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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

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 John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Ichabod!

So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
     Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone
     Forevermore!

Revile him not—the Tempter hath
     A snare for all;
And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
     Befit his fall!

Oh! dumb be passion's stormy rage,
     When he who might
Have lighted up and led his age,
     Falls back in night.
Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark A bright soul driven, Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark, From hope and heaven! Let not the land, once proud of him, Insult him now, Nor brand with deeper shame his dim, Dishonored brow.
But let its humbled sons, instead, From sea to lake, A long lament, as for the dead, In sadness make.
Of all we loved and honored, nought Save power remains— A fallen angel's pride of thought, Still strong in chains.
All else is gone; from those great eyes The soul has fled: When faith is lost, when honor dies, The man is dead! Then, pay the reverence of old days To his dead fame; Walk backward, with averted gaze, And hide the shame!


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.


More great poems below...

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 Allen Ginsberg | |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?


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 Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

Lost Mistress

        I.
All's over, then: does truth sound bitter As one at first believes? Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter About your cottage eaves! II.
And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly, I noticed that, to-day; One day more bursts them open fully ---You know the red turns grey.
III.
To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest? May I take your hand in mine? Mere friends are we,---well, friends the merest Keep much that I resign: IV.
For each glance of the eye so bright and black, Though I keep with heart's endeavour,--- Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back, Though it stay in my soul for ever!--- V.
Yet I will but say what mere friends say, Or only a thought stronger; I will hold your hand but as long as all may, Or so very little longer!


by William Cullen Bryant | |

To a Waterfowl

WHITHER midst falling dew  
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day  
Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue 
Thy solitary way? 

Vainly the fowler's eye 5 
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong  
As darkly seen against the crimson sky  
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink Of weedy lake or marge of river wide 10 Or where the rocking billows rise and sink On the chafed ocean-side? There is a Power whose care Teaches thy way along that pathless coast¡ª The desert and illimitable air¡ª 15 Lone wandering but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned At that far height the cold thin atmosphere Yet stoop not weary to the welcome land Though the dark night is near.
20 And soon that toil shall end; Soon shalt thou find a summer home and rest And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou 'rt gone the abyss of heaven 25 Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given And shall not soon depart.
He who from zone to zone Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight 30 In the long way that I must tread alone Will lead my steps aright.


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 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 Sara Teasdale | |

Barter

 Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things;
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell; Music like a curve of gold, Scent of pine trees in the rain, Eyes that love you, arms that hold, And, for the Spirit's still delight, Holy thoughts that star the night.
Give all you have for loveliness; Buy it, and never count the cost! For one white, singing hour of peace Count many a year of strife well lost; And for a breath of ecstasy, Give all you have been, or could be.


by Emanuel Xavier | |

IT RAINED THE DAY THEY BURIED TITO PUENTE

 It rained the day they buried Tito Puente
The eyes of drug dealers following me
as I walked through the streets
past shivering prostitutes
women of every sex
young boys full of piss
and lampposts like ghosts in the night
past Jimmy the hustler boy 
with the really big dick 
cracked out on the sidewalk
wrapped in a blanket donated by the trick
that also gave him genital herpes 
and Fruit Loops for breakfast
past the hospital where Tio Cesar 
got his intestines taken out
in exchange for a plastic bag 
where he now shits and pisses
the 40’s he consumed for 50 years
past 3 of the thugs 
who sexually assaulted those women 
at Central Park 
during the Puerto Rican Day parade 
lost in their machismo, 
marijuana and Mira mami’s
‘cause boricuas do it better


Tito’s rambunctious and unruly rhythms never touched them 
never inspired them to rise above the ghetto 
and, like La Bruja said, “Ghet Over It!”
his timbales never echoed 
in the salsa of their souls
though they had probably danced 
to his cha-cha-cha
they never listened to the message 
between the beats
urging them to follow their hearts

On a train back to Brooklyn
feeling dispossessed and dreamless
I look up to read one of those 
Poetry In Motion ads
sharing a car with somebody sleeping
realizing 
that inspiration is everywhere these days
& though the Mambo King’s body 
may be six-feet under
his laughter and legend will live forever

The next morning 
I heard the crow crowing, “Oye Como Va”
his song was the sunlight in my universe
& I could feel Tito’s smile 
shining down on me


by Allama Iqbal | |

Benevolence

On the bough of a tree was seated
A nightingale that was saddened

Saying that-
Over me the night is past
And in pecking day is lost!

