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Best Famous Amy Lowell Poems

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

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by Amy Lowell | |

A Blockhead

 Before me lies a mass of shapeless days,
Unseparated atoms, and I must
Sort them apart and live them.
Sifted dust Covers the formless heap.
Reprieves, delays, There are none, ever.
As a monk who prays The sliding beads asunder, so I thrust Each tasteless particle aside, and just Begin again the task which never stays.
And I have known a glory of great suns, When days flashed by, pulsing with joy and fire! Drunk bubbled wine in goblets of desire, And felt the whipped blood laughing as it runs! Spilt is that liquor, my too hasty hand Threw down the cup, and did not understand.


by Amy Lowell | |

A Lady

 You are beautiful and faded
Like an old opera tune
Played upon a harpsichord;
Or like the sun-flooded silks
Of an eighteenth-century boudoir.
In your eyes Smoulder the fallen roses of out-lived minutes, And the perfume of your soul Is vague and suffusing, With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.
Your half-tones delight me, And I grow mad with gazing At your blent colours.
My vigour is a new-minted penny, Which I cast at your feet.
Gather it up from the dust, That its sparkle may amuse you.


by Amy Lowell | |

Crowned

 You came to me bearing bright roses,
Red like the wine of your heart;
You twisted them into a garland
To set me aside from the mart.
Red roses to crown me your lover, And I walked aureoled and apart.
Enslaved and encircled, I bore it, Proud token of my gift to you.
The petals waned paler, and shriveled, And dropped; and the thorns started through.
Bitter thorns to proclaim me your lover, A diadem woven with rue.


More great poems below...

by Amy Lowell | |

Hora Stellatrix

 The stars hang thick in the apple tree,
The south wind smells of the pungent sea,
Gold tulip cups are heavy with dew.
The night's for you, Sweetheart, for you! Starfire rains from the vaulted blue.
Listen! The dancing of unseen leaves.
A drowsy swallow stirs in the eaves.
Only a maiden is sorrowing.
'T is night and spring, Sweetheart, and spring! Starfire lights your heart's blossoming.
In the intimate dark there's never an ear, Though the tulips stand on tiptoe to hear, So give; ripe fruit must shrivel or fall.
As you are mine, Sweetheart, give all! Starfire sparkles, your coronal.


by Amy Lowell | |

Crepuscule du Matin

 All night I wrestled with a memory
Which knocked insurgent at the gates of thought.
The crumbled wreck of years behind has wrought Its disillusion; now I only cry For peace, for power to forget the lie Which hope too long has whispered.
So I sought The sleep which would not come, and night was fraught With old emotions weeping silently.
I heard your voice again, and knew the things Which you had promised proved an empty vaunt.
I felt your clinging hands while night's broad wings Cherished our love in darkness.
From the lawn A sudden, quivering birdnote, like a taunt.
My arms held nothing but the empty dawn.


by Amy Lowell | |

Storm-Racked

 How should I sing when buffeting salt waves
And stung with bitter surges, in whose might
I toss, a cockleshell? The dreadful night
Marshals its undefeated dark and raves
In brutal madness, reeling over graves
Of vanquished men, long-sunken out of sight,
Sent wailing down to glut the ghoulish sprite
Who haunts foul seaweed forests and their caves.
No parting cloud reveals a watery star, My cries are washed away upon the wind, My cramped and blistering hands can find no spar, My eyes with hope o'erstrained, are growing blind.
But painted on the sky great visions burn, My voice, oblation from a shattered urn!


by Amy Lowell | |

Vintage

 I will mix me a drink of stars, --
Large stars with polychrome needles,
Small stars jetting maroon and crimson,
Cool, quiet, green stars.
I will tear them out of the sky, And squeeze them over an old silver cup, And I will pour the cold scorn of my Beloved into it, So that my drink shall be bubbled with ice.
It will lap and scratch As I swallow it down; And I shall feel it as a serpent of fire, Coiling and twisting in my belly.
His snortings will rise to my head, And I shall be hot, and laugh, Forgetting that I have ever known a woman.


by Amy Lowell | |

The Giver of Stars

 Hold your soul open for my welcoming.
Let the quiet of your spirit bathe me With its clear and rippled coolness, That, loose-limbed and weary, I find rest, Outstretched upon your peace, as on a bed of ivory.
Let the flickering flame of your soul play all about me, That into my limbs may come the keenness of fire, The life and joy of tongues of flame, And, going out from you, tightly strung and in tune, I may rouse the blear-eyed world, And pour into it the beauty which you have begotten.


by Amy Lowell | |

A Gift

 See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful, And they have many pleasant colours and lustres To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
When I shall have given you the last one, You will have the whole of me, But I shall be dead.


