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Best Famous Freedom Poems

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

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Written by Maya Angelou | |

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.


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 Siegfried Sassoon | |

Haunted

EVENING was in the wood, louring with storm.
A time of drought had sucked the weedy pool And baked the channels; birds had done with song.
Thirst was a dream of fountains in the moon, Or willow-music blown across the water 5 Leisurely sliding on by weir and mill.
Uneasy was the man who wandered, brooding, His face a little whiter than the dusk.
A drone of sultry wings flicker¡¯d in his head.
The end of sunset burning thro¡¯ the boughs 10 Died in a smear of red; exhausted hours Cumber¡¯d, and ugly sorrows hemmed him in.
He thought: ¡®Somewhere there¡¯s thunder,¡¯ as he strove To shake off dread; he dared not look behind him, But stood, the sweat of horror on his face.
15 He blunder¡¯d down a path, trampling on thistles, In sudden race to leave the ghostly trees.
And: ¡®Soon I¡¯ll be in open fields,¡¯ he thought, And half remembered starlight on the meadows, Scent of mown grass and voices of tired men, 20 Fading along the field-paths; home and sleep And cool-swept upland spaces, whispering leaves, And far off the long churring night-jar¡¯s note.
But something in the wood, trying to daunt him, Led him confused in circles through the thicket.
25 He was forgetting his old wretched folly, And freedom was his need; his throat was choking.
Barbed brambles gripped and clawed him round his legs, And he floundered over snags and hidden stumps.
Mumbling: ¡®I will get out! I must get out!¡¯ 30 Butting and thrusting up the baffling gloom, Pausing to listen in a space ¡¯twixt thorns, He peers around with peering, frantic eyes.
An evil creature in the twilight looping, Flapped blindly in his face.
Beating it off, 35 He screeched in terror, and straightway something clambered Heavily from an oak, and dropped, bent double, To shamble at him zigzag, squat and bestial.
Headlong he charges down the wood, and falls With roaring brain¡ªagony¡ªthe snap¡¯t spark¡ª 40 And blots of green and purple in his eyes.
Then the slow fingers groping on his neck, And at his heart the strangling clasp of death.


More great poems below...

Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

Oh Mother of a Mighty Race

OH mother of a mighty race  
Yet lovely in thy youthful grace! 
The elder dames thy haughty peers  
Admire and hate thy blooming years.
With words of shame 5 And taunts of scorn they join thy name.
For on thy cheeks the glow is spread That tints thy morning hills with red; Thy step¡ªthe wild deer's rustling feet Within thy woods are not more fleet; 10 Thy hopeful eye Is bright as thine own sunny sky.
Ay let them rail¡ªthose haughty ones While safe thou dwellest with thy sons.
They do not know how loved thou art 15 How many a fond and fearless heart Would rise to throw Its life between thee and the foe.
They know not in their hate and pride What virtues with thy children bide; 20 How true how good thy graceful maids Make bright like flowers the valley-shades; What generous men Spring like thine oaks by hill and glen.
What cordial welcomes greet the guest 25 By thy lone rivers of the West; How faith is kept and truth revered And man is loved and God is feared In woodland homes And where the ocean-border foams.
30 There 's freedom at thy gates and rest For Earth's down-trodden and opprest A shelter for the hunted head For the starved laborer toil and bread.
Power at thy bounds 35 Stops and calls back his baffled hounds.
Oh fair young mother! on thy brow Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of the skies The thronging years in glory rise 40 And as they fleet Drop strength and riches at thy feet.
Thine eye with every coming hour Shall brighten and thy form shall tower; And when thy sisters elder born 45 Would brand thy name with words of scorn Before thine eye Upon their lips the taunt shall die.


