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Best Famous Beach Poems

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

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Written by Matthew Arnold |

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago Heard it on the {AE}gean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery; we Find also in the sound a thought, Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Written by Maya Angelou |

Million Man March Poem

The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.
Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach, I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound, You couldn't even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I, But unfortunately throughout history You've worn a badge of shame.
I say, the night has been long, The wound has been deep, The pit has been dark And the walls have been steep.
But today, voices of old spirit sound Speak to us in words profound, Across the years, across the centuries, Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another, Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place, The old ones remind us that slavery's chains Have paid for our freedom again and again.
The night has been long, The pit has been deep, The night has been dark, And the walls have been steep.
The hells we have lived through and live through still, Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise, And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.
I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground, I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love, I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference, Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts, Let us come together and revise our spirits, Let us come together and cleanse our souls, Clap hands, let's leave the preening And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge, Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation, Courtesy into our bedrooms, Gentleness into our kitchen, Care into our nursery.
The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain We are a going-on people who will rise again.
And still we rise.
Poem read at the Million Man March

Written by Raymond Carver |

This Morning

 This morning was something.
A little snow lay on the ground.
The sun floated in a clear blue sky.
The sea was blue, and blue-green, as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple.
I dressed and went for a walk -- determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks where snow had drifted.
Kept going until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and the gulls wheeling over the white beach far below.
All lovely.
All bathed in a pure cold light.
But, as usual, my thoughts began to wander.
I had to will myself to see what I was seeing and nothing else.
I had to tell myself this is what mattered, not the other.
(And I did see it, for a minute or two!) For a minute or two it crowded out the usual musings on what was right, and what was wrong -- duty, tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat with my former wife.
All the things I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day.
What I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget myself and everything else.
I know I did.
For when I turned back i didn't know where I was.
Until some birds rose up from the gnarled trees.
And flew in the direction I needed to be going.

More great poems below...

Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |

The Fire of Drift-Wood

We sat within the farm-house old,
  Whose windows, looking o'er the bay,
Gave to the sea-breeze damp and cold,
  An easy entrance, night and day.
Not far away we saw the port, The strange, old-fashioned, silent town, The lighthouse, the dismantled fort, The wooden houses, quaint and brown.
We sat and talked until the night, Descending, filled the little room; Our faces faded from the sight, Our voices only broke the gloom.
We spake of many a vanished scene, Of what we once had thought and said, Of what had been, and might have been, And who was changed, and who was dead; And all that fills the hearts of friends, When first they feel, with secret pain, Their lives thenceforth have separate ends, And never can be one again; The first slight swerving of the heart, That words are powerless to express, And leave it still unsaid in part, Or say it in too great excess.
The very tones in which we spake Had something strange, I could but mark; The leaves of memory seemed to make A mournful rustling in the dark.
Oft died the words upon our lips, As suddenly, from out the fire Built of the wreck of stranded ships, The flames would leap and then expire.
And, as their splendor flashed and failed, We thought of wrecks upon the main, Of ships dismasted, that were hailed And sent no answer back again.
The windows, rattling in their frames, The ocean, roaring up the beach, The gusty blast, the bickering flames, All mingled vaguely in our speech; Until they made themselves a part Of fancies floating through the brain, The long-lost ventures of the heart, That send no answers back again.
O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned! They were indeed too much akin, The drift-wood fire without that burned, The thoughts that burned and glowed within.

Written by Thomas Gray |

The Fatal Sisters

 Now the storm begins to lower,
(Haste, the loom of Hell prepares!)
Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darkened air.
Glittering lances are the loom, Where the dusky warp we strain, Weaving many a soldier's doom, Orkney's woe and Randver's bane.
See the grisly texture grow, ('Tis of human entrails made!) And the weights that play below, Each a gasping warrior's head.
Shafts for shuttles, dipped in gore, Shoot the trembling cords along.
Sword, that once a monarch bore, Keep the tissue close and strong.
Mista, black, terrific maid, Sangrida, and Hilda, see, Join the wayward work to aid; 'Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy sun be set, Pikes must shiver, javelins sing, Blade with clattering buckler meet, Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war!) Let us go, and let us fly Where our friends the conflict share, Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of fate we tread, Wading through the ensanguined field, Gondula and Geira, spread O'er the youthful king your shield.
We the reins to slaughter give; Ours to kill, and ours to spare; Spite the dangers he shall live.
(Weave the crimson web of war!) They whom once the desert beach Pent within its bleak domain, Soon their ample sway shall stretch O'er the plenty of the plain.
Low the dauntless earl is laid, Gored with many a gaping wound; Fate demands a nobler head; Soon a king shall bite the ground.
Long his loss shall Eirin weep Ne'er again his likeness see; Long her strains in sorrow steep, Strains of immortality! Horror covers all the heath; Clouds of carnage blot the sun.
Sisters, weave the web of death; Sisters, cease, the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands! Songs of joy and triumph sing! Joy to the victorious bands Triumph to the younger king.
Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale, Learn the tenor of our song.
Scotland, through each winding vale Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters, hence with spurs of speed; Each her thundering falchion wield; Each bestride her sable steed.
Hurry, hurry to the field!

Written by Pablo Neruda |

Leaning Into The Afternoons

 Leaning into the afternoons,
I cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes.
There, in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames; Its arms turning like a drowning man's.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes That wave like the sea, or the beach by a lighthouse.
You keep only darkness my distant female; >From your regard sometimes, the coast of dread emerges.
Leaning into the afternoons, I fling my sad nets to that sea that is thrashed By your oceanic eyes.
The birds of night peck at the first stars That flash like my soul when I love you.
The night, gallops on its shadowy mare Shedding blue tassels over the land.

