Bienvenue, chers lecteurs, dans un autre voyage captivant dans le monde des vers, la symphonie des métaphores et la splendeur des mots soigneusement façonnés. Aujourd'hui, nous nous lançons dans une entreprise monumentale qui invite autant à la controverse qu'au consensus. Nous osons compiler une liste des "10 meilleurs poèmes de tous les temps". Un titre audacieux, n'est-ce pas ? Mais comme nous le savons, l'art est un terrain de jeu pour les audacieux.

Dans le domaine de la poésie, nous nous retrouvons souvent à marcher le long d'une ligne. D'un côté se trouve la résonance personnelle et de l'autre, l'influence indéniablement puissante de la reconnaissance critique. La tâche de classer ces chefs-d'œuvre poétiques n'est pas aisée ; après tout, peut-on mesurer le poids des émotions suscitées par le pouvoir des vers ? Peut-on quantifier la pure beauté d'une métaphore bien tissée ou l'écho profond et résonnant d'une ligne qui persiste dans votre esprit longtemps après avoir tourné la page ?

L'art est en effet intrinsèquement subjectif ; ce qui parle à l'un peut ne pas susciter les mêmes émotions chez un autre. Par conséquent, les poèmes dont nous discutons ne sont pas classés uniquement selon mes préférences. Ce sont ceux qui m'ont touché et d'innombrables autres âmes qui cherchent du réconfort dans le langage de la poésie. Ils ont trouvé une place dans le cœur des passionnés de poésie et se sont frayés un chemin dans de nombreuses anthologies à travers le monde.

De mon point de vue et de celui de beaucoup d'autres, ces dix poèmes représentent un large éventail d'émotions humaines, de styles poétiques divers et de différentes périodes de l'histoire littéraire. Ils ont ému des lecteurs à travers les générations, transcendant les frontières et brisant les barrières de la langue et de la culture.

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1 - Sonnet 18 de William Shakespeare

"Sonnet 18", ou "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" est probablement le plus célèbre des 154 sonnets de Shakespeare. Publié pour la première fois en 1609, il fait partie de la première séquence de sonnets de Shakespeare adressés à un jeune homme, louant ici sa beauté.

Je pense que l'attrait durable de "Sonnet 18" réside dans son thème universel et son langage élégant. Le poème encapsule le désir humain de beauté éternelle et le pouvoir de la poésie pour l'immortaliser. Sa nature intemporelle continue de résonner auprès des gens aujourd'hui.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

2 - The Road Not Taken de Robert Frost

"The Road Not Taken" est l'une des œuvres les plus reconnaissables de Robert Frost, publiée pour la première fois en 1916 dans la collection "Mountain Interval". Le poème raconte le moment où le locuteur arrive à une bifurcation sur la route et doit décider quel chemin suivre.

En lisant cette pièce, je suis captivé par sa profondeur métaphorique. Elle symbolise les choix de la vie et l'impact de ces choix sur notre parcours. Le poème touche de nombreux lecteurs en raison de sa pertinence - nous avons tous été confrontés à des choix et nous nous sommes interrogés sur la route non choisie.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

3 - Ozymandias de Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Ozymandias" est un sonnet emblématique de Percy Shelley, publié pour la première fois en 1818. Il raconte l'histoire d'une statue ruinée d'Ozymandias, un grand roi, se tenant seul dans le désert, incarnant la nature éphémère du pouvoir et de la civilisation.

Je crois que "Ozymandias" résonne avec les lecteurs en raison de sa réflexion profonde sur l'éphémérité des accomplissements humains. Ses images saisissantes et son langage puissant créent un commentaire poignant sur la décadence inévitable de toutes choses.

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said — "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

4 - The Raven d'Edgar Allan Poe

"The Raven" est sans doute le poème le plus célèbre d'Edgar Allan Poe, publié pour la première fois en 1845. Le poème raconte l'histoire d'un homme qui déplore la perte de sa bien-aimée Lenore, visité par un corbeau parlant dont la seule réponse est "Nevermore". La maîtrise de Poe du rythme et de la rime, combinée avec les éléments sombres et surnaturels du poème ainsi que l'exploration du chagrin et du désespoir, en ont fait un classique intemporel de la littérature américaine.

