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Best Famous History Poems

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

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by Sylvia Plath | |

Winter Trees

The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve.
On their blotter of fog the trees Seem a botanical drawing-- Memories growning, ring on ring, A series of weddings.
Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery, Truer than women, They seed so effortlessly! Tasting the winds, that are footless, Waisting-deep in history-- Full of wings, otherworldliness.
In this, they are Ledas.
O mother of leaves and sweetness Who are these peitas? The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but easing nothing.
note: 12 Ledas: Leda, the maiden who was raped by Zeus in the guise of a swan.


by Friedrich von Schiller | |

Carthage

 Oh thou degenerate child of the great and glorious mother,
Who with the Romans' strong might couplest the Tyrians' deceit!
But those ever governed with vigor the earth they had conquered,--
These instructed the world that they with cunning had won.
Say! what renown does history grant thee? Thou, Roman-like, gained'st That with the steel, which with gold, Tyrian-like, then thou didst rule!


by Robert Penn Warren | |

Evening Hawk

 From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
His wing Scythes down another day, his motion Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear The crashless fall of stalks of Time.
The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.
Look!Look!he is climbing the last light Who knows neither Time nor error, and under Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings Into shadow.
Long now, The last thrush is still, the last bat Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics.
His wisdom Is ancient, too, and immense.
The star Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.
If there were no wind we might, we think, hear The earth grind on its axis, or history Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.


by Walter de la Mare | |

All Thats Past

 Very old are the woods; 
And the buds that break 
Out of the brier's boughs, 
When March winds wake, 
So old with their beauty are-- 
Oh, no man knows 
Through what wild centuries 
Roves back the rose.
Very old are the brooks; And the rills that rise Where snow sleeps cold beneath The azure skies Sing such a history Of come and gone, Their every drop is as wise As Solomon.
Very old are we men; Our dreams are tales Told in dim Eden By Eve's nightingales; We wake and whisper awhile, But, the day gone by, Silence and sleep like fields Of amaranth lie.


by R S Thomas | |

A Blackbird Singing

 It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark 
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes'
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.
You have heard it often, alone at your desk In a green April, your mind drawn Away from its work by sweet disturbance Of the mild evening outside your room.
A slow singer, but loading each phrase With history's overtones, love, joy And grief learned by his dark tribe In other orchards and passed on Instinctively as they are now, But fresh always with new tears.


by R S Thomas | |

Ninetieth Birthday

 You go up the long track
That will take a car, but is best walked
On slow foot, noting the lichen
That writes history on the page
Of the grey rock.
Trees are about you At first, but yield to the green bracken, The nightjars house: you can hear it spin On warm evenings; it is still now In the noonday heat, only the lesser Voices sound, blue-fly and gnat And the stream's whisper.
As the road climbs, You will pause for breath and the far sea's Signal will flash, till you turn again To the steep track, buttressed with cloud.
And there at the top that old woman, Born almost a century back In that stone farm, awaits your coming; Waits for the news of the lost village She thinks she knows, a place that exists In her memory only.
You bring her greeting And praise for having lasted so long With time's knife shaving the bone.
Yet no bridge joins her own World with yours, all you can do Is lean kindly across the abyss To hear words that were once wise.


by R S Thomas | |

A Blackbird Singing

 It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark 
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes'
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.
You have heard it often, alone at your desk In a green April, your mind drawn Away from its work by sweet disturbance Of the mild evening outside your room.
A slow singer, but loading each phrase With history's overtones, love, joy And grief learned by his dark tribe In other orchards and passed on Instinctively as they are now, But fresh always with new tears.


by R S Thomas | |

The Village

 Scarcely a street, too few houses
To merit the title; just a way between
The one tavern and the one shop
That leads nowhere and fails at the top
Of the short hill, eaten away
By long erosion of the green tide
Of grass creeping perpetually nearer 
This last outpost of time past.
So little happens; the black dog Cracking his fleas in the hot sun Is history.
Yet the girl who crosses From door to door moves to a scale Beyond the bland day's two dimensions.
Stay, then, village, for round you spins On a slow axis a world as vast And meaningful as any posed By great Plato's solitary mind.


