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Best Famous Dedication Poems

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by Wole Soyinka | |

Dedication

Dedication

for Moremi, 1963

Earth will not share the rafter's envy; dung floors
Break, not the gecko's slight skin, but its fall
Taste this soil for death and plumb her deep for life

As this yam, wholly earthed, yet a living tuber
To the warmth of waters, earthed as springs
As roots of baobab, as the hearth.
The air will not deny you.
Like a top Spin you on the navel of the storm, for the hoe That roots the forests plows a path for squirrels.
Be ageless as dark peat, but only that rain's Fingers, not the feet of men, may wash you over.
Long wear the sun's shadow; run naked to the night.
Peppers green and red—child—your tongue arch To scorpion tail, spit straight return to danger's threats Yet coo with the brown pigeon, tendril dew between your lips.
Shield you like the flesh of palms, skyward held Cuspids in thorn nesting, insealed as the heart of kernel— A woman's flesh is oil—child, palm oil on your tongue Is suppleness to life, and wine of this gourd From self-same timeless run of runnels as refill Your podlings, child, weaned from yours we embrace Earth's honeyed milk, wine of the only rib.
Now roll your tongue in honey till your cheeks are Swarming honeycombs—your world needs sweetening, child.
Camwood round the heart, chalk for flight Of blemish—see? it dawns!—antimony beneath Armpits like a goddess, and leave this taste Long on your lips, of salt, that you may seek None from tears.
This, rain-water, is the gift Of gods—drink of its purity, bear fruits in season.
Fruits then to your lips: haste to repay The debt of birth.
Yield man-tides like the sea And ebbing, leave a meaning of the fossilled sands.


by | by . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/23040/Words_uttered_in_a_subdued_voice_in_order_to_constitute_a_dedication_Translation_of_Carlos_Bousonos_sonnet_' st_title='Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication, Translation of Carlos Bousono's sonnet '>|

Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication, Translation of Carlos Bousono's sonnet

Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication,
Translation of Carlos Bousono’s poem :Palabras dichas en voz baja para
formar una dedicatoria
(To Ruth, so young, from another age)
(It’s quite probable that this poem commemorates and addresses Bousono’s
wife, Ruth, and as such the interest in the poem must underlie the intimate and/or
private candidness of tone, rather than the less than pretentious art form.
T.
Wignesan) I This isn’t exactly wine that you and I drain to the last drop with such slowness at this hour, the neat truth.
It’s not wine, it’s love.
In any case, it’s not a question of an awaited celebration, a noisy fiesta, raised on gold.
It’s not a canticle of the mountains.
It’s only a whistling sound : flower, less than this : whisper, lacking in weight.
II And all this began some time back.
We joined hands very hurriedly to be able to remain by ourselves, alone, both jointly and separately in order to walk on the neverending pathway interminably.
And in this manner, we move forward together on the pathway tenaciously.
The same direction, the self-same golden instant and despite it all, you walked without being in doubt, always very far away, far behind, lost in the distance, in the brightness, diminshed, yet wanting me, in another station where flowers burgeoned, in another time and in another pure space.
And from the secluded spot in the woods, from the sandy indignity of mature lateness, from where I contemplated your eagerness to be ahead of time, I saw you slow down, once and all over again, without raising your head in your remote garden, though being held back, obstinate- ly, and so unjustly ! pluck in joy roses for me.
© T.
Wignesan – Paris, 2013


by Ehsan Sehgal | |

For Others

If you devote your life to the service of others with honesty and dedication you must be ready to endure insults and contempt from those you help.


More great poems below...

by Henry Kendall | |

Leaves From Australian Forests - Dedication

To her who, cast with me in trying days, 
Stood in the place of health and power and praise;- 
Who, when I thought all light was out, became 
A lamp of hope that put my fears to shame;- 
Who faced for love's sole sake the life austere 
That waits upon the man of letters here;- 
Who, unawares, her deep affection showed, 
By many a touching little wifely mode;- 
Whose spirit, self-denying, dear, divine, 
Its sorrows hid, so it might lessen mine, - 
To her, my bright, best friend, I dedicate 
This book of songs. 'Twill help to compensate 
For much neglect. The act, if not the rhyme, 
Will touch her heart, and lead her to the time 
Of trials past. That which is most intense 
Within these leaves is of her influence; 

And if aught here is sweetened with a tone 
Sincere, like love, it came of love alone.


by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Dedication

 To W.
R.
B.
And so, to you, who always were Perseus, D'Artagnan, Lancelot To me, I give these weedy rhymes In memory of earlier times.
Now all those careless days are not.
Of all my heroes, you endure.
Words are such silly things! too rough, Too smooth, they boil up or congeal, And neither of us likes emotion -- But I can't measure my devotion! And you know how I really feel -- And we're together.
There, enough .
.
.