by Amy Lowell | |

Before Dawn

 Life! Austere arbiter of each man's fate,
By whom he learns that Nature's steadfast laws
Are as decrees immutable; O pause
Your even forward march! Not yet too late
Teach me the needed lesson, when to wait
Inactive as a ship when no wind draws
To stretch the loosened cordage.
One implores Thy clemency, whose wilfulness innate Has gone uncurbed and roughshod while the years Have lengthened into decades; now distressed He knows no rule by which to move or stay, And teased with restlessness and desperate fears He dares not watch in silence thy wise way Bringing about results none could have guessed.


by Amy Lowell | |

On Carpaccios Picture: The Dream of St. Ursula

 Swept, clean, and still, across the polished floor
From some unshuttered casement, hid from sight,
The level sunshine slants, its greater light
Quenching the little lamp which pallid, poor,
Flickering, unreplenished, at the door
Has striven against darkness the long night.
Dawn fills the room, and penetrating, bright, The silent sunbeams through the window pour.
And she lies sleeping, ignorant of Fate, Enmeshed in listless dreams, her soul not yet Ripened to bear the purport of this day.
The morning breeze scarce stirs the coverlet, A shadow falls across the sunlight; wait! A lark is singing as he flies away.


by Amy Lowell | |

Mirage

 How is it that, being gone, you fill my days,
And all the long nights are made glad by thee?
No loneliness is this, nor misery,
But great content that these should be the ways
Whereby the Fancy, dreaming as she strays,
Makes bright and present what she would would be.
And who shall say if the reality Is not with dreams so pregnant.
For delays And hindrances may bar the wished-for end; A thousand misconceptions may prevent Our souls from coming near enough to blend; Let me but think we have the same intent, That each one needs to call the other, "friend!" It may be vain illusion.
I'm content.


by Amy Lowell | |

Anticipation

 I have been temperate always,
But I am like to be very drunk
With your coming.
There have been times I feared to walk down the street Lest I should reel with the wine of you, And jerk against my neighbours As they go by.
I am parched now, and my tongue is horrible in my mouth, But my brain is noisy With the clash and gurgle of filling wine-cups.


by Amy Lowell | |

From One Who Stays

 How empty seems the town now you are gone!
A wilderness of sad streets, where gaunt walls
Hide nothing to desire; sunshine falls
Eery, distorted, as it long had shone
On white, dead faces tombed in halls of stone.
The whir of motors, stricken through with calls Of playing boys, floats up at intervals; But all these noises blur to one long moan.
What quest is worth pursuing? And how strange That other men still go accustomed ways! I hate their interest in the things they do.
A spectre-horde repeating without change An old routine.
Alone I know the days Are still-born, and the world stopped, lacking you.


by Amy Lowell | |

The Tree of Scarlet Berries

 The rain gullies the garden paths
And tinkles on the broad sides of grass blades.
A tree, at the end of my arm, is hazy with mist.
Even so, I can see that it has red berries, A scarlet fruit, Filmed over with moisture.
It seems as though the rain, Dripping from it, Should be tinged with colour.
I desire the berries, But, in the mist, I only scratch my hand on the thorns.
Probably, too, they are bitter.


by Amy Lowell | |

Frankincense and Myrrh

 My heart is tuned to sorrow, and the strings
Vibrate most readily to minor chords,
Searching and sad; my mind is stuffed with words
Which voice the passion and the ache of things:
Illusions beating with their baffled wings
Against the walls of circumstance, and hoards
Of torn desires, broken joys; records
Of all a bruised life's maimed imaginings.
Now you are come! You tremble like a star Poised where, behind earth's rim, the sun has set.
Your voice has sung across my heart, but numb And mute, I have no tones to answer.
Far Within I kneel before you, speechless yet, And life ablaze with beauty, I am dumb.


by Amy Lowell | |

To John Keats

 Great master! Boyish, sympathetic man!
Whose orbed and ripened genius lightly hung
From life's slim, twisted tendril and there swung
In crimson-sphered completeness; guardian
Of crystal portals through whose openings fan
The spiced winds which blew when earth was young,
Scattering wreaths of stars, as Jove once flung
A golden shower from heights cerulean.
Crumbled before thy majesty we bow.
Forget thy empurpled state, thy panoply Of greatness, and be merciful and near; A youth who trudged the highroad we tread now Singing the miles behind him; so may we Faint throbbings of thy music overhear.


by Amy Lowell | |

Petals

 Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope, Crimsoned with joy, We scatter the leaves of our opening rose; Their widening scope, Their distant employ, We never shall know.
And the stream as it flows Sweeps them away, Each one is gone Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay While years hurry on, The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.


by Amy Lowell | |

Irony

 An arid daylight shines along the beach
Dried to a grey monotony of tone,
And stranded jelly-fish melt soft upon
The sun-baked pebbles, far beyond their reach
Sparkles a wet, reviving sea.
Here bleach The skeletons of fishes, every bone Polished and stark, like traceries of stone, The joints and knuckles hardened each to each.
And they are dead while waiting for the sea, The moon-pursuing sea, to come again.
Their hearts are blown away on the hot breeze.
Only the shells and stones can wait to be Washed bright.
For living things, who suffer pain, May not endure till time can bring them ease.


