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Best Famous Ai Poems

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

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Written by Conrad Aiken | |

Chance Meetings

In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive, 

The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves, 

In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices, 

I suddenly face you, 


Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you, 

They shine into mine with a sunlit desire, 

They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?' 

They smile and then darken, 


And silent, I answer 'You too--I have known you,--I love you!--' 

And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves 

Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight 

To divide us forever.<br> 

Written by Conrad Aiken | |


Here on the pale beach, in the darkness; 

With the full moon just to rise; 

They sit alone, and look over the sea, 

Or into each other's eyes.<br> .<br> .<br> 


She pokes her parasol into the sleepy sand, 

Or sifts the lazy whiteness through her hand.<br> 


'A lovely night,' he says, 'the moon, 

Comes up for you and me.<br> 

Just like a blind old spotlight there, 

Fizzing across the sea!' 


She pays no heed, nor even turns her head: 

He slides his arm around her waist instead.<br> 


'Why don't we do a sketch together-- 

Those songs you sing are swell.<br> 

Where did you get them, anyway? 

They suit you awfully well.<br>' 


She will not turn to him--will not resist.<br> 

Impassive, she submits to being kissed.<br> 


'My husband wrote all four of them.<br> 

You know,--my husband drowned.<br> 

He was always sickly, soon depressed.<br> .<br> .<br>' 

But still she hears the sound 


Of a stateroom door shut hard, and footsteps going 

Swiftly and steadily, and the dark sea flowing.<br> 


She hears the dark sea flowing, and sees his eyes 

Hollow with disenchantment, sick surprise,-- 


And hate of her whom he had loved too well.<br> .<br> .<br> 

She lowers her eyes, demurely prods a shell.<br> 


'Yes.<br> We might do an act together.<br> 

That would be very nice.<br>' 

He kisses her passionately, and thinks 

She's carnal, but cold as ice.<br> 

Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | |

Dans le Restaurant

 LE garçon délabré qui na rien à faire
Que de se gratter les doigts et se pencher sur mon épaule:
Dans mon pays il fera temps pluvieux,
Du vent, du grand soleil, et de la pluie;
Cest ce quon appelle le jour de lessive des gueux.<br>
(Bavard, baveux, à la croupe arrondie,
Je te prie, au moins, ne bave pas dans la soupe).<br>
Les saules trempés, et des bourgeons sur les ronces
Cest là, dans une averse, quon sabrite.<br>
Javais sept ans, elle était plus petite.<br>
Elle était toute mouillée, je lui ai donné des primevères.<br>
Les taches de son gilet montent au chiffre de trentehuit.<br>
Je la chatouillais, pour la faire rire.<br>
Jéprouvais un instant de puissance et de délire.<br>

Mais alors, vieux lubrique, à cet âge.<br>.<br>.<br>
Monsieur, le fait est dur.<br>
Il est venu, nous peloter, un gros chien;
Moi javais peur, je lai quittée à mi-chemin.<br>
Cest dommage.<br>
Mais alors, tu as ton vautour!

Va ten te décrotter les rides du visage;
Tiens, ma fourchette, décrasse-toi le crâne.<br>
De quel droit payes-tu des expériences comme moi?
Tiens, voilà dix sous, pour la salle-de-bains.<br>

Phlébas, le Phénicien, pendant quinze jours noyé,
Oubliait les cris des mouettes et la houle de Cornouaille,
Et les profits et les pertes, et la cargaison détain:
Un courant de sous-mer lemporta très loin,
Le repassant aux étapes de sa vie antérieure.<br>
Figurez-vous donc, cétait un sort pénible;
Cependant, ce fut jadis un bel homme, de haute taille.<br>

More great poems below...

Written by J R R Tolkien | |


 Snow-white! Snow-white! O lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Sea!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!

Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath.<br>
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea.<br>

O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown.<br>

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.<br>

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Silivren penna miriel
O menal aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-diriel
O galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, si nef aearon!