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Poem (Halleck monument dedication)

 SAY not the Poet dies!
Though in the dust he lies,
He cannot forfeit his melodious breath,
Unsphered by envious death!
Life drops the voiceless myriads from its roll;
Their fate he cannot share,
Who, in the enchanted air
Sweet with the lingering strains that Echo stole,
Has left his dearer self, the music of his soul!

We o'er his turf may raise
Our notes of feeble praise,
And carve with pious care for after eyes
The stone with "Here he lies;"
He for himself has built a nobler shrine,
Whose walls of stately rhyme
Roll back the tides of time,
While o'er their gates the gleaming tablets shine
That wear his name inwrought with many a golden line!

Call not our Poet dead,
Though on his turf we tread!
Green is the wreath their brows so long have worn,--
The minstrels of the morn,
Who, while the Orient burned with new-born flame,
Caught that celestial fire
And struck a Nation's lyre!
These taught the western winds the poet's name;
Theirs the first opening buds, the maiden flowers of fame!

Count not our Poet dead!
The stars shall watch his bed,
The rose of June its fragrant life renew
His blushing mound to strew,
And all the tuneful throats of summer swell
With trills as crystal-clear
As when he wooed the ear
Of the young muse that haunts each wooded dell,
With songs of that "rough land" he loved so long and well!

He sleeps; he cannot die!
As evening's long-drawn sigh,
Lifting the rose-leaves on his peaceful mound,
Spreads all their sweets around,
So, laden with his song, the breezes blow
From where the rustling sedge
Frets our rude ocean's edge
To the smooth sea beyond the peaks of snow.
His soul the air enshrines and leaves but dust below!


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

TO THE COUNTESS GRANVILLE.

 MY DEAR LADY GRANVILLE,--

THE reluctance which must naturally be felt by any one in
venturing to give to the world a book such as the present, where
the beauties of the great original must inevitably be diminished,
if not destroyed, in the process of passing through the
translator's hands, cannot but be felt in all its force when that
translator has not penetrated beyond the outer courts of the
poetic fane, and can have no hope of advancing further, or of
reaching its sanctuary.
But it is to me a subject of peculiar satisfaction that your kind permission to have your name inscribed upon this page serves to attain a twofold end--one direct and personal, and relating to the present day; the other reflected and historical, and belonging to times long gone by.
Of the first little need now be said, for the privilege is wholly mine, in making this dedication: as to the second, one word of explanation will suffice for those who have made the greatest poet of Germany, almost of the world, their study, and to whom the story of his life is not unknown.
All who have followed the career of GOETHE are familiar with the name and character of DALBERG, and also with the deep and lasting friendship that existed between them, from which SCHILLER too was not absent; recalling to the mind the days of old, when a Virgil and a Horace and a Maecenas sat side by side.
Remembering, then, the connection that, in a former century, was formed and riveted between your illustrious ancestor and him whom it is the object of these pages to represent, I deem it a happy augury that the link then established finds itself not wholly severed even now (although its strength may be immeasurably weakened in the comparison), inasmuch as this page brings them once more in contact, the one in the person of his own descendant, the other in that of the translator of his Poems.
Believe me, with great truth, Very faithfully yours, EDGAR A.
BOWRING.
London, April, 1853.