by Amy Lowell | |

Sea Shell

 Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing me a song, O Please!
A song of ships, and sailor men,
And parrots, and tropical trees,
Of islands lost in the Spanish Main
Which no man ever may find again,
Of fishes and corals under the waves,
And seahorses stabled in great green caves.
Sea Shell, Sea Shell, Sing of the things you know so well.


by Amy Lowell | |

Summer

 Some men there are who find in nature all
Their inspiration, hers the sympathy
Which spurs them on to any great endeavor,
To them the fields and woods are closest friends,
And they hold dear communion with the hills;
The voice of waters soothes them with its fall,
And the great winds bring healing in their sound.
To them a city is a prison house Where pent up human forces labour and strive, Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man; But where in winter they must live until Summer gives back the spaces of the hills.
To me it is not so.
I love the earth And all the gifts of her so lavish hand: Sunshine and flowers, rivers and rushing winds, Thick branches swaying in a winter storm, And moonlight playing in a boat's wide wake; But more than these, and much, ah, how much more, I love the very human heart of man.
Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky, Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake Lazily reflecting back the sun, And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns.
The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops The green crest of the hill on which I sit; And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer, The very crown of nature's changing year When all her surging life is at its full.
To me alone it is a time of pause, A void and silent space between two worlds, When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps, Gathering strength for efforts yet to come.
For life alone is creator of life, And closest contact with the human world Is like a lantern shining in the night To light me to a knowledge of myself.
I love the vivid life of winter months In constant intercourse with human minds, When every new experience is gain And on all sides we feel the great world's heart; The pulse and throb of life which makes us men!


by Amy Lowell | |

Before the Altar

 Before the Altar, bowed, he stands
With empty hands;
Upon it perfumed offerings burn
Wreathing with smoke the sacrificial urn.
Not one of all these has he given, No flame of his has leapt to Heaven Firesouled, vermilion-hearted, Forked, and darted, Consuming what a few spare pence Have cheaply bought, to fling from hence In idly-asked petition.
His sole condition Love and poverty.
And while the moon Swings slow across the sky, Athwart a waving pine tree, And soon Tips all the needles there With silver sparkles, bitterly He gazes, while his soul Grows hard with thinking of the poorness of his dole.
"Shining and distant Goddess, hear my prayer Where you swim in the high air! With charity look down on me, Under this tree, Tending the gifts I have not brought, The rare and goodly things I have not sought.
Instead, take from me all my life! "Upon the wings Of shimmering moonbeams I pack my poet's dreams For you.
My wearying strife, My courage, my loss, Into the night I toss For you.
Golden Divinity, Deign to look down on me Who so unworthily Offers to you: All life has known, Seeds withered unsown, Hopes turning quick to fears, Laughter which dies in tears.
The shredded remnant of a man Is all the span And compass of my offering to you.
"Empty and silent, I Kneel before your pure, calm majesty.
On this stone, in this urn I pour my heart and watch it burn, Myself the sacrifice; but be Still unmoved: Divinity.
" From the altar, bathed in moonlight, The smoke rose straight in the quiet night.


by Amy Lowell | |

A Winter Ride

 Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal, Swift and God-gifted, immeasurably bright.
So with the stretch of the white road before me, Shining snowcrystals rainbowed by the sun, Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows, Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight! Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one.


by Amy Lowell | |

A Little Song

 When you, my Dear, are away, away,
How wearily goes the creeping day.
A year drags after morning, and night Starts another year of candle light.
O Pausing Sun and Lingering Moon! Grant me, I beg of you, this boon.
Whirl round the earth as never sun Has his diurnal journey run.
And, Moon, slip past the ladders of air In a single flash, while your streaming hair Catches the stars and pulls them down To shine on some slumbering Chinese town.
O Kindly Sun! Understanding Moon! Bring evening to crowd the footsteps of noon.
But when that long awaited day Hangs ripe in the heavens, your voyaging stay.
Be morning, O Sun! with the lark in song, Be afternoon for ages long.
And, Moon, let you and your lesser lights Watch over a century of nights.


by Amy Lowell | |

Patience

 Be patient with you?
When the stooping sky
Leans down upon the hills
And tenderly, as one who soothing stills
An anguish, gathers earth to lie
Embraced and girdled.
Do the sun-filled men Feel patience then? Be patient with you? When the snow-girt earth Cracks to let through a spurt Of sudden green, and from the muddy dirt A snowdrop leaps, how mark its worth To eyes frost-hardened, and do weary men Feel patience then? Be patient with you? When pain's iron bars Their rivets tighten, stern To bend and break their victims; as they turn, Hopeless, there stand the purple jars Of night to spill oblivion.
Do these men Feel patience then? Be patient with you? You! My sun and moon! My basketful of flowers! My money-bag of shining dreams! My hours, Windless and still, of afternoon! You are my world and I your citizen.
What meaning can have patience then?