30 in 30: Day 16 (democracy has miles to go before we can sleep)

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Favourite Poem or Collection of Poetry

This is a difficult one. I don’t have many favourite poems as I have favourite poets, and when I look at their works there are a few poems that jump out at me.

So I have two.

The first is by Langston Hughes.

Democracy

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

The second is by Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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.

These two poets are not my only favourites — I’m also very fond of Emily Dickinson — but they are the ones whose poems came to mind for this post. They are definitely masters of the craft. These poems are so simple, and yet so poignant. They do not waste breath with unnecessary chatter.

The art of poetry lies within the ability to prune.

Within the ability to stop.

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