Poem of the Day

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Originally posted by Mr. Somalia:

[QB] ^^

Mother Theresa's poem which I think was meant to provide folks with a succinct recipe for success and happiness is quite similar to this poem by R Kipling...


What you guys think?


I think Mother Theresa's (some ppl dispute it was by her but thats the common opinion) is a bit simpler and asking for less, not for bravery or unheard of courage but to live a life with simple principles and to readily forgive people as your aim and motivation is not to win the good pleasure of other human beings with faults but rather to live a life in service to God and do good work for His sake.


Kiplings poem as the title suggests has a clause, i.e only If you can do these things then you will be a true man or woman as the case maybe and this and that will be yours only IF you earn it through displaying many different, rare attributes that are not attainable by the common man.

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Hairy Alien,


Thank you for your nicely put response... even though I still wanna insist that the tacit assumption and lessons within these two poems are very similar indeed. Granted, the style of delivery is obviously different and unique. But I think both poems were meant to pay tribute and encouragement to many of mankind's greatest virtues— i.e, staying composed under great duress, remaining humble at all times, never losing hope when facing defeat and always retaining your dignity and originality.

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Oh Yet We Trust by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Oh yet we trust that somehow good

Will be the final goal of ill,

To pangs of nature, sins of will,

Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;


That nothing walks with aimless feet;

That not one life shall be destroyed,

Or cast as rubbish to the void,

When God hath made the pile complete;


That not a worm is cloven in vain;

That not a moth with vain desire

Is shrivelled in a fruitless fire,

Or but subserves another's gain.


Behold, we know not anything;

I can but trust that good shall fall

At last—far off—at last, to all,

And every winter change to spring.


So runs my dream: but what am I?

An infant crying in the night:

An infant crying for the light:

And with no language but a cry.

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you say the nicest thing @ hairy alien. smile.gif


At some level yes they are similar in encouraging people to display these saintly attributes but I think Kipling's poem is evidently more demanding, his is a test on many levels and from the beginning its clear that most people would fail miserably "if" they ever confronted these situations, nevertheless its a great inspirational poem and I think the first time anyone hears/reads it they are amazed by its sheer magnitude.

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Cosmic Gall by John Updike


NEUTRINOS, they are very small.

They have no charge and have no mass

And do not interact at all.

The earth is just a silly ball

To them, through which they simply pass,

Like dustmaids down a drafty hall

Or photons through a sheet of glass.

They snub the most exquisite gas,

Ignore the most substantial wall,

Cold shoulder steel and sounding brass,

Insult the stallion in his stall,

And scorning barriers of class,

Infiltrate you and me! Like tall

and painless guillotines, they fall

Down through our heads into the grass.

At night, they enter at Nepal

and pierce the lover and his lass

From underneath the bed-you call

It wonderful; I call it crass.

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Beware of thinking nothing's there.

Remove all you can, despite your care

Behind remains a restless seething

Of mindless clones beyond conceiving.


They come in a wink, they dance about,

Whatever they touch is seized by doubt:

What am I doing here? What should I weigh?

Such thoughts often lead to rapid decay.


Fear not! The terminology's misleading;

Decay is virtual particle breeding

Their ferment, though mindless, does serve noble ends:

Those clones, when exchanged, make a bond between friends.


To be or not? The choice seems clear enough,

But Hamlet vacillated. So does this stuff.

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She Walks in Beauty Like The Night by George Gordon Byron(a.k.a Lord Byron)


She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.


One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o'er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling place.


And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

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Larson's Holstein Bull by Jim Harrison


Death waits inside us for a door to open.

Death is patient as a dead cat.

Death is a doorkn*b made of flesh.

Death is that angelic farm girl

gored by the bull on her way home

from school, crossing the pasture

for a shortcut. In the seventh grade

she couldn't read or write. She wasn't a virgin.

She was "simpleminded," we all said.

It was May, a time of lilacs and shooting stars.

She's lived in my memory for sixty years.

Death steals everything except our stories.

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To My Mother by Wendell Berry


I was your rebellious son,

do you remember? Sometimes

I wonder if you do remember,

so complete has your forgiveness been.


So complete has your forgiveness been

I wonder sometimes if it did not

precede my wrong, and I erred,

safe found, within your love,


prepared ahead of me, the way home,

or my bed at night, so that almost

I should forgive you, who perhaps

foresaw the worst that I might do,


and forgave before I could act,

causing me to smile now, looking back,

to see how paltry was my worst,

compared to your forgiveness of it


already given. And this, then,

is the vision of that Heaven of which

we have heard, where those who love

each other have forgiven each other,


where, for that, the leaves are green,

the light a music in the air,

and all is unentangled,

and all is undismayed.

