20 November 2018

25 great first lines of poetry

  1. Mexico rises into view like a textbook description of a dead civilization;
    from the poem Roadside, by Esteban Rodriguez
  2.  
  3. O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done;
    from the poem O Captain! My Captain!, by Walt Whitman
  4.  
  5. I saw the best minds of my generation, destroyed by madness
    from the poem Howl, by Allen Ginsberg
  6.  
  7. The first boy to kiss your mother later raped women
    from the poem Your mother's first kiss, by Warsan Shire
  8.  
  9. All you violated ones with gentle hearts;
    from the poem For Malcolm X, by Margaret Abigail Walker
  10.  
  11. All night long I hear the sleepers toss
    from the poem Such simple love, by Thomas McGrath
  12.  
  13. You chose to leave, that's fine by me
    from the poem Choices, by Edward Baugh
  14.  
  15. All day the stars watch from long ago
    from the poem Rain light, by W. S. Merwin
  16.  
  17. Your hands have no more worth than tree stumps at harvest.
    from the poem A sestina for a black girl who does not know..., by Rachel Jackson
  18.  
  19. I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    from the poem Sea fever, by John Masefield
  20.  
  21. There I was, all spread out for the taking,
    from the poem From “Lacing”, by Tacey M. Atsitty
  22.  
  23. Ay, ay, ay, I am black, pure black;
    from the poem Ay ay ay de la grifa negra, by Julia de Burgos
  24.  
  25. Has it turned out we’ve wasted our time?
    from the poem The end game of bloom, by Deborah Landau
  26.  
  27. We ate alone in the immense dining room.
    from the poem The nowhere water, by Mark Rudman
  28.  
  29. The planets whirled across the blackboard all morning,
    from the poem Learning the Planets, by Len Roberts
  30.  
  31. Listen
    from the poem Thanks, by W. S. Merwin
  32.  
  33. It was many and many a year ago, [Thank you, Terry K.]
    from the poem Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan poe
  34.  
  35. Do not stand at my grave and weep, [Thank you, Diane M.]
    from the poem Do not stand at my grave and weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye
  36.  
  37. Where dips the rocky highland [Thank you, David R.]
    from the poem Stolen child, by W. B. Yeats
  38.  
  39. Do not go gentle into that good night [Thank you, Robert W.]
    from the poem Do not go gentle into that good night, by Dylan Thomas
  40.  
  41. My son’s head is a fist
    from the poem Knuckle head, by Terri Ellen Cross Davis
  42.  
  43. When despair for the world grows in me
    from the poem The peace of wild things, by Wendell Berry
  44.  
  45. Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
    from the poem Morning song, by Sylvia Plath
  46.  
  47. On my desk there is a stone with the word "Amen" on it,
    from the poem The amen stone, by Yehuda Amichai
  48.  
  49. I know the truth—give up all other truths!
    from the poem I know the truth—give up all other truths!, by Marina Tsvetayeva
  50.  



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