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Best Famous People Poems

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

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by Robert Herrick | |

To Find God

Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
A way to measure out the wind?
Distinguish all those floods that are
Mixed in that wat'ry theater,
And taste thou them as saltless there,
As in their channel first they were.
Tell me the people that do keep Within the kingdoms of the deep; Or fetch me back that cloud again, Beshivered into seeds of rain.
Tell me the motes, dust, sands, and spears Of corn, when summer shakes his ears; Show me that world of stars, and whence They noiseless spill their influence.
This if thou canst; then show me Him That rides the glorious cherubim.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Doc Hill

I went up and down the streets
Here and there by day and night,
Through all hours of the night caring for the poor who were sick.
Do you know why? My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.
And I turned to the people and poured out my love to them.
Sweet it was to see the crowds about the lawns on the day of my funeral, And hear them murmur their love and sorrow.
But oh, dear God, my soul trembled, scarcely able To hold to the railing of the new life When I saw Em Stanton behind the oak tree At the grave, Hiding herself, and her grief!


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked, But still he fluttered pulses when he said, "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich--yes, richer than a king-- And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head.


by Conrad Aiken | |

Chance Meetings

In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive, 
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves, 
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices, 
I suddenly face you, 
  
Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you, 
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire, 
They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?' 
They smile and then darken, 
  
And silent, I answer 'You too--I have known you,--I love you!--' 
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves 
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight 
To divide us forever.


by Emily Dickinson | |

A narrow fellow in the grass

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,--did you not,
His notice sudden is.
The grass divides as with a comb, A spotted shaft is seen; And then it closes at your feet And opens further on.
He likes a boggy acre, A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot, I more than once, at morn, Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash Unbraiding in the sun,-- When, stooping to secure it, It wrinkled, and was gone.
Several of nature's people I know, and they know me; I feel for them a transport Of cordiality; But never met this fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Crossing the Water

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here? Their shadows must cover Canada.
A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry: They are round and flat and full of dark advice.
Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand; Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens? This is the silence of astounded souls.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Disillusionment of Ten o Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green, Or purple with green rings, Or green with yellow rings, Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange, With socks of lace And beaded ceintures.
People are not going To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor, Drunk and asleep in his boots, Catches tigers In red weather.


by Philip Larkin | |

Talking in Bed

Talking in bed ought ot be easiest 
Lying together there goes back so far 
An emblem of two people being honest.
Yet more and more time passes silently.
Outside the wind's incomplete unrest builds and disperses clouds about the sky.
And dark towns heap up on the horizon.
None of this cares for us.
Nothing shows why At this unique distance from isolation It becomes still more difficult to find Words at once true and kind Or ont untrue and not unkind.
1964


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 Wang Wei | |

Fine Apricot Lodge

 Fine apricot cut for roofbeam 
Fragrant cogongrass tie for eaves 
Not know ridgepole in cloud 
Go make people among rain 

Fine apricot was cut for the roofbeam, 
Fragrant cogongrass tied for the eaves.
I know not when the cloud from this house Will go to make rain among the people.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

In The Valley Of The Elwy

 I remember a house where all were good
 To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
 Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
That cordial air made those kind people a hood All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring: Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.
Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales, All the air things wear that build this world of Wales; Only the inmate does not correspond: God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales, Complete thy creature dear O where it fails, Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Since Nine OClock

 Half past twelve.
Time has gone by quickly since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp and sat down here.
I've been sitting without reading, without speaking.
Completely alone in the house, whom could I talk to? Since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp the shade of my young body has come to haunt me, to remind me of shut scented rooms, of past sensual pleasure - what daring pleasure.
And it's also brought back to me streets now unrecognizable, bustling night clubs now closed, theatres and cafes no longer here.
The shade of my young body also brought back the things that make us sad: family grief, separations, the feelings of my own people, feelings of the dead so little acknowledged.
Half past twelve.
How the time has gone by.
Half past twelve.
How the years have gone by.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Che Fece ... Il Gran Rifiuto

