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Best Famous Philosophy Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Philosophy poems. This is a select list of the best famous Philosophy poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Philosophy poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of philosophy poems.

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Written by Ogden Nash | Create an image from this poem

Very Like a Whale

 One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts, Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold? In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians.
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold, Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wold on the fold? In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof; Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof? Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most, Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them, With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson; They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison, And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm, And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.


Written by William Blake | Create an image from this poem

Auguries Of Innocence

 To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing, A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed for fight Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer wandering here and there Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife, And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly, For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat, Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so: Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands, Throughout all these human lands; Tools were made and born were hands, Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye Becomes a babe in eternity; This is caught by females bright And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands Shall buy and sell the miser's lands, Or if protected from on high Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do, But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse, Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie When we see not through the eye Which was born in a night to perish in a night, When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light To those poor souls who dwell in night, But does a human form display To those who dwell in realms of day.
Written by Oscar Wilde | Create an image from this poem

Panthea

 Nay, let us walk from fire unto fire,
From passionate pain to deadlier delight, -
I am too young to live without desire,
Too young art thou to waste this summer night
Asking those idle questions which of old
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was told.
For, sweet, to feel is better than to know, And wisdom is a childless heritage, One pulse of passion - youth's first fiery glow, - Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the sage: Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy, Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love and eyes to see! Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale, Like water bubbling from a silver jar, So soft she sings the envious moon is pale, That high in heaven she is hung so far She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune, - Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late and labouring moon.
White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream, The fallen snow of petals where the breeze Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam Of boyish limbs in water, - are not these Enough for thee, dost thou desire more? Alas! the Gods will give nought else from their eternal store.
For our high Gods have sick and wearied grown Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavour For wasted days of youth to make atone By pain or prayer or priest, and never, never, Hearken they now to either good or ill, But send their rain upon the just and the unjust at will.
They sit at ease, our Gods they sit at ease, Strewing with leaves of rose their scented wine, They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine, Mourning the old glad days before they knew What evil things the heart of man could dream, and dreaming do.
And far beneath the brazen floor they see Like swarming flies the crowd of little men, The bustle of small lives, then wearily Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again Kissing each others' mouths, and mix more deep The poppy-seeded draught which brings soft purple-lidded sleep.
There all day long the golden-vestured sun, Their torch-bearer, stands with his torch ablaze, And, when the gaudy web of noon is spun By its twelve maidens, through the crimson haze Fresh from Endymion's arms comes forth the moon, And the immortal Gods in toils of mortal passions swoon.
There walks Queen Juno through some dewy mead, Her grand white feet flecked with the saffron dust Of wind-stirred lilies, while young Ganymede Leaps in the hot and amber-foaming must, His curls all tossed, as when the eagle bare The frightened boy from Ida through the blue Ionian air.
There in the green heart of some garden close Queen Venus with the shepherd at her side, Her warm soft body like the briar rose Which would be white yet blushes at its pride, Laughs low for love, till jealous Salmacis Peers through the myrtle-leaves and sighs for pain of lonely bliss.
