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Best Famous Political Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Ehsan Sehgal | |

Political leader

To become a political leader it is essential to be an expert liar.
Ehsan Sehgal.


by Margaret Atwood | |

The City Planners

 Cruising these residential Sunday
streets in dry August sunlight:
what offends us is
the sanities:
the houses in pedantic rows, the planted
sanitary trees, assert
levelness of surface like a rebuke
to the dent in our car door.
No shouting here, or shatter of glass; nothing more abrupt than the rational whine of a power mower cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass.
But though the driveways neatly sidestep hysteria by being even, the roofs all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky, certain things: the smell of spilled oil a faint sickness lingering in the garages, a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise, a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil; even the too-fixed stare of the wide windows give momentary access to the landscape behind or under the future cracks in the plaster when the houses, capsized, will slide obliquely into the clay seas, gradual as glaciers that right now nobody notices.
That is where the City Planners with the insane faces of political conspirators are scattered over unsurveyed territories, concealed from each other, each in his own private blizzard; guessing directions, they sketch transitory lines rigid as wooden borders on a wall in the white vanishing air tracing the panic of suburb order in a bland madness of snows


by Adrienne Rich | |

For the Record

 The clouds and the stars didn't wage this war
the brooks gave no information
if the mountain spewed stones of fire into the river
it was not taking sides
the raindrop faintly swaying under the leaf
had no political opinions

and if here or there a house
filled with backed-up raw sewage
or poisoned those who lived there
with slow fumes, over years
the houses were not at war
nor did the tinned-up buildings

intend to refuse shelter
to homeless old women and roaming children
they had no policy to keep them roaming
or dying, no, the cities were not the problem
the bridges were non-partisan
the freeways burned, but not with hatred

Even the miles of barbed-wire
stretched around crouching temporary huts
designed to keep the unwanted
at a safe distance, out of sight
even the boards that had to absorb
year upon year, so many human sounds

so many depths of vomit, tears
slow-soaking blood
had not offered themselves for this
The trees didn't volunteer to be cut into boards
nor the thorns for tearing flesh
Look around at all of it

and ask whose signature 
is stamped on the orders, traced
in the corner of the building plans
Ask where the illiterate, big-bellied
women were, the drunks and crazies,
the ones you fear most of all: ask where you were.


More great poems below...

by James Wright | |

As I Step Over A Puddle At The End Of Winter I Think Of An Ancient Chinese Governor

 And how can I, born in evil days
And fresh from failure, ask a kindness of Fate?

 -- Written A.
D.
819 Po Chu-i, balding old politician, What's the use? I think of you, Uneasily entering the gorges of the Yang-Tze, When you were being towed up the rapids Toward some political job or other In the city of Chungshou.
You made it, I guess, By dark.
But it is 1960, it is almost spring again, And the tall rocks of Minneapolis Build me my own black twilight Of bamboo ropes and waters.
Where is Yuan Chen, the friend you loved? Where is the sea, that once solved the whole loneliness Of the Midwest?Where is Minneapolis? I can see nothing But the great terrible oak tree darkening with winter.
Did you find the city of isolated men beyond mountains? Or have you been holding the end of a frayed rope For a thousand years?


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Plymouth Rock Joe

 Why are you running so fast hither and thither
Chasing midges or butterflies?
Some of you are standing solemnly scratching for grubs;
Some of you are waiting for corn to be scattered.
This is life, is it? Cock-a-doodle-do! Very well, Thomas Rhodes, You are cock of the walk, no doubt.
But here comes Elliott Hawkins, Gluck, Gluck, Gluck, attracting political followers.
Quah! quah! quah! why so poetical, Minerva, This gray morning? Kittie -- quah -- quah! for shame, Lucius Atherton, The raucous squawk you evoked from the throat Of Aner Clute will be taken up later By Mrs.
Benjamin Pantier as a cry Of votes for women: Ka dook -- dook! What inspiration has come to you, Margaret Fuller Slack? And why does your gooseberry eye Flit so liquidly, Tennessee Claflin Shope? Are you trying to fathom the esotericism of an egg? Your voice is very metallic this morning, Hortense Robbins -- Almost like a guinea hen's! Quah! That was a guttural sigh, Isaiah Beethoven; Did you see the shadow of the hawk, Or did you step upon the drumsticks Which the cook threw out this morning? Be chivalric, heroic, or aspiring, Metaphysical, religious, or rebellious, You shall never get out of the barnyard Except by way of over the fence Mixed with potato peelings and such into the trough!


