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Best Famous Poets Poems

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

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by Ben Jonson | |

His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move, 
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men; Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face, Clothes, or fortune gives the grace, Or the feature, or the youth; But the language and the truth, With the ardor and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then would hear the story, First, prepare you to be sorry That you never knew till now Either whom to love or how; But be glad as soon with me When you hear that this is she Of whose beauty it was sung, She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing hide decay, Till she be the reason why All the world for love may die.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

The Poets Dream

ON a Poet's lips I slept  
Dreaming like a love-adept 
In the sound his breathing kept; 
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses  
But feeds on the aerial kisses 5 
Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom The lake-reflected sun illume The blue bees in the ivy-bloom Nor heed nor see what things they be¡ª 10 But from these create he can Forms more real than living man Nurslings of Immortality!


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 Charles Sorley | |

Saints Have Adored the Lofty Soul of You

 Saints have adored the lofty soul of you.
Poets have whitened at your high renown.
We stand among the many millions who Do hourly wait to pass your pathway down.
You, so familiar, once were strange: we tried To live as of your presence unaware.
But now in every road on every side We see your straight and steadfast signpost there.
I think it like that signpost in my land Hoary and tall, which pointed me to go Upward, into the hills, on the right hand, Where the mists swim and the winds shriek and blow, A homeless land and friendless, but a land I did not know and that I wished to know.


by Ezra Pound | |

Masks

 These tales of old disguisings, are they not
Strange myths of souls that found themselves among
Unwonted folk that spake an hostile tongue,
Some soul from all the rest who'd not forgot
The star-span acres of a former lot
Where boundless mid the clouds his course he swung,
Or carnate with his elder brothers sung
Ere ballad-makers lisped of Camelot?

Old singers half-forgetful of their tunes,
Old painters color-blind come back once more,
Old poets skill-less in the wind-heart runes,
Old wizards lacking in their wonder-lore:

All they that with strange sadness in their eyes
Ponder in silence o'er earth's queynt devyse?


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XXXI: This Golden Head

 This golden head has wit in it.
I live Again, and a far higher life, near her.
Some women like a young philosopher; Perchance because he is diminutive.
For woman's manly god must not exceed Proportions of the natural nursing size.
Great poets and great sages draw no prize With women: but the little lap-dog breed, Who can be hugged, or on a mantel-piece Perched up for adoration, these obtain Her homage.
And of this we men are vain? Of this! 'Tis ordered for the world's increase Small flattery! Yet she has that rare gift To beauty, Common Sense.
I am approved.
It is not half so nice as being loved, And yet I do prefer it.
What's my drift?


by William Strode | |

On John Dawson Butler Of C.C.

 Dawson the Butler's dead: Although I think
Poets were ne'er infusde with single drinke
Ile spend a farthing muse; some watry verse
Will serve the turne to cast upon his hearse;
If any cannot weepe amongst us here
Take off his pott, and so squeeze out a tear:
Weepe, O his cheeses, weepe till yee bee good,
Yee that are dry or in the sun have stood;
In mossy coats und rusty liveries mourne,
Untill like him to ashes you shall turne:
Weep, O ye barrells, lett your drippings fall
In trickling streams: make waste more prodigal
Than when our drinke is badde, that John may flote
To Styx in beere, and lift upp Charon's boate
With wholesome waves.
And as our conduits run With clarett at a Coronation, So lett our channells flow with single tiffe, For John, I hope, is crownde: take off your whiffe, Yee men of Rosemary: Now drinke off all, Remembring 'tis a Butler's funeral: Had he bin master of good double beere, My life for his, John Dawson had beene here.


by Jonathan Swift | |

The Place of the Damned

 All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I'll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound, Most certainly there is HELL to be found: Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves, Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves; Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires; Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars; Damned villains, corrupted in every station; Damned time-serving priests all over the nation; And into the bargain I'll readily give you Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed, For we know by these marks the place of the damned: And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!


by Jonathan Swift | |

Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers

 Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your still-born poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair, Then let them well be dried; And Curll must have a special care To leave the margin wide.
Lend these to paper-sparing Pope; And when he sets to write, No letter with an envelope Could give him more delight.
When Pope has fill'd the margins round, Why then recall your loan; Sell them to Curll for fifty pound, And swear they are your own.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener LIX: O Woman