There never does that dreary north-wind blow Which leaves our English forests bleak and bare, Nor ever falls the swift white-feathered snow, Nor ever doth the red-toothed lightning dare To wake them in the silver-fretted night When we lie weeping for some sweet sad sin, some dead delight.
Alas! they know the far Lethaean spring, The violet-hidden waters well they know, Where one whose feet with tired wandering Are faint and broken may take heart and go, And from those dark depths cool and crystalline Drink, and draw balm, and sleep for sleepless souls, and anodyne.
But we oppress our natures, God or Fate Is our enemy, we starve and feed On vain repentance - O we are born too late! What balm for us in bruised poppy seed Who crowd into one finite pulse of time The joy of infinite love and the fierce pain of infinite crime.
O we are wearied of this sense of guilt, Wearied of pleasure's paramour despair, Wearied of every temple we have built, Wearied of every right, unanswered prayer, For man is weak; God sleeps: and heaven is high: One fiery-coloured moment: one great love; and lo! we die.
Ah! but no ferry-man with labouring pole Nears his black shallop to the flowerless strand, No little coin of bronze can bring the soul Over Death's river to the sunless land, Victim and wine and vow are all in vain, The tomb is sealed; the soldiers watch; the dead rise not again.
We are resolved into the supreme air, We are made one with what we touch and see, With our heart's blood each crimson sun is fair, With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.
With beat of systole and of diastole One grand great life throbs through earth's giant heart, And mighty waves of single Being roll From nerveless germ to man, for we are part Of every rock and bird and beast and hill, One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.
From lower cells of waking life we pass To full perfection; thus the world grows old: We who are godlike now were once a mass Of quivering purple flecked with bars of gold, Unsentient or of joy or misery, And tossed in terrible tangles of some wild and wind-swept sea.
This hot hard flame with which our bodies burn Will make some meadow blaze with daffodil, Ay! and those argent breasts of thine will turn To water-lilies; the brown fields men till Will be more fruitful for our love to-night, Nothing is lost in nature, all things live in Death's despite.
The boy's first kiss, the hyacinth's first bell, The man's last passion, and the last red spear That from the lily leaps, the asphodel Which will not let its blossoms blow for fear Of too much beauty, and the timid shame Of the young bridegroom at his lover's eyes, - these with the same One sacrament are consecrate, the earth Not we alone hath passions hymeneal, The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth At daybreak know a pleasure not less real Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood, We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good.
So when men bury us beneath the yew Thy crimson-stained mouth a rose will be, And thy soft eyes lush bluebells dimmed with dew, And when the white narcissus wantonly Kisses the wind its playmate some faint joy Will thrill our dust, and we will be again fond maid and boy.
And thus without life's conscious torturing pain In some sweet flower we will feel the sun, And from the linnet's throat will sing again, And as two gorgeous-mailed snakes will run Over our graves, or as two tigers creep Through the hot jungle where the yellow-eyed huge lions sleep And give them battle! How my heart leaps up To think of that grand living after death In beast and bird and flower, when this cup, Being filled too full of spirit, bursts for breath, And with the pale leaves of some autumn day The soul earth's earliest conqueror becomes earth's last great prey.
O think of it! We shall inform ourselves Into all sensuous life, the goat-foot Faun, The Centaur, or the merry bright-eyed Elves That leave their dancing rings to spite the dawn Upon the meadows, shall not be more near Than you and I to nature's mysteries, for we shall hear The thrush's heart beat, and the daisies grow, And the wan snowdrop sighing for the sun On sunless days in winter, we shall know By whom the silver gossamer is spun, Who paints the diapered fritillaries, On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.
Ay! had we never loved at all, who knows If yonder daffodil had lured the bee Into its gilded womb, or any rose Had hung with crimson lamps its little tree! Methinks no leaf would ever bud in spring, But for the lovers' lips that kiss, the poets' lips that sing.
Is the light vanished from our golden sun, Or is this daedal-fashioned earth less fair, That we are nature's heritors, and one With every pulse of life that beats the air? Rather new suns across the sky shall pass, New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.
And we two lovers shall not sit afar, Critics of nature, but the joyous sea Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be Part of the mighty universal whole, And through all aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul! We shall be notes in that great Symphony Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres, And all the live World's throbbing heart shall be One with our heart; the stealthy creeping years Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die, The Universe itself shall be our Immortality.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

