Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

CreationEarth Nature Photos

Best Famous Robert Francis Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robert Francis poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robert Francis poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robert Francis poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robert Francis poems.

Search for the best famous Robert Francis poems, articles about Robert Francis poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Robert Francis poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by Robert Francis |

Hallelujah: A Sestina

 A wind's word, the Hebrew Hallelujah.
I wonder they never gave it to a boy (Hal for short) boy with wind-wild hair.
It means Praise God, as well it should since praise Is what God's for.
Why didn't they call my father Hallelujah instead of Ebenezer? Eben, of course, but christened Ebenezer, Product of Nova Scotia (hallelujah).
Daniel, a country doctor, was his father And my father his tenth and final boy.
A baby and last, he had a baby's praise: Red petticoats, red cheeks, and crow-black hair.
A boy has little to say about his hair And little about a name like Ebenezer Except that you can shorten either.
Praise God for that, for that shout Hallelujah.
Shout Hallelujah for everything a boy Can be that is not his father or grandfather.
But then, before you know it, he is a father Too and passing on his brand of hair To one more perfectly defenseless boy, Dubbing him John or James or Ebenezer But never, so far as I know, Hallelujah, As if God didn't need quite that much praise.
But what I'm coming to - Could I ever praise My father half enough for being a father Who let me be myself? Sing Hallelujah.
Preacher he was with a prophet's head of hair And what but a prophet's name was Ebenezer, However little I guessed it as a boy? Outlandish names of course are never a boy's Choice.
And it takes some time to learn to praise.
Stone of Help is the meaning of Ebenezer.
Stone of Help - what fitter name for my father? Always the Stone of Help however his hair Might graduate from black to Hallelujah.
Such is the old drama of boy and father.
Praise from a grayhead now with thinning hair.
Sing Ebenezer, Robert, sing Hallelujah!

Written by Robert Francis |

Squash in Blossom

 How lush, how loose, the uninhibited squash is.
If ever hearts (and these immoderate leaves Are vegetable hearts) were worn on sleeves, The squash's are.
In green the squash vine gushes.
The flowers are cornucopias of summer, Briefly exuberant and cheaply golden.
And if they make a show of being hidden, Are open promiscuously to every comer.
Let the squash be what it was doomed to be By the old Gardener with the shrewd green thumb.
Let it expand and sprawl, defenceless, dumb.
But let me be the fiber-disciplined tree Whose leaf (with something to say in wind) is small, Reduced to the ingenuity of a green splinter Sharp to defy or fraternize with winter, Or if not that, prepared in fall to fall.

Written by Robert Francis |

Thoreau in Italy

 Lingo of birds was easier than lingo of peasants-
they were elusive, though, the birds, for excellent reasons.
He thought of Virgil, Virgil who wasn't there to chat with.
History he never forgave for letting Latin lapse into Italian, a renegade jabbering musical enough but not enough to call music So he conversed with stones, imperial and papal.
Even the preposterous popes he could condone a moment for the clean arrogance of their inscriptions.
He asked the Italians only to leave him in the past alone, but this was what they emphatically never did.
Being the present, they never ceased to celebrate it.
Something was always brushing him on the street, satyr or saint-impossible to say which the more foreign.
At home he was called touchy; here he knew he was.
Impossible to say.
The dazzling nude with sex lovingly displayed like carven fruit, the black robe sweeping a holy and unholy dust.
Always the flesh whether to lacerate of kiss- Conspiracy of fauns and clerics smiling back and forth at each other acquiescently through leaves.
Caught between wan monastic mountains wearing the tonsure and the all-siren, ever-dimpling sea, he saw (how could he fail?) at heart geography to blame.
So home to Concord where (as he might have known he would) he found the Italy he wanted to remember.
Why had he sailed if not for the savour of returning? An Italy distilled of all extreme, conflict, Collusion-an Italy without the Italians- in whose green context he could con again his Virgil.
In cedar he read cypress, in the wild apple, olive.
His hills would stand up favorably to the hills of Rome.
His arrowheads could hold their own with are Etruscan.
And Walden clearly was his Mediterranean whose infinite colors were his picture gallery.
How far his little boat transported him-how far.
He coughed discreetly and we likewise coughed; we waited and we heard him clear his throat.
How to be perfect prisoners of the past this was the thing but now he too is past.
Shall we go sit beside the Mississippi and watch the riffraft driftwood floating by?

More great poems below...

Written by Robert Francis |


 Those who have touched it or been touched by it
Or brushed by something that the vine has brushed,
Or burning it, have stood where the sly smoke
Has touched them-Know the meaning of its name.
The leaf is smooth.
Its green is innocence.
A clean, unblemished leaf, glossy when young.
A leaf the unobserving might overlook And the observing find too prosperous.
I've seen a vine of it so old and crooked It held a hen-coop in its grip, the stalk Thick as a man's wrist.
There it had grown, Half out of sight, permitted, undisturbed.
Strangers to it, who on a autumn road Have found a vine that swept a tree like fire And gathered it barehanded and brought it home For color, seldom gathered it again.
Some are immune and some have thought they were And some, ever so cautiously with gloves, Finding that it grew to near their homes, Have tried to root it out and have succeeded Except that something from the vine fastened Upon their flesh and burned, and in a year Or two the vine itself was there again, Glossy and green and smooth and innocent.
My neighbor's cow grazing beside the road Munches with joy (and almost with a smile) The salad of its leaves, transmuting them Into sweet milk that I will drink tomorrow.