"The Raven" est une représentation magnifiquement hantée de la descente d'un homme dans le désespoir et l'irrationalité. L'utilisation par Poe du corbeau, un oiseau souvent associé à de mauvais augures, pour symboliser le tourment du locuteur et son incapacité à échapper à son chagrin est profondément émouvante. De même, le "Nevermore" répétitif renforce le sentiment de chagrin incessant. La capacité du poème à susciter de profondes émotions, sa maîtrise rythmique et rimique, et son récit mémorable et glaçant sont probablement les raisons pour lesquelles il reste populaire parmi les lecteurs.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never—nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting—
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

5 - If de Rudyard Kipling

'If' est un poème didactique de Rudyard Kipling, publié pour la première fois en 1910. Il fournit des leçons de vie sur la maturité et la moralité, capturant l'essence de la croissance personnelle et de l'intégrité.

'If' résonne profondément avec les lecteurs en raison de sa sagesse intemporelle et de son attrait universel. La structure équilibrée du poème et son message impactant en font un point de repère pour le développement du caractère et encouragent une attitude stoïque et résiliente envers la vie.

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!

6 - How Do I Love Thee? d'Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Sonnet 43" ou "How Do I Love Thee?" est probablement l'œuvre la plus célèbre d'Elizabeth Barrett Browning, faisant partie de sa collection de 1850 "Sonnets from the Portuguese". Le sonnet exprime un amour profond, mesuré contre divers concepts métaphysiques.

Le charme de "Sonnet 43" réside dans sa profondeur émotionnelle et son langage magnifique. L'exploration profonde de l'amour par Browning et sa phraséologie précise mais passionnée créent un poème puissant et relatable qui résonne encore aujourd'hui.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

7 - Kubla Khan de Samuel Taylor Coleridge

'Kubla Khan' est un poème emblématique de Coleridge, publié en 1816. Prétendant qu'il s'agit d'un fragment de ce qu'il a vu dans un rêve induit par la drogue, le poème peint un tableau extraordinaire d'un dôme de plaisir majestueux construit par le dirigeant mongol Kubla Khan.

Je crois que 'Kubla Khan' emporte les lecteurs avec ses images fantastiques et son rythme mélodique. Ses descriptions vives et oniriques créent un monde captivant, démontrant la puissance pure de l'imagination humaine, qui continue de fasciner.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And' mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight' twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

8 - O Captain! My Captain! de Walt Whitman

'O Captain! My Captain!' a été écrit en 1865 suite à la mort du président Abraham Lincoln. C'est une métaphore étendue où Lincoln est le capitaine du 'navire', représentant les États-Unis.

Je trouve le poème émouvant dans son hommage poignant à un leader disparu. Sa résonance repose probablement sur sa représentation vibrante du deuil d'une nation et le message sous-jacent d'espoir malgré une profonde tristesse, en faisant une pièce intemporelle de la littérature.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

9 - The Tyger de William Blake

Publié pour la première fois en 1794 dans la collection "Songs of Experience" de Blake, 'The Tyger' explore le mystère de la création et les dichotomies du bien et du mal.

Pour moi, 'The Tyger' est un chef-d'œuvre hypnotisant de puissance rythmique et symbolique. Il plonge dans la nature du divin, laissant les lecteurs réfléchir à la coexistence de la beauté et de la brutalité dans la création. Ses images visuelles intenses et ses enquêtes métaphysiques captivantes ont enchanté les publics pendant des siècles.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

10 - Because I could not stop for Death d'Emily Dickinson

"Because I could not stop for Death" est l'un des poèmes les plus emblématique d'Emily Dickinson, faisant partie de sa collection publiée à titre posthume (1890). Écrit en 1863, le poème offre une vue contemplative et personnifiée de la mort. Il la présente comme un gentleman courtois qui emmène le locuteur dans un trajet en calèche, symbolisant le voyage de la vie à l'au-delà. La représentation tranquille de la mort par Dickinson tranche avec sa représentation souvent crainte et pleurée.

"Because I could not stop for Death" présente une représentation sereine et philosophique de la mort. Son acceptation calme de l'inévitable et la personnification de la mort en tant que compagnon poli offrent une perspective unique et réconfortante. L'approche non conventionnelle d'un thème aussi universel, combinée à l'utilisation concise mais impactante du langage par Dickinson, contribue probablement à sa popularité parmi les lecteurs.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Merci de nous avoir accompagnés dans ce voyage poétique, alors que nous parcourions notre liste des meilleurs poèmes de tous les temps. Votre lectorat et votre engagement sont le sang vital de ce blog, et nous apprécions profondément votre temps.

Nous espérons que ce classement a suscité de la joie, provoqué la réflexion et peut-être vous a fait découvrir de nouveaux favoris. En clôturant ce chapitre, souvenez-vous de continuer à explorer le monde vibrant de la poésie. Votre prochain poème préféré pourrait être à la prochaine page.

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