A Satyre Against Mankind

 Were I - who to my cost already am
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man -
A spirit free to choose for my own share
What sort of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
Or anything but that vain animal,
Who is so proud of being rational.
His senses are too gross; and he'll contrive A sixth, to contradict the other five; And before certain instinct will prefer Reason, which fifty times for one does err.
Reason, an ignis fatuus of the mind, Which leaving light of nature, sense, behind, Pathless and dangerous wand'ring ways it takes, Through Error's fenny bogs and thorny brakes; Whilst the misguided follower climbs with pain Mountains of whimsey's, heaped in his own brain; Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down, Into Doubt's boundless sea where, like to drown, Books bear him up awhile, and make him try To swim with bladders of Philosophy; In hopes still to o'ertake the escaping light; The vapour dances, in his dancing sight, Till spent, it leaves him to eternal night.
Then old age and experience, hand in hand, Lead him to death, make him to understand, After a search so painful, and so long, That all his life he has been in the wrong: Huddled In dirt the reasoning engine lies, Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise.
Pride drew him in, as cheats their bubbles catch, And made him venture; to be made a wretch.
His wisdom did has happiness destroy, Aiming to know that world he should enjoy; And Wit was his vain, frivolous pretence Of pleasing others, at his own expense.
For wits are treated just like common whores, First they're enjoyed, and then kicked out of doors; The pleasure past, a threatening doubt remains, That frights th' enjoyer with succeeding pains: Women and men of wit are dangerous tools, And ever fatal to admiring fools.
Pleasure allures, and when the fops escape, 'Tis not that they're beloved, but fortunate, And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate: But now, methinks some formal band and beard Takes me to task; come on sir, I'm prepared: "Then by your Favour, anything that's writ Against this jibing, jingling knack called Wit Likes me abundantly: but you take care Upon this point not to be too severe.
Perhaps my Muse were fitter for this part, For I profess I can be very smart On Wit, which I abhor with all my heart; I long to lash it in some sharp essay, But your grand indiscretion bids me stay, And turns my tide of ink another way.
What rage Torments in your degenerate mind, To make you rail at reason, and mankind Blessed glorious man! To whom alone kind heaven An everlasting soul hath freely given; Whom his great maker took such care to make, That from himself he did the image take; And this fair frame in shining reason dressed, To dignify his nature above beast.
Reason, by whose aspiring influence We take a flight beyond material sense, Dive into mysteries, then soaring pierce The flaming limits of the universe, Search heaven and hell, Find out what's acted there, And give the world true grounds of hope and fear.
" Hold mighty man, I cry, all this we know, From the pathetic pen of Ingelo; From Patrlck's Pilgrim, Sibbes' Soliloquies, And 'tis this very reason I despise, This supernatural gift that makes a mite Think he's an image of the infinite; Comparing his short life, void of all rest, To the eternal, and the ever-blessed.
This busy, pushing stirrer-up of doubt, That frames deep mysteries, then finds them out; Filling with frantic crowds of thinking fools The reverend bedlam's, colleges and schools; Borne on whose wings each heavy sot can pierce The limits of the boundless universe; So charming ointments make an old witch fly, And bear a crippled carcass through the sky.
'Tis the exalted power whose business lies In nonsense and impossibilities.
This made a whimsical philosopher Before the spacious world his tub prefer, And we have modern cloistered coxcombs, who Retire to think 'cause they have nought to do.
But thoughts are given for action's government; Where action ceases, thought's impertinent: Our sphere of action is life's happiness, And he that thinks beyond thinks like an ***.
Thus, whilst against false reasoning I inveigh.
I own right reason, which I would obey: That reason which distinguishes by sense, And gives us rules of good and ill from thence; That bounds desires.
with a reforming will To keep 'em more in vigour, not to kill.
- Your reason hinders, mine helps to enjoy, Renewing appetites yours would destroy.
My reason is my friend, yours is a cheat, Hunger calls out, my reason bids me eat; Perversely.
yours your appetite does mock: This asks for food, that answers, 'what's o'clock' This plain distinction, sir, your doubt secures, 'Tis not true reason I despise, but yours.