Written by Robert Francis |

New England Mind

 My mind matches this understand land.
Outdoors the pencilled tree, the wind-carved drift, Indoors the constant fire, the careful thrift Are facts that I accept and understand.
I have brought in red berries and green boughs- Berries of black alder, boughs of pine.
They and the sunlight on them, both are mine.
I need no florist flowers in my house.
Having lived here the years that are my best, I call it home.
I am content to stay.
I have no bird's desire to fly away.
I envy neither north, east, south, nor west.
My outer world and inner make a pair.
But would the two be always of a kind? Another latitude, another mind? Or would I be New England anywhere?

Written by Robert Francis |


 Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings
chat on a February berry bush
in sun, and I am one.
Such merriment and such sobriety-- the small wild fruit on the tall stalk-- was this not always my true style? Above an elegance of snow, beneath a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four birds.
Can you mistake us? To sun, to feast, and to converse and all together--for this I have abandoned all my other lives.

Written by Robert Francis |


 O Man! what Inspiration was thy Guide, 
Who taught thee Light and Air thus to divide; 
To let in all the useful Beams of Day, 
Yet force, as subtil Winds, without thy Shash to stay; 
T'extract from Embers by a strange Device, 
Then polish fair these Flakes of solid Ice; 
Which, silver'd o'er, redouble all in place, 
And give thee back thy well or ill-complexion'd Face.
To Vessels blown exceed the gloomy Bowl, Which did the Wine's full excellence controul, These shew the Body, whilst you taste the Soul.
Its colour sparkles Motion, lets thee see, Tho' yet th' Excess the Preacher warns to flee, Lest Men at length as clearly spy through Thee.

Written by Robert Francis |


 Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up.
Come any hour Of night.
Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch.
Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on And make me look.
Or tell me clouds Are doing something to the moon They never did before, and show me.
See that I see.
Talk to me till I'm half as wide awake as you And start to dress wondering why I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

Written by Robert Francis |

The Bulldozer

 Bull by day
And dozes by night.
Would that the bulldozer Dozed all the time Would that the bulldozer Would rust in peace.
His watchword Let not a witch live His battle cry Better dead than red.
Give me if you must The bull himself But not the bulldozer No, not the bulldozer.

Written by Robert Francis |


 The winter apples have been picked, the garden turned.
Rain and wind have picked the maple leaves and gone.
The last of them now bank the house or have been burned.
None are left upon the trees or on the lawn.
Green and tall as ever it grew in spring the grass Grows not too tall, will not be cut again this year.
Geraniums in bloom behind the windowglass Are safe.
Fall has fallen yet winter is not yet here.
How warm the late November sun although how wan.
The white house stands a symbol of fulfillment there, Housing one old woman, a cat, and one old man After abundance but before the earth is bare.

Written by Robert Francis |

Paper Men To Air Hopes And Fears

 The first speaker said
Fear fire.
Fear furnaces Incinerators, the city dump The faint scratch of a match.
The second speaker said Fear water.
Fear drenching rain Drizzle, oceans, puddles, a damp Day and the flush toilet.
The third speaker said Fear wind.
And it needn't be A hurricane.
Drafts, open Windows, electric fans.
The fourth speaker said Fear knives.
Fear any sharp Thing, machine, shears Scissors, lawnmowers.
The fifth speaker said Hope.
Hope for the best A smooth folder in a steel file.

Written by Robert Francis |

Silent Poem

 backroad leafmold stonewall chipmunk
underbrush grapevine woodchuck shadblow 

woodsmoke cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
sawhorse bucksaw outhouse wellsweep 

backdoor flagstone bulkhead buttermilk
candlestick ragrug firedog brownbread 

hilltop outcrop cowbell buttercup
whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork steeplebush 

gristmill millstone cornmeal waterwheel
watercress buckwheat firefly jewelweed 

gravestone groundpine windbreak bedrock
weathercock snowfall starlight cockcrow

Written by Robert Francis |

Farm Boy After Summer

 A seated statue of himself he seems.
A bronze slowness becomes him.
Patently The page he contemplates he doesn't see.
The lesson, the long lesson, has been summer.
His mind holds summer, as his skin holds sun.
For once the homework, all of it, was done.
What were the crops, where were the fiery fields Where for so many days so many hours The sun assaulted him with glittering showers.
Expect a certain absence in his presence.
Expect all winter long a summer scholar, For scarcely all its snows can cool that color.

Written by Robert Francis |


 Two boys uncoached are tossing a poem together,
Overhand, underhand, backhand, sleight of hand, everyhand,
Teasing with attitudes, latitudes, interludes, altitudes,
High, make him fly off the ground for it, low, make him stoop,
Make him scoop it up, make him as-almost-as possible miss it,
Fast, let him sting from it, now, now fool him slowly,
Anything, everything tricky, risky, nonchalant,
Anything under the sun to outwit the prosy,
Over the tree and the long sweet cadence down,
Over his head, make him scramble to pick up the meaning,
And now, like a posy, a pretty one plump in his hands.

Written by Robert Francis |

Fair And Unfair

 The beautiful is fair.
The just is fair.
Yet one is commonplace and one is rare, One everywhere, one scarcely anywhere.
So fair unfair a world.
Had we the wit To use the surplus for the deficit, We'd make a fairer fairer world of it.