 For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No.
It's clear at once who has the Yes ready within him; and saying it, he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent.
Asked again, he'd still say no.
Yet that no-the right no- drags him down all his life.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Apollonius Of Tyana In Rhodes

 Apollonius was talking about
proper education and conduct with a young
man who was building a luxurious
house in Rhodes.
"As for me" said the Tyanian at last, "when I enter a temple however small it may be, I very much prefer to see a statue of ivory and gold than a clay and vulgar one in a large temple".
-- The "clay" and "vulgar"; the detestable: that already some people (without enough training) it deceives knavishly.
The clay and vulgar.


by G K Chesterton | |

A Hymn

 O God of earth and altar, 
Bow down and hear our cry, 
Our earthly rulers falter, 
Our people drift and die; 
The walls of gold entomb us, 
The swords of scorn divide, 
Take not thy thunder from us, 
But take away our pride.
From all that terror teaches, From lies of tongue and pen, From all the easy speeches That comfort cruel men, From sale and profanation Of honour and the sword, From sleep and from damnation, Deliver us, good Lord.
Tie in a living tether The prince and priest and thrall, Bind all our lives together, Smite us and save us all; In ire and exultation Aflame with faith, and free, Lift up a living nation, A single sword to thee.


by G K Chesterton | |

An Answer to Frances Cornford

 Why do you rush through the fields in trains, 
Guessing so much and so much.
Why do you flash through the flowery meads, Fat-head poet that nobody reads; And why do you know such a frightful lot About people in gloves and such?


by Walter Savage Landor | |

Finis

 Now it's over, and now it's done; 
Why does everything look the same? 
Just as bright, the unheeding sun, -- 
Can't it see that the parting came? 
People hurry and work and swear, 
Laugh and grumble and die and wed, 
Ponder what they will eat and wear, -- 
Don't they know that our love is dead? 

Just as busy, the crowded street; 
Cars and wagons go rolling on, 
Children chuckle, and lovers meet, -- 
Don't they know that our love is gone? 
No one pauses to pay a tear; 
None walks slow, for the love that's through, -- 
I might mention, my recent dear, 
I've reverted to normal, too.


by William Henry Davies | |

The Sleepers

 As I walked down the waterside 
This silent morning, wet and dark; 
Before the cocks in farmyards crowed, 
Before the dogs began to bark; 
Before the hour of five was struck 
By old Westminster's mighty clock:

As I walked down the waterside 
This morning, in the cold damp air, 
I was a hundred women and men 
Huddled in rags and sleeping there: 
These people have no work, thought I, 
And long before their time they die.
That moment, on the waterside, A lighted car came at a bound; I looked inside, and saw a score Of pale and weary men that frowned; Each man sat in a huddled heap, Carried to work while fast asleep.
Ten cars rushed down the waterside Like lighted coffins in the dark; With twenty dead men in each car, That must be brought alive by work: These people work too hard, thought I, And long before their time they die.


by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

The Innovator

 (A Pharaoh Speaks.
) I said, "Why should a pyramid Stand always dully on its base? I'll change it! Let the top be hid, The bottom take the apex-place!" And as I bade they did.
The people flocked in, scores on scores, To see it balance on its tip.
They praised me with the praise that bores, My godlike mind on every lip.
-- Until it fell, of course.
And then they took my body out From my crushed palace, mad with rage, -- Well, half the town WAS wrecked, no doubt -- Their crazy anger to assuage By dragging it about.
The end? Foul birds defile my skull.
The new king's praises fill the land.
He clings to precept, simple, dull; HIS pyramids on bases stand.
But -- Lord, how usual!