Thus I think reason righted, but for man, I'll ne'er recant, defend him if you can: For all his pride, and his philosophy, 'Tis evident: beasts are in their own degree As wise at least, and better far than he.
Those creatures are the wisest who attain.
- By surest means.
the ends at which they aim.
If therefore Jowler finds and kills the hares, Better than Meres supplies committee chairs; Though one's a statesman, th' other but a hound, Jowler in justice would be wiser found.
You see how far man's wisdom here extends.
Look next if human nature makes amends; Whose principles are most generous and just, - And to whose morals you would sooner trust: Be judge yourself, I'll bring it to the test, Which is the basest creature, man or beast Birds feed on birds, beasts on each other prey, But savage man alone does man betray: Pressed by necessity; they kill for food, Man undoes man, to do himself no good.
With teeth and claws, by nature armed, they hunt Nature's allowance, to supply their want.
But man, with smiles, embraces.
friendships.
Praise, Inhumanely his fellow's life betrays; With voluntary pains works his distress, Not through necessity, but wantonness.
For hunger or for love they bite, or tear, Whilst wretched man is still in arms for fear.
For fear he arms, and is of arms afraid: From fear, to fear, successively betrayed.
Base fear, the source whence his best passions came.
His boasted honour, and his dear-bought fame.
The lust of power, to whom he's such a slave, And for the which alone he dares be brave; To which his various projects are designed, Which makes him generous, affable, and kind.
For which he takes such pains to be thought wise, And screws his actions, in a forced disguise; Leads a most tedious life in misery, Under laborious, mean hypocrisy.
Look to the bottom of his vast design, Wherein man's wisdom, power, and glory join: The good he acts.
the ill he does endure.
'Tis all from fear, to make himself secure.
Merely for safety after fame they thirst, For all men would be cowards if they durst.
And honesty's against all common sense, Men must be knaves, 'tis in their own defence.
Mankind's dishonest: if you think it fair Among known cheats to play upon the square, You'll be undone.
Nor can weak truth your reputation save, The knaves will all agree to call you knave.
Wronged shall he live, insulted o'er, oppressed, Who dares be less a villain than the rest.
Thus sir, you see what human nature craves, Most men are cowards, all men should be knaves; The difference lies, as far as I can see.
Not in the thing itself, but the degree; And all the subject matter of debate Is only, who's a knave of the first rate All this with indignation have I hurled At the pretending part of the proud world, Who, swollen with selfish vanity, devise, False freedoms, holy cheats, and formal lies, Over their fellow slaves to tyrannise.
But if in Court so just a man there be, (In Court, a just man - yet unknown to me) Who does his needful flattery direct Not to oppress and ruin, but protect: Since flattery, which way soever laid, Is still a tax: on that unhappy trade.
If so upright a statesman you can find, Whose passions bend to his unbiased mind, Who does his arts and policies apply To raise his country, not his family; Nor while his pride owned avarice withstands, Receives close bribes, from friends corrupted hands.
Is there a churchman who on God relies Whose life, his faith and doctrine justifies Not one blown up, with vain prelatic pride, Who for reproofs of sins does man deride; Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence With his obstreperous, saucy eloquence, To chide at kings, and rail at men of sense; Who from his pulpit vents more peevlsh lies, More bitter railings, scandals, calumnies, Than at a gossiping are thrown about When the good wives get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual tribe, whose talents lie In avarice, pride, sloth, and gluttony.
Who hunt good livings; but abhor good lives, Whose lust exalted, to that height arrives, They act adultery with their own wives.
And ere a score of years completed be, Can from the loftiest pulpit proudly see, Half a large parish their own progeny.
Nor doting bishop, who would be adored For domineering at the Council board; A greater fop, in business at fourscore, Fonder of serious toys, affected more, Than the gay, glittering fool at twenty proves, With all his noise, his tawdry clothes and loves.
But a meek, humble man, of honest sense, Who preaching peace does practise continence; Whose pious life's a proof he does believe Mysterious truths which no man can conceive.
If upon Earth there dwell such god-like men, I'll here recant my paradox to them, Adores those shrines of virtue, homage pay, And with the rabble world their laws obey.
If such there are, yet grant me this at least, Man differs more from man than man from beast.
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Faces

