"Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?"
-Walt Whitman

You may also want to look at the amusing computer haikus for a calmer day.

  What's the taste?

Not everyone can share the same taste. Isn't that the truth? So it is impossible to find a poem everybody would like?

The poet's challenge, is to express something we have in common, something that can touch everybody, in a form which suits his subject and reaches the reader...

I believe that if the reader dislikes a poem, it might not be the poem to blame. Maybe has the reader not given the poem enough time... Maybe has s/he not tried to interpret an unfamiliar form, perhaps not wanted to understand the contents or subject.

I strongly believe that everybody can find a poem to love - not necessarily on these pages, but somewhere...

  The selection

There are so many poems I'd like to put here. For various reasons, I cant publish them all on the net. Some are under copyright regulations, and I try not to put out to many of them, for after all, selling them is what the poet or the relatives are supposed to make a living of... Quite a few of the poems are, sadly, in Norwegian :-( (since you are not reading the Norwegian version of this page, I take it for granted you do not read my mother's tongue.) And, then, of course: I do not have time to type everything. (After all, I'm busy becoming a dancer!)

I'm really sorry for all the beautiful poems you miss because they are in Norwegian, but I'm far too bad in English to do translations!

I will however include some English poems here. But which ones? In the Norwegian section, the selection somehow felt obvious. I started writing the first poems I learned by hearth. I am "brought up on poems". The philosophy behind this upbringing is partially described in the page about the "Suttung" movement.

The choice is of course more difficult when it comes to English poems. I don't know any of them by heart, so my first thought was to turn to the greatest of English Poets - Shakespeare. On second thought, however, the Web is probably already filled with digitalized Shakespeare.. I want to include one of his sonnets, though:

O never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify;
As easy might I from myself depart,
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie.
That is my home of love; if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never beliee, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all.

(This was sonnet CIX)

If you should by chance understand Norwegian, some of Henrik Wergeland's poetry for children is here. I've also uploaded a large poem about tolerance, called "De Tre".

At London Contemporary Dance School, we once had a project using poems by the poet Simon Parsons. I had never heard of him, but I liked this poem very much:

"These words you are

reading now have already become nerve
signals tracing fixed and common pathways
in your brain, which if damaged, could render
even the best prose meaningless. And yet
they are also tracing other pathways,
calling up other associations,
special to you, your world, your memories,
affections and desires. And therefore each
individual's interpretation
of language is unique and personal";
singular et ipso facto perfect.
So there! touché! In other words - "Gotcha!"

I read the surprising ending as the poet yelling out his triumph in actually capturing us, touching these pathways in our brains...

The following poem was posted on the Campfire mailing list, by Richard Phillips, at a moment I felt particularly wordless because a friend of a listmember was dead, and I wanted to post a comforting poem, but knew no English ones. Thank you, Richard!!!

Farewell by Anne Brontë

Farewell to Thee! But not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
Within my heart they still shall dwell
And they shall cheer and comfort me.

Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true that Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou hast done


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