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Best Famous Lost Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

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by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.


by Sara Teasdale | |

I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you, 
Not lost, although I long to be 
Lost as a candle lit at noon, 
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright, Yet I am I, who long to be Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love - put out My senses, leave me deaf and blind, Swept by the tempest of your love, A taper in a rushing wind.


by Anna Akhmatova | |

Along the Hard Crust...

Along the hard crust of deep snows,
To the secret, white house of yours,
So gentle and quiet – we both
Are walking, in silence half-lost.
And sweeter than all songs, sung ever, Are this dream, becoming the truth, Entwined twigs’ a-nodding with favor, The light ring of your silver spurs.
.
.


by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Summer Night

NOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; 
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; 
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font: 
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost, 5 And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Dana? to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
10 Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake: So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Hymn to the Spirit of Nature

LIFE of Life! thy lips enkindle 
With their love the breath between them; 
And thy smiles before they dwindle 
Make the cold air fire: then screen them 
In those locks where whoso gazes 5 
Faints entangled in their mazes.
Child of Light! thy limbs are burning Through the veil which seems to hide them As the radiant lines of morning Through thin clouds ere they divide them; 10 And this atmosphere divinest Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.
Fair are others: none beholds thee; But thy voice sounds low and tender Like the fairest for it folds thee 15 From the sight that liquid splendour; And all feel yet see thee never As I feel now lost for ever! Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest Its dim shapes are clad with brightness 20 And the souls of whom thou lovest Walk upon the winds with lightness Till they fail as I am failing Dizzy lost yet unbewailing!


by Elizabeth Bishop | |

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day.
Accept the fluster of lost door keys the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther losing faster: places and names and where it was your meant to travel.
None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch.
And look! my last or next-to-last of three loved housed went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lose two cities lovely ones.
And vaster some realms I owned two rivers a continent.
I miss them but it wasn't a disaster.
--Even losing you (the joking voice a gesture I love) I shan't have lied.
It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


by Philip Larkin | |

The Explosion

On the day of the explosion
Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In thesun the slagheap slept.
Down the lane came men in pitboots Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke Shouldering off the freshened silence.
One chased after rabbits; lost them; Came back with a nest of lark's eggs; Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.
SO they passed in beards and moleskins Fathers brothers nicknames laughter Through the tall gates standing open.
At noon there came a tremor; cows Stopped chewing for a second; sun Scarfed as in a heat-haze dimmed.
The dead go on before us they Are sitting in God's house in comfort We shall see them face to face-- plian as lettering in the chapels It was said and for a second Wives saw men of the explosion Larger than in life they managed-- Gold as on a coin or walking Somehow from the sun towards them One showing the eggs unbroken.


by Philip Larkin | |

When First We Faced And Touching Showed

 When first we faced, and touching showed
How well we knew the early moves,
Behind the moonlight and the frost,
The excitement and the gratitude,
There stood how much our meeting owed
To other meetings, other loves.
The decades of a different life That opened past your inch-close eyes Belonged to others, lavished, lost; Nor could I hold you hard enough To call my years of hunger-strife Back for your mouth to colonise.
Admitted: and the pain is real.
But when did love not try to change The world back to itself--no cost, No past, no people else at all-- Only what meeting made us feel, So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange?


by Philip Larkin | |

Mother Summer I

 My mother, who hates thunder storms, 
Holds up each summer day and shakes 
It out suspiciously, lest swarms 
Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there; 
But when the August weather breaks 
And rains begin, and brittle frost 
Sharpens the bird-abandoned air, 
Her worried summer look is lost, 

And I her son, though summer-born 
And summer-loving, none the less 
Am easier when the leaves are gone 
Too often summer days appear 
Emblems of perfect happiness 
I can't confront: I must await 
A time less bold, less rich, less clear: 
An autumn more appropriate.


by Philip Larkin | |

To Failure

 You do not come dramatically, with dragons
That rear up with my life between their paws
And dash me butchered down beside the wagons,
The horses panicking; nor as a clause
Clearly set out to warn what can be lost,
What out-of-pocket charges must be borne
Expenses met; nor as a draughty ghost
That's seen, some mornings, running down a lawn.
It is these sunless afternoons, I find Install you at my elbow like a bore The chestnut trees are caked with silence.
I'm Aware the days pass quicker than before, Smell staler too.
And once they fall behind They look like ruin.
You have been here some time.


by Philip Larkin | |

Cut Grass

 Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death It dies in the white hours Of young-leafed June With chestnut flowers, With hedges snowlike strewn, White lilac bowed, Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace, And that high-builded cloud Moving at summer's pace.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Promises Like Pie-Crust

 Promise me no promises,
So will I not promise you:
Keep we both our liberties,
Never false and never true:
Let us hold the die uncast,
Free to come as free to go:
For I cannot know your past,
And of mine what can you know?