 1
SAUNTERING the pavement, or riding the country by-road—lo! such faces! 
Faces of friendship, precision, caution, suavity, ideality; 
The spiritual, prescient face—the always welcome, common, benevolent face, 
The face of the singing of music—the grand faces of natural lawyers and judges, broad
 at
 the
 back-top; 
The faces of hunters and fishers, bulged at the brows—the shaved blanch’d faces
 of
 orthodox citizens;
The pure, extravagant, yearning, questioning artist’s face; 
The ugly face of some beautiful Soul, the handsome detested or despised face; 
The sacred faces of infants, the illuminated face of the mother of many children; 
The face of an amour, the face of veneration; 
The face as of a dream, the face of an immobile rock;
The face withdrawn of its good and bad, a castrated face; 
A wild hawk, his wings clipp’d by the clipper; 
A stallion that yielded at last to the thongs and knife of the gelder.
Sauntering the pavement, thus, or crossing the ceaseless ferry, faces, and faces, and faces: I see them, and complain not, and am content with all.
2 Do you suppose I could be content with all, if I thought them their own finale? This now is too lamentable a face for a man; Some abject louse, asking leave to be—cringing for it; Some milk-nosed maggot, blessing what lets it wrig to its hole.
This face is a dog’s snout, sniffing for garbage; Snakes nest in that mouth—I hear the sibilant threat.
This face is a haze more chill than the arctic sea; Its sleepy and wobbling icebergs crunch as they go.
This is a face of bitter herbs—this an emetic—they need no label; And more of the drug-shelf, laudanum, caoutchouc, or hog’s-lard.
This face is an epilepsy, its wordless tongue gives out the unearthly cry, Its veins down the neck distended, its eyes roll till they show nothing but their whites, Its teeth grit, the palms of the hands are cut by the turn’d-in nails, The man falls struggling and foaming to the ground while he speculates well.
This face is bitten by vermin and worms, And this is some murderer’s knife, with a half-pull’d scabbard.
This face owes to the sexton his dismalest fee; An unceasing death-bell tolls there.
3 Those then are really men—the bosses and tufts of the great round globe! Features of my equals, would you trick me with your creas’d and cadaverous march? Well, you cannot trick me.
I see your rounded, never-erased flow; I see neath the rims of your haggard and mean disguises.
Splay and twist as you like—poke with the tangling fores of fishes or rats; You’ll be unmuzzled, you certainly will.
I saw the face of the most smear’d and slobbering idiot they had at the asylum; And I knew for my consolation what they knew not; I knew of the agents that emptied and broke my brother, The same wait to clear the rubbish from the fallen tenement; And I shall look again in a score or two of ages, And I shall meet the real landlord, perfect and unharm’d, every inch as good as myself.
4 The Lord advances, and yet advances; Always the shadow in front—always the reach’d hand bringing up the laggards.
Out of this face emerge banners and horses—O superb! I see what is coming; I see the high pioneer-caps—I see the staves of runners clearing the way, I hear victorious drums.
This face is a life-boat; This is the face commanding and bearded, it asks no odds of the rest; This face is flavor’d fruit, ready for eating; This face of a healthy honest boy is the programme of all good.
These faces bear testimony, slumbering or awake; They show their descent from the Master himself.
Off the word I have spoken, I except not one—red, white, black, are all deific; In each house is the ovum—it comes forth after a thousand years.
Spots or cracks at the windows do not disturb me; Tall and sufficient stand behind, and make signs to me; I read the promise, and patiently wait.
This is a full-grown lily’s face, She speaks to the limber-hipp’d man near the garden pickets, Come here, she blushingly cries—Come nigh to me, limber-hipp’d man, Stand at my side till I lean as high as I can upon you, Fill me with albescent honey, bend down to me, Rub to me with your chafing beard, rub to my breast and shoulders.
5 The old face of the mother of many children! Whist! I am fully content.
Lull’d and late is the smoke of the First-day morning, It hangs low over the rows of trees by the fences, It hangs thin by the sassafras, the wild-cherry, and the cat-brier under them.
I saw the rich ladies in full dress at the soiree, I heard what the singers were singing so long, Heard who sprang in crimson youth from the white froth and the water-blue, Behold a woman! She looks out from her quaker cap—her face is clearer and more beautiful than the sky.
She sits in an arm-chair, under the shaded porch of the farmhouse, The sun just shines on her old white head.
Her ample gown is of cream-hued linen, Her grandsons raised the flax, and her granddaughters spun it with the distaff and the wheel.
The melodious character of the earth, The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go, and does not wish to go, The justified mother of men.
Written by Maggie Estep | Create an image from this poem

