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Best Famous Homer Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

by John Keats | |

On first looking into Chapmans Homer

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold  
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 
Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5 That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; 10 Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific¡ªand all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise¡ª Silent upon a peak in Darien.

by Petrarch | |



Se Virgilio ed Omero avessin visto.


Had tuneful Maro seen, and Homer old,
The living sun which here mine eyes behold,
The best powers they had join'd of either lyre,
Sweetness and strength, that fame she might acquire;
Unsung had been, with vex'd Æneas, then
Achilles and Ulysses, godlike men,
And for nigh sixty years who ruled so well
The world; and who before Ægysthus fell;
Nay, that old flower of virtues and of arms,
As this new flower of chastity and charms,
A rival star, had scarce such radiance flung.
In rugged verse him honour'd Ennius sung,
I her in mine.
Grant, Heaven! on my poor lays
She frown not, nor disdain my humble praise.

by Lizette Woodworth Reese | |


 When I consider Life and its few years --
A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun;
A call to battle, and the battle done
Ere the last echo dies within our ears;
A rose choked in the grass; an hour of fears;
The gusts that past a darkening shore do beat;
The burst of music down an unlistening street, --
I wonder at the idleness of tears.
Ye old, old dead, and ye of yesternight, Chieftains, and bards, and keepers of the sheep, By every cup of sorrow that you had, Loose me from tears, and make me see aright How each hath back what once he stayed to weep: Homer his sight, David his little lad!

More great poems below...

by Henry David Thoreau | |

The Summer Rain

 My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read, 
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large 
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed, 
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too, Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again, What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true, Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.
Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough, What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town, If juster battles are enacted now Between the ants upon this hummock's crown? Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn, If red or black the gods will favor most, Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn, Struggling to heave some rock against the host.
Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour, For now I've business with this drop of dew, And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower-- I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.
This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.
A clover tuft is pillow for my head, And violets quite overtop my shoes.
And now the cordial clouds have shut all in, And gently swells the wind to say all's well; The scattered drops are falling fast and thin, Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.
I am well drenched upon my bed of oats; But see that globe come rolling down its stem, Now like a lonely planet there it floats, And now it sinks into my garment's hem.
Drip drip the trees for all the country round, And richness rare distills from every bough; The wind alone it is makes every sound, Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.
For shame the sun will never show himself, Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so; My dripping locks--they would become an elf, Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.

by Alexander Pushkin | |

To Gnedich

 With Homer you conversed alone for days and nights,
Our waiting hours were passing slowly,
And shining you came down from the mysterious heights
And brought to us your tablets holy -
So? in the wilderness, beneath a tent, you found
Us, feasting mad in empty gaiety,
Singing our savage songs and galloping around
Some newly hand-created deity.
We grew confused, aloof from your good rays hid we.
Then, seized of wrath and desolation, Have you, O prophet, cursed your mindless family And smashed your tablets in frustration? No, you have cursed us not.
From heights you disappear Into the shade of little valleys; You love the heavens' crash, but also wish to hear Bees humming over red azaleas.
Such is the honest bard.
With passion he laments At solemn fairs of Melpomena - To smile upon the crowd's plebeian merriments, The liberties of coarse arena.
Now Rome is calling him, now majesties of Troy, Now elder Ossian's craggy gravels - And in the meantime he will hear with childish joy Of Czar Sultan's heroic travels.

by Robert William Service | |

Shakespeare And Cervantes

 Obit 23rd April 1616

Is it not strange that on this common date,
Two titans of their age, aye of all Time,
Together should renounce this mortal state,
And rise like gods, unsullied and sublime?
Should mutually render up the ghost,
And hand n hand join Jove's celestial host?

What wondrous welcome from the scribes on high!
Homer and Virgil would be waiting there;
Plato and Aristotle standing nigh;
Petrarch and Dante greet the peerless pair:
And as in harmony they make their bow,
Horace might quip: "Great timing, you'll allow.
" Imagine this transcendant team arrive At some hilarious banquet of the gods! Their nations battled when they were alive, And they were bitter foes - but what's the odd? Actor and soldier, happy hand in hand, By death close-linked, like loving brothers stand.
But how diverse! Our Will had gold and gear, Chattels and land, the starshine of success; The bleak Castilian fought with casque and spear, Passing his life in prisons - more or less.
The Bard of Avon was accounted rich; Cervantes often bedded in a ditch.
Yet when I slough this flesh, if I could meet By sweet, fantastic fate one of these two, In languorous Elysian retreat, Which would I choose? Fair reader, which would you? Well, though our William more divinely wrote, By gad! the lousy Spaniard has my vote.

by Helen Hunt Jackson | |

Songs of Battle

 Old as the world--no other things so old; 
Nay, older than the world, else, how had sprung 
Such lusty strength in them when earth was young?-- 
Stand valor and its passion hot and bold, 
Insatiate of battle.
How, else, told Blind men, born blind, that red was fitting tongue Mute, eloquent, to show how trumpets rung When armies charged adn battle-flags unfurled? Who sings of valor speaks for life, for death, Beyond all death, and long as life is life, in rippled waves the eternal air hs breath Eternal bears to stir all noble strife.
Dead Homer from his lost and vanished grave Keeps battle glorious still and soldiers brave.

