Cet article explore l'expression poétique américaine, mettant en lumière des œuvres qui capturent son essence et son évolution. La grande diversité de la poésie américaine rend la sélection d'une collection restreinte à la fois intimidante et subjective. Éclairée par des avis d'experts, des anthologies remarquables et en ajoutant une touche personnelle, cette collection a été assemblée. Explorez ces vers américains, et puissent-ils enrichir votre parcours littéraire.

"The Road Not Taken" de Robert Frost, publié en 1916, est considéré comme l'archétype du poème américain, explorant les choix de vie et leurs conséquences. Il incarne de manière magistrale l'expérience humaine d'introspection et de prise de décision.

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The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

"The Road Not Taken" est l'une des œuvres les plus emblématiques de Robert Frost, publiée pour la première fois en 1916 dans le recueil "Mountain Interval". Le poème décrit un moment où le narrateur se trouve à un carrefour et doit décider quel chemin prendre.

Je suis captivé par sa profondeur métaphorique de cette pièce. Elle symbolise les choix de vie et leur impact sur notre parcours. Le poème résonne avec de nombreux lecteurs en raison de sa pertinence : nous avons tous été confrontés à des choix et avons réfléchi sur le chemin non choisi.

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.

The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe

"The Raven" d'Edgar Allan Poe, sans doute le poème le plus célèbre de l'auteur, a été 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 "Jamais plus". La maîtrise du rythme et de la rime par Poe, couplée aux éléments sombres et surnaturels du poème et à son exploration du deuil et du désespoir, en ont fait un classique intemporel.

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!

O Captain! My Captain! - Walt Whitman

'O Captain! My Captain!' de Walt Whitman, écrit en 1865 à la suite de la mort du président Abraham Lincoln, utilise une métaphore où Lincoln est le capitaine du 'navire', symbolisant les États-Unis. Ce poème émouvant rend hommage à un leader disparu et sa résonance repose dans sa représentation vibrante du deuil national et un message sous-jacent d'espoir malgré une profonde tristesse.

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.

Because I could not stop for Death - Emily Dickinson

"Because I could not stop for Death" d'Emily Dickinson, l'un de ses poèmes les plus emblématiques, écrit en 1863 et publié à titre posthume en 1890, offre une vue contemplative et personnifiée de la mort. La mort est présentée comme un gentleman courtois qui emmène le narrateur dans un voyage en calèche, symbolisant le passage de la vie à l'au-delà.

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 –

Still I Rise - Maya Angelou

"Still I Rise" de Maya Angelou, publié en 1978, est un témoignage puissant de la résilience face à la discrimination, les préjugés et l'adversité. Le rythme cadencé et les affirmations répétitives du poème résonnent avec un sentiment de victoire et de défi contre l'oppression.

Veuillez noter que le poème suivant est toujours sous protection du droit d'auteur. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons fournir qu'un bref extrait à des fins illustratives.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

[…]

The New Colossus - Emma Lazarus

"The New Colossus" d'Emma Lazarus, écrit en 1883 et inscrit sur le piédestal de la Statue de la Liberté, présente la statue comme une figure accueillante pour les immigrants, dépeignant l'Amérique comme un refuge pour les "fatigués et pauvres".

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Pioneers! O Pioneers! - Walt Whitman

'Pioneers! O Pioneers!' de Walt Whitman, publié pour la première fois en 1865, est un appel aux pionniers américains partant à la conquête de l'Ouest. Ses vers rythmés et son imagerie vibrante inspirent un sens de l'aventure, entraînant les lecteurs dans un récit de découverte et de détermination.

Come my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the fore-
most,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond
the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines
within,
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

A Psalm of Life - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"A Psalm of Life" de Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, publié pour la première fois en 1838, reste l'une des œuvres les plus marquantes de l'auteur. Connu pour son esprit inspirant, ce poème explore le but de la vie en mettant en avant la résilience et la quête d'un héritage significatif. Ce poème résonne en moi par son message universel de persévérance et de positivité, et son appel intemporel à vivre pleinement et à laisser une empreinte durable.

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

We Wear the Mask - Paul Laurence Dunbar

"We Wear the Mask" de Paul Laurence Dunbar, publié initialement en 1896, est l'un des poèmes les plus connus de l'auteur. Il aborde l'impact psychologique du racisme systémique, soulignant la nécessité pour les Afro-Américains de dissimuler leurs véritables émotions afin de survivre dans une société pleine de préjugées. Ce poème, profondément émouvant, offre un aperçu de l'expérience afro-américaine, capturant la lutte constante pour l'authenticité face au racisme. Sa résonance thématique et sa pertinence universelle sont probablement les raisons pour lesquelles ce poème touche profondément ses lecteurs.

