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A poem that means a lot

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5 months ago
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Crazy old ape
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 months ago
What's a poem that means a lot to you? Maybe it helped you through a tough time or was an inspiration or maybe carries a happy or important memory for you. If it is available online, link it, otherwise just give the title and poet.

While studying Classics for my B.A. I became enamoured of the Roman Augustan poet Horace. His reflections on life and how we live in the shadow of death became an influence on my outlook even before I realized how they were informed by Epicurean philosophy. Odes I,IV is one of the first Latin poems I even translated myself and remains a favorite. The poet rhapsodizes on the joys of Spring, then shifts tone with a stark reminder of our mortality and that these joys must be enjoyed while they can be. This translation is from A. S. Kline's website, where he has translated all of Horace's works.

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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 months ago
Invictus
by William Ernest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 months ago
I hope a haiku counts.

by Uejima Onitsura

These useless dreams, alas!
Over fields of wilted grass
winds whisper as they pass.

Translated from Japanese and a miracle, it rhymes in English.
You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.