Best Famous Best Friend Poems

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12
Written by James Tate | Create an image from this poem

Loyalty

 This is the hardest part:
When I came back to life
I was a good family dog
and not too friendly to strangers.
I got a thirty-five dollar raise in salary, and through the pea-soup fogs I drove the General, and introduced him at rallies.
I had a totalitarian approach and was a massive boost to his popularity.
I did my best to reduce the number of people.
The local bourgeoisie did not exist.
One of them was a mystic and walked right over me as if I were a bed of hot coals.
This is par for the course- I will be employing sundry golf metaphors henceforth, because a dog, best friend and chief advisor to the General, should.
While dining with the General I said, "Let's play the back nine in a sacred rage.
Let's tee-off over the foredoomed community and putt ourselves thunderously, touching bottom.
" He drank it all in, rugged and dusky.
I think I know what he was thinking.
He held his automatic to my little head and recited a poem about my many weaknesses, for which I loved him so.
Written by Edwin Arlington Robinson | Create an image from this poem

Octaves

 I 

We thrill too strangely at the master's touch;
We shrink too sadly from the larger self
Which for its own completeness agitates
And undetermines us; we do not feel -- 
We dare not feel it yet -- the splendid shame
Of uncreated failure; we forget,
The while we groan, that God's accomplishment
Is always and unfailingly at hand.
II Tumultuously void of a clean scheme Whereon to build, whereof to formulate, The legion life that riots in mankind Goes ever plunging upward, up and down, Most like some crazy regiment at arms, Undisciplined of aught but Ignorance, And ever led resourcelessly along To brainless carnage by drunk trumpeters.
III To me the groaning of world-worshippers Rings like a lonely music played in hell By one with art enough to cleave the walls Of heaven with his cadence, but without The wisdom or the will to comprehend The strangeness of his own perversity, And all without the courage to deny The profit and the pride of his defeat.
IV While we are drilled in error, we are lost Alike to truth and usefulness.
We think We are great warriors now, and we can brag Like Titans; but the world is growing young, And we, the fools of time, are growing with it: -- We do not fight to-day, we only die; We are too proud of death, and too ashamed Of God, to know enough to be alive.
V There is one battle-field whereon we fall Triumphant and unconquered; but, alas! We are too fleshly fearful of ourselves To fight there till our days are whirled and blurred By sorrow, and the ministering wheels Of anguish take us eastward, where the clouds Of human gloom are lost against the gleam That shines on Thought's impenetrable mail.
VI When we shall hear no more the cradle-songs Of ages -- when the timeless hymns of Love Defeat them and outsound them -- we shall know The rapture of that large release which all Right science comprehends; and we shall read, With unoppressed and unoffended eyes, That record of All-Soul whereon God writes In everlasting runes the truth of Him.
VII The guerdon of new childhood is repose: -- Once he has read the primer of right thought, A man may claim between two smithy strokes Beatitude enough to realize God's parallel completeness in the vague And incommensurable excellence That equitably uncreates itself And makes a whirlwind of the Universe.
VIII There is no loneliness: -- no matter where We go, nor whence we come, nor what good friends Forsake us in the seeming, we are all At one with a complete companionship; And though forlornly joyless be the ways We travel, the compensate spirit-gleams Of Wisdom shaft the darkness here and there, Like scattered lamps in unfrequented streets.
IX When one that you and I had all but sworn To be the purest thing God ever made Bewilders us until at last it seems An angel has come back restigmatized, -- Faith wavers, and we wonder what there is On earth to make us faithful any more, But never are quite wise enough to know The wisdom that is in that wonderment.
X Where does a dead man go? -- The dead man dies; But the free life that would no longer feed On fagots of outburned and shattered flesh Wakes to a thrilled invisible advance, Unchained (or fettered else) of memory; And when the dead man goes it seems to me 'T were better for us all to do away With weeping, and be glad that he is gone.
