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rose
A song or a poem from memory... Hi. Could you sing a song or recite a poem in English from memory?  If yes, you can share it, what are the songs or poems. I am more interested in the answers of people who learn English like me. 
Apr 19, 2018 12:21 PM
Comments · 23
"I love the ground under his feet and the air over his head and everything he touches, every word he says. I love him, entirely and altogether"

It's not a poem but an extract from the book "Wuthering Heights".

April 21, 2018

I'm sorry, I'm a native speaker, not a learner. I know hundreds of songs and dozens of poems. 


When we see the first star at night, we say a little rhyme I learned as a child:


Star light, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight!


One of the most haunting songs I know is "How Deep is the Ocean," by the US songwriter Irving Berlin. It was written in 1932. The most famous recording of it is by Bing Crosby:

https://youtu.be/aHW08p1t4jE?t=46


How much do I love you? I'll tell you no lie:

How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?

How many times a day do I think of you?

How many roses are sprinkled with dew?

How far would I travel to be where you are?

How far is the journey from here to a star?

And if I ever lost you, how much would I cry?

How deep is the ocean? How high is sky?


May 15, 2018

This is one of the most poetic songs in the English language and still today the meaning is VERY vague, but it's beautiful. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"



Now I've heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don't really care for music, do you?

It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah


Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you to a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah


You say I took the name in vain

I don't even know the name

But if I did—well, really—what's it to you?

There's a blaze of light in every word

It doesn't matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah


Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah


I did my best, it wasn't much

I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch

I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you

And even though it all went wrong

I'll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah


Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah





May 14, 2018
I read this bit of philosophy years ago in Bertie Russell's "History or Western Philosophy".
I memorised the two beautiful limericks. Here is the background:
Bishop Berkeley in the 1700s, thought that material things only exist because there is someone
thinking about them or seeing them*. This leads to the question, what happens to these objects at night
when it is too dark to see them, or when people have gone to bed and are thinking of nothing in particular, etc.
We thus get two written letters:

There was a young man who said "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the quad."
----
Dear Sir:
Your astonishment's odd,
I am always about in the quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by Yours faithfully,
God.

*a much later version of this ultimate form of egoism, or solipsism, comes up in the film 'The Matrix'.
May 14, 2018

Mikkel, if you still need an explanation for

"Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?"

It's wordplay, and has two viable meanings:

1. "fond"=stupid.  Who is so stupid that he would stop his own posterity, and thereby destroy himself?  Even if you don't like kids, you still probably like yourself, so your self-love should drive you to reproduce.

2.  Shakespeare is speaking of himself instead of his lover.  Yes Shakespeare loves him and will be jealous of the woman he joins with, but he does not want to cause the extinction of the person he loves by preventing him from procreating.

Personally, I recommend "Kubla Khan".  It has a great rhythm that can drive you forward if you recite it in the middle of a long walk.

April 19, 2018
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rose
Language Skills
English, French, German, Italian
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English, French, Italian