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Best Famous Grandson Poems

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Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Meditations In Time Of Civil War

Ancestral Houses Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns, Amid the rustle of his planted hills, Life overflows without ambitious pains; And rains down life until the basin spills, And mounts more dizzy high the more it rains As though to choose whatever shape it wills And never stoop to a mechanical Or servile shape, at others' beck and call.
Mere dreams, mere dreams! Yet Homer had not Sung Had he not found it certain beyond dreams That out of life's own self-delight had sprung The abounding glittering jet; though now it seems As if some marvellous empty sea-shell flung Out of the obscure dark of the rich streams, And not a fountain, were the symbol which Shadows the inherited glory of the rich.
Some violent bitter man, some powerful man Called architect and artist in, that they, Bitter and violent men, might rear in stone The sweetness that all longed for night and day, The gentleness none there had ever known; But when the master's buried mice can play.
And maybe the great-grandson of that house, For all its bronze and marble, 's but a mouse.
O what if gardens where the peacock strays With delicate feet upon old terraces, Or else all Juno from an urn displays Before the indifferent garden deities; O what if levelled lawns and gravelled ways Where slippered Contemplation finds his ease And Childhood a delight for every sense, But take our greatness with our violence? What if the glory of escutcheoned doors, And buildings that a haughtier age designed, The pacing to and fro on polished floors Amid great chambers and long galleries, lined With famous portraits of our ancestors; What if those things the greatest of mankind Consider most to magnify, or to bless, But take our greatness with our bitterness? II.
My House An ancient bridge, and a more ancient tower, A farmhouse that is sheltered by its wall, An acre of stony ground, Where the symbolic rose can break in flower, Old ragged elms, old thorns innumerable, The sound of the rain or sound Of every wind that blows; The stilted water-hen Crossing Stream again Scared by the splashing of a dozen cows; A winding stair, a chamber arched with stone, A grey stone fireplace with an open hearth, A candle and written page.
Il Penseroso's Platonist toiled on In some like chamber, shadowing forth How the daemonic rage Imagined everything.
Benighted travellers From markets and from fairs Have seen his midnight candle glimmering.
Two men have founded here.
A man-at-arms Gathered a score of horse and spent his days In this tumultuous spot, Where through long wars and sudden night alarms His dwinding score and he seemed castaways Forgetting and forgot; And I, that after me My bodily heirs may find, To exalt a lonely mind, Befitting emblems of adversity.
My Table Two heavy trestles, and a board Where Sato's gift, a changeless sword, By pen and paper lies, That it may moralise My days out of their aimlessness.
A bit of an embroidered dress Covers its wooden sheath.
Chaucer had not drawn breath When it was forged.
In Sato's house, Curved like new moon, moon-luminous It lay five hundred years.
Yet if no change appears No moon; only an aching heart Conceives a changeless work of art.
Our learned men have urged That when and where 'twas forged A marvellous accomplishment, In painting or in pottery, went From father unto son And through the centuries ran And seemed unchanging like the sword.
Soul's beauty being most adored, Men and their business took Me soul's unchanging look; For the most rich inheritor, Knowing that none could pass Heaven's door, That loved inferior art, Had such an aching heart That he, although a country's talk For silken clothes and stately walk.
Had waking wits; it seemed Juno's peacock screamed.
My Descendants Having inherited a vigorous mind From my old fathers, I must nourish dreams And leave a woman and a man behind As vigorous of mind, and yet it seems Life scarce can cast a fragrance on the wind, Scarce spread a glory to the morning beams, But the torn petals strew the garden plot; And there's but common greenness after that.
And what if my descendants lose the flower Through natural declension of the soul, Through too much business with the passing hour, Through too much play, or marriage with a fool? May this laborious stair and this stark tower Become a roofless min that the owl May build in the cracked masonry and cry Her desolation to the desolate sky.
The primum Mobile that fashioned us Has made the very owls in circles move; And I, that count myself most prosperous, Seeing that love and friendship are enough, For an old neighbour's friendship chose the house And decked and altered it for a girl's love, And know whatever flourish and decline These stones remain their monument and mine.
The Road at My Door An affable Irregular, A heavily-built Falstaffian man, Comes cracking jokes of civil war As though to die by gunshot were The finest play under the sun.
A brown Lieutenant and his men, Half dressed in national uniform, Stand at my door, and I complain Of the foul weather, hail and rain, A pear-tree broken by the storm.
I count those feathered balls of soot The moor-hen guides upon the stream.
To silence the envy in my thought; And turn towards my chamber, caught In the cold snows of a dream.
The Stare's Nest by My Window The bees build in the crevices Of loosening masonry, and there The mother birds bring grubs and flies.
My wall is loosening; honey-bees, Come build in the empty house of the state.
We are closed in, and the key is turned On our uncertainty; somewhere A man is killed, or a house burned, Yet no clear fact to be discerned: Come build in he empty house of the stare.
A barricade of stone or of wood; Some fourteen days of civil war; Last night they trundled down the road That dead young soldier in his blood: Come build in the empty house of the stare.
We had fed the heart on fantasies, The heart's grown brutal from the fare; More Substance in our enmities Than in our love; O honey-bees, Come build in the empty house of the stare.
I see Phantoms of Hatred and of the Heart's Fullness and of the Coming Emptiness I climb to the tower-top and lean upon broken stone, A mist that is like blown snow is sweeping over all, Valley, river, and elms, under the light of a moon That seems unlike itself, that seems unchangeable, A glittering sword out of the east.
A puff of wind And those white glimmering fragments of the mist sweep by.
Frenzies bewilder, reveries perturb the mind; Monstrous familiar images swim to the mind's eye.
'Vengeance upon the murderers,' the cry goes up, 'Vengeance for Jacques Molay.
' In cloud-pale rags, or in lace, The rage-driven, rage-tormented, and rage-hungry troop, Trooper belabouring trooper, biting at arm or at face, Plunges towards nothing, arms and fingers spreading wide For the embrace of nothing; and I, my wits astray Because of all that senseless tumult, all but cried For vengeance on the murderers of Jacques Molay.
Their legs long, delicate and slender, aquamarine their eyes, Magical unicorns bear ladies on their backs.
The ladies close their musing eyes.
No prophecies, Remembered out of Babylonian almanacs, Have closed the ladies' eyes, their minds are but a pool Where even longing drowns under its own excess; Nothing but stillness can remain when hearts are full Of their own sweetness, bodies of their loveliness.
The cloud-pale unicorns, the eyes of aquamarine, The quivering half-closed eyelids, the rags of cloud or of lace, Or eyes that rage has brightened, arms it has made lean, Give place to an indifferent multitude, give place To brazen hawks.
Nor self-delighting reverie, Nor hate of what's to come, nor pity for what's gone, Nothing but grip of claw, and the eye's complacency, The innumerable clanging wings that have put out the moon.
I turn away and shut the door, and on the stair Wonder how many times I could have proved my worth In something that all others understand or share; But O! ambitious heart, had such a proof drawn forth A company of friends, a conscience set at ease, It had but made us pine the more.
The abstract joy, The half-read wisdom of daemonic images, Suffice the ageing man as once the growing boy.

Written by Nazim Hikmet | Create an image from this poem


 I was born in 1902
I never once went back to my birthplace
I don't like to turn back
at three I served as a pasha's grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student at Moscow Communist University
at forty-nine I was back in Moscow as the Tcheka Party's guest
and I've been a poet since I was fourteen
some people know all about plants some about fish
 I know separation
some people know the names of the stars by heart
 I recite absences
I've slept in prisons and in grand hotels
I've known hunger even a hunger strike and there's almost no food
 I haven't tasted
at thirty they wanted to hang me
at forty-eight to give me the Peace Prize
 which they did
at thirty-six I covered four square meters of concrete in half a year
at fifty-nine I flew from Prague to Havana in eighteen hours
I never saw Lenin I stood watch at his coffin in '24
in '61 the tomb I visit is his books
they tried to tear me away from my party
 it didn't work
nor was I crushed under the falling idols
in '51 I sailed with a young friend into the teeth of death
in '52 I spent four months flat on my back with a broken heart
 waiting to die
I was jealous of the women I loved
I didn't envy Charlie Chaplin one bit
I deceived my women
I never talked my friends' backs
I drank but not every day
I earned my bread money honestly what happiness
out of embarrassment for others I lied
I lied so as not to hurt someone else
 but I also lied for no reason at all
I've ridden in trains planes and cars
most people don't get the chance
I went to opera
 most people haven't even heard of the opera
and since '21 I haven't gone to the places most people visit
 mosques churches temples synagogues sorcerers
 but I've had my coffee grounds read
my writings are published in thirty or forty languages
 in my Turkey in my Turkish they're banned
cancer hasn't caught up with me yet
and nothing says it will
I'll never be a prime minister or anything like that
and I wouldn't want such a life
nor did I go to war
or burrow in bomb shelters in the bottom of the night
and I never had to take to the road under diving planes
but I fell in love at almost sixty
in short comrades
even if today in Berlin I'm croaking of grief
 I can say I've lived like a human being
and who knows
 how much longer I'll live
 what else will happen to me

