Day after day, day after day, we stuck, nor breath nor motion; as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where, and all the boards did shrink; water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I almost never read poetry. For the record, I have nothing against it. Poetry is a wonderful form of literary expression—heck, I’ve even written a few poems—but it’s not my cup of tea. I’ll take novels or short stories over poems any day.
Nevertheless, I occasionally stumble upon some poetic jewel: a phrase, verse or stanza of dazzling magnificence. The two stanzas above from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” amaze me. In just a few well-chosen words, the poet conveys the quiet desperation of sailors lost at sea.
Then there’s this stanza from “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which I find incredibly epic even out of context:
Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die: into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.
What’s your favorite poem or snippet of poetry? Let us know in the comments!