Ai! laurie lantar lassi surinen!
Yeni unotime ve ramar aldaron,
Yeni ve linte yuldar vanier
Mi oromardi lisse-miruvoreva
Andune pella Vardo tellumar
Nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
Omaryo airetari-lirinen.<br>

Si man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An si Tintalle Varda Oilosseo
Ve fanyar maryat Elentari ortane,
Ar ilye tier undulare lumbule;
Ar sindanoriello caita mornie
I falmalinnar imbe met, ar hisie
Untupa Calaciryo miri oiale.<br>
Si vanwa na, Romello vanwa, Valimar!
Namarie! Nai hiruvalye Valimar.<br>
Nai elye hiruva.<br> Namarie!

Ah! Like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
Long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead
In lofty halls beyond the West
Beneath the blue vaults of Varda
Wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice,
Holy and queenly.<br>

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda,
The Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite
Has uplifted her hands like clouds,
And all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
And out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us,
And mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.<br>
Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar.<br>
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!

Gilthoniel A Elbereth!
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
O menel palan-diriel,
Le nallon si dinguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
Silivren penna miriel
O menal aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.<br>

Written by J R R Tolkien | |


 Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
Mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
Nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
Omaryo airetári-lírinen.<br>
Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
Ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
Ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë
Ar sindanóriello caita mornië 
I falmalinnar imbë met,
Ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.<br>
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva! Namárië!

Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
Long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
Of the sweet mead in lofty halls
Beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
Wherein the stars tremble
In the voice of her song, holy and queenly.<br>
Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
From Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds
And all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
And out of a grey country darkness lies
On the foaming waves between us,
And mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.<br>
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 02: 03: Interlude

 The warm sun dreams in the dust, the warm sun falls
On bright red roofs and walls;
The trees in the park exhale a ghost of rain;
We go from door to door in the streets again,
Talking, laughing, dreaming, turning our faces,
Recalling other times and places .<br> .<br> .<br>
We crowd, not knowing why, around a gate,
We crowd together and wait,
A stretcher is carried out, voices are stilled,
The ambulance drives away.<br>
We watch its roof flash by, hear someone say
'A man fell off the building and was killed
Fell right into a barrel .<br> .<br> .<br>' We turn again
Among the frightened eyes of white-faced men,
And go our separate ways, each bearing with him
A thing he tries, but vainly, to forget,
A sickened crowd, a stretcher red and wet.<br>

A hurdy-gurdy sings in the crowded street,
The golden notes skip over the sunlit stones,
Wings are upon our feet.<br>
The sun seems warmer, the winding street more bright,
Sparrows come whirring down in a cloud of light.<br>
We bear our dreams among us, bear them all,
Like hurdy-gurdy music they rise and fall,
Climb to beauty and die.<br>
The wandering lover dreams of his lover's mouth,
And smiles at the hostile sky.<br>
The broker smokes his pipe, and sees a fortune.<br>
The murderer hears a cry.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 03: 13: The half-shut doors through which we heard that music

 The half-shut doors through which we heard that music
Are softly closed.<br> Horns mutter down to silence.<br>
The stars whirl out, the night grows deep.<br>
Darkness settles upon us.<br> A vague refrain
Drowsily teases at the drowsy brain.<br>
In numberless rooms we stretch ourselves and sleep.<br>

Where have we been? What savage chaos of music
Whirls in our dreams?We suddenly rise in darkness,
Open our eyes, cry out, and sleep once more.<br>
We dream we are numberless sea-waves languidly foaming
A warm white moonlit shore;

Or clouds blown windily over a sky at midnight,
Or chords of music scattered in hurrying darkness,
Or a singing sound of rain .<br> .<br> .<br>
We open our eyes and stare at the coiling darkness,
And enter our dreams again.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 04: 01: Clairvoyant

 'This envelope you say has something in it
Which once belonged to your dead sonor something
He knew, was fond of? Something he remembers?
The soul flies far, and we can only call it
By things like these .<br> .<br> .<br> a photograph, a letter,
Ribbon, or charm, or watch .<br> .<br> .<br> '

.<br> .<br> .<br> Wind flows softly, the long slow even wind,
Over the low roofs white with snow;
Wind blows, bearing cold clouds over the ocean,
One by one they melt and flow,

Streaming one by one over trees and towers,
Coiling and gleaming in shafts of sun;
Wind flows, bearing clouds; the hurrying shadows
Flow under them one by one .<br> .<br> .<br>

' .<br> .<br> .<br> A spirit darkens before me .<br> .<br> .<br> it is the spirit
Which in the flesh you called your son .<br> .<br> .<br> A spirit
Young and strong and beautiful .<br> .<br> .<br>

He says that he is happy, is much honored;
Forgives and is forgiven .<br> .<br> .<br> rain and wind
Do not perplex him .<br> .<br> .<br> storm and dust forgotten .<br> .<br>
The glittering wheels in wheels of time are broken
And laid aside .<br> .<br> .<br> '

'Ask him why he did the thing he did!'

'He is unhappy.<br> This thing, he says, transcends you:
Dust cannot hold what shines beyond the dust .<br> .<br> .<br>
What seems calamity is less than a sigh;
What seems disgrace is nothing.<br>'

'Ask him if the one he hurt is there,
And if she loves him still!'

'He tells you she is there, and loves him still,
Not as she did, but as all spirits love .<br> .<br> .<br>
A cloud of spirits has gathered about him.<br>
They praise him and call him, they do him honor;
He is more beautiful, he shines upon them.<br>'

.<br> .<br> .<br> Wind flows softly, the long deep tremulous wind,
Over the low roofs white with snow .<br> .<br> .<br>
Wind flows, bearing dreams; they gather and vanish,
One by one they sing and flow;

Over the outstretched lands of days remembered,
Over remembered tower and wall,
One by one they gather and talk in the darkness,
Rise and glimmer and fall .<br> .<br> .<br>

'Ask him why he did the thing he did!
He knows I will understand!'

 'It is too late:
He will not hear me: I have lost my power.<br>'

'Three times I've asked him! He will never tell me.<br>
God have mercy upon him.<br> I will ask no more.<br>'

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 04: 02: Death: And A Derisive Chorus

 The door is shut.<br> She leaves the curtained office,
And down the grey-walled stairs comes trembling slowly
Towards the dazzling street.<br>
Her withered hand clings tightly to the railing.<br>
The long stairs rise and fall beneath her feet.<br>

Here in the brilliant sun we jostle, waiting
To tear her secret out .<br> .<br> .<br> We laugh, we hurry,
We go our way, revolving, sinister, slow.<br>
She blinks in the sun, and then steps faintly downward.<br>
We whirl her away, we shout, we spin, we flow.<br>

Where have you been, old lady? We know your secret!
Voices jangle about her, jeers, and laughter.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
She trembles, tries to hurry, averts her eyes.<br>
Tell us the truth, old lady! where have you been?
She turns and turns, her brain grows dark with cries.<br>

Look at the old fool tremble! She's been paying,
Paying good money, too,to talk to spirits.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
She thinks she's heard a message from one dead!
What did he tell you? Is he well and happy?
Don't lie to uswe all know what he said.<br>

He said the one he murdered once still loves him;
He said the wheels in wheels of time are broken;
And dust and storm forgotten; and all forgiven.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
But what you asked he wouldn't tell you, though,
Ha ha! there's one thing you will never know!
That's what you get for meddling so with heaven!

Where have you been, old lady? Where are you going?
We know, we know! She's been to gab with spirits.<br>
Look at the old fool! getting ready to cry!
What have you got in an envelope, old lady?
A lock of hair? An eyelash from his eye?

