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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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Written 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.


Written by Walt Whitman | |

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, 
the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.


Written by Rudyard Kipling | |

Recessional

1897


God of our fathers, known of old,
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
   The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law— Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard, All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard, For frantic boast and foolish word— Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


More great poems below...

Written 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!


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

The Gallery

Clora, come view my soul, and tell
Whether I have contrived it well.
Now all its several lodgings lie Composed into one gallery; And the great arras-hangings, made Of various faces, by are laid; That, for all furniture, you'll find Only your picture in my mind.
Here thou art painted in the dress Of an inhuman murderess; Examining upon our hearts Thy fertile shop of cruel arts: Engines more keen than ever yet Adornèd tyrant's cabinet; Of which the most tormenting are Black eyes, red lips, and curlèd hair.
But, on the other side, thou'rt drawn Like to Aurora in the dawn; When in the east she slumb'ring lies, And stretches out her milky thighs; While all the morning choir does sing, And manna falls, and roses spring; And, at thy feet, the wooing doves Sit perfecting their harmless loves.
Like an enchantress here thou show'st, Vexing thy restless lover's ghost; And, by a light obscure, dost rave Over his entrails, in the cave; Divining thence, with horrid care, How long thou shalt continue fair; And (when informed) them throw'st away, To be the greedy vulture's prey.
But, against that, thou sit'st afloat Like Venus in her pearly boat.
The halcyons, calming all that's nigh, Betwixt the air and water fly: Or, if some rolling wave appears, A mass of ambergris it bears: Nor blows more wind than what may well Convoy the perfume to the smell.
These pictures and a thousand more, Of thee, my gallery do store; In all the forms thou canst invent Either to please me, or torment: For thou alone to people me, Art grown a num'rous colony; And a collection choicer far Than or Whitehall's, or Mantua's were.
But, of these pictures and the rest, That at the entrance likes me best; Where the same posture, and the look Remains, with which I first was took: A tender shepherdess, whose hair Hangs loosely playing in the air, Transplanting flowers from the green hill, To crown her head, and bosom fill.


Written 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.


Written by Maya Angelou | |

Million Man March Poem

The night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.
Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach, I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound, You couldn't even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was I, But unfortunately throughout history You've worn a badge of shame.
I say, the night has been long, The wound has been deep, The pit has been dark And the walls have been steep.
But today, voices of old spirit sound Speak to us in words profound, Across the years, across the centuries, Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another, Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place, The old ones remind us that slavery's chains Have paid for our freedom again and again.
The night has been long, The pit has been deep, The night has been dark, And the walls have been steep.
The hells we have lived through and live through still, Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This morning I look through your anguish Right down to your soul.
I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise, And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.
I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground, I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love, I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference, Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts, Let us come together and revise our spirits, Let us come together and cleanse our souls, Clap hands, let's leave the preening And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge, Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation, Courtesy into our bedrooms, Gentleness into our kitchen, Care into our nursery.
The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain We are a going-on people who will rise again.
And still we rise.
Poem read at the Million Man March


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written by Galway Kinnell | |

from Flying Home

3 
As this plane dragged 
its track of used ozone half the world long 
thrusts some four hundred of us 
toward places where actual known people 
live and may wait, 
we diminish down in our seats, 
disappeared into novels of lives clearer than ours, 
and yet we do not forget for a moment 
the life down there, the doorway each will soon enter: 
where I will meet her again 
and know her again, 
dark radiance with, and then mostly without, the stars.
Very likely she has always understood what I have slowly learned, and which only now, after being away, almost as far away as one can get on this globe, almost as far as thoughts can carry - yet still in her presence, still surrounded not so much by reminders of her as by things she had already reminded me of, shadows of her cast forward and waiting - can I try to express: that love is hard, that while many good things are easy, true love is not, because love is first of all a power, its own power, which continually must make its way forward, from night into day, from transcending union always forward into difficult day.
And as the plane descends, it comes to me in the space where tears stream down across the stars, tears fallen on the actual earth where their shining is what we call spirit, that once the lover recognizes the other, knows for the first time what is most to be valued in another, from then on, love is very much like courage, perhaps it is courage, and even perhaps only courage.
Squashed out of old selves, smearing the darkness of expectation across experience, all of us little thinkers it brings home having similar thoughts of landing to the imponderable world, the transoceanic airliner, resting its huge weight down, comes in almost lightly, to where with sudden, tiny, white puffs and long, black, rubberish smears all its tires know the home ground.