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Contrasts

 I see the tall church steeples, 
They reach so far, so far, 
But the eyes of my heart see the world’s great mart, 
Where the starving people are.
I hear the church bells ringing Their chimes on the morning air; But my soul’s sad ear is hurt to hear The poor man’s cry of despair.
Thicker and thicker the churches, Nearer and nearer the sky – But alack for their creeds while the poor man’s needs Grow deeper as years roll by.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

At an Old Drawer

 Before this scarf was faded,
What hours of mirth it knew;
How gayly it paraded
From smiling eyes to view.
The days were tinged with glory, The nights too quickly sped, And life was like a story Where all the people wed.
Before this rosebud wilted, How passionately sweet The wild waltz smelled and lilted In time for flying feet; How loud the bassoons muttered, The horns grew madly shrill, And oh! the vows lips uttered That hearts could not fulfill.
Before this fan was broken, Behind its lace and pearl What whispered words were spoken, What hearts were in a whirl; What homesteads were selected In Fancy's realm of Spain, What castles were erected Without a room for pain.
When this odd glove was mated, How thrilling seemed the play; Maybe our hearts are sated-- We tire so soon to-day.
O, thrust away these treasures, They speak the dreary truth; We have outgrown the pleasures And keen delights of youth.


by Friedrich von Schiller | |

German Faith

 Once for the sceptre of Germany, fought with Bavarian Louis
Frederick, of Hapsburg descent, both being called to the throne.
But the envious fortune of war delivered the Austrian Into the hands of the foe, who overcame him in fight.
With the throne he purchased his freedom, pledging his honor For the victor to draw 'gainst his own people his sword; But what he vowed when in chains, when free he could not accomplish, So, of his own free accord, put on his fetters again.
Deeply moved, his foe embraced him,--and from thenceforward As a friend with a friend, pledged they the cup at the feast; Arm-in-arm, the princes on one couch slumbered together.
While a still bloodier hate severed the nations apart.
'Gainst the army of Frederick Louis now went, and behind him Left the foe he had fought, over Bavaria to watch.
"Ay, it is true! 'Tis really true! I have it in writing!" Thus did the Pontifex cry, when he first heard of the news.


by Friedrich von Schiller | |

The Bards Of Olden Time

 Say, where is now that glorious race, where now are the singers
Who, with the accents of life, listening nations enthralled,
Sung down from heaven the gods, and sung mankind up to heaven,
And who the spirit bore up high on the pinions of song?
Ah! the singers still live; the actions only are wanting,
And to awake the glad harp, only a welcoming ear.
Happy bards of a happy world! Your life-teeming accents Flew round from mouth unto mouth, gladdening every race.
With the devotion with which the gods were received, each one welcomed That which the genius for him, plastic and breathing, then formed.
With the glow of the song were inflamed the listener's senses, And with the listener's sense, nourished the singer the glow-- Nourished and cleansed it,--fortunate one! for whom in the voices Of the people still clear echoed the soul of the song, And to whom from without appeared, in life, the great godhead, Whom the bard of these days scarcely can feel in his breast.


by Mary Darby Robinson | |

Sonnet XIV: Come Soft Aeolian Harp

 Come, soft Aeolian harp, while zephyr plays
Along the meek vibration of thy strings,
As twilight's hand her modest mantle brings,
Blending with sober grey, the western blaze!
O! prompt my Phaon's dreams with tend'rest lays,
Ere night o'er shade thee with its humid wings,
While the lorn Philomel his sorrow sings
In leafy cradle, red with parting rays!
Slow let thy dulcet tones on ether glide,
So steals the murmur of the am'rous dove;
The mazy legions swarm on ev'ry side,
To lulling sounds the sunny people move!
Let not the wise their little world deride,
The smallest sting can wound the breast of Love.


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Americas Prosperity

 They tell me thou art rich, my country: gold
In glittering flood has poured into thy chest;
Thy flocks and herds increase, thy barns are pressed
With harvest, and thy stores can hardly hold
Their merchandise; unending trains are rolled
Along thy network rails of East and West;
Thy factories and forges never rest; 
Thou art enriched in all things bought and sold! 

But dost thou prosper? Better news I crave.
O dearest country, is it well with thee Indeed, and is thy soul in health? A nobler people, hearts more wisely brave, And thoughts that lift men up and make them free,-- These are prosperity and vital wealth!