 This autobiography was written 
 in east Berlin on 11 September 1961
Written by Lewis Carroll | Create an image from this poem

Poeta Fit Non Nascitur

 "How shall I be a poet?
How shall I write in rhyme?
You told me once the very wish
Partook of the sublime:
Then tell me how.
Don't put me off With your 'another time'.
" The old man smiled to see him, To hear his sudden sally; He liked the lad to speak his mind Enthusiastically, And thought, "There's no hum-drum in him, Nor any shilly-shally.
" "And would you be a poet Before you've been to school? Ah well! I hardly thought you So absolute a fool.
First learn to be spasmodic— A very simple rule.
"For first you write a sentence, And then you chop it small! Then mix the bits, and sort them out Just as they chance to fall: The order of the phrases makes No difference at all.
"Then, if you'd be impressive, Remember what I say, The abstract qualities begin With capitals alway: The True, the Good, the Beautiful, These are the things that pay! "Next, when you are describing A shape, or sound, or tint, Don't state the matter plainly, But put it in a hint; And learn to look at all things With a sort of mental squint.
" "For instance, if I wished, Sir, Of mutton-pies to tell, Should I say 'Dreams of fleecy flocks Pent in a wheaten cell'?" "Why, yes," the old man said: "that phrase Would answer very well.
"Then, fourthly, there are epithets That suit with any word— As well as Harvey's Reading Sauce With fish, or flesh, or bird— Of these 'wild,' 'lonely,' 'weary,' 'strange,' Are much to be preferred.
" "And will it do, O will it do To take them in a lump— As 'the wild man went his weary way To a strange and lonely pump'?" "Nay, nay! You must not hastily To such conclusions jump.
"Such epithets, like pepper, Give zest to what you write, And, if you strew them sparely, They whet the appetite: But if you lay them on too thick, You spoil the matter quite! "Last, as to the arrangement; Your reader, you should show him, Must take what information he Can get, and look for no im- mature disclosure of the drift And purpose of your poem.
"Therefore, to test his patience— How much he can endure— Mention no places, names, nor dates, And evermore be sure Throughout the poem to be found Consistently obscure.
"First fix upon the limit To which it shall extend: Then fill it up with 'padding', (Beg some of any friend): Your great sensation-stanza You place towards the end.
Now try your hand, ere Fancy Have lost its present glow—" "And then," his grandson added, "We'll publish it, you know: Green cloth—gold-lettered at the back, In duodecimo!" Then proudly smiled the old man To see the eager lad Rush madly for his pen and ink And for his blotting-pad— But when he thought of publishing, His face grew stern and sad.
Written by Randall Jarrell | Create an image from this poem

The Player Piano

 I ate pancakes one night in a Pancake House
Run by a lady my age.
She was gay.
When I told her that I came from Pasadena She laughed and said, "I lived in Pasadena When Fatty Arbuckle drove the El Molino bus.
" I felt that I had met someone from home.
No, not Pasadena, Fatty Arbuckle.
Who's that? Oh, something that we had in common Like -- like -- the false armistice.
Piano rolls.
She told me her house was the first Pancake House East of the Mississippi, and I showed her A picture of my grandson.
Going home -- Home to the hotel -- I began to hum, "Smile a while, I bid you sad adieu, When the clouds roll back I'll come to you.
" Let's brush our hair before we go to bed, I say to the old friend who lives in my mirror.
I remember how I'd brush my mother's hair Before she bobbed it.
How long has it been Since I hit my funnybone? had a scab on my knee? Here are Mother and Father in a photograph, Father's holding me.
They both look so young.
I'm so much older than they are.
Look at them, Two babies with their baby.
I don't blame you, You weren't old enough to know any better; If I could I'd go back, sit down by you both, And sign our true armistice: you weren't to blame.
I shut my eyes and there's our living room.
The piano's playing something by Chopin, And Mother and Father and their little girl Listen.
Look, the keys go down by themselves! I go over, hold my hands out, play I play -- If only, somehow, I had learned to live! The three of us sit watching, as my waltz Plays itself out a half-inch from my fingers.
Written by Grace Paley | Create an image from this poem


 Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that's who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that's my old man across the yard
he's talking to the meter reader
he's telling him the world's sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips.

Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Shepherd And Goatherd

That cry's from the first cuckoo of the year.
I wished before it ceased.
Nor bird nor beast Could make me wish for anything this day, Being old, but that the old alone might die, And that would be against God's providence.
Let the young wish.
But what has brought you here? Never until this moment have we met Where my goats browse on the scarce grass or leap From stone to Stone.
I am looking for strayed sheep; Something has troubled me and in my rrouble I let them stray.
I thought of rhyme alone, For rhme can beat a measure out of trouble And make the daylight sweet once more; but when I had driven every rhyme into its Place The sheep had gone from theirs.
I know right well What turned so good a shepherd from his charge.
He that was best in every country sport And every country craft, and of us all Most courteous to slow age and hasty youth, Is dead.
The boy that brings my griddle-cake Brought the bare news.
He had thrown the crook away And died in the great war beyond the sea.
He had often played his pipes among my hills, And when he played it was their loneliness, The exultation of their stone, that died Under his fingers.
I had it from his mother, And his own flock was browsing at the door.
How does she bear her grief? There is not a shepherd But grows more gentle when he speaks her name, Remembering kindness done, and how can I, That found when I had neither goat nor grazing New welcome and old wisdom at her fire Till winter blasts were gone, but speak of her Even before his children and his wife? Shepherd.
She goes about her house erect and calm Between the pantry and the linen-chest, Or else at meadow or at grazing overlooks Her labouring men, as though her darling lived, But for her grandson now; there is no change But such as I have Seen upon her face Watching our shepherd sports at harvest-time When her son's turn was over.
Sing your song.
I too have rhymed my reveries, but youth Is hot to show whatever it has found, And till that's done can neither work nor wait.
Old goatherds and old goats, if in all else Youth can excel them in accomplishment, Are learned in waiting.
You cannot but have seen That he alone had gathered up no gear, Set carpenters to work on no wide table, On no long bench nor lofty milking-shed As others will, when first they take possession, But left the house as in his father's time As though he knew himself, as it were, a cuckoo, No settled man.
And now that he is gone There's nothing of him left but half a score Of sorrowful, austere, sweet, lofty pipe tunes.
You have put the thought in rhyme.
I worked all day, And when 'twas done so little had I done That maybe "I am sorry' in plain prose Had Sounded better to your mountain fancy.
[He sings.
] "Like the speckled bird that steers Thousands of leagues oversea, And runs or a while half-flies On his yellow legs through our meadows.
He stayed for a while; and we Had scarcely accustomed our ears To his speech at the break of day, Had scarcely accustomed our eyes To his shape at the rinsing-pool Among the evening shadows, When he vanished from ears and eyes.
I might have wished on the day He came, but man is a fool.
' Goatherd.
You sing as always of the natural life, And I that made like music in my youth Hearing it now have sighed for that young man And certain lost companions of my own.
They say that on your barren mountain ridge You have measured out the road that the soul treads When it has vanished from our natural eyes; That you have talked with apparitions.
Indeed My daily thoughts since the first stupor of youth Have found the path my goats' feet cannot find.
Sing, for it may be that your thoughts have plucked Some medicable herb to make our grief Less bitter.
They have brought me from that ridge Seed-pods and flowers that are not all wild poppy.
] "He grows younger every second That were all his birthdays reckoned Much too solemn seemed; Because of what he had dreamed, Or the ambitions that he served, Much too solemn and reserved.
Jaunting, journeying To his own dayspring, He unpacks the loaded pern Of all 'twas pain or joy to learn, Of all that he had made.
The outrageous war shall fade; At some old winding whitethorn root He'll practise on the shepherd's flute, Or on the close-cropped grass Court his shepherd lass, Or put his heart into some game Till daytime, playtime seem the same; Knowledge he shall unwind Through victories of the mind, Till, clambering at the cradle-side, He dreams himself hsi mother's pride, All knowledge lost in trance Of sweeter ignorance.
' Shepherd.
When I have shut these ewes and this old ram Into the fold, we'll to the woods and there Cut out our rhymes on strips of new-torn bark But put no name and leave them at her door.
To know the mountain and the valley have grieved May be a quiet thought to wife and mother, And children when they spring up shoulder-high.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Are You Content?

