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Best Famous Poverty Poems

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

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by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Habit Of Perfection

 Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.
Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb: It is the shut, the curfew sent From there where all surrenders come Which only makes you eloquent.
Be shellèd, eyes, with double dark And find the uncreated light: This ruck and reel which you remark Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.
Palate, the hutch of tasty lust, Desire not to be rinsed with wine: The can must be so sweet, the crust So fresh that come in fasts divine! Nostrils, your careless breath that spend Upon the stir and keep of pride, What relish shall the censers send Along the sanctuary side! O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet That want the yield of plushy sward, But you shall walk the golden street And you unhouse and house the Lord.
And, Poverty, be thou the bride And now the marriage feast begun, And lily-coloured clothes provide Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.


by Helen Hunt Jackson | |

A Calendar of Sonnets: August

 Silence again.
The glorious symphony Hath need of pause and interval of peace.
Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease, Save hum of insects' aimless industry.
Pathetic summer seeks by blazonry Of color to conceal her swift decrease.
Weak subterfuge! Each mocking day doth fleece A blossom, and lay bare her poverty.
Poor middle-aged summer! Vain this show! Whole fields of Golden-Rod cannot offset One meadow with a single violet; And well the singing thrush and lily know, Spite of all artifice which her regret Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!


by William Lisle Bowles | |

IX. O Poverty! though from thy haggard eye...

 O POVERTY! though from thy haggard eye, 
Thy cheerless mein, of every charm bereft, 
Thy brow, that hope's last traces long have left, 
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly; 
Thy rugged paths with pleasure I attend; -- 
For Fancy, that with fairest dreams can bless; 
And Patience, in the Pall of Wretchedness, 
Sad-smiling, as the ruthless storms descend; 
And Piety, forgiving every wrong, 
And meek Content, whose griefs no more rebel; 
And Genius, warbling sweet her saddest song; 
And Pity, list'ning to the poor man's knell, 
Long banish'd from the world's insulting throng; 
With Thee, and loveliest Melancholy, dwell.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: O Poverty! Though From Thy Haggard Eye

 O, Poverty! though from thy haggard eye,
Thy cheerless mien, of every charm bereft,
Thy brow that Hope's last traces long have left,
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly;
I love thy solitary haunts to seek.
For Pity, reckless of her own distress; And Patience, in her pall of wretchedness, That turns to the bleak storm her faded cheek; And Piety, that never told her wrong; And meek Content, whose griefs no more rebel; And Genius, warbling sweet her saddest song; And Sorrow, listening to a lost friend's knell, Long banished from the world's insulting throng; With thee, and thy unfriended offspring, dwell.


by Mary Darby Robinson | |

Sonnet to Ingratitude

 He that's ungrateful, has no guilt but one;
All other crimes may pass for virtues in him.
- YOUNG.
I COULD have borne affliction's sharpest thorn; The sting of malice­poverty's deep wound; The sneers of vulgar pride, the idiot's scorn; Neglected Love, false Friendship's treach'rous sound; I could, with patient smile, extract the dart Base calumny had planted in my heart; The fangs of envy; agonizing pain; ALL, ALL, nor should my steady soul complain: E'en had relentless FATE, with cruel pow'r, Darken'd the sunshine of each youthful day; While from my path she snatch'd each transient flow'r.
Not one soft sigh my sorrow should betray; But where INGRATITUDE'S fell poisons pour, HOPE shrinks subdued­and LIFE'S BEST JOYS DECAY.


by Mary Darby Robinson | |

Sonnet XX: Oh! I Could Toil For Thee

 Oh! I could toil for thee o'er burning plains;
Could smile at poverty's disastrous blow;
With thee, could wander 'midst a world of snow,
Where one long night o'er frozen Scythia reigns.
Sever'd from thee, my sick'ning soul disdains The thrilling thought, the blissful dream to know, And can'st thou give my days to endless woe, Requiting sweetest bliss with cureless pains? Away, false fear! nor think capricious fate Would lodge a daemon in a form divine! Sooner the dove shall seek a tyger mate, Or the soft snow-drop round the thistle twine; Yet, yet, I dread to hope, nor dare to hate, Too proud to sue! too tender to resign!


by Ben Jonson | |

To my Muse


LXV.
 — TO MY MUSE.

Away, and leave me, thou thing most abhorr'd
That hast betray'd me to a worthless lord ;
Made me commit most fierce idolatry
To a great image through thy luxury :
Be thy next master's more unlucky muse,
And, as thou'st mine, his hours and youth abuse,
Get him the time's long grudge, the court's ill will ;
And reconcil'd, keep him suspected still.
Make him lose all his friends ; and, which is worse,
Almost all ways to any better course.
With me thou leav'st an happier muse than thee,
And which thou brought'st me, welcome poverty :
She shall instruct my after-thoughts to write
Things manly, and not smelling parasite.
But I repent me : stay — Whoe'er is raised,
For worth he has not, he is tax'd not praised.


by Ben Jonson | |

To Alchemists


VI.
 ? TO ALCHEMISTS.
  
If all you boast of your great art be true ;
Sure, willing poverty lives most in you.

    Adriaen Jansz van Ostade.
    Alchemist.
1661.
[detail]


    Adriaen Jansz van Ostade.
    Alchemist.
1661.
[detail]


by Tupac Shakur | |

Life Through My Eyes

Life through my bloodshot eyes
would scare a square 2 death
poverty,murder,violence
and never a moment 2 rest
Fun and games are few
but treasured like gold 2 me
cuz I realize that I must return
2 my spot in poverty
But mock my words when I say
my heart will not exist
unless my destiny comes through
and puts an end 2 all of this 


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

To Wordsworth

 Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know 
That things depart which never may return: 
Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first glow, 
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
These common woes I feel.
One loss is mine Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star, whose light did shine On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar: Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood Above the blind and battling multitude: In honored poverty thy voice did weave Songs consecrate to truth and liberty,-- Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve, Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.


by William Carlos (WCW) Williams | |

Berket And The Stars

 A day on the boulevards chosen out of ten years of 
student poverty! One best day out of ten good ones.
Berket in high spirits—"Ha, oranges! Let's have one!" And he made to snatch an orange from the vender's cart.
Now so clever was the deception, so nicely timed to the full sweep of certain wave summits, that the rumor of the thing has come down through three generations—which is relatively forever!


by Walt Whitman | |

Me Imperturbe.

 ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature, 
Master of all, or mistress of all—aplomb in the midst of irrational things, 
Imbued as they—passive, receptive, silent as they, 
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less important than I thought;

Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary—all these subordinate, (I am eternally
 equal
 with
 the best—I am not subordinate;)
Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or far north, or
 inland, 
A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These States, or of the coast,
 or
 the
 lakes, or Kanada, 
Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies! 
O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and
 animals do.


by Robinson Jeffers | |

Ave Caesar

 No bitterness: our ancestors did it.
They were only ignorant and hopeful, they wanted freedom but wealth too.
Their children will learn to hope for a Caesar.
Or rather--for we are not aquiline Romans but soft mixed colonists-- Some kindly Sicilian tyrant who'll keep Poverty and Carthage off until the Romans arrive, We are easy to manage, a gregarious people, Full of sentiment, clever at mechanics, and we love our luxuries.


by David Lehman | |

PC

 for Aaron Fogel 

Politically-correct 
personal computers 
point and click.
President Clinton (codename Peacock) can't protect crack pushing Communist Party cops pursuing a care package of peasant consciousness in a car park.
Poverty's a crime, and capital punishment par for the course, in this penal code.
A plausible cliffhanger can't cure the paralyzed, prevent cancer, or prepare California for Perry Como, that peerless crooner.
Pitcher and catcher confer.
O cornet player, play "Pomp and Circumstance" please, in the partly cloudy cool Pacific.


by Osip Mandelstam | |

Petropolis

 From a fearful height, a wandering light,
but does a star glitter like this, crying?
Transparent star, wandering light
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.
From a fearful height, earthly dreams are alight, and a green star is crying.
Oh star, if you are the brother of water and light, your brother, Petropolis, is dying.
A monstrous ship, from a fearful height, is rushing on, spreading its wings, flying.
Green star, in beautiful poverty, your brother, Petropolis, is dying.
Transparent spring has broken, above the black Neva’s hiss the wax of immortality is liquefying.
Oh if you are star – your city, Petropolis, your brother, Petropolis, is dying.


by Kathleen Raine | |

Worry About Money

 Wearing worry about money like a hair shirt
I lie down in my bed and wrestle with my angel.
My bank-manager could not sanction my continuance for another day But life itself wakes me each morning, and love Urges me to give although I have no money In the bank at this moment, and ought properly To cease to exist in a world where poverty Is a shameful and ridiculous offence.
Having no one to advise me, I open the Bible And shut my eyes and put my finger on a text And read that the widow with the young son Must give first to the prophetic genius From the little there is in the bin of flour and the cruse of oil.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Hod Putt

 Here I lie close to the grave 
Of Old Bill Piersol, 
Who grew rich trading with the indians, and who 
Afterwards took the bankrupt law 
And emergeed from it richer than ever.
Myself grown tired of toil and poverty And beholding how Old Bill and others grew in wealth, Robbed a traveler one night near Proctor's Grove, Killing him unwittingly while doing so, For the which I was tried and hanged.
That was my way of going into bankruptcy.
Now we who took the bankrupt law in our respective ways Sleep peacefully side by side.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

John Wasson

 Oh! the dew-wet grass of the meadow in North Carolina
Through which Rebecca followed me wailing, wailing,
One child in her arms, and three that ran along wailing,
Lengthening out the farewell to me off to the war with the British,
And then the long, hard years down to the day of Yorktown.
And then my search for Rebecca, Finding her at last in Virginia, Two children dead in the meanwhile.
We went by oxen to Tennessee, Thence after years to Illinois, At last to Spoon River.
We cut the buffalo grass, We felled the forests, We built the school houses, built the bridges, Leveled the roads and tilled the fields Alone with poverty, scourges, death- If Harry Wilmans who fought the Filipinos Is to have a flag on his grave Take it from mine!


by Robert William Service | |

My Brothers

 While I make rhymes my brother John
Makes shiny shoes which dames try on,
And finding to their fit and stance
They buy and wear with elegance;
But mine is quite another tale,--
 For song there is no sale.
My brother Tom a tailor shop Is owner of, and ladies stop To try the models he has planned, And richly pay, I understand: Yet not even a dingy dime Can I make with my rhyme.
My brother Jim sells stuff to eat Like trotters, tripe and sausage meat.
I dare not by his window stop, Lest he should offer me a chop; For though a starving bard I be, To hell, say I, with charity! My brothers all are proud of purse, But though my poverty I curse, I would not for a diadem Exchange my lowly lot with them: A garret and a crust for me, And reams and dreams of Poetry.


by Robert William Service | |

My Neighbors

 To rest my fagged brain now and then,
When wearied of my proper labors,
I lay aside my lagging pen
And get to thinking on my neighbors;
For, oh, around my garret den
There's woe and poverty a-plenty,
And life's so interesting when
A lad is only two-and-twenty.
Now, there's that artist gaunt and wan, A little card his door adorning; It reads: "Je ne suis pour personne", A very frank and fitting warning.
I fear he's in a sorry plight; He starves, I think, too proud to borrow, I hear him moaning every night: Maybe they'll find him dead to-morrow.