Rain on your parade
"Two, four, six, eight, dig in, don't wait." doesn't count.
Not surprisingly Kipling's 'If' is among the top contenders. According to the spin it is tussling with 'Rain' by by Hone Tuwhare. Not much of a death match, considering that only four people in the world have even heard of 'Rain' by Hone Tuwhare. Or Hone Tuwhare. Remind me to look it/him up.
You might think I am being flippant but I'm not...really. Let's faced it. Poetry is not a national obsession. When I lived in the UK during the mid 90s a similar populist take on poetry was run. 'If' won - hands down.
When you ask a general audience for their preferences they fall a) go with a brand they know. Who's heard of W.H. Auden? O.K. Kipling...rightyo....and b) is it sentimental? That, in simple terms is what most of us like in poetry. Silly, romantic and nostalgic material will win hands down.
To be relevant we should consider lyricists like Dave Dobbyn and Tim Finn on the roster of our poets. Loyal would ace If any day of the week.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Four Seasons in One day
Four seasons in one day
Even when youre feeling warm
Smiling as the shit comes down
You can take me where you will
Blood dries up
It doesnt pay to make predictions
Blood dries up
My vote goes to....