by R S Thomas | |

The Village

 Scarcely a street, too few houses
To merit the title; just a way between
The one tavern and the one shop
That leads nowhere and fails at the top
Of the short hill, eaten away
By long erosion of the green tide
Of grass creeping perpetually nearer 
This last outpost of time past.
So little happens; the black dog Cracking his fleas in the hot sun Is history.
Yet the girl who crosses From door to door moves to a scale Beyond the bland day's two dimensions.
Stay, then, village, for round you spins On a slow axis a world as vast And meaningful as any posed By great Plato's solitary mind.


by Edgar Albert Guest | |

Father

 The long lines of diesels 
groan toward evening 
carrying off the breath 
of the living.
The face of your house is black, it is your face, black and fire bombed in the first street wars, a black tooth planted in the earth of Michigan and bearing nothing, and the earth is black, sick on used oils.
Did you look for me in that house behind the sofa where I had to be? in the basement where the shirts yellowed on hangers? in the bedroom where a woman lay her face on a locked chest? I waited at windows the rain streaked and no one told me.
I found you later face torn from The History of Siege, eyes turned to a public wall and gone before I turned back, mouth in mine and gone.
I found you whole toward the autumn of my 43rd year in this chair beside a masonjar of dried zinnias and I turned away.
I find you in these tears, few, useless and here at last.
Don't come back.


by Laura Riding Jackson | |

Yes And No

 Across a continent imaginary
Because it cannot be discovered now
Upon this fully apprehended planet—
No more applicants considered,
Alas, alas—

Ran an animal unzoological,
Without a fate, without a fact,
Its private history intact
Against the travesty
Of an anatomy.
Not visible not invisible, Removed by dayless night, Did it ever fly its ground Out of fancy into light, Into space to replace Its unwritable decease? Ah, the minutes twinkle in and out And in and out come and go One by one, none by none, What we know, what we don't know.


by Syl Cheney-Coker | |

The Breast of the Sea

After our bloody century, the sea will groan
under its weight, somewhere between breasts and anus.
Filled with toxins, her belly will not yield new islands even though the orphans of East Timor wish it so.
The sea is only capable of so much history: Noah's monologue, the Middle Passage's cargoes, Darwin's examination of the turtle's shit, the remains of the Titanic, and a diver's story about how the coelacanth was recaptured.
Anything else is only a fractured chela we cannot preserve, once the sea's belly has washed itself clean of our century's blight.
Throbbing, the sea's breasts will console some orphans, but Sierra Leone won't be worth a raped woman's cry, despite her broken back, this shredded garment, her hands swimming like horrors of red corals.
But do you, O Sea, long-suffering mistress, have the balm to heal the wound of her children, hand to foot the axe, alluvial river flowing into you?


by Dimitris P Kraniotis | |

Ideals

 Snow-covered mountains,
ancient monuments,
a north wind that nods to us,
a thought that flows,
images imbued
with hymns of history,
words on signs
with ideals of geometry.


by Dimitris P Kraniotis | |

Illusions

 Noiseless wrinkles
on our forehead
the frontiers of history,
shed oblique glances
at Homer’s verses.
Illusions full of guilt redeem wounded whispers that became echoes in lighted caves of the fools and the innocent.


by Robert Seymour Bridges | |

Melancholia

 the history of melancholia
includes all of us.
me, I writhe in dirty sheets while staring at blue walls and nothing.
I have gotten so used to melancholia that I greet it like an old friend.
I will now do 15 minutes of grieving for the lost redhead, I tell the gods.
I do it and feel quite bad quite sad, then I rise CLEANSED even though nothing is solved.
that's what I get for kicking religion in the ass.
I should have kicked the redhead in the ass where her brains and her bread and butter are at .
.
.
but, no, I've felt sad about everything: the lost redhead was just another smash in a lifelong loss .
.
.
I listen to drums on the radio now and grin.
there is something wrong with me besides melancholia.


