TED Conversations

Jim Moonan

Owner/Artistic Director, NorthWind Education

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What poems are most powerful to you?

I am astonished at how powerful poetic writing can be - yet poetry remains out of the reach of so many people today.

My hope is to collect here some of those poems that mean so much to people so that others can share the transcendant feeling that good poetry brings.

I would also like to know where others find their poetry - where are the best places to hear it, what are the publications that print it, the courses that teach how to read it, etc.

+11
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 13 2011: I will start with a simple phrase: 'I am a very old-fashioned person.' I stil think that 'There's more to travel than the destination. It used to be called a JOURNEY.' I travel a lot, preferably by train and on board I read poems. One of my favourites is by Theodore Roethke and is called THE WAKING. This poem says so much and still is very short, compared to some other works. I believe that the best time for poems to be heard/read is late evening, with fire in the fireplace and some classical music on LPs.

    The Waking

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me, so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.