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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.

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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.


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.


by Robert Francis |

Blue Winter

 Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how for.
You know the bluejay's double-blur device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.


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.


by Robert Francis |

Catch

 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.


by Robert Francis |

Glass

 Words of a poem should be glass
But glass so simple-subtle its shape
Is nothing but the shape of what it holds.

A glass spun for itself is empty,
Brittle, at best Venetian trinket.
Embossed glass hides the poem of its absence.

Words should be looked through, should be windows.
The best word were invisible.
The poem is the thing the poet thinks.

If the impossible were not,
And if the glass, only the glass,
Could be removed, the poem would remain.


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.


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


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.


by Robert Francis |

Symbol

 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.