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Elsa Wertman

 I was a peasant girl from Germany,
Blue-eyed, rosy, happy and strong.
And the first place I worked was at Thomas Greene's.
On a summer's day when she was away He stole into the kitchen and took me Right in his arms and kissed me on my throat, I turning my head.
Then neither of us Seemed to know what happened.
And I cried for what would become of me.
And cried and cried as my secret began to show.
One day Mrs.
Greene said she understood, And would make no trouble for me, And, being childless, would adopt it.
(He had given her a farm to be still.
) So she hid in the house and sent out rumors, As if it were going to happen to her.
And all went well and the child was born -- They were so kind to me.
Later I married Gus Wertman, and years passed.
But -- at political rallies when sitters-by thought I was crying At the eloquence of Hamilton Greene -- That was not it.
No! I wanted to say: That's my son! That's my son!


by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

The Incantation

 Scene: Federal Political Arena 
A darkened cave.
In the middle, a cauldron, boiling.
Enter the three witches.
1ST WITCH: Thrice hath the Federal Jackass brayed.
2ND WITCH: Once the Bruce-Smith War-horse neighed.
3RD WITCH: So Georgie comes, 'tis time, 'tis time, Around the cauldron to chant our rhyme.
1ST WITCH: In the cauldron boil and bake Fillet of a tariff snake, Home-made flannels -- mostly cotton, Apples full of moths, and rotten, Lamb that perished in the drought, Starving stock from "furthest out", Drops of sweat from cultivators, Sweating to feed legislators.
Grime from a white stoker's nob, Toiling at a nigger's job.
Thus the great Australian Nation, Seeks political salvation.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
2ND WITCH: Heel-taps from the threepenny bars, Ash from Socialist cigars.
Leathern tongue of boozer curst With the great Australian thirst, Two-up gambler keeping dark, Loafer sleeping in the park -- Drop them in to prove the sequel, All men are born free and equal.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
3RD WITCH:Lung of Labour agitator, Gall of Isaacs turning traitor; Spleen that Kingston has revealed, Sawdust stuffing out of Neild; Mix them up, and then combine With duplicity of Lyne, Alfred Deakin's gift of gab, Mix the gruel thick and slab.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Heav'n help Australia in her trouble.
HECATE: Oh, well done, I commend your pains, And everyone shall share i' the gains, And now about the cauldron sing, Enchanting all that you put in.
Round about the cauldron go, In the People's rights we'll throw, Cool it with an Employer's blood, Then the charm stands firm and good, And thus with chaos in possession, Ring in the coming Fed'ral Session.


by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

Now Listen to Me and Ill Tell You My Views

 Now listen to me and I'll tell you my views concerning the African war, 
And the man who upholds any different views, the same is a ritten Pro-Boer! 
(Though I'm getting a little bit doubtful myself, as it drags on week after week: 
But it's better not ask any questions at all -- let us silence all doubts with a shriek!) 
And first let us shriek the unstinted abuse that the Tory Press prefer -- 
De Wet is a madman, and Steyn is a liar, and Kruger a pitiful cur! 
(Though I think if Oom Paul -- as old as he is -- were to walk down the Strand with his gun, 
A lot of these heroes would hide in the sewers or take to their heels and run! 
For Paul he has fought like a man in his day, but now that he's feeble and weak 
And tired, and lonely, and old and grey, of course it's quite safe to shriek!) 

