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Poetry - Objectives and Purpose


Langston Hughes (1902-67), DreamsPoetry - Objectives and Purpose 

The American poet (pictured right) says that dreams are vital to success:


Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

(first verse)



W. B. Yeats (1856-1939) He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven Poetry - Objectives and Purpose

The Irish poet (pictured right) also describes the importance of dreams, however poor and lowly you are:


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread upon my dreams.

(the complete poem).


Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-49), Dream-PedlaryPoetry - Objectives and Purpose


The English poet (pictured right) asks : which dreams would you buy?


If there were dreams to sell,

Merry and sad to tell,

And the crier rang the bell,

What would you buy?

(last four lines of first verse)


Arnold Silcock (1883-1959),The Optimist and the PessimistPoetry - Objectives and Purpose

The English poet (pictured right) says be optimistic.


The optimist who always was a fool,

Cries ‘Look! My mug of ale is still half full’

His brother gives the facts that proper twist -

‘My mug’s half empty!’, sighs the pessimist.


Frederick Langbridge (1849-1923), Philosophy 

The English poet says you can be negative or positive about life.


Two men look through the same bars:

One sees mud – and one sees stars.



William Blake (1757-1827), Great Things Are DonePoetry - Objectives and Purpose

 The English poet (pictured right) says challenge yourself to achieve great things:


Great things are done when men and mountains meet;

This is not done by jostling in the street.



William Blake, And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time (1808)

This poem was used in the hymn, Jerusalem.

It ends with the stirring verse:


I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:

Till we have built Jerusalem,

In England's green and pleasant land.



John Milton (1608-74), Paradise Lost (1667)Poetry - Objectives and Purpose 

The English poet (pictured right) shows that life has endless possibilities by describing the story of Adam and Eve:


Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;

The world was all before them, where to choose

Their place of rest, and Providence their guide;

They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow

Through Eden took their solitary way.


They are sad because of their banishment from the Garden of Eden by God for eating the forbidden fruit.

But they wipe away their tears and get on with their lives.



Bob Dylan, It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), 1965Poetry - Objectives and Purpose

Dylan's (pictured right in 1963) song says how the rat race can destroy people's moral purpose:


While one who sings with his tongue on fire

Gargles in the rat race choir

Bent out of shape from society's pliers

Cares not to come up any higher

But rather get you down in the hole

That he's in.

(verse 15)


T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), East Coker (1940)Poetry - Objectives and Purpose

The American-born British poet (pictured right) says simply:

In my beginning is my end.



Christina Rossetti, A Wish (1862)Poetry - Objectives and Purpose

The English poet (pictured right) describes her wishes:

I wish I were a little bird

That out of sight doth soar;

I wish I were a song once heard

But often pondered o'er,

Or shadow of a lily stirred

By wind upon the floor,

Or echo of a loving word

Worth all that went before,

Or memory of a hope deferred

That springs again no more.



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