Written by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

am was. are leaves few this. is these a or

am was.
are leaves few this.
is these a or scratchily over which of earth dragged once -ful leaf.
; were who skies clutch an of poor how colding hereless.
air theres what immense live without every dancing.
singless on- ly a child's eyes float silently down more than two those that and that noing our gone snow gone yours mine .
We're alive and shall be:cities may overflow(am was)assassinating whole grassblades five ideas can swallow a man;three words im -prison a woman for all her now:but we've such freedom such intense digestion so much greenness only dying makes us grow


Written by | |

A Farewell to the World

FALSE world good night! since thou hast brought 
That hour upon my morn of age; 
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought  
My part is ended on thy stage.
Yes threaten do.
Alas! I fear 5 As little as I hope from thee: I know thou canst not show nor bear More hatred than thou hast to me.
My tender first and simple years Thou didst abuse and then betray; 10 Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears When all the causes were away.
Then in a soil hast planted me Where breathe the basest of thy fools; Where envious arts profess¨¨d be 15 And pride and ignorance the schools; Where nothing is examined weigh'd But as 'tis rumour'd so believed; Where every freedom is betray'd And every goodness tax'd or grieved.
20 But what we're born for we must bear: Our frail condition it is such That what to all may happen here If 't chance to me I must not grutch.
Else I my state should much mistake 25 To harbour a divided thought From all my kind¡ªthat for my sake There should a miracle be wrought.
No I do know that I was born To age misfortune sickness grief: 30 But I will bear these with that scorn As shall not need thy false relief.
Nor for my peace will I go far As wanderers do that still do roam; But make my strengths such as they are 35 Here in my bosom and at home.


Written by | |

An Elegy

THOUGH beauty be the mark of praise  
And yours of whom I sing be such 
As not the world can praise too much  
Yet 'tis your Virtue now I raise.
A virtue like allay so gone 5 Throughout your form as though that move And draw and conquer all men's love This subjects you to love of one.
Wherein you triumph yet¡ªbecause 'Tis of your flesh and that you use 10 The noblest freedom not to choose Against or faith or honour's laws.
But who should less expect from you? In whom alone Love lives again: By whom he is restored to men 15 And kept and bred and brought up true.
His falling temples you have rear'd The wither'd garlands ta'en away; His altars kept from that decay That envy wish'd and nature fear'd: 20 And on them burn so chaste a flame With so much loyalty's expense As Love to acquit such excellence Is gone himself into your name.
And you are he¡ªthe deity 25 To whom all lovers are design'd That would their better objects find; Among which faithful troop am I¡ª Who as an off'ring at your shrine Have sung this hymn and here entreat 30 One spark of your diviner heat To light upon a love of mine.
Which if it kindle not but scant Appear and that to shortest view; Yet give me leave to adore in you 35 What I in her am grieved to want! GLOSS: allay] alloy.


Written by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Union and Liberty

 FLAG of the heroes who left us their glory,
Borne through their battle-fields' thunder and flame,
Blazoned in song and illumined in story,
Wave o'er us all who inherit their fame! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,
UNION AND LIBERTY! ONE EVERMORE!

Light of our firmament, guide of our Nation,
Pride of her children, and honored afar,
Let the wide beams of thy full constellation
Scatter each cloud that would darken a star! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,
UNION AND LIBERTY! ONE EVERMORE!

Empire unsceptred! what foe shall assail thee,
Bearing the standard of Liberty's van?
Think not the God of thy fathers shall fail thee,
Striving with men for the birthright of man! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,
UNION AND LIBERTY! ONE EVERMORE!

Yet if, by madness and treachery blighted,
Dawns the dark hour when the sword thou must draw,
Then with the arms of thy millions united,
Smite the bold traitors to Freedom and Law! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,
UNION AND LIBERTY! ONE EVERMORE!

Lord of the Universe! shield us and guide us,
Trusting Thee always, through shadow and sun!
Thou hast united us, who shall divide us?
Keep us, oh keep us the MANY IN ONE! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,
UNION AND LIBERTY! ONE EVERMORE!