by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Petit The Poet

 Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick,
Tick, tick, tick, like mites in a quarrel--
Faint iambics that the full breeze wakens--
But the pine tree makes a symphony thereof.
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus, Ballades by the score with the same old thought: The snows and the roses of yesterday are vanished; And what is love but a rose that fades? Life all around me here in the village: Tragedy, comedy, valor and truth, Courage, constancy, heroism, failure-- All in the loom, and oh what patterns! Woodlands, meadows, streams and rivers-- Blind to all of it all my life long.
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus, Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, what little iambics, While Homer and Whitman roared in the pines?

by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Homer Clapp

 Often Aner Clute at the gate
Refused me the parting kiss,
Saying we should be engaged before that;
And just with a distant clasp of the hand
She bade me good-night, as I brought her home
From the skating rink or the revival.
No sooner did my departing footsteps die away Than Lucius Atherton, (So I learned when Aner went to Peoria) Stole in at her window, or took her riding Behind his spanking team of bays Into the country.
The shock of it made me settle down, And I put all the money I got from my father's estate Into the canning factory, to get the job Of head accountant, and lost it all.
And then I knew I was one of Life's fools, Whom only death would treat as the equal Of other men, making me feel like a man.

by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Gustav Richter

 After a long day of work in my hot-houses
Sleep was sweet, but if you sleep on your left side
Your dreams may be abruptly ended.
I was among my flowers where some one Seemed to be raising them on trial, As if after-while to be transplanted To a larger garden of freer air.
And I was disembodied vision Amid a light, as it were the sun Had floated in and touched the roof of glass Like a toy balloon and softly bursted, And etherealized in golden air.
And all was silence, except the splendor Was immanent with thought as clear As a speaking voice, and I, as thought, Could hear a Presence think as he walked Between the boxes pinching off leaves, Looking for bugs and noting values, With an eye that saw it all: -- "Homer, oh yes! Pericles, good.
Caesar Borgia, what shall be done with it? Dante, too much manure, perhaps.
Napoleon, leave him awhile as yet.
Shelley, more soil.
Shakespeare, needs spraying --" Clouds, eh! --

by Friedrich von Schiller | |

The Iliad

 Tear forever the garland of Homer, and number the fathers
Of the immortal work, that through all time will survive!
Yet it has but one mother, and bears that mother's own feature,
'Tis thy features it bears,--Nature,--thy features eterne!

by Joyce Kilmer | |


 (For Aline)

Homer, they tell us, was blind and could not see the beautiful 
Looking up into his own and reflecting the joy of his dream,
Yet did he seem
Gifted with eyes that could follow the gods to their holiest places.
I have no vision of gods, not of Eros with love-arrows laden, Jupiter thundering death or of Juno his white-breasted queen, Yet have I seen All of the joy of the world in the innocent heart of a maiden.

by Edward Lear | |

There was an old Person of Cromer

There was an old Person of Cromer,
Who stood on one leg to read Homer;
When he found he grew stiff, he jumped over the cliff,
Which concluded that Person of Cromer.

by David Lehman | |

Ninth Inning

 He woke up in New York City on Valentine's Day,
The body in the booth next to his was still warm, Was gone.
He had bought her a sweater, a box of chocolate Said her life wasn't working he looked stricken she said You're all bent out of shape, accusingly, and when he She went from being an Ivy League professor of French To an illustrator for a slick midtown magazine They agreed it was his fault.
But for now they needed To sharpen to a point like a pencil the way The Empire State Building does.
What I really want to say To you, my love, is a whisper on the rooftop lost in the wind And you turn to me with your rally cap on backwards rooting For a big inning, the bases loaded, our best slugger up And no one out, but it doesn't work that way.
Like the time Kirk Gibson hit the homer off Dennis Eckersley to win the game: It doesn't happen like that in fiction.
In fiction, we are On a train, listening to a storyteller about to reach the climax Of his tale as the train pulls into Minsk, his stop.
That's My stop, he says, stepping off the train, confounding us who Can't get off it.
"You can't leave without telling us the end," We say, but he is already on the platform, grinning.
"End?" he says.
"It was only the beginning.

by Osip Mandelstam | |

Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.

Taut canvas.
Half the catalogue of ships is mine: that flight of cranes, long stretched-out line, that once rose, out of Hellas.
To an alien land, like a phalanx of cranes – Foam of the gods on the heads of kings – Where do you sail? What would the things of Troy, be to you, Achaeans, without Helen? The sea, or Homer – all moves by love’s glow.
Which should I hear? Now Homer is silent, and the Black Sea thundering its oratory, turbulent, and, surging, roars against my pillow.

by Delmore Schwartz | |

Sonnet Suggested By Homer Chaucer Shakespeare Edgar Allan Poe Paul Vakzy James Joyce Et Al.