You, so warm, may once have been
Warmer towards another one:
I, so cold, may once have seen
Sunlight, once have felt the sun:
Who shall show us if it was
Thus indeed in time of old?
Fades the image from the glass,
And the fortune is not told.
If you promised, you might grieve For lost liberty again: If I promised, I believe I should fret to break the chain.
Let us be the friends we were, Nothing more but nothing less: Many thrive on frugal fare Who would perish of excess.


by Jerome Rothenberg | |

A MISSAL LIKE A BONE

 Link by link
I can disown
no link.
(R.
Duncan) I search the passage someone sends & find a missal like a bone.
My hands are white with sweat.
I lay my burden down the ground below me shrinking.
The more my fingers ply these keys the more words daunt me.
I am what a haunt averts, what you who once spoke from my dream no longer tell.
The book is paradise.
An odor is a clue to what was lost.
I seek & speak son of a father with no home or heart.
I bantereed with a friend that there are speeds beyond the speed of light.
I spun around.
the calculus of two plus two, the mystery of false attachments, still persists.
I settled for a lesser light a circumstance found that my words rang true.


by Jerome Rothenberg | |

I EXCEED MY LIMITS

 I have tried an altenstil
& dropped it.
My skin is blazing, blazing too the way I see your faces in the glass.
With the circle of the sun behind me I exceed my limits.
My garments are from the beginning & my dwelling place is in my self(J.
Dee) It makes me want to fly the stars below the paradise of poets lost in space.
I am the father of a lie unspoken.
I can make my mind go blank then paw at you my fingers in your mouth.
I think of God when fucking.
Is it wrong to pray without a hat to reject the call to grace? I long to flatter presidents & kings.
I long for manna.
I will be the first to sail for home the last to flaunt my longings.
I will undo my garments & stand before you naked.
In winter I will curse their god & die.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark Not Day

 I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went! And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this.
But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life.
And my lament Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas! away.
I am gall, I am heartburn.
God's most deep decrees Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me; Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours.
I see The lost are like this, and their scourge to be As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Sea And The Skylark

 On ear and ear two noises too old to end
 Trench—right, the tide that ramps against the shore;
 With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar,
Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.
Left hand, off land, I hear the lark ascend, His rash-fresh re-winded new-skeinèd score In crisps of curl off wild winch whirl, and pour And pelt music, till none 's to spill nor spend.
How these two shame this shallow and frail town! How ring right out our sordid turbid time, Being pure! We, life's pride and cared-for crown, Have lost that cheer and charm of earth's past prime: Our make and making break, are breaking, down To man's last dust, drain fast towards man's first slime.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

To R. B.

 The fine delight that fathers thought; the strong
Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame,
Breathes once and, quenchèd faster than it came,
Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song.
Nine months she then, nay years, nine years she long Within her wears, bears, cares and moulds the same: The widow of an insight lost she lives, with aim Now known and hand at work now never wrong.
Sweet fire the sire of muse, my soul needs this; I want the one rapture of an inspiration.
O then if in my lagging lines you miss The roll, the rise, the carol, the creation, My winter world, that scarcely breathes that bliss Now, yields you, with some sighs, our explanation.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Voices

 Ideal and beloved voices
of those who are dead, or of those
who are lost to us like the dead.
Sometimes they speak to us in our dreams; sometimes in thought the mind hears them.
And with their sound for a moment return other sounds from the first poetry of our life -- like distant music that dies off in the night.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

An Old Man

 At the back of the noisy café
bent over a table sits an old man;
a newspaper in front of him, without company.
And in the scorn of his miserable old age he ponders how little he enjoyed the years when he had strength, and the power of the word, and good looks.
He knows he has aged much; he feels it, he sees it.
And yet the time he was young seems like yesterday.
How short a time, how short a time.
And he ponders how Prudence deceived him; and how he always trusted her -- what a folly! -- that liar who said: "Tomorrow.
There is ample time.
" He remembers the impulses he curbed; and how much joy he sacrificed.
Every lost chance now mocks his senseless wisdom.
.
.
.
But from so much thinking and remembering the old man gets dizzy.
And falls asleep bent over the café table.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Days Of 1903

 I never found them again -- the things so quickly lost.
.
.
.
the poetic eyes, the pale face.
.
.
.
in the dusk of the street.
.
.
.
I never found them again -- the things acquired quite by chance, that I gave up so lightly; and that later in agony I wanted.
The poetic eyes, the pale face, those lips, I never found again.