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Barbara Frietchie

 Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchards sweep, Apple and peach tree fruited deep, Fair as the garden of the Lord To the eyes of the famished rebel horde, On that pleasant morn of the early fall When Lee marched over the mountain-wall; Over the mountains winding down, Horse and foot, into Frederick town.
Forty flags with their silver stars, Forty flags with their crimson bars, Flapped in the morning wind: the sun Of noon looked down, and saw not one.
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; Bravest of all in Frederick town, She took up the flag the men hauled down; In her attic window the staff she set, To show that one heart was loyal yet, Up the street came the rebel tread, Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.
Under his slouched hat left and right He glanced; the old flag met his sight.
'Halt!' - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
'Fire!' - out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash; It rent the banner with seam and gash.
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.
She leaned far out on the window-sill, And shook it forth with a royal will.
'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag,' she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came; The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman's deed and word; 'Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on! he said.
All day long through Frederick street Sounded the tread of marching feet: All day long that free flag tost Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell On the loyal winds that loved it well; And through the hill-gaps sunset light Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er, And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.
Honor to her! and let a tear Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls' bier.
Over Barbara Frietchie's grave, Flag of Freedom and Union, wave! Peace and order and beauty draw Round they symbol of light and law; And ever the stars above look down On thy stars below in Frederick town!


Written by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Young Blood

 "But, sir," I said, "they tell me the man is like to die!" The Canon shook his head indulgently.
"Young blood, Cousin," he boomed.
"Young blood! Youth will be served!" -- D'Hermonville's Fabliaux.
He woke up with a sick taste in his mouth And lay there heavily, while dancing motes Whirled through his brain in endless, rippling streams, And a grey mist weighed down upon his eyes So that they could not open fully.
Yet After some time his blurred mind stumbled back To its last ragged memory -- a room; Air foul with wine; a shouting, reeling crowd Of friends who dragged him, dazed and blind with drink Out to the street; a crazy rout of cabs; The steady mutter of his neighbor's voice, Mumbling out dull obscenity by rote; And then .
.
.
well, they had brought him home it seemed, Since he awoke in bed -- oh, damn the business! He had not wanted it -- the silly jokes, "One last, great night of freedom ere you're married!" "You'll get no fun then!" "H-ssh, don't tell that story! He'll have a wife soon!" -- God! the sitting down To drink till you were sodden! .
.
.
Like great light She came into his thoughts.
That was the worst.
To wallow in the mud like this because His friends were fools.
.
.
.
He was not fit to touch, To see, oh far, far off, that silver place Where God stood manifest to man in her.
.
.
.
Fouling himself.
.
.
.
One thing he brought to her, At least.
He had been clean; had taken it A kind of point of honor from the first .
.
.
Others might do it .
.
.
but he didn't care For those things.
.
.
.
Suddenly his vision cleared.
And something seemed to grow within his mind.
.
.
.
Something was wrong -- the color of the wall -- The queer shape of the bedposts -- everything Was changed, somehow .
.
.
his room.
Was this his room? .
.
.
He turned his head -- and saw beside him there The sagging body's slope, the paint-smeared face, And the loose, open mouth, lax and awry, The breasts, the bleached and brittle hair .
.
.
these things.
.
.
.
As if all Hell were crushed to one bright line Of lightning for a moment.
Then he sank, Prone beneath an intolerable weight.
And bitter loathing crept up all his limbs.


Written by A R Ammons | |

Identity

 1) An individual spider web
identifies a species:

an order of instinct prevails
 through all accidents of circumstance,
  though possibility is
high along the peripheries of
spider
   webs:
   you can go all
  around the fringing attachments

  and find
disorder ripe,
entropy rich, high levels of random,
 numerous occasions of accident:

2) the possible settings
of a web are infinite:

 how does
the spider keep
  identity
 while creating the web
 in a particular place?

 how and to what extent
  and by what modes of chemistry
  and control?

it is
wonderful
 how things work: I will tell you
   about it
   because

it is interesting
and because whatever is
moves in weeds
 and stars and spider webs
and known
   is loved:
  in that love,
  each of us knowing it,
  I love you,

for it moves within and beyond us,
  sizzles in
to winter grasses, darts and hangs with bumblebees
by summer windowsills:

   I will show you
the underlying that takes no image to itself,
 cannot be shown or said,
but weaves in and out of moons and bladderweeds,
   is all and
 beyond destruction
 because created fully in no
particular form:

   if the web were perfectly pre-set,
   the spider could
  never find
  a perfect place to set it in: and

   if the web were
perfectly adaptable,
if freedom and possibility were without limit,
   the web would
lose its special identity:

 the row-strung garden web
keeps order at the center
where space is freest (intersecting that the freest
  "medium" should
  accept the firmest order)

and that
order
   diminishes toward the
periphery
 allowing at the points of contact
  entropy equal to entropy.