by Adam Lindsay Gordon | |

A Dedication

 They are rhymes rudely strung with intent less 
Of sound than of words,
In lands where bright blossoms are scentless,
And songless bright birds;
Where, with fire and fierce drought on her tresses,
Insatiable Summer oppresses
Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses,
And faint flocks and herds.
Where in drieariest days, when all dews end, And all winds are warm, Wild Winter's large floodgates are loosen'd, And floods, freed by storm; From broken-up fountain heads, dash on Dry deserts with long pent up passion-- Here rhyme was first framed without fashion, Song shaped without form.
Whence gather'd?--The locust's glad chirrup May furnish a stave; The ring os rowel and stirrup, The wash of a wave.
The chauntof a marsh frog in rushes That chimes through the pauses and hushes Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes, The tempests that rave.
In the deep'ning of dawn, when it dapples The dusk of the sky, With streaks like the redd'ning of apples, The ripening of rye.
To eastward, when cluster by cluster, Dim stars and dull planets, that muster, Wax wan in a world of white lustre That spreads far and high.
In the gathering of night gloom o'er head, in The still silent change, All fire-flush'd when forest trees redden On slopes of the range.
When the gnarl'd knotted trunks Eucalyptian Seemed carved like weird columns Egyptian With curious device--quaint inscription, And heiroglyph strange.
In the Spring, when the wattle gold trembles 'Twixt shadow and shine, When each dew-laden air draught resembles A long draught of wine; When the skyline's blue burnished resistance Makes deeper the dreamiest distance, Some song in all hearts hath existence,-- Such songs have been mine.


by Robert William Service | |

Dedication

 In youth I longed to paint
 The loveliness I saw;
And yet by dire constraint
 I had to study Law.
But now all that is past, And I have no regret, For I am free at last Law to forget.
To beauty newly born With brush and tube I play; And though my daubs you scorn, I'll learn to paint some day.
When I am eighty old, Maybe I'll better them, And you may yet behold A gem.
Old Renoir used to paint, Brush strapped to palsied hand; His fervour of a saint How I can understand.
My joy is my reward, And though you gently smile, Grant me to fumble, Lord, A little while!


by Robert William Service | |

Dedication To Providence

 I loved to toy with tuneful rhyme,
My fancies into verse to weave;
For as I walked my words would chime
So bell-like I could scarce believe;
My rhymes rippled like a brook,
My stanzas bloomed like blossoms gay:
And that is why I dream this book
 A verseman's holiday.
The palm-blades brindle in the blaze Of sunsets splendouring the sea; The Gloaming is a lilac haze That impish stars stab eagerly.
.
.
.
O Land of Song! Oh golden clime! O happy me, whose work is play! Please take this tribute of my rhymes: A verseman's holiday.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Moments Indulgence

 I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side.
The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.
Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.
Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

A Moments Indulgence

 I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side.
The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.
Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.
Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.


by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

Dedication To Christina G. Rossetti

 Songs light as these may sound, though deep and strong
The heart spake through them, scarce should hope to please
Ears tuned to strains of loftier thoughts than throng
Songs light as these.
Yet grace may set their sometime doubt at ease, Nor need their too rash reverence fear to wrong The shrine it serves at and the hope it sees.
For childlike loves and laughters thence prolong Notes that bid enter, fearless as the breeze, Even to the shrine of holiest-hearted song, Songs light as these.


by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

Dedication To Joseph Mazzini

 Take, since you bade it should bear,
These, of the seed of your sowing,
Blossom or berry or weed.
Sweet though they be not, or fair, That the dew of your word kept growing, Sweet at least was the seed.
Men bring you love-offerings of tears, And sorrow the kiss that assuages, And slaves the hate-offering of wrongs, And time the thanksgiving of years, And years the thanksgiving of ages; I bring you my handful of songs.
If a perfume be left, if a bloom, Let it live till Italia be risen, To be strewn in the dust of her car When her voice shall awake from the tomb England, and France from her prison, Sisters, a star by a star.
I bring you the sword of a song, The sword of my spirit's desire, Feeble; but laid at your feet, That which was weak shall be strong, That which was cold shall take fire, That which was bitter be sweet.
It was wrought not with hands to smite, Nor hewn after swordsmiths' fashion, Nor tempered on anvil of steel; But with visions and dreams of the night, But with hope, and the patience of passion, And the signet of love for a seal.
Be it witness, till one more strong, Till a loftier lyre, till a rarer Lute praise her better than I, Be it witness before you, my song, That I knew her, the world's banner-bearer, Who shall cry the republican cry.
Yea, even she as at first, Yea, she alone and none other, Shall cast down, shall build up, shall bring home; Slake earth's hunger and thirst, Lighten, and lead as a mother; First name of the world's names, Rome.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Dedication

 for Moremi, 1963

Earth will not share the rafter's envy; dung floors
Break, not the gecko's slight skin, but its fall
Taste this soil for death and plumb her deep for life

