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Best Famous Holiday Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

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by Oscar Wilde | |

Hélas

To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance— And must I lose a soul's inheritance?


by Philip Larkin | |

MCMXIV

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park 
The crowns of hats the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops the bleached 
Established names on the sunblinds 
The farthings and sovereigns 
Adn dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens 
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside ont caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses 
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence 
Never before or since 
As changed itself to past
Without a word--the men
Leaving the gardens tidy 
The thousands of marriages
Lasting a littlewhile longer:
Never such innocence again.
1964


by Emily Dickinson | |

Me! Come! My dazzled face

Me! Come! My dazzled face
In such a shining place!

Me! Hear! My foreign ear
The sounds of welcome near!

The saints shall meet
Our bashful feet.
My holiday shall be That they remember me; My paradise, the fame That they pronounce my name.


by Emily Dickinson | |

Me! Come! My dazzled face

Me! Come! My dazzled face
In such a shining place!

Me! Hear! My foreign ear
The sounds of welcome near!

The saints shall meet
Our bashful feet.
My holiday shall be That they remember me; My paradise, the fame That they pronounce my name.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

Rain Along Shore

 Wan white mists upon the sea,
East wind harping mournfully
All the sunken reefs along,
Wail and heart-break in its song,
But adown the placid bay
Fisher-folk keep holiday.
All the deeps beyond the bar Call and murmur from afar, 'Plaining of a mighty woe Where the great ships come and go, But adown the harbor gray Fisher-folk keep holiday.
When the cloudy heavens frown, And the sweeping rain comes down, Boats at anchorage must bide In despite of time or tide; Making merry as they may Fisher-folk keep holiday.
Now is time for jest and song All the idle shore along, Now is time for wooing dear, Maidens cannot choose but hear; Daffing toil and care away Fisher-folk keep holiday.
Oh, the fretted reefs may wail, Every man has furled his sail! Oh, the wind may moan in fear, Every lad is with his dear! Mirth and laughter have their way, Fisher-folk keep holiday.


by | |

Betty Blue

 

    Little Betty Blue
    Lost her holiday shoe;
What shall little Betty do?
    Give her another
    To match the other
And then she'll walk upon two.


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Lines Written In Recapitulation

 I could not bring this splendid world nor any trading beast
In charge of it, to defer, no, not to give ear, not in the least
Appearance, to my handsome prophecies,
which here I ponder and put by.
I am left simpler, less encumbered, by the consciousness that I shall by no pebble in my dirty sling avail To slay one purple giant four feet high and distribute arms among his tall attendants, who spit at his name when spitting on the ground: They will be found one day Prone where they fell, or dead sitting —and pock-marked wall Supporting the beautiful back straight as an oak before it is old.
I have learned to fail.
And I have had my say.
Yet shall I sing until my voice crack (this being my leisure, this my holiday) That man was a special thing, and no commodity, a thing improper to be sold.


by Weldon Kees | |

Robinson

 The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.
His act is over.
The world is a gray world, Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano, The nightmare chase well under way.
The mirror from Mexico, stuck to the wall, Reflects nothing at all.
The glass is black.
Robinson alone provides the image Robinsonian.
Which is all of the room--walls, curtains, Shelves, bed, the tinted photograph of Robinson's first wife, Rugs, vases panatelas in a humidor.
They would fill the room if Robinson came in.
The pages in the books are blank, The books that Robinson has read.
That is his favorite chair, Or where the chair would be if Robinson were here.
All day the phone rings.
It could be Robinson Calling.
It never rings when he is here.
Outside, white buildings yellow in the sun.
Outside, the birds circle continuously Where trees are actual and take no holiday.


by Billy Collins | |

Walking Across The Atlantic

 I wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beach
before stepping onto the first wave.
Soon I am walking across the Atlantic thinking about Spain, checking for whales, waterspouts.
I feel the water holding up my shifting weight.
Tonight I will sleep on its rocking surface.
But for now I try to imagine what this must look like to the fish below, the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.


by Robert Graves | |

To Robert Nichols

 (From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.
’ I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.
”) Here by a snowbound river In scrapen holes we shiver, And like old bitterns we Boom to you plaintively: Robert, how can I rhyme Verses for your desire— Sleek fauns and cherry-time, Vague music and green trees, Hot sun and gentle breeze, England in June attire, And life born young again, For your gay goatish brute Drunk with warm melody Singing on beds of thyme With red and rolling eye, Waking with wanton lute All the Devonian plain, Lips dark with juicy stain, Ears hung with bobbing fruit? Why should I keep him time? Why in this cold and rime, Where even to dream is pain? No, Robert, there’s no reason: Cherries are out of season, Ice grips at branch and root, And singing birds are mute.


by Sophie Hannah | |

Your Dad Did What?

 Where they have been, if they have been away,
or what they've done at home, if they have not -
you make them write about the holiday.
One writes My Dad did.
What? Your Dad did what? That's not a sentence.
Never mind the bell.
We stay behind until the work is done.
You count their words (you who can count and spell); all the assignments are complete bar one and though this boy seems bright, that one is his.
He says he's finished, doesn't want to add anything, hands it in just as it is.
No change.
My Dad did.
What? What did his Dad? You find the 'E' you gave him as you sort through reams of what this girl did, what that lad did, and read the line again, just one 'e' short: This holiday was horrible.
My Dad did.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Lucinda Matlock

 I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners, Driving home in the midnight of middle June, And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years, Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children, Eight of whom we lost Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick, I made the garden, and for holiday Rambled over the fields where sang the larks, And by Spoon River gathering many a shell, And many a flower and medicinal weed-- Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all, And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life.


by Oscar Wilde | |

HELAS!