 Let me not, ever, to the marriage in Cana
Of Galilee admit the slightest sentiment
Of doubt about the astonishing and sustaining manna
Of chance and choice to throw a shadow's element
Of disbelief in truth -- Love is not love
Nor is the love of love its truth in consciousness
If it can be made hesitant by any crow or dove or 
 seeming angel or demon from above or from below
Or made more than it is knows itself to be by the authority
 of any ministry of love.
O no -- it is the choice of chances and the chancing of all choice -- the wine which was the water may be sickening, unsatisfying or sour A new barbiturate drawn from the fattest flower That prospers green on Lethe's shore.
For every hour Denies or once again affirms the vow and the ultimate tower Of aspiration which made Ulysses toil so far away from home And then, for years, strive against every wanton desire, sea and fire, to return across the.
ever-threatening seas A journey forever far beyond all the vivid eloquence of every poet and all poetry.

by Robinson Jeffers | |

The Epic Stars

 The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
There is the stuff for an epic poem-- This magnificent raid at the heart of darkness, this lost battle-- We don't know enough, we'll never know.
Oh happy Homer, taking the stars and the Gods for granted.

by Robinson Jeffers | |

On Building With Stone

 To be an ape in little of the mountain-making mother
Like swarthy Cheops, but my own hands
For only slaves, is a far sweeter toil than to cut
Passions in verse for a sick people.
I'd liefer bed one boulder in the house-wall than be the time's Archilochus: we name not Homer: who now Can even imagine the fabulous dawn when bay-leaves (to a blind Beggar) were not bitter in the teeth?

by John Keats | |

To Homer

 Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
 Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
 To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind;--but then the veil was rent, For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live, And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent, And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive; Aye on the shores of darkness there is light, And precipices show untrodden green, There is a budding morrow in midnight, There is a triple sight in blindness keen; Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

by William Butler Yeats | |

Mad As The Mist And Snow

 Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night,
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow.
Horace there by Homer stands, Plato stands below, And here is Tully's open page.
How many years ago Were you and I unlettered lads Mad as the mist and snow? You ask what makes me sigh, old friend, What makes me shudder so? I shudder and I sigh to think That even Cicero And many-minded Homer were Mad as the mist and snow.

by William Butler Yeats | |

A Woman Homer Sung

 If any man drew near
When I was young,
I thought, 'He holds her dear,'
And shook with hate and fear.
But O! 'twas bitter wrong If he could pass her by With an indifferent eye.
Whereon I wrote and wrought, And now, being grey, I dream that I have brought To such a pitch my thought That coming time can say, 'He shadowed in a glass What thing her body was.
' For she had fiery blood When I was young, And trod so sweetly proud As 'twere upon a cloud, A woman Homer sung, That life and letters seem But an heroic dream.

by Robert Herrick | |

To Live Merrily And To Trust To Good Verses

 Now is the time for mirth,
Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
For with the flow'ry earth
The golden pomp is come.
The golden pomp is come; For now each tree does wear, Made of her pap and gum, Rich beads of amber here.
Now reigns the rose, and now Th' Arabian dew besmears My uncontrolled brow And my retorted hairs.
Homer, this health to thee, In sack of such a kind That it would make thee see Though thou wert ne'er so blind.
Next, Virgil I'll call forth To pledge this second health In wine, whose each cup's worth An Indian commonwealth.
A goblet next I'll drink To Ovid, and suppose, Made he the pledge, he'd think The world had all one nose.
Then this immensive cup Of aromatic wine, Catullus, I quaff up To that terse muse of thine.
Wild I am now with heat; O Bacchus! cool thy rays! Or frantic, I shall eat Thy thyrse, and bite the bays.
Round, round the roof does run; And being ravish'd thus, Come, I will drink a tun To my Propertius.
Now, to Tibullus, next, This flood I drink to thee; But stay, I see a text That this presents to me.
Behold, Tibullus lies Here burnt, whose small return Of ashes scarce suffice To fill a little urn.
Trust to good verses then; They only will aspire, When pyramids, as men, Are lost i' th' funeral fire.
And when all bodies meet, In Lethe to be drown'd, Then only numbers sweet With endless life are crown'd.

by Robert Burns | |

179. To Miss Ferrier enclosing Elegy on Sir J. H. Blair

 NAE heathen name shall I prefix,
 Frae Pindus or Parnassus;
Auld Reekie dings them a’ to sticks,
 For rhyme-inspiring lasses.
Jove’s tunefu’ dochters three times three Made Homer deep their debtor; But, gien the body half an e’e, Nine Ferriers wad done better! Last day my mind was in a bog, Down George’s Street I stoited; A creeping cauld prosaic fog My very sense doited.
Do what I dought to set her free, My saul lay in the mire; Ye turned a neuk—I saw your e’e— She took the wing like fire! The mournfu’ sang I here enclose, In gratitude I send you, And pray, in rhyme as weel as prose, A’ gude things may attend you!