As this yam, wholly earthed, yet a living tuber
To the warmth of waters, earthed as springs
As roots of baobab, as the hearth.
The air will not deny you.
Like a top Spin you on the navel of the storm, for the hoe That roots the forests plows a path for squirrels.
Be ageless as dark peat, but only that rain's Fingers, not the feet of men, may wash you over.
Long wear the sun's shadow; run naked to the night.
Peppers green and red—child—your tongue arch To scorpion tail, spit straight return to danger's threats Yet coo with the brown pigeon, tendril dew between your lips.
Shield you like the flesh of palms, skyward held Cuspids in thorn nesting, insealed as the heart of kernel— A woman's flesh is oil—child, palm oil on your tongue Is suppleness to life, and wine of this gourd From self-same timeless run of runnels as refill Your podlings, child, weaned from yours we embrace Earth's honeyed milk, wine of the only rib.
Now roll your tongue in honey till your cheeks are Swarming honeycombs—your world needs sweetening, child.
Camwood round the heart, chalk for flight Of blemish—see? it dawns!—antimony beneath Armpits like a goddess, and leave this taste Long on your lips, of salt, that you may seek None from tears.
This, rain-water, is the gift Of gods—drink of its purity, bear fruits in season.
Fruits then to your lips: haste to repay The debt of birth.
Yield man-tides like the sea And ebbing, leave a meaning of the fossilled sands.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Dedication

 MY first gift and my last, to you
I dedicate this fascicle of songs -
The only wealth I have:
Just as they are, to you.
I speak the truth in soberness, and say I had rather bring a light to your clear eyes, Had rather hear you praise This bosomful of songs Than that the whole, hard world with one consent, In one continuous chorus of applause Poured forth for me and mine The homage of ripe praise.
I write the finis here against my love, This is my love's last epitaph and tomb.
Here the road forks, and I Go my way, far from yours.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Dedication To M...

 Swing of the heart.
O firmly hung, fastened on what invisible branch.
Who, who gave you the push, that you swung with me into the leaves? How near I was to the exquisite fruits.
But not-staying is the essence of this motion.
Only the nearness, only toward the forever-too-high, all at once the possible nearness.
Vicinities, then from an irresistibly swung-up-to place --already, once again, lost--the new sight, the outlook.
And now: the commanded return back and across and into equilbrium's arms.
Below, in between, hesitation, the pull of earth, the passage through the turning-point of the heavy--, past it: and the catapult stretches, weighted with the heart's curiosity, to the other side, opposite, upward.
Again how different, how new! How they envy each other at the ends of the rope, these opposite halves of pleasure.
Or, shall I dare it: these quarters?--And include, since it witholds itself, that other half-circle, the one whose impetus pushes the swing? I'm not just imagining it, as the mirror of my here-and-now arc.
Guess nothing.
It will be newer someday.
But from endpoint to endpoint of the arc that I have most dared, I already fully possess it: overflowings from me plunge over to it and fill it, stretch it apart, almost.
And my own parting, when the force that pushes me someday stops, makes it all the more near.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Dedication

 I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want my deepest pious feelings freed.
What no one yet has dared to risk and warrant will be for me a challenge I must meet.
If this presumptious seems, God, may I be forgiven.
For what I want to say to you is this: my efforts shall be like a driving force, quite without anger, without timidness as little children show their love for you.
With these outflowing, river-like, with deltas that spread like arms to reach the open sea, with the recurrent tides that never cease will I acknowledge you, will I proclaim you as no one ever has before.
And if this should be arrogance, so let me arrogant be to justify my prayer that stands so serious and so alone before your forehead, circled by the clouds.


by Sidney Lanier | |

A Dedication. To Charlotte Cushman.

 As Love will carve dear names upon a tree,
Symbol of gravure on his heart to be,

So thought I thine with loving text to set
In the growth and substance of my canzonet;

But, writing it, my tears begin to fall --
This wild-rose stem for thy large name's too small!