 To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which can winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God: Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance - And must I lose a soul's inheritance?


by Liam Wilkinson | |

RETURN TO THE ESPLANADE

 The Esplanade is just as I left it.
Here is the Red Lea Hotel, the Royal, the house we said we’d buy with the writer’s turret, the memorial benches, parked in remembrance.
Here is the line of wide eyed cars, their colours hushed by Dawn and here, the sunken café deals its breakfast plates across the bay.
But instead of bright windows, in place of loose-haired holiday makers in green dresses and blue smoke, there hangs a mosaic of yellow reminders, licked to stick across the coast, these epileptic tongues trading rumours in the wind.
Here are those familiar cliffs, now the fridge doors of my busy agenda.
Listen to the quick notes of my once great symphony!


by Robert William Service | |

Brother Jim

 My brother Jim's a millionaire,
while I have scarce a penny;
His face is creased with lines of care,
While my mug hasn't any.
With inwardness his eyes are dim, While mine laugh out in glee, And though I ought to envy him, I think he envies me.
He has a chateau, I a shack, And humble I should be To see his stately Cadillac Beside my jalopy.
With chain of gold his belly's girt, His beard is barber trim; Yet bristle-chinned with ragged shirt, I do not envy Jim.
My brother is a man of weight; For every civic plum He grabs within one pie of state, While I am just a bum.
Last Winter he was near to croak With gastric ulcers grim.
.
.
.
And no! although I'm stony broke I will not envy Jim He gets the work, I get the fun; He has no tie for play; Whereas with paddle, rod and gun My life's a holiday.
As over crabbed script he pores I can the sky's blue rim.
.
.
.
Oh boy! While I have God's outdoors I'll never envy Jim.


by Robert William Service | |

Dedication To Providence

 I loved to toy with tuneful rhyme,
My fancies into verse to weave;
For as I walked my words would chime
So bell-like I could scarce believe;
My rhymes rippled like a brook,
My stanzas bloomed like blossoms gay:
And that is why I dream this book
 A verseman's holiday.
The palm-blades brindle in the blaze Of sunsets splendouring the sea; The Gloaming is a lilac haze That impish stars stab eagerly.
.
.
.
O Land of Song! Oh golden clime! O happy me, whose work is play! Please take this tribute of my rhymes: A verseman's holiday.


by Delmore Schwartz | |

Occasional Poems

 I Christmas Poem for Nancy

Noel, Noel
We live and we die
Between heaven and hell
Between the earth and the sky
And all shall be well
And all shall be unwell
And once again! all shall once again!
 All shall be well
By the ringing and the swinging
 of the great beautiful holiday bell
Of Noel! Noel!

II Salute Valentine

I'll drink to thee only with my eyes
When two are three and four,
And guzzle reality's rise and cries
And praise the truth beyond surmise
When small shots shout: More! More! More! More!

III Rabbi to Preach

Rabbi Robert Raaba will preach
 on "An Eye for an Eye"
 (an I for an I?)
(Two weeks from this week: "On the Sacred Would")
At Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive
- Pavel Slavensky will chant the liturgical responses
And William Leon, having now thirteen years
 will thank his parents that he exists
To celebrate his birthday of manhood, his chocolate 
Bar Mitzvah, his yum-yum kippered herring, his Russian
 Corona.


by Elizabeth Smart | |

Trying To Write

 That day i finished
A small piece
For an obscure magazine
I popped it in the box

And such a starry elation
Came over me
That I got whistled at in the street
For the first time in a long time.
I was dirty and roughly dressed And had circles under my eyes And far far from flirtation But so full of completion Of a deed duly done An act of consummation That the freedom and force it engendered Shone and spun Out of my old raincoat.
It must have looked like love Or a fabulous free holiday To the young men sauntering Down Berwick Street.
I still think this is most mysterious For while I was writing it It was gritty it felt like self-abuse Constipation, desperately unsocial.
But done done done Everything in the world Flowed back Like a huge bonus.


by Elizabeth Smart | |

A Bonus

 That day i finished
A small piece
For an obscure magazine
I popped it in the box

And such a starry elation
Came over me
That I got whistled at in the street
For the first time in a long time.
I was dirty and roughly dressed And had circles under my eyes And far far from flirtation But so full of completion Of a deed duly done An act of consummation That the freedom and force it engendered Shone and spun Out of my old raincoat.
It must have looked like love Or a fabulous free holiday To the young men sauntering Down Berwick Street.
I still think this is most mysterious For while I was writing it It was gritty it felt like self-abuse Constipation, desperately unsocial.
But done done done Everything in the world Flowed back Like a huge bonus.


by Arthur Symons | |

In the Stalls

 My life is like a music-hall, 
Where, in the impotence of rage, 
Chained by enchantment to my stall, 
I see myself upon the stage 
Dance to amuse a music-hall.
'Tis I that smoke this cigarette, Lounge here, and laugh for vacancy, And watch the dancers turn; and yet It is my very self I see Across the cloudy cigarette.
My very self that turns and trips, Painted, pathetically gay, An empty song upon the lips In make-believe of holiday: I, I, this thing that turns and trips! The light flares in the music-hall, The light, the sound, that weary us; Hour follows hour, I count them all, Lagging, and loud, and riotous: My life is like a music-hall.