Or to call on two or three that you’ve committed to memory at some stage.
James K. Baxter’s ‘Lament for Barney Flanagan’ is popular with one friend [for which, head here and scroll down a lot], and Coleridge with another. Limericks and Irish rebel poetry (and songs) are popular with others. “Grooks” are fun. But the job is to remember them when they’re needed – when you’re two drinks down with more to come, and the sun’s just slipping down over the horizon.
So here’s one I’m resolving to remember: Robert Frost’s 'Two Tramps in Mud Time,' for which this is the last stanza.
...But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes.