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Best Famous Anniversary Poems

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

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Written by David Lehman |

A Little History

 Some people find out they are Jews.
They can't believe it.
Thy had always hated Jews.
As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old neighborhood, looking for Jews.
They were not Jewish, they were Irish.
They brandished broken bottles, tough guys with blood on their lips, looking for Jews.
They intercepted Jewish boys walking alone and beat them up.
Sometimes they were content to chase a Jew and he could elude them by running away.
They were happy just to see him run away.
The coward! All Jews were yellow.
They spelled Jew with a small j jew.
And now they find out they are Jews themselves.
It happened at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
To escape persecution, they pretended to convert to Christianity.
They came to this country and settled in the Southwest.
At some point oral tradition failed the family, and their secret faith died.
No one would ever have known if not for the bones that turned up on the dig.
A disaster.
How could it have happened to them? They are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last! They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else, yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another: The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik who thinks he is the agent of world history.
But most of them are neither ostentatiously pious nor excessively avaricious.
How I envy them! They believe.
How I envy them their annual family reunion on Passover, anniversary of the Exodus, when all the uncles and aunts and cousins get together.
They wonder about the heritage of Judaism they are passing along to their children.
Have they done as much as they could to keep the old embers burning? Others lead more dramatic lives.
A few go to Israel.
One of them calls Israel "the ultimate concentration camp.
" He tells Jewish jokes.
On the plane he gets tipsy, tries to seduce the stewardess.
People in the Midwest keep telling him reminds them of Woody Allen.
He wonders what that means.
I'm funny? A sort of nervous intellectual type from New York? A Jew? Around this time somebody accuses him of not being Jewish enough.
It is said by resentful colleagues that his parents changed their name from something that sounded more Jewish.
Everything he publishes is scrutinized with reference to "the Jewish question.
" It is no longer clear what is meant by that phrase.
He has already forgotten all the Yiddish he used to know, and the people of that era are dying out one after another.
The number of witnesses keeps diminishing.
Soon there will be no one left to remind the others and their children.
That is why he came to this dry place where the bones have come to life.
To live in a state of perpetual war puts a tremendous burden on the population.
As a visitor he felt he had to share that burden.
With his gift for codes and ciphers, he joined the counter- terrorism unit of army intelligence.
Contrary to what the spook novels say, he found it possible to avoid betraying either his country or his lover.
This was the life: strange bedrooms, the perfume of other men's wives.
As a spy he has a unique mission: to get his name on the front page of the nation's newspaper of record.
Only by doing that would he get the message through to his immediate superior.
If he goes to jail, he will do so proudly; if they're going to hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but this was incredible: To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most flamboyant murder case in years! And he was innocent! He could prove it! And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison: A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was born.

Written by Robert William Service |

Birthdays

 Let us have birthdays every day,
(I had the thought while I was shaving)
Because a birthday should be gay,
And full of grace and good behaving.
We can't have cakes and candles bright, And presents are beyond our giving, But let lt us cherish with delight The birthday way of lovely living.
For I have passed three-score and ten And I can count upon my fingers The years I hope to bide with men, (Though by God's grace one often lingers.
) So in the summers left to me, Because I'm blest beyond my merit, I hope with gratitude and glee To sparkle with the birthday spirit.
Let me inform myself each day Who's proudmost on the natal roster; If Washington or Henry Clay, Or Eugene Field or Stephen Foster.
oh lots of famous folks I'll find Who more than measure to my rating, And so thanksgivingly inclined Their birthdays I'll be celebrating.
For Oh I know the cheery glow| Of Anniversary rejoicing; Let me reflect its radiance so My daily gladness I'll be voicing.
And though I'm stooped and silver-haired, Let me with laughter make the hearth gay, So by the gods I may be spared Each year to hear: "Pop, Happy Birthday.
"

Written by William Butler Yeats |

Supernatural Songs

 I.
Ribh at the Tomb of Baile and Aillinn Because you have found me in the pitch-dark night With open book you ask me what I do.
Mark and digest my tale, carry it afar To those that never saw this tonsured head Nor heard this voice that ninety years have cracked.
Of Baile and Aillinn you need not speak, All know their tale, all know what leaf and twig, What juncture of the apple and the yew, Surmount their bones; but speak what none have heard.
The miracle that gave them such a death Transfigured to pure substance what had once Been bone and sinew; when such bodies join There is no touching here, nor touching there, Nor straining joy, but whole is joined to whole; For the intercourse of angels is a light Where for its moment both seem lost, consumed.
Here in the pitch-dark atmosphere above The trembling of the apple and the yew, Here on the anniversary of their death, The anniversary of their first embrace, Those lovers, purified by tragedy, Hurry into each other's arms; these eyes, By water, herb and solitary prayer Made aquiline, are open to that light.
Though somewhat broken by the leaves, that light Lies in a circle on the grass; therein I turn the pages of my holy book.
II.
Ribh denounces Patrick An abstract Greek absurdity has crazed the man - Recall that masculine Trinity.
Man, woman, child (daughter or son), That's how all natural or supernatural stories run.
Natural and supernatural with the self-same ring are wed.
As man, as beast, as an ephemeral fly begets, Godhead begets Godhead, For things below are copies, the Great Smaragdine Tablet said.
Yet all must copy copies, all increase their kind; When the conflagration of their passion sinks, damped by the body or the mind, That juggling nature mounts, her coil in their embraces twined.
The mirror-scaled serpent is multiplicity, But all that run in couples, on earth, in flood or air, share God that is but three, And could beget or bear themselves could they but love as He.
III.
Ribh in Ecstasy What matter that you understood no word! Doubtless I spoke or sang what I had heard In broken sentences.
My soul had found All happiness in its own cause or ground.
Godhead on Godhead in sexual spasm begot Godhead.
Some shadow fell.
My soul forgot Those amorous cries that out of quiet come And must the common round of day resume.
IV.
There There all the barrel-hoops are knit, There all the serpent-tails are bit, There all the gyres converge in one, There all the planets drop in the Sun.
V.
Ribh considers Christian Love insufficient Why should I seek for love or study it? It is of God and passes human wit.
I study hatred with great diligence, For that's a passion in my own control, A sort of besom that can clear the soul Of everything that is not mind or sense.
Why do I hate man, woman or event? That is a light my jealous soul has sent.
From terror and deception freed it can Discover impurities, can show at last How soul may walk when all such things are past, How soul could walk before such things began.
Then my delivered soul herself shall learn A darker knowledge and in hatred turn From every thought of God mankind has had.
Thought is a garment and the soul's a bride That cannot in that trash and tinsel hide: Hatred of God may bring the soul to God.
At stroke of midnight soul cannot endure A bodily or mental furniture.
What can she take until her Master give! Where can she look until He make the show! What can she know until He bid her know! How can she live till in her blood He live! VI.
He and She As the moon sidles up Must she sidle up, As trips the scared moon Away must she trip: 'His light had struck me blind Dared I stop".
She sings as the moon sings: 'I am I, am I; The greater grows my light The further that I fly.
' All creation shivers With that sweet cry.
VII.
What Magic Drum? He holds him from desire, all but stops his breathing lest primordial Motherhood forsake his limbs, the child no longer rest, Drinking joy as it were milk upon his breast.
Through light-obliterating garden foliage what magic drum? Down limb and breast or down that glimmering belly move his mouth and sinewy tongue.
What from the forest came? What beast has licked its young? VIII.
Whence had they come? Eternity is passion, girl or boy Cry at the onset of their sexual joy 'For ever and for ever'; then awake Ignorant what Dramatis personae spake; A passion-driven exultant man sings out Sentences that he has never thought; The Flagellant lashes those submissive loins Ignorant what that dramatist enjoins, What master made the lash.
Whence had they come, The hand and lash that beat down frigid Rome? What sacred drama through her body heaved When world-transforming Charlemagne was conceived? IX.
The Four Ages of Man He with body waged a fight, But body won; it walks upright.
Then he struggled with the heart; Innocence and peace depart.
Then he struggled with the mind; His proud heart he left behind.
Now his wars on God begin; At stroke of midnight God shall win.
X.
Conjunctions If Jupiter and Saturn meet, What a cop of mummy wheat! The sword's a cross; thereon He died: On breast of Mars the goddess sighed.
XI.
A Needle's Eye All the stream that's roaring by Came out of a needle's eye; Things unborn, things that are gone, From needle's eye still goad it on.
XII.
Meru Civilisation is hooped together, brought Under a mle, under the semblance of peace By manifold illusion; but man's life is thought, And he, despite his terror, cannot cease Ravening through century after century, Ravening, raging, and uprooting that he may come Into the desolation of reality: Egypt and Greece, good-bye, and good-bye, Rome! Hermits upon Mount Meru or Everest, Caverned in night under the drifted snow, Or where that snow and winter's dreadful blast Beat down upon their naked bodies, know That day brings round the night, that before dawn His glory and his monuments are gone.

Written by Charles Simic |

The Wooden Toy

 1

The brightly-painted horse
Had a boy's face,
And four small wheels
Under his feet,

Plus a long string
To pull him by this way and that
Across the floor,
Should you care to.
A string in-waiting That slipped away In many wiles From each and every try.
2 Knock and they'll answer, Mother told me.
So I climbed four flights of stairs And went in unannounced.
And found a small wooden toy For the taking In the ensuing emptiness And the fading daylight That still gives me a shudder As if I held the key to mysteries in my hand.
3 Where's the Lost and Found Department, And the quiet entry, The undeveloped film Of the few clear moments Of our blurred lives? Where's the drop of blood And the teeny nail That pricked my finger As I bent down to touch the toy And caught its eye? 4 Evening light, Make me a Sunday Go-to meeting shadow For my toy.
My dearest memories are Steep stair-wells In dusty buildings On dead-end streets, Where I talk to the walls And closed doors As if they understood me.
5 The wooden toy sitting pretty.
No, quieter than that.
Like the sound of eyebrows Raised by a villain In a silent movie.
Psst, someone said behind my back.
------------------------------------ Poetry Volume CLXXI, Number 1 Eighty-Fifth Anniversary Special Double Issue October-November 1997

Written by Dylan Thomas |

On A Wedding Anniversary

 The sky is torn across
This ragged anniversary of two
Who moved for three years in tune
Down the long walks of their vows.
Now their love lies a loss And Love and his patients roar on a chain; From every tune or crater Carrying cloud, Death strikes their house.
Too late in the wrong rain They come together whom their love parted: The windows pour into their heart And the doors burn in their brain.

Written by Emily Dickinson |

One Year ago -- jots what?

 One Year ago -- jots what?
God -- spell the word! I -- can't --
Was't Grace? Not that --
Was't Glory? That -- will do --
Spell slower -- Glory --

Such Anniversary shall be --

Written by Thomas Hardy |

Her Immortality

 UPON a noon I pilgrimed through
A pasture, mile by mile,
Unto the place where I last saw
My dead Love's living smile.
And sorrowing I lay me down Upon the heated sod: It seemed as if my body pressed The very ground she trod.
I lay, and thought; and in a trance She came and stood me by-- The same, even to the marvellous ray That used to light her eye.
"You draw me, and I come to you, My faithful one," she said, In voice that had the moving tone It bore in maidenhead.
She said: "'Tis seven years since I died: Few now remember me; My husband clasps another bride; My children mothers she.
My brethren, sisters, and my friends Care not to meet my sprite: Who prized me most I did not know Till I passed down from sight.
" I said: "My days are lonely here; I need thy smile alway: I'll use this night my ball or blade, And join thee ere the day.
" A tremor stirred her tender lips, Which parted to dissuade: "That cannot be, O friend," she cried; "Think, I am but a Shade! "A Shade but in its mindful ones Has immortality; By living, me you keep alive, By dying you slay me.
"In you resides my single power Of sweet continuance here; On your fidelity I count Through many a coming year.
" --I started through me at her plight, So suddenly confessed: Dismissing late distaste for life, I craved its bleak unrest.
"I will not die, my One of all!-- To lengthen out thy days I'll guard me from minutest harms That may invest my ways!" She smiled and went.
Since then she comes Oft when her birth-moon climbs, Or at the seasons' ingresses Or anniversary times; But grows my grief.
When I surcease, Through whom alone lives she, Ceases my Love, her words, her ways, Never again to be!

Written by W S Merwin |

For the Anniversary of My Death

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And then shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe |

ANNIVERSARY SONG

 [This little song describes the different members 
of the party just spoken of.
] WHY pacest thou, my neighbour fair, The garden all alone? If house and land thou seek'st to guard, I'd thee as mistress own.
My brother sought the cellar-maid, And suffered her no rest; She gave him a refreshing draught, A kiss, too, she impress'd.
My cousin is a prudent wight, The cook's by him ador'd; He turns the spit round ceaselessly, To gain love's sweet reward.
We six together then began A banquet to consume, When lo! a fourth pair singing came, And danced into the room.
Welcome were they,--and welcome too Was a fifth jovial pair.
Brimful of news, and stored with tales And jests both new and rare.
For riddles, spirit, raillery, And wit, a place remain'd; A sixth pair then our circle join'd, And so that prize was gain'd.
And yet to make us truly blest, One miss'd we, and full sore; A true and tender couple came,-- We needed them no more.
The social banquet now goes on, Unchequer'd by alloy; The sacred double-numbers then Let us at once enjoy! 1802.

Written by Robert William Service |

The Anniversary

 "This bunch of violets," he said,
 "Is for my daughter dear.
Since that glad morn when she was wed It is today a year.
She lives atop this flight of stairs-- Please give an arm to me: If we can take her unawares How glad she'll be!" We climbed the stairs; the flight was four, Our steps were stiff and slow; But as he reached his daughter's door His eyes were all aglow.
Joylike he raised his hand to knock, Then sore distressed was I, For from the silence like a shock I heard a cry.
A drunken curse, a sob of woe .
.
.
His withered face grew grey.
"I think," said he, "we'd better go And come another day.
" And as he went a block with me, Walking with weary feet, His violets, I sighed to see, Bestrewed the street.

Written by Anna Akhmatova |

Celebrate

 Celebrate our anniversary – can’t you see
tonight the snowy night of our first winter
comes back again in every road and tree -
that winter night of diamantine splendour.
Steam is pouring out of yellow stables, the Moika river’s sinking under snow, the moonlight’s misted as it is in fables, and where we are heading – I don’t know.
There are icebergs on the Marsovo Pole.
The Lebyazh’ya’s crazed with crystal art.
.
.
.
.
Whose soul can compare with my soul, if joy and fear are in my heart? - And if your voice, a marvellous bird’s, quivers at my shoulder, in the night, and the snow shines with a silver light, warmed by a sudden ray, by your words?

Written by Rg Gregory |

crematorium-return

 (to where the ashes of both
 my parents are strewn)

i)
ok the pair of you lie still
what's disturbing me need pass
no fretful hand over your peace
this world's vicissitudes are stale
fodder for you who feed the grass

some particles of your two dusts
by moon's wish accident or wind
may have leapt that late-life wound
refound in you the rhapsodists
first-married days had twinned

i've come today in heavy rain
a storm barging through the trees
to be a part of this fresh truce
to dream myself to that serene
death's eye-view no living sees

a roaring motorway derides
machine's exclusion from this place
cozens what the gale implies
while overhead a plane corrodes
all feel of sanctuary and solace

i cut the edges off the sound
and let the storm absorb my skin
my drift unravelling as a skein
through paths no brain's designed
i want the consciousness you're in

too much a strain - my mind can't click
to earthen voices (whispers signs)
my eyes alert to this life's scenes
my ears are ticked to autumn's clock
my shoes crunch upon chestnut spines