XI So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended, And unremunerative years we search To get where life begins, and still we groan Because we do not find the living spark Where no spark ever was; and thus we die, Still searching, like poor old astronomers Who totter off to bed and go to sleep, To dream of untriangulated stars.
XII With conscious eyes not yet sincere enough To pierce the glimmered cloud that fluctuates Between me and the glorifying light That screens itself with knowledge, I discern The searching rays of wisdom that reach through The mist of shame's infirm credulity, And infinitely wonder if hard words Like mine have any message for the dead.
XIII I grant you friendship is a royal thing, But none shall ever know that royalty For what it is till he has realized His best friend in himself.
'T is then, perforce, That man's unfettered faith indemnifies Of its own conscious freedom the old shame, And love's revealed infinitude supplants Of its own wealth and wisdom the old scorn.
XIV Though the sick beast infect us, we are fraught Forever with indissoluble Truth, Wherein redress reveals itself divine, Transitional, transcendent.
Grief and loss, Disease and desolation, are the dreams Of wasted excellence; and every dream Has in it something of an ageless fact That flouts deformity and laughs at years.
XV We lack the courage to be where we are: -- We love too much to travel on old roads, To triumph on old fields; we love too much To consecrate the magic of dead things, And yieldingly to linger by long walls Of ruin, where the ruinous moonlight That sheds a lying glory on old stones Befriends us with a wizard's enmity.
XVI Something as one with eyes that look below The battle-smoke to glimpse the foeman's charge, We through the dust of downward years may scan The onslaught that awaits this idiot world Where blood pays blood for nothing, and where life Pays life to madness, till at last the ports Of gilded helplessness be battered through By the still crash of salvatory steel.
XVII To you that sit with Sorrow like chained slaves, And wonder if the night will ever come, I would say this: The night will never come, And sorrow is not always.
But my words Are not enough; your eyes are not enough; The soul itself must insulate the Real, Or ever you do cherish in this life -- In this life or in any life -- repose.
XVIII Like a white wall whereon forever breaks Unsatisfied the tumult of green seas, Man's unconjectured godliness rebukes With its imperial silence the lost waves Of insufficient grief.
This mortal surge That beats against us now is nothing else Than plangent ignorance.
Truth neither shakes Nor wavers; but the world shakes, and we shriek.
XIX Nor jewelled phrase nor mere mellifluous rhyme Reverberates aright, or ever shall, One cadence of that infinite plain-song Which is itself all music.
Stronger notes Than any that have ever touched the world Must ring to tell it -- ring like hammer-blows, Right-echoed of a chime primordial, On anvils, in the gleaming of God's forge.
XX The prophet of dead words defeats himself: Whoever would acknowledge and include The foregleam and the glory of the real, Must work with something else than pen and ink And painful preparation: he must work With unseen implements that have no names, And he must win withal, to do that work, Good fortitude, clean wisdom, and strong skill.
XXI To curse the chilled insistence of the dawn Because the free gleam lingers; to defraud The constant opportunity that lives Unchallenged in all sorrow; to forget For this large prodigality of gold That larger generosity of thought, -- These are the fleshly clogs of human greed, The fundamental blunders of mankind.
XXII Forebodings are the fiends of Recreance; The master of the moment, the clean seer Of ages, too securely scans what is, Ever to be appalled at what is not; He sees beyond the groaning borough lines Of Hell, God's highways gleaming, and he knows That Love's complete communion is the end Of anguish to the liberated man.
XXIII Here by the windy docks I stand alone, But yet companioned.
There the vessel goes, And there my friend goes with it; but the wake That melts and ebbs between that friend and me Love's earnest is of Life's all-purposeful And all-triumphant sailing, when the ships Of Wisdom loose their fretful chains and swing Forever from the crumbled wharves of Time.
Written by Edward Taylor | Create an image from this poem