How do you know the medium didn't fool you?
Perhaps he had no spiritperhaps he killed it.<br>
Here she comes! the old fool's lost her son.<br>
What did he haveblue eyes and golden hair?
We know your secret! what's done is done.<br>

Look out, you'll falland fall, if you're not careful,
Right into an open grave.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>but what's the hurry?
You don't think you will find him when you're dead?
Cry! Cry! Look at her mouth all twisted,
Look at her eyes all red!

We know youknow your name and all about you,
All you remember and think, and all you scheme for.<br>
We tear your secret out, we leave you, go
Laughingly down the street.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>Die, if you want to!
Die, then, if you're in such a hurry to know!

.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>She falls.<br> We lift her head.<br> The wasted body
Weighs nothing in our hands.<br> Does no one know her?
Was no one with her when she fell? .<br> .<br> .<br>
We eddy about her, move away in silence.<br>
We hear slow tollings of a bell.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 04: 04: Counterpoint: Two Rooms

 He, in the room above, grown old and tired,
She, in the room belowhis floor her ceiling
Pursue their separate dreams.<br> He turns his light,
And throws himself on the bed, face down, in laughter.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
She, by the window, smiles at a starlight night,

His watchthe same he has heard these cycles of ages
Wearily chimes at seconds beneath his pillow.<br>
The clock, upon her mantelpiece, strikes nine.<br>
The night wears on.<br> She hears dull steps above her.<br>
The world whirs on.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>New stars come up to shine.<br>

His youthfar offhe sees it brightly walking
In a golden cloud.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>Wings flashing about it.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br> Darkness
Walls it around with dripping enormous walls.<br>
Old agefar offher deathwhat do they matter?
Down the smooth purple night a streaked star falls.<br>

She hears slow steps in the streetthey chime like music;
They climb to her heart, they break and flower in beauty,
Along her veins they glisten and ring and burn.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
He hears his own slow steps tread down to silence.<br>
Far off they pass.<br> He knows they will never return.<br>

Far offon a smooth dark roadhe hears them faintly.<br>
The road, like a sombre river, quietly flowing,
Moves among murmurous walls.<br> A deeper breath
Swells them to sound: he hears his steps more clearly.<br>
And death seems nearer to him: or he to death.<br>

What's death?She smiles.<br> The cool stone hurts her elbows.<br>
The last of the rain-drops gather and fall from elm-boughs,
She sees them glisten and break.<br> The arc-lamp sings,
The new leaves dip in the warm wet air and fragrance.<br>
A sparrow whirs to the eaves, and shakes his wings.<br>

What's deathwhat's death? The spring returns like music,
The trees are like dark lovers who dream in starlight,
The soft grey clouds go over the stars like dreams.<br>
The cool stone wounds her arms to pain, to pleasure.<br>
Under the lamp a circle of wet street gleams.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
And death seems far away, a thing of roses,
A golden portal, where golden music closes,
Death seems far away:
And spring returns, the countless singing of lovers,
And spring returns to stay.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>

He, in the room above, grown old and tired,
Flings himself on the bed, face down, in laughter,
And clenches his hands, and remembers, and desires to die.<br>
And she, by the window, smiles at a night of starlight.<br>
.<br> .<br> .<br> The soft grey clouds go slowly across the sky.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The Window

 She looks out in the blue morning
and sees a whole wonderful world
she looks out in the morning
and sees a whole world

she leans out of the window
and this is what she sees
a wet rose singing to the sun
with a chorus of red bees

she leans out of the window
and laughs for the window is high
she is in it like a bird on a perch
and they scoop the blue sky

she and the window scooping
the morning as if it were air
scooping a green wave of leaves
above a stone stair

and an urn hung with leaden garlands
and girls holding hands in a ring
and raindrops on an iron railing
shining like a harp string

an old man draws with his ferrule
in wet sand a map of Spain
the marble soldier on his pedestal
draws a stiff diagram of pain

but the walls around her tremble
with the speed of the earth the floor
curves to the terrestrial center
and behind her the door

opens darkly down to the beginning
far down to the first simple cry
and the animal waking in water
and the opening of the eye

she looks out in the blue morning
and sees a whole wonderful world
she looks out in the morning
and sees a whole world.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