 O woman, you are not merely the
handiwork of God, but also of men;
these are ever endowing you with
beauty from their hearts.
Poets are weaving for you a web with threads of golden imagery; painters are giving your form ever new immortality.
The sea gives its pearls, the mines their gold, the summer gardens their flowers to deck you, to cover you, to make you more precious.
The desire of men's hearts has shed its glory over your youth.
You are one half woman and one half dream.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Lovers Gifts LVIII: Things Throng and Laugh

 Things throng and laugh loud in the sky; the sands and dust dance
and whirl like children.
Man's mind is aroused by their shouts; his thoughts long to be the playmates of things.
Our dreams, drifting in the stream of the vague, stretch their arms to clutch the earth, -their efforts stiffen into bricks and stones, and thus the city of man is built.
Voices come swarming from the past,-seeking answers from the living moments.
Beats of their wings fill the air with tremulous shadows, and sleepless thoughts in our minds leave their nests to take flight across the desert of dimness, in the passionate thirst for forms.
They are lampless pilgrims, seeking the shore of light, to find themselves in things.
They will be lured into poets's rhymes, they will be housed in the towers of the town not yet planned, they have their call to arms from the battle fields of the future, they are bidden to join hands in the strife of peace yet to come.


by Barry Tebb | |

LETTER TO MICHAEL HOROVITZ

 It is time after thirty years

We had our Poetry Renaissance

Rise, Children of Albion, rise!

It is time after nightmares of sleep

When we walked the streets of inner cities

Our poems among the burnt-out houses

And cars, whispering compassion

To the addicts shaking and the homeless

Waking and those who have come apart

In the nowhere of today

Begging in stations

Sleeping in boxes.
It is time to find Our lost, those children I taught three decades ago To paint on ceilings With sticks of incense Rainbows of silence For John Cage To write on walls In luminous paint Pink haiku For Allen Ginsberg.
It is time to awaken and emblazon the sky With symphonies of sorrow, To draft the articles of war.
Poets of the Underground The doors have opened The ghost of Walt Whitman Grey-bearded, in lonely anguish Walks with us.


by Barry Tebb | |

OXFORD ANTHOLOGY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY POETRY’

 To Simon Jenner



NO ARMITAGE (I’d like to see his rage)

NO DUHIG (one dig long overdue)

NO GREENLAW (M & S might sue)

NO IMLAH (ditto the TLS)

NO CRICHTON SMITH or JAMIE

(Tuma’s not haggis-crazy)

NO CONSTANTINE (who’ll miss his donnish whine?)

NO LONGLEY (the QMP tick didn’t do the trick)

NO PORTER (long overdue for slaughter)

NO MAXWELL, MORRISON or MOTION

(to miss that lot I’d swim an ocean)

NO PATERSON, NO BURNSIDE,

NO SWEENEY or O’BRIEN

(triumphs of criticism by omission),

BUT WHY DID PRYNNE REFUSE TO BE IN?

-wilful obscurity, hidden grandiosity-

-what is this Prynne idolatry?

All those New Gen poets

Thwacked by omission

NOT EVEN PAULIN IS IN

NO DUNMORE OR DURCAN

O’DONOGHUE or BHATT

-you can hardly do better than that!

It really made my day

Pity it was too late for you

To review in ERATICA TWO



Note: QMP- Queen’s Medal for Poetry


by Barry Tebb | |

FACES IN A CROWD

 The women are all wearing imitation silk scarves,

Blackpool or Biarritz, sipping Woman, masticating

The morning’s post, new babies and bathrooms, going

To file, snip, fiddle and smile through fish-eyes,

Crinkly green gloss, store it in stocking-tops

For next year abroad, that Pill, so perfect!



