labor and to wait.

13 08 2007
nrsl

@ MUDITHA KULASURIYA
Agreed. All the verse created must have made sense to someone at sometime. Thanks for sharing your favorite poem.

14 07 2008
rads

Love what you’ve done with your space. The poems are wonderful aren’t they? They speak to you as much as you want them to! :)

16 08 2008
jane

i love these poems! they express emotions i could never put into words…

18 08 2008
nrsl

@ rads, jane
Agree with you wholeheartedly. Am glad you enjoyed this space. :)

5 11 2008
Riana

I don’t know how i ended up on your site. but I’m so happy I took a break from all the hustle and bustle of my life to take a peak into yours. I love all the poems, all the movies you quoted and i’ve only read a few of your blogs (because I still have work to do) but your writing is really refreshing and it brought me back to the ground. Thanks! – Riana (from the Philippines)

19 11 2008
Pranesh

Hi Rani,

Amazing poems…

I am not someone given to admiring other people easily..But after going through most of your blog, I must admit that i seriously admire you!! The felicity of your expression, the beauty of your thoughts and and the fineness of your tastes are wonderfully reflected in your blog. It is so well-written, useful and is consistent with the radiant personality that you are( i know you from the TCS training days :-))..Hope you remain as cheery, as optimistic, as idealistic and as thought-provoking as you are now…Dont let the vicissitudes of life ever cheat you into thinking otherwise.:-) .

Best Wishes and Lots of admiration,
Pranesh.

10 03 2009
Lokesh

thanks.. and please keep on adding such nice poems.. sometimes a little frustration in you can help you reach to such nice online entries… thanks to google…

and now this section is in my Feedburner.. will appreciate if you can continue the good work…

god bless…

1 05 2009
Anonymous

I found lots of interesting information on nrsl.wordpress.com. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. nrsl.wordpress.com keep it that way.

14 01 2010
sanchaita

hello rani,

i love your space. i’m a quite a fan of Elizabeth Barret Browning , not to mention i love the Sonnets from Protuguese too.
here is one of my favorite poems..i picked it from Shantaram, hope u enjoy it too:

To make sure none followed where you led
I used my hair to cover our tracks.
Sun set on the island of our bed
night rose
eating echoes
and we were breached there, in tangles of flicker,
candles whispering at our driftwood backs
your eyes above me
afraid of the promises i might keep
regretting the truth we did say
less than the lie that we didn’t,
I went in deep, I went in deep,
to fight the past for you.
Now we both know
Sorrows are the seeds of loving .
Now we both know I will live and I will die for this love .

———————————————–

keep up d good work on ur website rani! i really appreciate it ;)

Adiós!

24 04 2010
Aaditi

i am a great fan of robert frost. i have a poem “the road not taken” in my english book of standard 9th. i like it.

4 07 2010
UDAYAKUMAR

These poems which once I heard as a student did not make much impact but when I m exposed to them once again after treading path in the life it makes so much of difference. I thank you very much for your good posting of these classics.

11 08 2010
yashopriyadarshini

hi viewers ,
i am yasho who read all these poems .i never ever saw so welldone poems. i ask the poets to continue writing such great poems .i am always waiting to see such wonderful poems on the net . these poems which i once saw as a kid did not effect on me , but once again reading this poem as a student interacted on me to build good thoughts in me.i thank the poets for introducing such wonderful poems.

11 08 2010
DHANUSHA

i am dhanusha who read all these poems .i never ever saw so welldone poems. i ask the poets to continue writing such great poems .i am always waiting to see such wonderful poems on the net . these poems which i once saw as a kid did not effect on me , but once again reading this poem as a student interacted on me to build good thoughts in me.i thank the poets for introducing such wonderful poems.

27 03 2011
lourdes machado

Can’t get enough. It’s like waking out side for the first time and seeing the stars and the moon.

2 06 2011
medavaram jitamitra

Kindly send me Daffodils poem, unfortunately I lost one book titled Poems for Pleasure by one Burmese Professor, published by Oxford or may be Cambridge University

19 05 2012
nafesa

please do put/post some poems on mirror

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