What Is Your Favorite "Manly" Poem?

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Akousticplyr

Lifer
Oct 12, 2019
1,155
5,712
Florida Panhandle
Not sure if someone else posted this. But it's pretty powerful. From "Horatius" -the three heroes are willing to die in order to prevent the enemy from crossing a bridge, and sacking the otherwise ill-defended city.

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods."
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
3,172
20,966
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

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

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

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

~ Robert Frost
 
Mar 11, 2020
1,404
4,476
Southern Illinois
Eldorado
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’
 

docpierce

Can't Leave
Feb 17, 2020
479
1,379
The Second Coming - W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
 
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davek

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 20, 2014
685
952
River gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
All the way back back home
It's a far gone lullaby
Sung many years ago
Mama, mama, many worlds I've come
Since I first left home
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
3,172
20,966
we are always asked
to understand the other person's
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

by Charles Bukowski
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
3,172
20,966
The decision begets the evil,
As choosing a wrong path gets you hopelessly lost.
What seems like the way to worldly happiness,
Oftentimes comes with a terrible cost.

Israel asks for a king.
And their true King to them slips away,
And the king they so fervently asked for,
Takes them back into bondage his first day.

Decisions are life-changing things
That should be viewed with both awe and with fright,
As the decision we make by the day
May keep us up and in anguish by night.

The decision begets the evil,
And the one who decides pays the price,
The bolder and more audacious the decision, The more one must pay with their life.

So make your decisions wisely,
With both prudent and careful thought,
As the decisions you make on this day,
With your future hours and minutes are bought.

The decision begets the evil.
These words I know now stand in truth,
As my old body stands both hunched and humbled
And my old mind sits in fear of my youth.

The decision begets the evil.
Now you know what is truly at stake,
But remember the worst decision of all
Is the one that you never make.
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
3,172
20,966
I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!
I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door
—and I give up all claims to my house.
I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbors for long,
but I received more than I could give.
Now the day has dawned
and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.

A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

farewell...
 

kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
13,967
22,978
77
Olathe, Kansas
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

I cremated Sam McGee.

by Robert W. Service
 

pappymac

Lifer
Feb 26, 2015
3,386
4,562
War Clouds​



Lightning flashes in the night.

Storm clouds gather offshore.

Another burst of white light

splits the darkness once more.



Fiery comets in the sky.

Bomb blasts shattering the night.

Raining terror on the earth.

War has come. An evil plight.



Bodies broken. Homes destroyed.

The end is near at hand.

Men of war, ships of destruction…

cremating all upon demand.



Blinding flashes split the night

with murderous sound reaching for

those doomed for the final quiet…

those who will wake no more.
 
May 2, 2020
4,664
23,773
Louisiana
My favorite poem right now, considering all of my reading of fine poetry, would have to be this one..

Here I sit

broken hearted

I came to shit

But only farted

But you'll have to excuse me I've been a little sentimental lately.
In the same vein, back when I used to work construction, there were all sorts of interesting poems scribbled inside the porta-potties (name brand of Porta-Let in my region). You wouldn’t think your typical construction worker was so artistically inclined, but the evidence was plain to see.
There was also a bit of snobbery of sorts. Workers of skilled trades tended to look down on simple hired hands and unskilled laborers. Case in point was this magnificent ode to the man who drove the truck and vacuumed the waste out of the Porta-Lets:

He can’t weld and he can’t fit,
But the Porta-Let man knows his shit!
 

ofafeather

Lifer
Apr 26, 2020
2,769
9,057
51
Where NY, CT & MA meet
Admittedly I didn’t have the patience to scroll 10 pages so I don’t know if this has been represented already.

“The Betrothed” by Rudyard Kipling


The Betrothed
"You must choose between me and your cigar."
-- BREACH OF PROMISE CASE, CIRCA 1885.



Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas -- we fought o'er a good cheroot,
And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at -- Maggie's a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Larranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away --

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown --
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty -- grey and dour and old --
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar --

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket --
With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider a while.
Here is a mild Manila -- there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion -- bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent -- comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a Suttee's passion -- to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider anew --
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba -- I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for Spouse!
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
3,172
20,966
Be Merry & Endure

He is wise, so most I goo,
That can be mery and suffer woo.

Be mery and suffer, as I the vise,
Wherever thow sytt or rise;
Be well ware whom thow dispise;
Thou shalt kysse who is thy foo.

Beware to whom thou spek thy will,
For thy speche may greve the ill;
Here and see, and goo than still;
But well is he that can do soo.

Many a man holdyth hym so stowght
Whatsoever he thynk, he seyth it owt;
But if he loke well abowt,
His tonge may be his most foo.

'Be mery,' now is all my songe;
The wise man tawght both old and yonge;
'Who can suffer and hold his tonge,
He may be mery and nothyng woo.'

Yff any man displese the owght,
Suffer with a mery thowght;
Let care away, and greve the nowght,
And shake thy lappe, and let it go.