Flashing smiles from shiny domes and polished eye-lenses,

The men are glossy all over, snapping mortgages and scores

They slap fellow-souls at a distance, gun down the abusive

Clacking conductress, apologise over-loudly for their too

Quiet cars.
Plump fingers stroke smooth cheeks - bounce Bounce, bouncing baby- faces, so manly to wet-shave! Head heavy from dreams of bronze-fleshed centaurs Tense with ‘The New Poets’ - no rhythm, failure of connection, Who slept with who to get in.
Aargh! Forty rose-bearing ten-year old faces are waiting And behind them in the staff-room corpses are coffined In eternal celluloid faces.


by Marina Tsvetaeva | |

The Demon In Me

 The demon in me's not dead,
He's living, and well.
In the body as in a hold, In the self as in a cell.
The world is but walls.
The exit's the axe.
("All the world's a stage," The actor prates.
) And that hobbling buffoon Is no joker; In the body as in glory, In the body as in a toga.
May you live forever! Cherish your life, Only poets in bone Are as in a lie.
No, my eloquent brothers, We'll not have much fun, In the body as with Father's Dressing-gown on.
We deserve something better.
We wilt in the warm.
In the body as in a byre.
In the self as in a cauldron.
Marvels that perish We don't collect.
In the body as in a marsh, In the body as in a crypt.
In the body as in furthest Exile.
It blights.
In the body as in a secret, In the body as in the vice Of an iron mask.


by Andrei Voznesensky | |

ABUSES AND AWARDS

 A poet can't be in disfavour, 
 he needs no awards, no fame.
A star has no setting whatever, no black nor a golden frame.
A star can't be killed with a stone, or award, or that kind of stuff.
He'll bear the blow of a fawner lamenting he's not big enough.
What matters is music and fervour, not fame, nor abuse, anyway.
World powers are out of favour when poets turn them away.
© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation


by Elinor Wylie | |

Pretty Words

 Poets make pets of pretty, docile words:
I love smooth words, like gold-enamelled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish,
And tender ones, like downy-feathred birds:
Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds,
Come to my hand, and playful if I wish,
Or purring softly at a silver dish,
Blue Persian kittens fed on cream and curds.
I love bright words, words up and singing early; Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing; Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees; I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly, Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees, Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.


by Robert William Service | |

Why Do Birds Sing?

 Let poets piece prismatic words,
Give me the jewelled joy of birds!

What ecstasy moves them to sing?
Is it the lyric glee of Spring,
The dewy rapture of the rose?
Is it the worship born in those
Who are of Nature's self a part,
The adoration of the heart?

Is it the mating mood in them
That makes each crystal note a gem?
Oh mocking bird and nightingale,
Oh mavis, lark and robin - hail!
Tell me what perfect passion glows
In your inspired arpeggios?

A thrush is thrilling as I write
Its obligato of delight;
And in its fervour, as in mine,
I fathom tenderness divine,
And pity those of earthy ear
Who cannot hear .
.
.
who cannot hear.
Let poets pattern pretty words: For lovely largesse - bless you, Birds!


by Robert William Service | |

Dyspeptic Clerk

 I think I'll buy a little field,
Though scant am I of pelf,
And hold the hope that it may yield
A living for myself;
For I have toiled ten thousand days
With ledger and with pen,
And I am sick of city ways
And soured with city men.
So I will plant my little plot With lettuce, beans and peas; Potatoes too - oh quite a lot, An pear and apple trees.
My carrots will be coral pink, My turnips ivory; And I'll forget my pen and ink, And office slavery.
My hut shall have a single room Monastically bare; A faggot fire for the winter gloom, A table and a chair.
A Frugalist I call myself, My needs are oh so small; My luxury a classic shelf Of poets on the wall.
Here as I dream, how grey and cold The City seems to me; Another world of green and gold Incessantly I see.
So I will fling my pen away, And learn a how to wield; A cashbook and a stool today .
.
.
Soon, soon a Little Field.


by Robert William Service | |

What Kisses Had John Keats?

 I scanned two lines with some surmise
As over Keats I chanced to pore:
'And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
 With kisses four.
' Says I: 'Why was it only four, Not five or six or seven? I think I would have made it more,-- Even eleven.
'Gee! If she'd lured a guy like me Into her gelid grot I'd make that Belle Dame sans Merci Sure kiss a lot.
'Them poets have their little tricks; I think John counted kisses for, Not two or three or five or six To rhyme with "sore.
"'