Towards their nest
How will they (birds) reach
When the shadow of dark
Has fastened its glitch

When heard this yell and wail
Of the nightingale
Said the glowworm
In a voice so calm

With my heart and soul
To you I am of avail
So what if I am
An insect so little?

The night is dark
Why worry then?
All through your route
I will enlighten!

A torch has Allah given me
A radiant lamp has He made me

Noble are those ones indeed
Whom others find while in need!


by | by . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/23040/Words_uttered_in_a_subdued_voice_in_order_to_constitute_a_dedication_Translation_of_Carlos_Bousonos_sonnet_' st_title='Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication, Translation of Carlos Bousono's sonnet '>|

Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication, Translation of Carlos Bousono's sonnet

Words uttered in a subdued voice in order to constitute a dedication,
Translation of Carlos Bousono’s poem :Palabras dichas en voz baja para
formar una dedicatoria
(To Ruth, so young, from another age)
(It’s quite probable that this poem commemorates and addresses Bousono’s
wife, Ruth, and as such the interest in the poem must underlie the intimate and/or
private candidness of tone, rather than the less than pretentious art form.
T.
Wignesan) I This isn’t exactly wine that you and I drain to the last drop with such slowness at this hour, the neat truth.
It’s not wine, it’s love.
In any case, it’s not a question of an awaited celebration, a noisy fiesta, raised on gold.
It’s not a canticle of the mountains.
It’s only a whistling sound : flower, less than this : whisper, lacking in weight.
II And all this began some time back.
We joined hands very hurriedly to be able to remain by ourselves, alone, both jointly and separately in order to walk on the neverending pathway interminably.
And in this manner, we move forward together on the pathway tenaciously.
The same direction, the self-same golden instant and despite it all, you walked without being in doubt, always very far away, far behind, lost in the distance, in the brightness, diminshed, yet wanting me, in another station where flowers burgeoned, in another time and in another pure space.
And from the secluded spot in the woods, from the sandy indignity of mature lateness, from where I contemplated your eagerness to be ahead of time, I saw you slow down, once and all over again, without raising your head in your remote garden, though being held back, obstinate- ly, and so unjustly ! pluck in joy roses for me.
© T.
Wignesan – Paris, 2013


by | |

Write My News To Your Agency

i lost my mind
since the moment i have seen you
i found me a way
go and go
you have the scope, you have the light
you have the compass
to where i do not know

some will say mad
Saint some will say
the look like penetrating souls
of the gloom in my eyes
has a meaning or is going to have
be one knowing my sorrow
may not have a meaning let it be
and anyway why do you care
send your report
write to your agency and send promptly
write just your news about me

Ahmet Yalcinkaya
© Translated by A.
Edip Yazar


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 | |

Cock-A-Doodle-Do!

 

Cock-a-doodle-do!
My dame has lost her shoe,
My master's lost his fiddle-stick
And knows not what to do.

Cock-a-doodle-do!
What is my dame to do?
Till master finds his fiddle-stick,
She'll dance without her shoe.


by | |

For Want Of A Nail


For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


by | |

Little Bo-Peep


  Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
    And can't tell where to find them;
  Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
    And bring their tails behind them.

  Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
    And dreamt she heard them bleating;
  But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
    For still they all were fleeting.

  Then up she took her little crook,
    Determined for to find them;
  She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
    For they'd left all their tails behind 'em!
  It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
    Unto a meadow hard by--
  There she espied their tails, side by side,
    All hung on a tree to dry.

  She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
    And over the hillocks she raced;
  And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
    That each tail should be properly placed.


by | |

Lucy Locket


Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Nothing in it, nothing in it,
But the binding round it.


by | |

The Lost Shoe


Doodle doodle doo,
The Princess lost her shoe:
  Her Highness hopped,--
  The fiddler stopped,
Not knowing what to do.


by | |

The Three Sons


There was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry and James and John,
Jerry was hanged, James was drowned,
John was lost and never was found;
And there was an end of her three sons,
Jerry and James and John!