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I love poetry. I love the sound of it, love rhyme and meter and symmetry, love the way it flows. I generally memorize my favorites. After all, I like to memorize things, and though I really can't sing, I can recite. Hence, poetry. This post is mostly practice, to make sure I still remember them all.

This one just amuses me. I like doggerel. It's fun.

The Man From Leeds

There was a man who came from Leeds,
He filled his garden full of seeds.
And when the seeds began to grow,
It was like a garden in the snow.
And when the snow began to melt,
It was like a ship without a belt.
And when the ship began to sail,
It was like a bird without a tail.
And when the bird began to fly,
It was like a tiger in the sky.
And when the sky began to roar,
It was like a lion at my door.
And when my door began to crack,
It was like a penknife in my back.
And when my back began to bleed,
I was dead, dead, dead indeed!

This, also, is just fun. And it added 3 words to the English language - chortled, vorpal, and galumphing.

Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxsome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
and the mome raths outgrabe.

This I simply find hilarious, and I absolutely know the feeling that it describes.

Where There's a Will, There's Velleity, by Ogden Nash

Seated one day at the dictionary, I was pretty weary and also pretty ill at ease,
Because a word I had always liked had turned out not to be a word at all, and suddenly I found myself among the v's.
And suddenly among the v's I found a new word which was a word called velleity,
So the new word I found was better than the old word I lost, for which I thank my tutelary deity,
Because velleity is a word which gives me great satisfaction,
Because do you know what it means, it means low degree of volition not prompting to action,
And I always knew I had something holding me back but I didn't know what,
And it's quite a relief to know it isn't a conspiracy, it's only velleity that I've got.
Because to be wonderful at everything has always been my ambition,
Yes, indeed, I am simply teeming with volition.
So why I was never wonderful at anything was something I couldn't see,
While all this time, of course, my volition was merely volition of a low degree,
Which is the kind of volition that you are better off without it,
Because it puts an idea in your head but doesn't prompt you to do anything about it.
So you think it would be nice to be a great pianist, but why bother with practicing for hours at the keyboard,
Or you would like to be the romantic captain of a romantic ship but can't find the time to study navigation of charts of the ocean of the seaboard;
You want a lot of money but you are not prepared to work for it,
Or a book to read in bed, but you do not care to go out into the nocturnal cold and murk for it;
And now if you have any such symptoms you can identify your malady with accurate spontaneity:
It's velleity,
So don't forget to remember that you're velleitious, and if anyone says you're just lazy,
Why, they're crazy.

This one does speak to me, and I think its message is mostly correct. I do question a few lines - "If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you / If all men count with you, but none too much"? But it's still lovely.

If-, by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look to good nor talk too wise;

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master;
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same,
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or see the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make on heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them "Hold on!"

If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or talk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you - but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a man, my son!

I read this one in a story today, and loved it immediately.

#602, by Emily Dickinson

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness
'Tis the majority
In this, as all, prevails,
Agree, and you are sane;
Demur, - you're straightway dangerous
And handled with a chain.

I found this in a My Little Pony fanfic, of all places. It's still one of my favorite philosophical poems.

A Verb Called Self, by Chatoyance

I am the playing, but not the pause.

I am the effect, but not the cause.

I am the living, but not the cells.

I am the ringing, but not the bells.

I am the animal, but not the meat.

I am the walking, but not the feet.

I am the pattern, but not the clothes.

I am the smelling, but not the rose.

I am the waves, but not the sea

Whatever my substrate, my me is still me.

I am the sparks in the dark that exist as a dream -

I am the process, but not the machine.

This last one I simply enjoyed the message of.

Don't Quit, by Anonymous

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to the faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are -
It may be near, when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

I did look all of these up, to ensure that I had the punctuation and other minor details correct. But I typed them all before I read them. Anything else would be cheating.