ARS POETICA is a group for those who love poetry, anyone who is just curious, and everyone in between. Post your favorite or original poems.

Members: 100
Latest Activity: Jan 17, 2016

Featured Poem


Severed Selves

Two separate divided silences,
Which, brought together, would find loving voice;
Two glances which together would rejoice
In love, now lost like stars beyond dark trees;
Two hands apart whose touch alone gives ease;
Two bosoms which, heart-shrined with mutual flame,
Would, meeting in one clasp, be made the same;
Two souls, the shores wave-mocked of sundering seas:--

Such are we now. Ah! may our hope forecast
Indeed one hour again, when on this stream
Of darkened love once more the light shall gleam?
An hour how slow to come, how quickly past,
Which blooms and fades, and only leaves at last,
Faint as shed flowers, the attenuated dream.

-- Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Discussion Forum

The absence of religion in Shakespeare

Started by Luara. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Mar 3, 2015. 27 Replies

A Dog's Mistake - Andrew Barton Patterson

Started by Bertold Brautigan Dec 1, 2014. 0 Replies

Monition - Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

Started by Bertold Brautigan Dec 1, 2014. 0 Replies

The Emperor of Ice-Cream - Wallace Stevens

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Craigart14 Dec 1, 2014. 6 Replies

Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Steph S. Dec 1, 2014. 18 Replies

Deidre's Ramblings: This Dance

Started by Deidre. Last reply by Deidre Oct 30, 2014. 4 Replies

Deidre's ramblings

Started by Deidre. Last reply by Deidre Oct 27, 2014. 4 Replies

Peace and Joy - by Mequa

Started by Mequacious. Last reply by Deidre Oct 26, 2014. 1 Reply

What's Sacred Now?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 22, 2014. 7 Replies

The Indian upon God

Started by Luara. Last reply by Derek ~William Haughton Apr 3, 2014. 1 Reply

Climate Change Haiku

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Dec 21, 2013. 1 Reply


Started by Anne. Last reply by Anne Jul 15, 2013. 2 Replies

Ballade for the Delusional

Started by Philip Dunkerley May 18, 2013. 0 Replies

And in the end.

Started by Ian Mason. Last reply by Ian Mason Jun 9, 2012. 4 Replies

I little something I wrote, What the hell right??

Started by MonkeyPhilosopher. Last reply by Tony Carroll May 22, 2012. 35 Replies

God, A Poem

Started by Rev. Mathew G. Thompson. Last reply by David Sensei May 17, 2012. 5 Replies

Arthur at Avalon

Started by Ian Mason. Last reply by Ian Mason Apr 15, 2012. 5 Replies

The Apology by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by MonkeyPhilosopher Apr 10, 2012. 6 Replies

I Go Among Trees and Sit Still by Wendell Berry

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by A Former Member Sep 21, 2011. 5 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by David Sensei on May 15, 2012 at 3:41am

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise. And indeed, it goes so heavenly with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy the air - look you, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire - why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties. In form and moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? 

Hamlet, Act II scene 11 287-298

This is still my favorite quote from Shakespeare's plays. It's usually called 'What a piece of work is man'. It's very popular and I'm sure many of you know it. It's written in blank verse rather than the usual  'iambic pentimeter', and spoken by Hamlet to Rosenkrantz and Guilderstern in Act II. I especially like the second part.

It suggests an atheistic or agnostic world view quite advanced for its time and though it refers to a 'heavenly frame'. I think it parallels, though a lot more lyrically, Eric Idle's words from 'Always look on the bright side of life' (Monty Python's Life of Brian). When Eric sings 'Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it' he's actually paraphrasing this passage in a modern vernacular.

In the late 1960s musical 'Hair', scandalous at the time due to full frontal nudity for the first time on Broadway, this speech was set to music by Galt McDermott Ingeniously, the lyricists, Gerome Ragni and James Rado, switched  the two paragraphs around for much better effect. Try reading it this way.

The paragraphs are inserted by me and I've modernized Shakespeare's original words somewhat for better impact. I've also deleted some material from the beginning and the end, but otherwise nothing is omitted.

Comment by Steph S. on May 14, 2012 at 8:19am
Oh you are funny! I love poems and you write good ones.
I hope everyone is having a nice Monday!
Comment by David Sensei on May 14, 2012 at 8:15am

Thanks for the encouragement Steph, and I certainly will. Now you'll be sorry, lol.

Comment by Steph S. on May 14, 2012 at 5:55am

I love your poem David!

I hope you post more!

Comment by David Sensei on May 14, 2012 at 1:05am

Hi everyone. I just joined this group so I thought I'd offer a few original words to mark the occasion. Looking through the site I was particularly impressed by the Sarah Lindsey poem  'Underground Orchids', posted almost three years ago by Ajita Kamal (it's currently on p.3). I wish I could write serious stuff like that. Maybe one day. This is more my style:

I love to jot a jaunty rhyme about nothing in particular

It simply helps to pass the time when I am not vehicular

I do not worship god or love or ethereal sublimity

I shun all reference to such things, so that is rather limity

So what to write? You may well ask - I seem to have no motive

My words are neither insightful nor personally anecdotive

Of this I sing - the rhyme's the thing! And rhythm too amuses

So try a little verse like mine - it has cathartic uses

Moses saw a burning bush or so the bible claims

Not long after, chiseled out his maker's stated aims

Then he smashed them in disgust and went back for some more

'Thou shalt not this' , 'thou shalt not that': and the faithful hit the floor

Noah took the whole wide world and stuck it in a boat

For forty days and nights they say, somehow that boat did float

When they found land and hit the sand, their lord said 'Whoops. I'm sorry.'

Never again! I'll count to ten next time, so please don't worry.'

He sent a rainbow 'cross the sky, a proof of good intention

Red and green and blue and colors numerous to mention.

Stories such as this and more may in that good book are found

If it's non-fiction that's your bag, then you better look around

I could go on and bore you with another myth outrageous

Making nonsense verse and rhyme is really quite contagious

So much grist there for my mill, such lies subtle and bold

But they're 2000 pages long, and I am getting old

Comment by Steph S. on April 15, 2012 at 2:43pm

Enjoying all the new poems everyone has posted! You all are so creative!

Comment by Steph S. on April 5, 2012 at 11:03am

I hope to post more poems .. once things slow down at work and school.

Comment by Steph S. on December 21, 2011 at 9:45am
That's lovely Napoleon!
Comment by Steph S. on September 3, 2011 at 1:28pm
Greetings everyone! Just joined.
Comment by Ian Mason on October 10, 2010 at 12:45am
Yes, very sweet. Perhaps the autobiography of an atom too.

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