 I call on those that call me son,
Grandson, or great-grandson,
On uncles, aunts, great-uncles or great-aunts,
To judge what I have done.
Have I, that put it into words, Spoilt what old loins have sent? Eyes spiritualised by death can judge, I cannot, but I am not content.
He that in Sligo at Drumcliff Set up the old stone Cross, That red-headed rector in County Down, A good man on a horse, Sandymount Corbets, that notable man Old William pollexfen, The smuggler Middleton, Butlers far back, Half legendary men.
Infirm and aged I might stay In some good company, I who have always hated work, Smiling at the sea, Or demonstrate in my own life What Robert Browning meant By an old hunter talking with Gods; But I am not content.
Written by Czeslaw Milosz | Create an image from this poem


 Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering Others caused you.
The waters run and run, Springs sparkle and are done, You walk the earth you are forgetting.
Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing? A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.
The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem! Your fields lie fallow, The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

On the Building of Springfield

 Let not our town be large, remembering 
That little Athens was the Muses' home, 
That Oxford rules the heart of London still, 
That Florence gave the Renaissance to Rome.
Record it for the grandson of your son — A city is not builded in a day: Our little town cannot complete her soul Till countless generations pass away.
Now let each child be joined as to a church To her perpetual hopes, each man ordained: Let every street be made a reverent aisle Where Music grows and Beauty is unchained.
Let Science and Machinery and Trade Be slaves of her, and make her all in all, Building against our blatant, restless time An unseen, skilful, medieval wall.
Let every citizen be rich toward God.
Let Christ the beggar, teach divinity.
Let no man rule who holds his money dear.
Let this, our city, be our luxury.
We should build parks that students from afar Would choose to starve in, rather than go home, Fair little squares, with Phidian ornament, Food for the spirit, milk and honeycomb.
Songs shall be sung by us in that good day, Songs we have written, blood within the rhyme Beating, as when Old England still was glad, — The purple, rich Elizabethan time.
Say, is my prophecy too fair and far? I only know, unless her faith be high, The soul of this, our Nineveh, is doomed, Our little Babylon will surely die.
Some city on the breast of Illinois No wiser and no better at the start By faith shall rise redeemed, by faith shall rise Bearing the western glory in her heart.
The genius of the Maple, Elm and Oak, The secret hidden in each grain of corn, The glory that the prairie angels sing At night when sons of Life and Love are born, Born but to struggle, squalid and alone, Broken and wandering in their early years.
When will they make our dusty streets their goal, Within our attics hide their sacred tears? When will they start our vulgar blood athrill With living language, words that set us free? When will they make a path of beauty clear Between our riches and our liberty? We must have many Lincoln-hearted men.
A city is not builded in a day.
And they must do their work, and come and go While countless generations pass away.
Written by Du Fu | Create an image from this poem

Official at Stone Moat Village

Dusk stay at stone moat village
Be official night capture people
Old man over wall escape
Old woman out door look
Official shout with what anger
Woman cry with what grief
Hear woman forward send words
Three sons Ye city defend
One son send letter to
Two sons newly battle dead
Survive one for now sneak life
Dead ones great end finished
House in become no person
Only be breast on grandson
Have grandson mother not go
come and go without whole skirt
Old woman strength though decline
Ask follow officer night return
Urgent should Heyang work
Like produce prepare morning meal
Night long speech sound exhaust
Seem hear sob whimpering
Sky bright up before road
Alone with old man part

At dusk, I stopped to rest at Stone Moat village,
An officer came that night to capture men.
The old man escaped by climbing over the wall,
The old wife went to look outside the door.
How angrily the officer now shouted,
How bitterly the wife did weep out loud!
I heard the words the wife was sending forth:
"Three sons of mine were sent to defend Yecheng.
From one of my sons, a letter has arrived,
The other two have recently died in battle.
The one who survived has kept alive for now,
The dead ones though have met their final end.
Inside this house, there are no people left,
There's just a grandson suckling on the breast.
The grandson's mother also cannot go,
She goes about without a skirt intact.
Although I'm an old woman with failing strength,
I ask you to take me with you tonight.
If you should need workers at Heyang,
I can prepare the morning meal for you.
Her voice then died away into the night,
I seemed to hear her sob and whimper still.
At dawn, before I set upon the road,
It's only from the old man that I part.