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Fire and Ice - Robert Frost

"Fire and Ice" de Robert Frost, paru pour la première fois en 1920 dans le recueil "New Hampshire", est un poème court mais puissant qui examine la fin du monde. À travers ses lignes d'ouverture iconiques, Frost juxtapose les qualités destructrices du feu (le désir) et de la glace (la haine). Le génie de ce poème réside dans sa concision et la profondeur de son message, opposant passion et indifférence pour offrir une perspective frappante sur la manière dont les émotions humaines pourraient conduire à notre perte.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A Dream Within a Dream - Edgar Allan Poe

"A Dream Within a Dream" d'Edgar Allan Poe, publié pour la première fois en 1849, est un poème contemplatif qui explore le concept de réalité et de la nature éphémère du temps. Le titre même suggère une exploration surréaliste de l'existence, avec le locuteur se questionnant sur ce qui est réel et ce qui est illusion. Ce poème captive par son introspection philosophique, offrant une matière riche à réflexion sur la nature de la vie et de l'existence. Sa qualité éthérée et sa profondeur intellectuelle sont les raisons pour lesquelles ce poème continue de captiver et de connecter les lecteurs.

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Hope is the thing with feathers - Emily Dickinson

"Hope is the thing with feathers" d'Emily Dickinson, publié pour la première fois en 1891, offre une métaphore charmante et exaltante de l'espoir comme un oiseau qui se perche dans l'âme et chante sans cesse, même dans les moments les plus sombres. Ce poème, utilisant une prémisse simple pour explorer des émotions et des expériences humaines profondes, inspire profondément. La représentation de l'espoir comme un oiseau infatigable qui continue de chanter, quelles que soient les circonstances, résonne avec ceux qui ont traversé des épreuves et trouvé du réconfort dans l'espoir.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Trees - Joyce Kilmer

"Trees" de Joyce Kilmer, écrit en 1913, est un poème lyrique qui célèbre la beauté de la nature, en particulier des arbres, les présentant comme supérieurs aux créations humaines. Ce poème est apprécié pour sa simplicité et sa profonde révérence pour la nature. L'affirmation de Kilmer que "Un arbre qui regarde Dieu toute la journée, Et lève ses bras feuillus pour prier" illustre la spiritualité qu'il perçoit dans la nature, et l'humilité et l'admiration pure du poème envers le monde naturel en font un rappel émouvant de notre lien avec l'environnement.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

The Red Wheelbarrow - William Carlos Williams

"The Red Wheelbarrow" de William Carlos Williams, composé en 1923, est un poème bref qui présente une scène rurale simple pour souligner l'importance des objets et des moments ordinaires. J'apprécie ce poème pour sa simplicité saisissante et son message profond, illustrant que le simple et l'ordinaire peuvent être tout aussi essentiels et beaux que le grandiose et le compliqué, un concept qui séduit probablement de nombreux lecteurs.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

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Thanatopolis - William Cullen Bryant

"Thanatopsis" de William Cullen Bryant, publié initialement en 1817, est un poème méditatif sur la mort. Son titre, dérivé des mots grecs pour "une considération de la mort", nous invite à percevoir la mort comme une partie naturelle de la vie, un retour réconfortant à l'étreinte de la nature. Je trouve "Thanatopsis" profondément réfléchi, encourageant à accepter la mortalité comme une partie du grand cycle de la nature, offrant une perspective unique sur la mort.

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;—
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice—
Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods—rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe

"Annabel Lee" d'Edgar Allan Poe, publié à titre posthume en 1849, est un hommage mélancolique à une belle femme aimée et perdue. Le poème est inspiré par la mort de la femme de Poe, Virginia, d'où la force de ses vers. "Annabel Lee" est émouvant, mélangeant deuil et amour profond, romantisme et tragédie.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

I'm nobody! Who are you? - Emily Dickinson

"I'm nobody! Who are you?" d'Emily Dickinson, publié à titre posthume en 1891, est un poème court mais profond qui exprime le rejet de la renommée publique et embrasse l'individualité. Le locuteur, se déclarant "personne", trouve une camaraderie avec d'autres "personnes" et se moque de l'obsession sociétale pour être "quelqu'un". Le poème est rafraîchissant et stimulant, particulièrement à l'ère des médias sociaux, explorant l'individualité et critiquant la renommée comme valeur sociétale.

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one's name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Song of Myself - Walt Whitman

"Song of Myself" de Walt Whitman, publié pour la première fois en 1855 dans "Leaves of Grass", est un poème épique qui embrasse le soi, l'humanité et l'univers. La vision inclusive de Whitman de l'humanité et sa célébration du corps et de l'esprit rendent ce poème attractif pour les lecteurs intéressés par une exploration approfondie du soi et une célébration de la vie.

1
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

[...]

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" de Robert Frost, publié en 1923, est une représentation sereine d'un homme faisant une pause près des bois lors d'une soirée d'hiver, captivé par le paysage enneigé. Ce poème, avec sa simplicité et sa qualité rythmique, presque comme une berceuse, évoque un sentiment de tranquillité et invite à la réflexion sur la beauté de la nature, l'attrait de la solitude, et les responsabilités qui nous rappellent à la vie.