Fuck Me

 **** ME
I'm all screwed up so
**** ME.
**** ME and take out the garbage feed the cat and **** ME you can do it, I know you can.
**** ME and theorize about Sado Masochism's relationship to classical philosophy tell me how this stimulates the fabric of most human relationships, I love that kind of pointless intellectualism so do it again and **** ME.
Stop being logical stop contemplating the origins of evil and the beauty of death this is not a TV movie about Plato sex life, this is **** ME so **** ME It's the pause that refreshes just add water and **** ME.
I wrote this so I'd have a good excuse to say "**** ME" over and over and over so I could get a lot of attention and look, it worked! So thank you thank you and **** ME.
Written by Friedrich von Schiller | Create an image from this poem

Shakespeares Ghost - A Parody

 I, too, at length discerned great Hercules' energy mighty,--
Saw his shade.
He himself was not, alas, to be seen.
Round him were heard, like the screaming of birds, the screams of tragedians, And, with the baying of dogs, barked dramaturgists around.
There stood the giant in all his terrors; his bow was extended, And the bolt, fixed on the string, steadily aimed at the heart.
"What still hardier action, unhappy one, dost thou now venture, Thus to descend to the grave of the departed souls here?"-- "'Tis to see Tiresias I come, to ask of the prophet Where I the buskin of old, that now has vanished, may find?" "If they believe not in Nature, nor the old Grecian, but vainly Wilt thou convey up from hence that dramaturgy to them.
" "Oh, as for Nature, once more to tread our stage she has ventured, Ay, and stark-naked beside, so that each rib we count.
" "What? Is the buskin of old to be seen in truth on your stage, then, Which even I came to fetch, out of mid-Tartarus' gloom?"-- "There is now no more of that tragic bustle, for scarcely Once in a year on the boards moves thy great soul, harness-clad.
" "Doubtless 'tis well! Philosophy now has refined your sensations, And from the humor so bright fly the affections so black.
"-- "Ay, there is nothing that beats a jest that is stolid and barren, But then e'en sorrow can please, if 'tis sufficiently moist.
" "But do ye also exhibit the graceful dance of Thalia, Joined to the solemn step with which Melpomene moves?"-- "Neither! For naught we love but what is Christian and moral; And what is popular, too, homely, domestic, and plain.
" "What? Does no Caesar, does no Achilles, appear on your stage now, Not an Andromache e'en, not an Orestes, my friend?" "No! there is naught to be seen there but parsons, and syndics of commerce, Secretaries perchance, ensigns, and majors of horse.
" "But, my good friend, pray tell me, what can such people e'er meet with That can be truly called great?--what that is great can they do?" "What? Why they form cabals, they lend upon mortgage, they pocket Silver spoons, and fear not e'en in the stocks to be placed.
" "Whence do ye, then, derive the destiny, great and gigantic, Which raises man up on high, e'en when it grinds him to dust?"-- "All mere nonsense! Ourselves, our worthy acquaintances also, And our sorrows and wants, seek we, and find we, too, here.
" "But all this ye possess at home both apter and better,-- Wherefore, then, fly from yourselves, if 'tis yourselves that ye seek?" "Be not offended, great hero, for that is a different question; Ever is destiny blind,--ever is righteous the bard.
" "Then one meets on your stage your own contemptible nature, While 'tis in vain one seeks there nature enduring and great?" "There the poet is host, and act the fifth is the reckoning; And, when crime becomes sick, virtue sits down to the feast!"