Written by Anne Sexton |

The Ballad Of The Lonely Masturbator

 The end of the affair is always death.
She's my workshop.
Slippery eye, out of the tribe of myself my breath finds you gone.
I horrify those who stand by.
I am fed.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
Finger to finger, now she's mine.
She's not too far.
She's my encounter.
I beat her like a bell.
I recline in the bower where you used to mount her.
You borrowed me on the flowered spread.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
Take for instance this night, my love, that every single couple puts together with a joint overturning, beneath, above, the abundant two on sponge and feather, kneeling and pushing, head to head.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
I break out of my body this way, an annoying miracle.
Could I put the dream market on display? I am spread out.
I crucify.
My little plum is what you said.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
Then my black-eyed rival came.
The lady of water, rising on the beach, a piano at her fingertips, shame on her lips and a flute's speech.
And I was the knock-kneed broom instead.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
She took you the way a women takes a bargain dress off the rack and I broke the way a stone breaks.
I give back your books and fishing tack.
Today's paper says that you are wed.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.
The boys and girls are one tonight.
They unbutton blouses.
They unzip flies.
They take off shoes.
They turn off the light.
The glimmering creatures are full of lies.
They are eating each other.
They are overfed.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.

Written by Walt Whitman |


 WHY! who makes much of a miracle? 
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother, 
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, 
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields, 
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; 
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen,
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera, 
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, 
Or behold children at their sports, 
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, 
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; 
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, 
The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?

Written by Pablo Neruda |

I crave your mouth your voice your hair

 Don't go far off, not even for a day
Don't go far off, not even for a day, 
Because I don't know how to say it - a day is long
And I will be waiting for you, as in
An empty station when the trains are 
Parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then The little drops of anguish will all run together, The smoke that roams looking for a home will drift Into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve On the beach, may your eyelids never flutter Into the empty distance.
Don't LEAVE me for A second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll Have gone so far I'll wander mazily Over all the earth, asking, will you Come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Written by Yosa Buson |

Variations on The short night

 Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
'The short night--'

The short night--
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.
The short night-- patrolmen washing in the river.
The short night-- bubbles of crab froth among the river reeds.
The short night-- a broom thrown away on the beach.
The short night-- the Oi River has sunk two feet.
The short night-- on the outskirts of the village a small shop opening.
The short night-- broken, in the shallows, a crescent moon.
The short night-- the peony has opened.
The short night-- waves beating in, an abandoned fire.
The short night-- near the pillow a screen turning silver.
The short night-- shallow footprints on the beach at Yui.
User Submitted "The short night--" Haiku Submit your own haiku beginning with the line "The short night--" and we'll post the best ones below! Just dash off an e-mail to: theshortnight@plagiarist.
com The short night- a watery moon stands alone over the hill Maggie The short night-- just as I'm falling asleep my wife's waking up Larry Bole

Written by Margaret Atwood |

A Visit

 Gone are the days
when you could walk on water.
When you could walk.
The days are gone.
Only one day remains, the one you're in.
The memory is no friend.
It can only tell you what you no longer have: a left hand you can use, two feet that walk.
All the brain's gadgets.
Hello, hello.
The one hand that still works grips, won't let go.
That is not a train.
There is no cricket.
Let's not panic.
Let's talk about axes, which kinds are good, the many names of wood.
This is how to build a house, a boat, a tent.
No use; the toolbox refuses to reveal its verbs; the rasp, the plane, the awl, revert to sullen metal.
Do you recognize anything? I said.
Anything familiar? Yes, you said.
The bed.
Better to watch the stream that flows across the floor and is made of sunlight, the forest made of shadows; better to watch the fireplace which is now a beach.

Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning |

Meeting at Night

The grey sea and the long black land; And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; Three fields to cross till a farm appears; A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch And blue spurt of a lighted match, And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears, Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Written by Dylan Thomas |

My Hero Bares His Nerves

 My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
That rules from wrist to shoulder,
Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
Leans on my mortal ruler,
The proud spine spurning turn and twist.
And these poor nerves so wired to the skull Ache on the lovelorn paper I hug to love with my unruly scrawl That utters all love hunger And tells the page the empty ill.
My hero bares my side and sees his heart Tread; like a naked Venus, The beach of flesh, and wind her bloodred plait; Stripping my loin of promise, He promises a secret heat.
He holds the wire from this box of nerves Praising the mortal error Of birth and death, the two sad knaves of thieves, And the hunger's emperor; He pulls that chain, the cistern moves.

Written by David Lehman |

Twelfth Night

 His first infidelity was a mistake, but not as big
As her false pregnancy.
Later, the boy found out He was born three months earlier than the date On his birth certificate, which had turned into A marriage license in his hands.
Had he been trapped In a net, like a moth mistaken for a butterfly? And why did she--what was in it for her? It took him all this time to figure it out.
The barroom boast, "I never had to pay for it," Is bogus if marriage is a religious institution On the operating model of a nineteenth-century factory.
On the other hand, women's lot was no worse then Than it is now.
The division of labor made sense In theories developed by college boys in jeans Who grasped the logic their fathers had used To seduce women and deceive themselves.
The pattern repeats itself, the same events In a different order obeying the conventions of A popular genre.
Winter on a desolate beach.
Spring While there's snow still on the balcony and, In the window, a plane flies over the warehouse.
The panic is gone.
But the pain remains.
And the apple, The knife, and the honey are months away.

Written by Pablo Neruda |

Dont Go Far Off Not Even For A Day

 Don't go far off, not even for a day, because -- 
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long 
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station 
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach; may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll have gone so far I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?