And next let us join in the bloodthirsty shriek, Hooray for Lord Kitchener's "bag"! 
For the fireman's torch and the hangman's cord -- they are hung on the English Flag! 
In the front of our brave old army! Whoop! the farmhouse blazes bright.
And the women weep and their children die -- how dare they presume to fight! For none of them dress in a uniform, the same as by rights they ought.
They're fighting in rags and in naked feet, like Wallace's Scotchmen fought! (And they clothe themselves from our captured troops -- and they're catching them every week; And they don't hand them -- and the shame is ours, but we cover the shame with a shriek!) And, lastly, we'll shriek the political shriek as we sit in the dark and doubt; Where the Birmingham Judas led us in, and there's no one to lead us out.
And Rosebery -- whom we depended upon! Would only the Oracle speak! "You go to the Grocers," says he, "for your laws!" By Heavens! it's time to shriek!


by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

Typographical

 The Editor wrote his political screed 
In ink that was fainter and fainter; 
He rose to the call of his country's need, 
And in spiderish characters wrote with speed, 
A column on "Cutting the Painter".
The "reader" sat in his high-backed chair, For literals he was a hunter; But he stared aghast at the column long Of the editorial hot and strong, For the comp.
inspired by some sense of wrong Had headed it "Gutting the Punter".


by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

The Old Chimaeras. Old Recipts

 THE old Chimaeras, old receipts
For making "happy land,"
The old political beliefs
Swam close before my hand.
The grand old communistic myths In a middle state of grace, Quite dead, but not yet gone to Hell, And walking for a space, Quite dead, and looking it, and yet All eagerness to show The Social-Contract forgeries By Chatterton - Rousseau - A hundred such as these I tried, And hundreds after that, I fitted Social Theories As one would fit a hat! Full many a marsh-fire lured me on, I reached at many a star, I reached and grasped them and behold - The stump of a cigar! All through the sultry sweltering day The sweat ran down my brow, The still plains heard my distant strokes That have been silenced now.
This way and that, now up, now down, I hailed full many a blow.
Alas! beneath my weary arm The thicket seemed to grow.
I take the lesson, wipe my brow And throw my axe aside, And, sorely wearied, I go home In the tranquil eventide.
And soon the rising moon, that lights The eve of my defeat, Shall see me sitting as of yore By my old master's feet.


by Friedrich von Schiller | |

Political Precept

 All that thou doest is right; but, friend, don't carry this precept
On too far,--be content, all that is right to effect.
It is enough to true zeal, if what is existing be perfect; False zeal always would find finished perfection at once.


by Bob Kaufman | |

On

 On yardbird corners of embryonic hopes, drowned in a heroin tear.
On yardbird corners of parkerflights to sound filled pockets in space.
On neuro-corners of striped brains & desperate electro-surgeons.
On alcohol corners of pointless discussion & historical hangovers.
On television corners of cornflakes & rockwells impotent America.
On university corners of tailored intellect & greek letter openers.
On military corners of megathon deaths & universal anesthesia.
On religious corners of theological limericks and On radio corners of century-long records & static events.
On advertising corners of filter-tipped ice-cream & instant instants On teen-age corners of comic book seduction and corrupted guitars, On political corners of wamted candidates & ritual lies.
On motion picture corners of lassie & other symbols.
On intellectual corners of conversational therapy & analyzed fear.
On newspaper corners of sexy headlines & scholarly comics.
On love divided corners of die now pay later mortuaries.
On philosophical corners of semantic desperadoes & idea-mongers.
On middle class corners of private school puberty & anatomical revolts On ultra-real corners of love on abandoned roller-coasters On lonely poet corners of low lying leaves & moist prophet eyes.