Turns And Movies: Dancing Adairs

 Behold me, in my chiffon, gauze, and tinsel, 
Flitting out of the shadow into the spotlight, 
And into the shadow again, without a whisper! 
Firefly's my name, I am evanescent.<br>

Firefly's your name.<br> You are evanescent.<br> 
But I follow you as remorselessly as darkness, 
And shut you in and enclose you, at last, and always, 
Till you are lost,as a voice is lost in silence.<br>

Till I am lost, as a voice is lost in silence.<br> .<br> .<br> 
Are you the one who would close so cool about me? 
My fire sheds into and through you and beyond you: 
How can your fingers hold me? I am elusive.<br>

How can my fingers hold you? You are elusive? 
Yes, you are flame, but I surround and love you, 
Always extend beyond you, cool, eternal, 
To take you into my heart's great void of silence.<br>

You shut me into your heart's great void of silence.<br> .<br> .<br> 
O sweet and soothing end for a life of whirling! 
Now I am still, whose life was mazed with motion.<br> 
Now I sink into you, for love of sleep.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

Turns And Movies: Duvals Birds

 The parrot, screeching, flew out into the darkness, 
Circled three times above the upturned faces 
With a great whir of brilliant outspread wings, 
And then returned to stagger on her finger.<br> 
She bowed and smiled, eliciting applause.<br> .<br> .<br> 
The property man hated her dirty birds.<br> 
But it had taken yearsyes, yearsto train them, 
To shoulder flags, strike bells by tweaking strings, 
Or climb sedately little flights of stairs.<br> 
When they were stubborn, she tapped them with a wand, 
And her eyes glittered a little under the eyebrows.<br> 
The red one flapped and flapped on a swinging wire; 
The little white ones winked round yellow eyes.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 04: 07: The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light

 The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.<br>
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.<br>
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.<br>
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.<br>

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.<br>
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.<br>
The gorgeous night has begun again.<br>

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces,
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br> '
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.<br>

We hear him and take him among us like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister mass, we ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, with word upon murmured word,
We flow, we descend, we turn.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br> and the eternal dreamer
Moves on among us like light, like evening air .<br> .<br> .<br>

Good night! good night! good night! we go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.<br>
We walk, we run, we ride.<br> We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.<br>

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky.<br>
We have built a city of towers.<br>
Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.<br>
Our souls are light.<br> They have shaken a burden of hours.<br> .<br> .<br> .<br>
What did we build it for? Was it all a dream? .<br> .<br> .<br>
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam .<br> .<br> .<br>
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.<br>

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The Room

 Through that windowall else being extinct
Except itself and meI saw the struggle
Of darkness against darkness.<br> Within the room
It turned and turned, dived downward.<br> Then I saw
How order mightif chaos wishedbecome:
And saw the darkness crush upon itself,
Contracting powerfully; it was as if
It killed itself, slowly: and with much pain.<br>
Pain.<br> The scene was pain, and nothing but pain.<br>
What else, when chaos draws all forces inward
To shape a single leaf? .<br> .<br> .<br>
 For the leaf came
Alone and shining in the empty room;
After a while the twig shot downward from it;
And from the twig a bough; and then the trunk,
Massive and coarse; and last the one black root.<br>
The black root cracked the walls.<br> Boughs burst
 the window:
The great tree took possession.<br>
 Tree of trees!
Remember (when time comes) how chaos died
To shape the shining leaf.<br> Then turn, have courage,
Wrap arms and roots together, be convulsed
With grief, and bring back chaos out of shape.<br>
I will be watching then as I watch now.<br>
I will praise darkness now, but then the leaf.<br>