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sadhana senthilkumar

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What is your favorite poem and why?

Poems may be the keys to understanding how the invisible pieces of our soul fit together. Poems are tools that help us not only to understand ourselves but also the world around us.

As Amartya Sen said - "If one can find the right poem, quoting someone else can be as much an expression of one's deeper self as anything one can write oneself."

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    Nov 27 2011: 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 too 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 imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one 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 breath 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 talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk 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!
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      Nov 28 2011: Dear Silvia,
      I just posted this poem as one of my favorites, then scrolled down and found your contribution! Looks like we're on a similar page again...LOVE it:>)
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        Nov 29 2011: YES! I'm quite amused and happy about that as well, dear Colleen. :)
        I wanted to share another great poem in Bulgarian and hopefully translate it well so that I can get the gist of the meaning:

        Не питай за цената на мечтата -
        бори се, литвай, падай и умирай!. . .
        Носи я винаги напред -в ръката,
        възкръсвай: ставай, искай и намирай!
        Не я затваряй в себе си, в душата. . .
        Изправен дишай, никога не спирай,
        мечтай за радостта, за красотата!
        С възторг и трепет, с вяра в чудесата -
        тя ражда и мира, и светлината,
        с кръвта заплаща любовта и свободата. . .

        НЕ ПИТАЙ ЗА ЦЕНАТА НА МЕЧТАТА!. . .

        Людмил Янков 1984 год.

        Don't ask about the dream's price ...
        fight, fly, fall and die! ...
        Take it always ahead - in your hand,
        Revive: get up, want and find!
        Don't close it inside, in your soul ...
        Standing breathe, never stop,
        Dream of joy, of beauty!
        With rapture and thrill, with faith in miracles -
        it gives birth to both peace and light,
        In blood it pays for love and freedom ...

        DON'T ASK ABOUT THE DREAM'S PRICE! ...

        Lyudmil Yankov 1984

        This is a man who was lost too soon ...
    • W T 100+

      • +1
      Dec 1 2011: I'm afraid I'm also guilty of putting in my entry and not scrolling down. IF is also my favorite poem. I'd like to know when you came across this poem??. The fact that Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book, and this exquisite poem showed me as a young adult that humans have very diversified interests and talents and that we can never judge someone by just one act......We are complex individuals, and only by taking a personal interest in others and their interests and feelings do we start to understand ourselves and those around us. This one poem shaped my thinking very much from a very young age. I am so glad to know that two other individuals...and women at that also love this poem. :)
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        Dec 2 2011: Mary,
        I came across the poem "IF" at a frightening time in my life. I challenged a toxic business in the community years ago. My life was threatened, my home vandalized and damaged, and I was afraid to walk down the street in a community where I lived for 40 years. I was percieved as public enemy number 1, for trying to put these "nice people" out of business. I questioned myself and my actions over and over again during several years. The question to myself was always..."do I want to be liked and feel safe"?, or "do I want to do what is right for our environment"?

        I kept this poem close by, read and re-read it many many times to help give me strength to carry on. Finally, the business was ordered by the environmental court to vacate the site.

        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 too good, nor talk too wise......................

        This poem means so much to me in so many ways:>)
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          Dec 2 2011: Colleen, you are a brave woman. You will probably appreciate reading "Anyway" by Kent Keith. This poem also is a powerhouse of positive living and self worth despite what others do or say. Colleen, you were true to yourself and you stood up for what you believed in. How wonderful! Thank you for sharing this information with us. Mary :)
        • Dec 23 2011: Hi Colleen,
          The poem "IF" is also one of my favorite ones.and why did not you post till the end of the poem. here it's:

          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 too 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 watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
          And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

          If you can make one 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 talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
          Or walk 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!


          Rudyard Kipling
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        Dec 2 2011: Dear Mary,
        Thank you. I DID enjoy reading the poem "ANYWAY", which I had not seen before...thank you:>)

        I think/feel that bravery comes and goes. The piece that never leaves my mind and heart, is that I did not come back to this earth school to be complacent:>)
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        Dec 26 2011: Hi Alisa,
        I posted the entire poem in another comment earlier and didn't want to take up any more space.
        It is always good for a repeat...thanks:>)
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      . . 100+

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      Dec 2 2011: This one's for all TEDsters. :-) :-)
      (I have too many favorite poems to pick just one).

      Out
      Of a great need
      We are all holding hands
      And climbing.

      Not loving is a letting go.
      Listen,

      The terrain around here
      Is
      Far too
      Dangerous
      For that.

      This poem is called "A Great Need" - by Hafiz ...... maybe " Not loving is a letting go" would be a better title !!!! In other words “ A world without love is a deadly place.” - Dr Helen Fisher

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