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.

Mending Wall - Robert Frost

"Mending Wall" de Robert Frost, publié pour la première fois en 1914, raconte l'histoire de deux voisins qui se réunissent pour réparer un mur de pierre qui sépare leurs propriétés, une occasion qui provoque une discussion sur la nécessité des frontières. Ce poème offre une perspective nuancée sur le besoin humain de limites et invite à réfléchir sur le rôle des murs dans la société.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'

I Have a Rendezvous with Death - Alan Seeger

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death" d'Alan Seeger, écrit pendant la Première Guerre mondiale et publié en 1917, capture l'esprit sombre mais résolu d'un soldat face à la mortalité. Ce poème, avec son rythme mélancolique et son imagerie vive, fait une impression durable sur les lecteurs, capturant l'essence du courage humain et de la résignation face à la mort.

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear …
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Power - Audre Lorde

"Power" d'Audre Lorde, une poétesse caribéenne-américaine et militante des droits civiques, publié en 1978, plonge dans les thèmes de l'injustice, de la violence et de la lutte pour trouver la force au milieu de l'oppression systémique. Ce poème m'attire par sa représentation crue et directe des défis sociétaux, utilisant un langage évocateur pour peindre une image austère de la réalité tout en offrant espoir et détermination. Il témoigne de la profondeur de l'émotion humaine et de l'impératif de chercher la justice.

Veuillez noter que le poème suivant est toujours sous protection du droit d'auteur. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons fournir qu'un bref extrait à des fins illustratives.

The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
yourself
instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

[…]

i carry your heart with me - e.e. cummings

"i carry your heart with me" d'e.e. cummings, un poète américain innovant, est une ode sincère à l'amour et à l'intimité. Ce poème capture la connexion profonde entre deux âmes grâce à son jeu caractéristique sur la syntaxe et la forme. J'apprécie ce poème pour sa représentation intime de l'amour qui transcende les frontières physiques. Le style distinctif de cummings et l'idée qu'on porte le cœur de son bien-aimé à l'intérieur de soi-même transmettent magnifiquement la profondeur et la plénitude de l'affection véritable.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Diving into the Wreck - Adrienne Rich

"Diving into the Wreck" d'Adrienne Rich, publié pour la première fois en 1973, utilise la métaphore d'une plongée dans les profondeurs de la mer pour explorer une épave, symbolisant un voyage introspectif dans le soi et la société. Ce poème est une exploration profonde de l'identité, du genre et des dynamiques de pouvoir. La popularité de ce poème réside dans sa confrontation audacieuse des normes et dans l'invitation à chaque lecteur à entreprendre un voyage introspectif.

Veuillez noter que le poème suivant est toujours sous protection du droit d'auteur. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons fournir qu'un bref extrait à des fins illustratives.

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

[…]

It Couldn't Be Done - Edgar Albert Guest

"It Couldn't Be Done" d'Edgar Albert Guest, publié en 1917, est un poème qui célèbre l'esprit de persévérance. Il parle de surmonter les obstacles et inspire les lecteurs à affronter les défis de front avec un esprit positif. Ce poème est revigorant et exaltant, son message optimiste de persévérance résonnant avec ceux à la recherche d'encouragement.

Somebody said that it couldn't be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;"
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

The Hill we Climb - Amanda Gorman

"The Hill We Climb" d'Amanda Gorman, déclamé lors de l'inauguration du président Joe Biden en 2021, aborde les défis auxquels la nation est confrontée tout en soulignant l'unité, la résilience et l'espoir. Les vers de Gorman sont à la fois articulés et éloquents, reflétant le climat sociopolitique actuel tout en constituant un appel à l'action. Ce poème résonne par son message pertinent et son ton optimiste, ce qui en fait un chef-d'œuvre moderne.

Veuillez noter que le poème suivant est toujours sous protection du droit d'auteur. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons fournir qu'un bref extrait à des fins illustratives.

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
We've braved the belly of the beast,
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace,
and the norms and notions
of what just is
isn't always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn't broken,
but simply unfinished.
We the successors of a country and a time
where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes we are far from polished.
Far from pristine.
But that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge a union with purpose,
to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
[…]

Old Ironsides - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Old Ironsides" d'Oliver Wendell Holmes, publié en 1830, est une défense passionnée du patrimoine national. Écrit en réponse à la proposition de mise au rebut de l'USS Constitution, il utilise un langage évocateur pour décrire le navire dans ses jours de gloire et plaider pour sa préservation. Ce poème est puissant pour son plaidoyer émotionnel et son impact historique, résonnant profondément avec ceux qui apprécient la préservation du patrimoine.

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;—
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

O, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every thread-bare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,—
The lightning and the gale!

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