Written by Robert Seymour Bridges | |

To the United States of America

 Brothers in blood! They who this wrong began 
To wreck our commonwealth, will rue the day 
When first they challenged freeman to the fray, 
And with the Briton dared the American.
Now are we pledged to win the Rights of man: Labour and Justice now shall have their way, And in a League of Peace -- God grant we may -- Transform the earth, not patch up the old plan.
Sure is our hope since he who led your nation Spake for mankind, and ye arose in awe Of that high call to work the world's salvation; Clearing your minds of all estrangling blindness In the vision of Beauty and the Spirit's law, Freedom and Honour and sweet Lovingkindness.


Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

Frederick Douglass

 When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful 
and terrible thing, needful to man as air, 
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all, 
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole, 
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more 
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro 
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world 
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien, 
this man, superb in love and logic, this man 
shall be remembered.
Oh, not with statues' rhetoric, not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone, but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.


Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

The Prisoner

 I lash and writhe against my prison bars,
And watch with sullen eyes the gaping crowd .
.
Give me my freedom and the burning stars, The hollow sky, and crags of moonlit cloud! Once I might range across the trackless plain, And roar with joy, until the desert air And wide horizons echoed it amain: I feared no foe, for I was monarch there! I saw my shadow on the parching sand, When the hot sun had kissed the mountain's rim; And when the moon rose o'er long wastes of land, I sought my prey by some still river's brim; And with me my fierce love, my tawny mate, Meet mother of strong cubs, meet lion's bride .
.
We made our lair in regions desolate, The solitude of wildernesses wide.
They slew her .
.
.
and I watched the life-blood flow From her torn flank, and her proud eyes grow dim: I howled her dirge above her while the low, Red moon clomb up the black horizon's rim.
Me, they entrapped .
.
.
cowards! They did not dare To fight.
as brave men do, without disguise, And face my unleashed rage! The hidden snare Was their device to win an untamed prize.
I am a captive .
.
.
not for me the vast, White dome of sky above the blinding sand, The sweeping rapture of the desert blast Across long ranges of untrodden land! Yet still they fetter not my thought! In dreams I, desert-born, tread the hot wastes once more, Quench my deep thirst in cool, untainted streams, And shake the darkness with my kingly roar!


Written by Marianne Moore | |

He Digesteth Harde Yron

 Although the aepyornis
or roc that lived in Madagascar, and
the moa are extinct,
the camel-sparrow, linked
with them in size--the large sparrow
Xenophon saw walking by a stream--was and is
a symbol of justice.
This bird watches his chicks with a maternal concentration-and he's been mothering the eggs at night six weeks--his legs their only weapon of defense.
He is swifter than a horse; he has a foot hard as a hoof; the leopard is not more suspicious.
How could he, prized for plumes and eggs and young used even as a riding-beast, respect men hiding actor-like in ostrich skins, with the right hand making the neck move as if alive and from a bag the left hand strewing grain, that ostriches might be decoyed and killed!Yes, this is he whose plume was anciently the plume of justice; he whose comic duckling head on its great neck revolves with compass-needle nervousness when he stands guard, in S-like foragings as he is preening the down on his leaden-skinned back.
The egg piously shown as Leda's very own from which Castor and Pollux hatched, was an ostrich-egg.
And what could have been more fit for the Chinese lawn it grazed on as a gift to an emperor who admired strange birds, than this one, who builds his mud-made nest in dust yet will wade in lake or sea till only the head shows.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Six hundred ostrich-brains served at one banquet, the ostrich-plume-tipped tent and desert spear, jewel- gorgeous ugly egg-shell goblets, eight pairs of ostriches in harness, dramatize a meaning always missed by the externalist.
The power of the visible is the invisible; as even where no tree of freedom grows, so-called brute courage knows.
Heroism is exhausting, yet it contradicts a greed that did not wisely spare the harmless solitaire or great auk in its grandeur; unsolicitude having swallowed up all giant birds but an alert gargantuan little-winged, magnificently speedy running-bird.
This one remaining rebel is the sparrow-camel.