Loyalty

 This is the hardest part:
When I came back to life
I was a good family dog
and not too friendly to strangers.
I got a thirty-five dollar raise in salary, and through the pea-soup fogs I drove the General, and introduced him at rallies.
I had a totalitarian approach and was a massive boost to his popularity.
I did my best to reduce the number of people.
The local bourgeoisie did not exist.
One of them was a mystic and walked right over me as if I were a bed of hot coals.
This is par for the course- I will be employing sundry golf metaphors henceforth, because a dog, best friend and chief advisor to the General, should.
While dining with the General I said, "Let's play the back nine in a sacred rage.
Let's tee-off over the foredoomed community and putt ourselves thunderously, touching bottom.
" He drank it all in, rugged and dusky.
I think I know what he was thinking.
He held his automatic to my little head and recited a poem about my many weaknesses, for which I loved him so.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Face Lift

 You bring me good news from the clinic,
Whipping off your silk scarf, exhibiting the tight white
Mummy-cloths, smiling: I'm all right.
When I was nine, a lime-green anesthetist Fed me banana-gas through a frog mask.
The nauseous vault Boomed with bad dreams and the Jovian voices of surgeons.
Then mother swam up, holding a tin basin.
O I was sick.
They've changed all that.
Traveling Nude as Cleopatra in my well-boiled hospital shift, Fizzy with sedatives and unusually humorous, I roll to an anteroom where a kind man Fists my fingers for me.
He makes me feel something precious Is leaking from the finger-vents.
At the count of two, Darkness wipes me out like chalk on a blackboard.
.
.
I don't know a thing.
For five days I lie in secret, Tapped like a cask, the years draining into my pillow.
Even my best friend thinks I'm in the country.
Skin doesn't have roots, it peels away easy as paper.
When I grin, the stitches tauten.
I grow backward.
I'm twenty, Broody and in long skirts on my first husband's sofa, my fingers Buried in the lambswool of the dead poodle; I hadn't a cat yet.
Now she's done for, the dewlapped lady I watched settle, line by line, in my mirror— Old sock-face, sagged on a darning egg.
They've trapped her in some laboratory jar.
Let her die there, or wither incessantly for the next fifty years, Nodding and rocking and fingering her thin hair.
Mother to myself, I wake swaddled in gauze, Pink and smooth as a baby.
Written by Jim Carroll | Create an image from this poem

8 Fragments For Kurt Cobain

 1/
Genius is not a generous thing
In return it charges more interest than any amount of royalties can cover
And it resents fame
With bitter vengeance 

Pills and powdres only placate it awhile
Then it puts you in a place where the planet's poles reverse
Where the currents of electricity shift 

Your Body becomes a magnet and pulls to it despair and rotten teeth,
Cheese whiz and guns 

Whose triggers are shaped tenderly into a false lust
In timeless illusion 

2/
The guitar claws kept tightening, I guess on your heart stem.
The loops of feedback and distortion, threaded right thru Lucifer's wisdom teeth, and never stopped their reverbrating In your mind And from the stage All the faces out front seemed so hungry With an unbearably wholesome misunderstanding From where they sat, you seemed so far up there High and live and diving And instead you were swamp crawling Down, deeper Until you tasted the Earth's own blood And chatted with the Buzzing-eyed insects that heroin breeds 3/ You should have talked more with the monkey He's always willing to negotiate I'm still paying him off.
.
.
The greater the money and fame The slower the Pendulum of fortune swings Your will could have sped it up.
.
.
But you left that in a plane Because it wouldn't pass customs and immigration 4/ Here's synchronicity for you: Your music's tape was inside my walkman When my best friend from summer camp Called with the news about you I listened them.
.
.
It was all there! Your music kept cutting deeper and deeper valleys of sound Less and less light Until you hit solid rock The drill bit broke and the valley became A thin crevice, impassible in time, As time itself stopped.
And the walls became cages of brilliant notes Pressing in.
.
.
Pressure That's how diamonds are made And that's WHERE it sometimes all collapses Down in on you 5/ Then I translated your muttered lyrics And the phrases were curious: Like "incognito libido" And "Chalk Skin Bending" The words kept getting smaller and smaller Until Separated from their music Each letter spilled out into a cartridge Which fit only in the barrel of a gun 6/ And you shoved the barrel in as far as possible Because that's where the pain came from That's where the demons were digging The world outside was blank Its every cause was just a continuation Of another unsolved effect 7/ But Kurt.
.
.
Didn't the thought that you would never write another song Another feverish line or riff Make you think twice? That's what I don't understand Because it's kept me alive, above any wounds 8/ If only you hadn't swallowed yourself into a coma in Roma.
.
.
You could have gone to Florence And looked into the eyes of Bellinni or Rafael's Portraits Perhaps inside them You could have found a threshold back to beauty's arms Where it all began.
.
.
No matter that you felt betrayed by her That is always the cost As Frank said, Of a young artist's remorseless passion Which starts out as a kiss And follows like a curse
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