by Maggie Estep | |

Sex Goddess

 I am THE SEX GODDESS OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE 
so don't mess with me 
I've got a big bag full of SEX TOYS 
and you can't have any
'cause they're all mine
'cause I'm
the SEX GODDESS OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
"Hey," you may say to yourself, "who the hell's she tryin' to kid, she's no sex goddess," But trust me, I am if only for the fact that I have the unabashed gall to call myself a SEX GODDESS, I mean, after all, it's what so many of us have at some point thought, we've all had someone who worshipped our filthy socks and barked like a dog when we were near giving us cause to pause and think: You know, I may not look like much but deep inside, I am a SEX GODDESS.
Only we'd never come out and admit it publicly well, you wouldn't admit it publicly but I will because I am THE SEX GODDESS OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
I haven't always been a SEX GODDESS I used to be just a mere mortal woman but I grew tired of sexuality being repressed then manifest in late night 900 number ads where 3 bodacious bimbettes heave cleavage into the camera's winking lens and sigh: "Big Girls oooh, Bad Girls oooh, Blonde Girls oooh, you know what to do, call 1-900-UNMITIGATED BIMBO ooooh.
" Yeah I got fed up with the oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh I got fed up with it all so I put on my combat boots and hit the road with my bag full of SEX TOYS that were a vital part of my SEX GODDESS image even though I would never actually use my SEX TOYS 'cause my being a SEX GODDESS it isn't a SEXUAL thing it's a POLITICAL thing I don't actually have SEX, no I'm too busy taking care of important SEX GODDESS BUSINESS, yeah, I gotta go on The Charlie Rose Show and MTV and become a parody of myself and make buckets full of money off my own inane brand of self-righteous POP PSYCHOLOGY because my pain is different because I am a SEX GODDESS and when I talk, people listen why ? Because, you guessed it, I AM THE SEX GODDESS OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE and you're not.


by Robinson Jeffers | |

Be Angry At The Sun

 That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new.
That America must accept Like the historical republics corruption and empire Has been known for years.
Be angry at the sun for setting If these things anger you.
Watch the wheel slope and turn, They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.
Observe them gesticulating, Observe them going down.
The gang serves lies, the passionate Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth Hunts in no pack.
You are not Catullus, you know, To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar.
You are far From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty Political hatreds.
Let boys want pleasure, and men Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame, And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.


by Robinson Jeffers | |

Cassandra

 The mad girl with the staring eyes and long white fingers
Hooked in the stones of the wall,
The storm-wrack hair and screeching mouth: does it matter, Cassandra,
Whether the people believe
Your bitter fountain? Truly men hate the truth, they'd liefer
Meet a tiger on the road.
Therefore the poets honey their truth with lying; but religion— Vendors and political men Pour from the barrel, new lies on the old, and are praised for kind Wisdom.
Poor bitch be wise.
No: you'll still mumble in a corner a crust of truth, to men And gods disgusting—you and I, Cassandra.


by Lucille Clifton | |

shapeshifter poems

 1

the legend is whispered
in the women's tent
how the moon when she rises
full
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night their daughters
do not know them

2

who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing not the moon
that awful eye not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue who who who the owl
laments into the evening who
will protect her this prettylittlegirl

3

if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him
bristling
rising
up

4

the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow the one
she cannot tell the one
there is no one to hear this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world 

Credit: Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.
Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.
, www.
boaeditions.
org.


by John Berryman | |

Dream Song 102: The sunburnt terraces which swans make home

 The sunburnt terraces which swans make home
with water purling, Macchu Pichu died
like Delphi long ago—
a message to Justinian closing it out,
the thousand years' authority, although
tho' never found exactly wrong

political patterns did indeed emerge;
the Oracle was conservative, like Lippmann,
roared the winds on the height,
The Shining Ones behind the shrine, whose verge
saw the impious plunged, 6000 statures
above the Temple shone

plundered, centuries plundered, first the gold
then bronze & marble, then the plinths,
then the dead nerve—
root-canal-work, ugh.
I—I still hold for the saviour of teeth, & I embrace only he threw me a vicious


by John Berryman | |

Dream Song 105: As a kid I believed in democracy: I

 As a kid I believed in democracy: I
'saw no alternative'—teaching at The Big Place I ah
put it in practice:
we'd time for one long novel: to a vote—
Gone with the Wind they voted: I crunched 'No'
and we sat down with War & Peace.
As a man I believed in democracy (nobody ever learns anything): only one lazy day my assistant, called James Dow, & I were chatting, in a failure of meeting of minds, and I said curious 'What are your real politics?' 'Oh, I'm a monarchist.
' Finishing his dissertation, in Political Science.
I resign.
The universal contempt for Mr Nixon, whom never I liked but who alert & gutsy served us years under a dope, since dynasty K swarmed in.
Let's have a King maybe, before a few mindless votes.