(ii)
not a bird singing or flying
i seize upon such absence (here
the death-sense dares to split its hair)
why with such a strong wind flowing
inside the noises do calms appear

today the weather is supreme 
it does away with frontiers - sweeps
breath into piles as it swaps
ashes for thoughts conjuring prime
life-death from the bones it reaps

abruptly flocks of leaves-made-birds
quit shaken branches (glide in grace)
first soar then hover - sucked to grass
flatten about me as soft-soaked boards 
matting me to this parent place

and then i'm easeful - a hand scoops
dissent away (leaves me as tree)
settles the self down to its true
abasement where nothing escapes
its wanting (earth flesh being free)

i'm taken by your touching
there's no skin between us now
as tree i am death's avenue
you are its fruits attaching
distilled ripeness to the bough

i possess the step i came for
my senses burst into still speech
your potent ashes give dispatch
to life's tensions - i travel far
rooted at this two-worlds' breach

 october 6th 1990
 (seventh anniversary of my mother's cremation)

Written by Audre Lorde |

Never To Dream Of Spiders

 Time collapses between the lips of strangers
my days collapse into a hollow tube 
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble 
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon 
in the breathless precision of silence
One word is made.
Once the renegade flesh was gone fall air lay against my face sharp and blue as a needle but the rain fell through October and death lay a condemnation within my blood.
The smell of your neck in August a fine gold wire bejeweling war all the rest lies illusive as a farmhouse on the other side of a valley vanishing in the afternoon.
Day three day four day ten the seventh step a veiled door leading to my golden anniversary flameproofed free-paper shredded in the teeth of a pillaging dog never to dream of spiders and when they turned the hoses upon me a burst of light.

Written by Edwin Arlington Robinson |

The Woman and the Wife

 I--THE EXPLANATION

"You thought we knew," she said, "but we were wrong.
This we can say, the rest we do not say; Nor do I let you throw yourself away Because you love me.
Let us both be strong, And we shall find in sorrow, before long, Only the price Love ruled that we should pay: The dark is the end of every day, And silence is the end of every song.
"You ask me for one more proof that I speak right, But I can answer only what I know; You look for just one lie to make black white, But I can tell you only what is true-- God never made me for the wife of you.
This we can say,--believe me! .
.
.
Tell me so!" II--THE ANNIVERSARY "Give me the truth, whatever it may be.
You thought we knew, but now tell me what you miss: You are the one to tell me what it is-- You are a man, and you have married me.
What is it worth to-night that you can see More marriage in the dream of one dead kiss Than in a thousand years of life like this? Passion has turned the lock.
Pride keeps the key.
"Whatever I have said or left unsaid, Whatever I have done or left undone,-- Tell me.
Tell me the truth .
.
.
Are you afraid? Do you think that Love was ever fed with lies But hunger lived thereafter in his eyes? Do you ask me to take moonlight for the sun?"

Written by Victor Hugo |

APOSTROPHE TO NATURE

 ("O Soleil!") 
 
 {Bk. II. iv., Anniversary of the Coup d'État, 1852.} 


 O Sun! thou countenance divine! 
 Wild flowers of the glen, 
 Caves swoll'n with shadow, where sunshine 
 Has pierced not, far from men; 
 Ye sacred hills and antique rocks, 
 Ye oaks that worsted time, 
 Ye limpid lakes which snow-slide shocks 
 Hurl up in storms sublime; 
 And sky above, unruflfed blue, 
 Chaste rills that alway ran 
 From stainless source a course still true, 
 What think ye of this man?