CIA Dope Calypso

 In nineteen hundred forty-nine
China was won by Mao Tse-tung
Chiang Kai-shek's army ran away
They were waiting there in Thailand yesterday

Supported by the CIA
Pushing junk down Thailand way

First they stole from the Meo Tribes
Up in the hills they started taking bribes
Then they sent their soldiers up to Shan
Collecting opium to send to The Man

Pushing junk in Bangkok yesterday
Supported by the CIA

Brought their jam on mule trains down
To Chiang Rai that's a railroad town
Sold it next to the police chief brain
He took it to town on the choochoo train

Trafficking dope to Bangkok all day
Supported by the CIA

The policeman's name was Mr.
Phao He peddled dope grand scale and how Chief of border customs paid By Central Intelligence's U.
S.
A.
I.
D.
The whole operation, Newspapers say Supported by the CIA He got so sloppy & peddled so loose He busted himself & cooked his own goose Took the reward for an opium load Seizing his own haul which same he resold Big time pusher for a decade turned grey Working for the CIA Touby Lyfong he worked for the French A big fat man liked to dine & wench Prince of the Meos he grew black mud Till opium flowed through the land like a flood Communists came and chased the French away So Touby took a job with the CIA The whole operation fell in to chaos Till U.
S.
Intelligence came into Laos I'll tell you no lie I'm a true American Our big pusher there was Phoumi Nosovan All them Princes in a power play But Phoumi was the man for the CIA And his best friend General Vang Pao Ran the Meo army like a sacred cow Helicopter smugglers filled Long Cheng's bars In Xieng Quang province on the Plain of Jars It started in secret they were fighting yesterday Clandestine secret army of the CIA All through the Sixties the Dope flew free Thru Tan Son Nhut Saigon to Marshal Ky Air America followed through Transporting confiture for President Thieu All these Dealers were decades and yesterday The Indochinese mob of the U.
S.
CIA Operation Haylift Offisir Wm.
Colby Saw Marshal Ky fly opium Mr.
Mustard told me Indochina desk he was Chief of Dirty Tricks "Hitchhiking" with dope pushers was how he got his fix Subsidizing traffickers to drive the Reds away Till Colby was the head of the CIA January 1972
Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

When A Woman Loves A Man

 When she says Margarita she means Daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window.
" He's supposed to know that.
When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
When a woman loves a man it is one-ten in the morning, she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm.
When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking.
Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water ruching over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe.
Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era.
" "That's very original of you," she replies, dry as the Martini he is sipping.
They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter.
" It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent.
One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times.
When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he's there.
He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator.
When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.
When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

YOU

 “Remember, you loved me, when we were young, one day”