Nay, still my trembling hands are fain, are fain
Cut the good letters though they lap again;

Perchance such folk as mark the blur and stain
Will say, `It was the beating of the rain;'

Or, haply these o'er-woundings of the stem
May loose some little balm, to plead for them.


by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Dedication

 You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.
I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.
What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one, Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty, Blind force with accomplished shape.
Here is the valley of shallow Polish rivers.
And an immense bridge Going into white fog.
Here is a broken city, And the wind throws the screams of gulls on your grave When I am talking with you.
What is poetry which does not save Nations or people? A connivance with official lies, A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment, Readings for sophomore girls.
That I wanted good poetry without knowing it, That I discovered, late, its salutary aim, In this and only this I find salvation.
They used to pour millet on graves or poppy seeds To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.
I put this book here for you, who once lived So that you should visit us no more.


by Rg Gregory | |

bee-attitudes

 in the shadow 
of the flower
is the sting

the bee driven by need
uses its painful gift
to keep its sense of beauty
in proportion

it does its job with
a thoughtless dedication
its honeyed world
excites no inner space

bees are not poets
who wade through words
with too much brain
around their ankles

each itching bee-part
is attuned
to a cosmic web
each buzz miraculous

flowers put powder
on their private parts
to call the bees in
it seems a good game

much fumbling and the bee
goes home to mother
rewards ripple outwards
to many dripping tongues

bees hate anything
that gets in the way
the bee-world is exclusive
aliens - keep out

bees live on a knife-edge
between honey
and a ripped-out sting
violation propels them

in the shadow 
of the nectar
is the horror


by Seamus Heaney | |

Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication

 1.
Sunlight There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard heated its iron, water honeyed in the slung bucket and the sun stood like a griddle cooling against the wall of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled over the bakeboard, the reddening stove sent its plaque of heat against her where she stood in a floury apron by the window.
Now she dusts the board with a goose's wing, now sits, broad-lapped, with whitened nails and measling shins: here is a space again, the scone rising to the tick of two clocks.
And here is love like a tinsmith's scoop sunk past its gleam in the meal-bin.
2.
The Seed Cutters They seem hundreds of years away.
Brueghel, You'll know them if I can get them true.
They kneel under the hedge in a half-circle Behind a windbreak wind is breaking through.
They are the seed cutters.
The tuck and frill Of leaf-sprout is on the seed potates Buried under that straw.
With time to kill, They are taking their time.
Each sharp knife goes Lazily halving each root that falls apart In the palm of the hand: a milky gleam, And, at the centre, a dark watermark.
Oh, calendar customs! Under the broom Yellowing over them, compose the frieze With all of us there, our anonymities.


by Edgar Bowers | |

Dedication for a House

 We, who were long together homeless, raise
Brick walls, wood floors, a roof, and windows up
To what sustained us in those threatening days
Unto this end.
Alas, that this bright cup Be empty of the care and life of him Who should have made it overflow its brim.


by William Carlos (WCW) Williams | |

Dedication For A Plot Of Ground

 This plot of ground 
facing the waters of this inlet 
is dedicated to the living presence of 
Emily Dickinson Wellcome 
who was born in England; married; 
lost her husband and with 
her five year old son 
sailed for New York in a two-master; 
was driven to the Azores; 
ran adrift on Fire Island shoal, 
met her second husband 
in a Brooklyn boarding house, 
went with him to Puerto Rico 
bore three more children, lost 
her second husband, lived hard 
for eight years in St.
Thomas, Puerto Rico, San Domingo, followed the oldest son to New York, lost her daughter, lost her "baby," seized the two boys of the oldest son by the second marriage mothered them—they being motherless—fought for them against the other grandmother and the aunts, brought them here summer after summer, defended herself here against thieves, storms, sun, fire, against flies, against girls that came smelling about, against drought, against weeds, storm-tides, neighbors, weasels that stole her chickens, against the weakness of her own hands, against the growing strength of the boys, against wind, against the stones, against trespassers, against rents, against her own mind.
She grubbed this earth with her own hands, domineered over this grass plot, blackguarded her oldest son into buying it, lived here fifteen years, attained a final loneliness and— If you can bring nothing to this place but your carcass, keep out.


by Lewis Carroll | |

Dedication

 Inscribed to a Dear Child:
In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea 


Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething outer strife, Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright, Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life, Empty of all delight! Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy, The heart-love of a child!