by Tupac Shakur | |

Untitled 1

Father forgive us for living
Why are all my homies stuck in prison?
Barely breathing, believing that this world is a prison
It's like a ghetto we can never leave
A broken rose giving bloom through the cracks of the concrete
So many things for us to see
Things to be
Our history so full of tragedy and misery
To all the homies who never made it home
The dead peers I shed tattooed tears for when I'm alone
Picture us inside a ghetto heaven
A place to rest finding peace through this land of stress
In my chest I feel pain come in sudden storms
A life full of rain in this game watch for land thorns
Our unborn never got to grow, never got to see what's next
In this world filled with countless threats
I beg God to find a way for our ghetto kids to breath
Show a sign make us all believe 


by Sidney Lanier | |

Laus Mariae

 Across the brook of Time man leaping goes
On stepping-stones of epochs, that uprise
Fixed, memorable, midst broad shallow flows
Of neutrals, kill-times, sleeps, indifferencies.
So twixt each morn and night rise salient heaps: Some cross with but a zigzag, jaded pace From meal to meal: some with convulsive leaps Shake the green tussocks of malign disgrace: And some advance by system and deep art O'er vantages of wealth, place, learning, tact.
But thou within thyself, dear manifold heart, Dost bind all epochs in one dainty Fact.
Oh, sweet, my pretty sum of history, I leapt the breadth of Time in loving thee!


by Sylvia Plath | |

Lyonnesse

 No use whistling for Lyonnesse! 
Sea-cold, sea-cold it certainly is.
Take a look at the white, high berg on his forehead- There's where it sunk.
The blue, green, Gray, indeterminate gilt Sea of his eyes washing over it And a round bubble Popping upward from the mouths of bells People and cows.
The Lyonians had always thought Heaven would be something else, But with the same faces, The same places.
.
.
It was not a shock- The clear, green, quite breathable atmosphere, Cold grits underfoot, And the spidery water-dazzle on field and street.
It never occurred that they had been forgot, That the big God Had lazily closed one eye and let them slip Over the English cliff and under so much history! They did not see him smile, Turn, like an animal, In his cage of ether, his cage of stars.
He'd had so many wars! The white gape of his mind was the real Tabula Rasa.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Letter In November

 Love, the world
Suddenly turns, turns color.
The streetlight Splits through the rat's tail Pods of the laburnum at nine in the morning.
It is the Arctic, This little black Circle, with its tawn silk grasses - babies hair.
There is a green in the air, Soft, delectable.
It cushions me lovingly.
I am flushed and warm.
I think I may be enormous, I am so stupidly happy, My Wellingtons Squelching and squelching through the beautiful red.
This is my property.
Two times a day I pace it, sniffing The barbarous holly with its viridian Scallops, pure iron, And the wall of the odd corpses.
I love them.
I love them like history.
The apples are golden, Imagine it ---- My seventy trees Holding their gold-ruddy balls In a thick gray death-soup, Their million Gold leaves metal and breathless.
O love, O celibate.
Nobody but me Walks the waist high wet.
The irreplaceable Golds bleed and deepen, the mouths of Thermopylae.


by Sylvia Plath | |

The Times Are Tidy

 Unlucky the hero born
In this province of the stuck record
Where the most watchful cooks go jobless
And the mayor's rôtisserie turns
Round of its own accord.
There's no career in the venture Of riding against the lizard, Himself withered these latter-days To leaf-size from lack of action: History's beaten the hazard.
The last crone got burnt up More than eight decades back With the love-hot herb, the talking cat, But the children are better for it, The cow milks cream an inch thick.