Written by John Ashbery | Create an image from this poem

My Philosophy of Life

 Just when I thought there wasn't room enough
for another thought in my head, I had this great idea--
call it a philosophy of life, if you will.
Briefly, it involved living the way philosophers live, according to a set of principles.
OK, but which ones? That was the hardest part, I admit, but I had a kind of dark foreknowledge of what it would be like.
Everything, from eating watermelon or going to the bathroom or just standing on a subway platform, lost in thought for a few minutes, or worrying about rain forests, would be affected, or more precisely, inflected by my new attitude.
I wouldn't be preachy, or worry about children and old people, except in the general way prescribed by our clockwork universe.
Instead I'd sort of let things be what they are while injecting them with the serum of the new moral climate I thought I'd stumbled into, as a stranger accidentally presses against a panel and a bookcase slides back, revealing a winding staircase with greenish light somewhere down below, and he automatically steps inside and the bookcase slides shut, as is customary on such occasions.
At once a fragrance overwhelms him--not saffron, not lavender, but something in between.
He thinks of cushions, like the one his uncle's Boston bull terrier used to lie on watching him quizzically, pointed ear-tips folded over.
And then the great rush is on.
Not a single idea emerges from it.
It's enough to disgust you with thought.
But then you remember something William James wrote in some book of his you never read--it was fine, it had the fineness, the powder of life dusted over it, by chance, of course, yet still looking for evidence of fingerprints.
Someone had handled it even before he formulated it, though the thought was his and his alone.
It's fine, in summer, to visit the seashore.
There are lots of little trips to be made.
A grove of fledgling aspens welcomes the traveler.
Nearby are the public toilets where weary pilgrims have carved their names and addresses, and perhaps messages as well, messages to the world, as they sat and thought about what they'd do after using the toilet and washing their hands at the sink, prior to stepping out into the open again.
Had they been coaxed in by principles, and were their words philosophy, of however crude a sort? I confess I can move no farther along this train of thought-- something's blocking it.
Something I'm not big enough to see over.
Or maybe I'm frankly scared.
What was the matter with how I acted before? But maybe I can come up with a compromise--I'll let things be what they are, sort of.
In the autumn I'll put up jellies and preserves, against the winter cold and futility, and that will be a human thing, and intelligent as well.
I won't be embarrassed by my friends' dumb remarks, or even my own, though admittedly that's the hardest part, as when you are in a crowded theater and something you say riles the spectator in front of you, who doesn't even like the idea of two people near him talking together.
Well he's got to be flushed out so the hunters can have a crack at him-- this thing works both ways, you know.
You can't always be worrying about others and keeping track of yourself at the same time.
That would be abusive, and about as much fun as attending the wedding of two people you don't know.
Still, there's a lot of fun to be had in the gaps between ideas.
That's what they're made for!Now I want you to go out there and enjoy yourself, and yes, enjoy your philosophy of life, too.
They don't come along every day.
Look out!There's a big one.
.
.
Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem

Wild Grapes

 What tree may not the fig be gathered from?  
The grape may not be gathered from the birch?
It's all you know the grape, or know the birch.
As a girl gathered from the birch myself Equally with my weight in grapes, one autumn, I ought to know what tree the grape is fruit of.
I was born, I suppose, like anyone, And grew to be a little boyish girl My brother could not always leave at home.
But that beginning was wiped out in fear The day I swung suspended with the grapes, And was come after like Eurydice And brought down safely from the upper regions; And the life I live now's an extra life I can waste as I please on whom I please.
So if you see me celebrate two birthdays, And give myself out of two different ages, One of them five years younger than I look- One day my brother led me to a glade Where a white birch he knew of stood alone, Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves, And heavy on her heavy hair behind, Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.
Grapes, I knew grapes from having seen them last year.
One bunch of them, and there began to be Bunches all round me growing in white birches, The way they grew round Leif the Lucky's German; Mostly as much beyond my lifted hands, though, As the moon used to seem when I was younger, And only freely to be had for climbing.
My brother did the climbing; and at first Threw me down grapes to miss and scatter And have to hunt for in sweet fern and hardhack; Which gave him some time to himself to eat, But not so much, perhaps, as a boy needed.
So then, to make me wholly self-supporting, He climbed still higher and bent the tree to earth And put it in my hands to pick my own grapes.
"Here, take a tree-top, I'll get down another.
Hold on with all your might when I let go.
" I said I had the tree.
It wasn't true.
The opposite was true.
The tree had me.
The minute it was left with me alone It caught me up as if I were the fish And it the fishpole.
So I was translated To loud cries from my brother of "Let go! Don't you know anything, you girl? Let go!" But I, with something of the baby grip Acquired ancestrally in just such trees When wilder mothers than our wildest now Hung babies out on branches by the hands To dry or wash or tan, I don't know which, (You'll have to ask an evolutionist)- I held on uncomplainingly for life.
My brother tried to make me laugh to help me.
"What are you doing up there in those grapes? Don't be afraid.
A few of them won't hurt you.
I mean, they won't pick you if you don't them.
" Much danger of my picking anything! By that time I was pretty well reduced To a philosophy of hang-and-let-hang.
"Now you know how it feels," my brother said, "To be a bunch of fox-grapes, as they call them, That when it thinks it has escaped the fox By growing where it shouldn't-on a birch, Where a fox wouldn't think to look for it- And if he looked and found it, couldn't reach it- Just then come you and I to gather it.
Only you have the advantage of the grapes In one way: you have one more stem to cling by, And promise more resistance to the picker.
" One by one I lost off my hat and shoes, And still I clung.
I let my head fall back, And shut my eyes against the sun, my ears Against my brother's nonsense; "Drop," he said, "I'll catch you in my arms.
It isn't far.
" (Stated in lengths of him it might not be.
) "Drop or I'll shake the tree and shake you down.
" Grim silence on my part as I sank lower, My small wrists stretching till they showed the banjo strings.
"Why, if she isn't serious about it! Hold tight awhile till I think what to do.
I'll bend the tree down and let you down by it.
" I don't know much about the letting down; But once I felt ground with my stocking feet And the world came revolving back to me, I know I looked long at my curled-up fingers, Before I straightened them and brushed the bark off.
My brother said: "Don't you weigh anything? Try to weigh something next time, so you won't Be run off with by birch trees into space.
" It wasn't my not weighing anything So much as my not knowing anything- My brother had been nearer right before.
I had not taken the first step in knowledge; I had not learned to let go with the hands, As still I have not learned to with the heart, And have no wish to with the heart-nor need, That I can see.
The mind-is not the heart.
I may yet live, as I know others live, To wish in vain to let go with the mind- Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me That I need learn to let go with the heart.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Loves Philosophy

THE fountains mingle with the river 
And the rivers with the ocean  
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion; 
Nothing in the world is single 5 
All things by a law divine 
In one another's being mingle¡ª 
Why not I with thine? 

See the mountains kiss high heaven  
And the waves clasp one another; 10 
No sister-flower would be forgiven 
If it disdain'd its brother; 
And the sunlight clasps the earth  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea¡ª 
What are all these kissings worth 15 
If thou kiss not me?
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