What Is Your Favorite "Manly" Poem?

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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
Character

The sun set, but set not his hope:
Stars rose; his faith was earlier up:
Fixed on the enormous galaxy,
Deeper and older seemed his eye;
And matched his sufferance sublime
The taciturnity of time.
He spoke, and words more soft than rain
Brought the Age of Gold again:
His action won such reverence sweet
As hid all measure of the feat.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
SMOKE AND CHESS.

We were sitting at chess as the sun went down;
And he, from his meerschaum's glossy brown,
With a ring of smoke made his king a crown.

The cherry stem, with its amber tip,
Thoughtfully rested on his lip,
As the goblet's rim from which heroes sip.

And, looking out through the early green,
He called on his patron saint, I ween,—
That misty maiden, Saint Nicotine,

While ever rested that crown so fair,
Poised in the warm and pulseless air,
On the carven chessman's ivory hair.

Dreamily wandered the game along,
Quietly moving at even-song,
While the striving kings stood firm and strong,

Until that one which of late was crowned
Flinched from a knight's determined bound,
And in sullen majesty left the ground,

Reeling back; and it came to pass
That, waiting to mutter no funeral mass,
A bishop had dealt him the coup de grace.

And so, as we sat, we reasoned still
Of fate and of fortune, of human will,
And what are the purposes men fulfil.

For we see at last, when the truth arrives,
The moves on the chess-board of our lives,—
That fields may be lost, though the king survives.

Not always he whom the world reveres
Merits its honor or wins its cheers,
Standing the best at the end of the years.

Not always he who has lost the fight
Rises again with the coming light,
Battles anew for his ancient right.

SAMUEL W. DUFFIELD.
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
Do good, good man, it appears all that you know,
And we'll keep you honest with the lash and the bow,
Stand upright and speak words resoundingly true,
And we'll curse you in public for all that you do.

Stand up for the rights greater men have laid down,
And we'll call you antiquated, out of touch with this town,
Steadfastly assert that their words do ring true,
And we'll curse you in public for all that you do.

Progress, you see, is the new golden rule,
We have no more use for the words that you drool,
So keep your old books and your thoughts about right,
We'll carry this torch of a new blinding light,
Which TRUMPS all the pabulum you persistently spew,
And we'll curse you in public for all that you do.

And because of our efforts your words are laid low,
Do you now feel the lash of our whip and our bow?
We've chosen our Barabbas...a brute vulgar lout,
Who draws upright blood with the sword of his mouth,
And we sentence you to damnation for speaking what's true,
And we'll curse you in public for all that you do.

So do good, good man, it appears all that you know,
And for all the good you do our resistance will grow,
And your wife and your children and those who love you,
And all those who feel that your message is true,
We'll curse them in public...yes we'll curse them too,
We'll curse them for all the good that you do.

~ Anon
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made;
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ‘twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed -- do not laugh --
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! many things this tale might teach --
But I am not ordained to preach.

~ Sam Walter Foss
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
The Coming American

Bring me men to match my mountains;
Bring me men to match my plains, —
Men with empires in their purpose,
And new eras in their brains.
Bring me men to match my praries,
Men to match my inland seas,
Men whose thought shall pave a highway
Up to ampler destinies;
Pioneers to clear Thought's marshlands,
And to cleanse old Error's fen;
Bring me men to match my mountains —
Bring me men!
Bring me men to match my forests,
Strong to fight the storm and blast,
Branching toward the skyey future,
Rooted in the fertile past.
Bring me men to match my valleys,
Tolerant of sun and snow,
Men within whose fruitful purpose
Time's consummate blooms shall grow.
Men to tame the tigerish instincts
Of the lair and cave and den,
Cleans the dragon slime of Nature —
Bring me men!
Bring me men to match my rivers,
Continent cleavers, flowing free,
Drawn by the eternal madness
To be mingled with the sea;
Men of oceanic impulse,
Men whose moral currents sweep
Toward the wide-enfolding ocean
Of an undiscovered deep;
Men who feel the strong pulsation
Of the Central Sea, and then
Time their currents to its earth throb —
Bring me men!
~ Sam Walter Foss
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425

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!

~ Rudyard Kipling
 
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eslavs

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 19, 2019
219
978
Sarasota, Florida
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~ Dylan Thomas
This!
 
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Dr.G

Lurker
Aug 16, 2021
32
48
Sydney Australia
Mystic tube of magic power,
Solace of each lonely hour;
Short or long, with bowl well freighted,
Lip that's pure or wax-inated ;
Dear indeed does smoker prize thee,
Whilst between his lips he eyes thee
As thy bowl with ardour burns,
Filled with shag, bird's-eye, returns ;
Each and all he honours duly,
Loving, like a lover truly !
Monarchs, thee in porter soaking,
Oh ! king, poking, joking, smoking;
Cannot find amidst their blisses,
Such a regal prize as this is !

Anacreon Pipavisus.

Not my favourite, but apt haha.
 
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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425

I Am!​

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
~ John Clare
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
15,604
26,729
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
James Dickey made his maleness a presence in his poetry, to go with his rep for womanizing and one-upping any other male (or strong woman) in sight. A really good poem, maybe not so much good company, depending on who you are. For shear flights of being alive, often along with being male, probably his sonnets and many speeches in the plays of Shakespeare, for vibrancy, insight, and pushing language to its limits.

Watch out for this spell-check, which takes one perfectly good word and replaces it with another making no sense in the sentence.
The man's last name doomed him at birth. He was fated, in every way, to be a dicky.
 
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HawkeyeLinus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2020
1,487
8,180
Iowa
In high school a friend who grew up pretty manly, I guess, was inspired to direct this at a young lady who was annoying him by smacking gum on a road trip in a school van.

A gum chewing girl and a cud chewing cow,
What is the difference? I see it now -
The intelligent look on the face of the cow.
 

gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,453
13,425
I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears; And I sunned it with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple bright. And my foe beheld it shine. And he knew that it was mine, And into my garden stole When the night had veiled the pole; In the morning glad I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree.- William Blake
 

Fiddlepiper

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 22, 2020
716
5,441
Scotland
www.danielthorpemusic.com
The Horses by Edwin Muir

Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
'They'll molder away and be like other loam.'
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.
 
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SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
563
1,655
NE Wisconsin
Cliche Came Out of its Cage
C. S. Lewis

1.
You said 'The world is going back to Paganism'.
Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House
Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes,
And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes,
Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses
To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem.
Hestia's fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before
The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands
Tended it By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother
Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. at the hour
Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave
Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush
Arose (it is the mark of freemen's children) as they trooped,
Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance.
Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods,
Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men,
Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged
Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die
Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing.
Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune
Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions;
Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears ...
You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop.

2
Or did you mean another kind of heathenry?
Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth,
Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm.
Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll
Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound;
But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods,
Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand,
Will limp to their stations for the Last defense. Make it your hope
To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them;
For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die
His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong
Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last,
And every man of decent blood is on the losing side.
Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits
Who walked back into burning houses to die with men,
Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals
Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim.

Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs;
You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event
Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).

[I've taken the liberty of emboldening the manliest lines.]
 
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