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Among the Things He Does Not Deserve by Dan Albergotti


Greek olives in oil, fine beer, the respect of colleagues, the rapt attention of an audience, pressed white shirts, just one last-second victory, sympathy, buttons made to resemble pearls, a pale daughter, living wages, a father with Italian blood, pity, the miraculous reversal of time, a benevolent god, good health, another dog, nothing cruel and unusual, spring, forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, the next line, cold fingers against his chest, rich bass notes from walnut speakers, inebriation, more ink, a hanging curve, great art, steady rain on Sunday, the purr of a young cat, the crab cakes at their favorite little place, the dull pain in his head, the soft gift of her parted lips.

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Counting the Mad by Donald Justice


This one was put in a jacket,

This one was sent home,

This one was given bread and meat

But would eat none,

And this one cried No No No No

All day long.


This one looked at the window

As though it were a wall,

This one saw things that were not there,

This one things that were,

And this one cried No No No No

All day long.


This one thought himself a bird,

This one a dog,

And this one thought himself a man,

An ordinary man,

And cried and cried No No No No

All day long.





Similar to counting Somalis, don't you think? :D

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To Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick


Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today

Tomorrow will be dying.


The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,

The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.


That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst

Times still succeed the former.


Then be not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, go marry;

For, having lost but once your prime,

You may forever tarry.

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Farewell to Teaching by George Johnston


Knowing what I now know

would I have consented

to be born? Next question.

When it comes time to go

will I go forlorn or

contented? Ask again.

Anything in between

should be easier. O

K, what made up my mind

to come to Carleton? Work.

My kind of work was not

easy to come by, I

came by it at Carleton;

it was simple as that

and lucky, plain lucky.

I cannot account for luck

but I can be grateful.

What was my kind of work?

Presumably teaching,

whatever that may be.

Teaching is a kind of

learning, much like loving,

mutual goings-on,

both doing each to each;

mutual forbearance;

life itself, you might say.

Whatever teaching is

did I enjoy it? Yes.

Am I glad to leave it?

Even of life itself

enough is enough. Good-

bye Dow's Lake, goodbye Tower,

essays, papers, exams,

you I can bear to leave.

Bur how shall I improve

the swiftly-dimming hour?

I shall deteriorate

amid bucolic dreams

and gather in my fate;

there's lots worse ways than that.


Goodbye good friends. Alas,

some goodbyes are like death;

they bring the heart to earth

and teach it how to die.

Earth, here we come again,

we're going our to grass.

Think of us now and then,

we'll think of you. Goodbye.

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Questions by Stephen Dunn


If on a summer afternoon a man should find himself

in love with only one woman

in a sea of women, all the others mere half-naked

swimmers and floaters, and if that one woman

therefore is clad in radiance

while the mere others are burdened by their bikinis,

then what does he do with a world

suddenly so small, the once unbiased sun

shining solely on her? And if that afternoon

turns dark, fat clouds like critics dampening

the already wet sea, does the man run—

he normally would—for cover, or does he dive

deeper in, get so wet he is beyond wetness

in all underworld utterly hers? And when

he comes up for air, as he must,

when he dries off and dresses up, as he must,

how will the pedestrian streets feel?

What will the street lamps illuminate? How exactly

will he hold her so that everyone can see

she doesn't belong to him, and he won't let go?

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Rapture by Richard Jones


In the desert, a traveler

returning to his family

is surprised

by a wild beast.


To save himself

from the fierce animal,

he leaps into a deep well

empty of water.


But at the bottom

is a dragon, waiting

with open mouth

to devour him.


The unhappy man,

not daring to go out

lest he should be

the prey of the beast,


not daring to jump

to the bottom

lest he should be

devoured by the dragon,


clings to the branch

of a bush growing

in the cracks of the well.

Hanging upon the bough,


he feels his hands

weaken, yet still

he clings, afraid

of his certain fate.


Then he sees two mice,

one white, the other black,

moving about the bush,

gnawing the roots.


The traveler sees this

and knows that he must

inevitably perish, that he will

never see his sons again.


But while thus hanging

he looks about and sees

on the leaves of the bush

some drops of honey.


These leaves

he reaches with his tongue

and licks the honey off,

with rapture.

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