Written by Wallace Stevens | |

Of Modern Poetry

The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice.
It has not always had To find: the scene was set; it repeated what Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed To something else.
Its past was a souvenir.
It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet The women of the time.
It has to think about war And it has to find what will suffice.
It has To construct a new stage.
It has to be on that stage, And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and With meditation, speak words that in the ear, In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat, Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound Of which, an invisible audience listens, Not to the play, but to itself, expressed In an emotion as of two people, as of two Emotions becoming one.
The actor is A metaphysician in the dark, twanging An instrument, twanging a wiry string that gives Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses, wholly Containing the mind, below which it cannot descend, Beyond which it has no will to rise.
It must Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman Combing.
The poem of the act of the mind.


Written 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.


Written by Wang Wei | |

A SONG OF PEACH-BLOSSOM RIVER

A fisherman is drifting, enjoying the spring mountains, 
And the peach-trees on both banks lead him to an ancient source.
Watching the fresh-coloured trees, he never thinks of distance Till he comes to the end of the blue stream and suddenly- strange men! It's a cave-with a mouth so narrow that he has to crawl through; But then it opens wide again on a broad and level path -- And far beyond he faces clouds crowning a reach of trees, And thousands of houses shadowed round with flowers and bamboos.
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Woodsmen tell him their names in the ancient speech of Han; And clothes of the Qin Dynasty are worn by all these people Living on the uplands, above the Wuling River, On farms and in gardens that are like a world apart, Their dwellings at peace under pines in the clear moon, Until sunrise fills the low sky with crowing and barking.
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At news of a stranger the people all assemble, And each of them invites him home and asks him where he was born.
Alleys and paths are cleared for him of petals in the morning, And fishermen and farmers bring him their loads at dusk.
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They had left the world long ago, they had come here seeking refuge; They have lived like angels ever since, blessedly far away, No one in the cave knowing anything outside, Outsiders viewing only empty mountains and thick clouds.
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The fisherman, unaware of his great good fortune, Begins to think of country, of home, of worldly ties, Finds his way out of the cave again, past mountains and past rivers, Intending some time to return, when he has told his kin.
He studies every step he takes, fixes it well in mind, And forgets that cliffs and peaks may vary their appearance.
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It is certain that to enter through the deepness of the mountain, A green river leads you, into a misty wood.
But now, with spring-floods everywhere and floating peachpetals -- Which is the way to go, to find that hidden source?


Written by Siegfried Sassoon | |

Morning Express

ALONG the wind-swept platform pinched and white 
The travellers stand in pools of wintry light 
Offering themselves to morn¡¯s long slanting arrows.
The train¡¯s due; porters trundle laden barrows.
The train steams in volleying resplendent clouds 5 Of sun-blown vapour.
Hither and about Scared people hurry storming the doors in crowds.
The officials seem to waken with a shout Resolved to hoist and plunder; some to the vans Leap; others rumble the milk in gleaming cans.
10 Boys indolent-eyed from baskets leaning back Question each face; a man with a hammer steals Stooping from coach to coach; with clang and clack Touches and tests and listens to the wheels.
Guard sounds a warning whistle points to the clock 15 With brandished flag and on his folded flock Claps the last door: the monster grunts: ¡®Enough!¡¯ Tightening his load of links with pant and puff.
Under the arch then forth into blue day Glide the processional windows on their way 20 And glimpse the stately folk who sit at ease To view the world like kings taking the seas in prosperous weather: drifting banners tell Their progress to the counties; with them goes The clamour of their journeying; while those 25 Who sped them stand to wave a last farewell.