The words of the song in Tauber’s mellifluous tenor

Haunt my nights and days, make me tremble when I hear

Your voice on the phone, sadden me when I can’t make into your smile

The pucker of your lips, the gleam in your eye.
The day we met is with me still, you asked directions And on the way we chatted.
You told me how you’d left Lancashire for Leeds, went to the same TC as me, even liked poetry Both were looking for an ‘interesting evening class’ Instead we found each other.
You took me back for tea to the flat in Headingley You shared with two other girls.
The class in Moortown Was a disaster.
Walking home in the rain I put my arm Around you and you did not resist, we shared your umbrella Then we kissed.
I liked the taste of your lips, the tingle of your fingertips, Your mild perfume.
When a sudden gust blew your umbrella inside out We sheltered underneath a cobbled arch, a rainy arch, a rainbow arch.
“I’m sorry”, you said about nothing in particular, perhaps the class Gone wrong, the weather, I’ll never know but there were tears in your eyes But perhaps it was just the rain.
We kissed again and I felt Your soft breasts and smelt the hair on your neck and I was lost to you And you to me perhaps, I’ll never know.
We went to plays, I read my poems aloud in quiet places, I met your mother and you met mine.
We quarrelled over stupid things.
When my best friend seduced you I blamed him and envied him And tried to console you when you cried a whole day through.
The next weekend I had the flu and insisted you came to look after me In my newly-rented bungalow.
Out of the blue I said, “What you did for him You can do for me”.
It was not the way our first and only love-making Should have been, you guilty and regretful, me resentful and not tender.
When I woke I saw you in the half-light naked, curled and innocent I truly loved you If I’d proposed you might have agreed, I’ll never know.
A month later you were pregnant and I was not the father.
I wanted to help you with the baby, wanted you to stay with me So I could look after you and be there for the birth but your mind Was set elsewhere end I was too immature to understand or care.
When I saw you again you had Sarah and I had Brenda, my wife-to-be; Three decades of nightmare ahead with neither of our ‘adult children’ Quite right, both drink to excess and have been on wards.
Nor has your life been a total success, full-time teaching till you retired Then Victim Support: where’s that sharp mind, that laughter and that passion? And what have I to show? A few pamphlets, a small ‘Selected’, a single good review.
Sat in South Kensington on the way to the Institut I wrote this, Too frightened even to phone you.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

Upon Nothing

 Nothing, thou elder brother even to shade,
That hadst a being ere the world was made,
And (well fixed) art alone of ending not afraid.
Ere time and place were, time and place were not, When primitive Nothing Something straight begot, Then all proceeded from the great united--What? Something, the general attribute of all, Severed from thee, its sole original, Into thy boundless self must undistinguished fall.
Yet Something did thy mighty power command, And from thy fruitful emptiness's hand, Snatched men, beasts, birds, fire, air, and land.
Matter, the wickedest offspring of thy race, By Form assisted, flew from thy embrace, And rebel Light obscured thy reverend dusky face.
With Form and Matter, Time and Place did join, Body, thy foe, with these did leagues combine To spoil thy peaceful realm, and ruin all thy line.
But turncoat Time assists the foe in vain, And, bribed by thee, assists thy short-lived reign, And to thy hungry womb drives back thy slaves again.
Though mysteries are barred from laic eyes, And the Divine alone with warrant pries Into thy bosom, where thy truth in private lies, Yet this of thee the wise may freely say, Thou from the virtuous nothing takest away, And to be part of thee the wicked wisely pray.
Great Negative, how vainly would the wise Inquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise? Didst thou not stand to point their dull philosophies.
Is, or is not, the two great ends of Fate, And true or false, the subject of debate, That perfects, or destroys, the vast designs of Fate, When they have racked the politician's breast, Within thy bosom most securely rest, And, when reduced to thee, are least unsafe and best.
But Nothing, why does Something still permit That sacred monarchs should at council sit With persons highly thought at best for nothing fit? Whist weighty Something modestly abstains From princes' coffers, and from statesmen's brains, And Nothing there like stately Nothing reigns, Nothing, who dwellest with fools in grave disguise, For whom they reverend shapes and forms devise, Lawn sleeves, and furs, and gowns, when they like thee look wise.
French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy, Hibernian learning, Scotch civility, Spaniard's dispatch, Dane's wit are mainly seen in thee.
The great man's gratitude to his best friend, King's promises, whore's vows, towards thee they bend, Flow swiftly to thee, and in thee never end.
Written by Henry Kendall | Create an image from this poem

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.
12