by John Berryman | |

Dream Song 84: Op. posth. no. 7

 Plop, plop.
The lobster toppled in the pot, fulfilling, dislike man, his destiny, glowing fire-red, succulent, and on the whole becoming what man wants.
I crack my final claw singly, wind up the grave, & to bed.
—Sound good, Mr Bones.
I wish I had me some.
(I spose you got a lessen up your slave.
) —O no no no.
Sole I remember; where no lobster swine,— pots hot or cold is none.
With you I grieve lightly, and I have no lesson.
Bodies are relishy, they say.
Here's mine, was.
What ever happened to Political Economy, leaving me here? Is a rare—in my opinion—responsibility.
The military establishments perpetuate themselves forever.
Have a bite, for a sign.


by Rudyard Kipling | |

The Post That Fitted

 Ere the seamer bore him Eastward, Sleary was engaged to marry
An attractive girl at Tunbridge, whom he called "my little Carrie.
" Sleary's pay was very modest; Sleary was the other way.
Who can cook a two-plate dinner on eight poor rupees a day? Long he pondered o'er the question in his scantly furnished quarters -- Then proposed to Minnie Boffkin, eldest of Judge Boffkin's daughters.
Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch, But the Boffkins knew that Minnie mightn't make another match.
So they recognised the business and, to feed and clothe the bride, Got him made a Something Something somewhere on the Bombay side.
Anyhow, the billet carried pay enough for him to marry -- As the artless Sleary put it: -- "Just the thing for me and Carrie.
" Did he, therefore, jilt Miss Boffkin -- impulse of a baser mind? No! He started epileptic fits of an appalling kind.
[Of his modus operandi only this much I could gather: -- "Pears's shaving sticks will give you little taste and lots of lather.
"] Frequently in public places his affliction used to smite Sleary with distressing vigour -- always in the Boffkins' sight.
Ere a week was over Minnie weepingly returned his ring, Told him his "unhappy weakness" stopped all thought of marrying.
Sleary bore the information with a chastened holy joy, -- Epileptic fits don't matter in Political employ, -- Wired three short words to Carrie -- took his ticket, packed his kit -- Bade farewell to Minnie Boffkin in one last, long, lingering fit.
Four weeks later, Carrie Sleary read -- and laughed until she wept -- Mrs.
Boffkin's warning letter on the "wretched epilept.
" .
.
.
Year by year, in pious patience, vengeful Mrs.
Boffkin sits Waiting for the Sleary babies to develop Sleary's fits.


by William Butler Yeats | |

Politics

 'In our time the destiny of man prevents its meanings
in political terms.
' -- Thomas Mann.
How can I, that girl standing there, My attention fix On Roman or on Russian Or on Spanish politics? Yet here's a travelled man that knows What he talks about, And there's a politician That has read and thought, And maybe what they say is true Of war and war's alarms, But O that I were young again And held her in my arms!


by William Butler Yeats | |

On A Political Prisoner

 She that but little patience knew,
From childhood on, had now so much
A grey gull lost its fear and flew
Down to her cell and there alit,
And there endured her fingers' touch
And from her fingers ate its bit.
Did she in touching that lone wing Recall the years before her mind Became a bitter, an abstract thing, Her thought some popular enmity: Blind and leader of the blind Drinking the foul ditch where they lie? When long ago I saw her ride Under Ben Bulben to the meet, The beauty of her country-side With all youth's lonely wildness stirred, She seemed to have grown clean and sweet Like any rock-bred, sea-borne bird: Sea-borne, or balanced on the air When first it sprang out of the nest Upon some lofty rock to stare Upon the cloudy canopy, While under its storm-beaten breast Cried out the hollows of the sea.