Top 5 Friday: Favorite Lines from Poetry

Like most gothy, angst-filled teenagers dealing with the stress of high school, I turned to writing and poetry when I was sixteen to help alleviate some of the pressure I felt that I was under. It lasted for about 6 years, where I’d write furiously and carry a composition notebook around with me everywhere I went. Eventually, I stopped being so emo and decided that if I didn’t have anything inspiring or uplifting to write, I didn’t want to do it anymore. A person can only take so much negativity, right?

So I haven’t really written anything in quite some time, but I’ve always had a deep adoration of linguistics and the written word. I remember being eleven years old and reading William Blake’s The Tyger, which I can still recite from memory to this day. There are certain writers who can take average, everyday words and put them together in such a way that reading them makes me feel like my guts are shaking and my brain is going to explode. It sounds more unpleasant than it actually it — I quite enjoy it, really!

I’ve always believed that having the power to influence or affect someone with words is the greatest thing to possess. Words and language enable us to accomplish so many things, from lifting a hurting person’s spirits to compelling people to get behind a cause that can change the world.

Here’s a little-known fact about me: Ever since I can remember, I’ve always pictured words in my head as they’re being spoken to me or as I’m speaking them. I’m not sure when it started, but every time I talk or focus on something that someone else is saying, I picture the words in my head being written out with a fancy pen like in the picture above. Sometimes it makes it difficult for me to communicate because I get so wrapped up in the words that are being said rather than the meaning behind them, and that gets annoying, but generally it’s kind of neat. I can remember a lot of things verbatim by picturing it again. It makes things difficult though because usually I’m really bad at things that have double meanings — I just focus on the words in a literal sense so I normally don’t get jokes and things like that. 😦

Since words and writing have always been such a big part of my life, I decided that in my second edition of my Top 5 Friday posts, I’d dedicate the whole thing to parts of poems that have either really stuck with me for years or that I just think are beautifully written. I’m not going to write a huge explanation of why I love each one personally because I wouldn’t want to influence anyone else’s opinion about the line or the poem itself, but if you have any thoughts of your own I’d love to hear them!

Top 5 Favorite Lines from Poetry! 

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.
(I actually got this tattooed a couple of years ago, and it still means so much to me every time I look at it! Click here to see my tattoo!)
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.

(I’ve wanted to get a tattoo with the line “deny me not” from this poem for the last three years. EVENTUALLY!)

To a Mouse by Robert Burns

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Honorable Mentions!

The Tyger by William Blake: On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand dare seize the fire? 

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou: Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

All Appearance by Sylvia Plath: O heart, such disorganization! 

The stars are flashing like terrible numerals

ABC, her eyelids say.

(PS: Yes, this is a day early! So sue me. 😉 )

One Response to “Top 5 Friday: Favorite Lines from Poetry”
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  1. […] know this is a day late, but I’m pretending it isn’t because last week’s entry on poetry was updated a day […]

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