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Best Famous Religious Poems

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

Search for the best famous Religious poems, articles about Religious poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Religious poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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Written by Ted Hughes |

The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come, Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.
So people can't sleep, So they go out where elms and oak trees keep A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come! And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep Stare up at her petrified, while she swells Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing Closer and closer like the end of the world.
Till the gold fields of stiff wheat Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers Sweat from the melting hills.

Written by Ogden Nash |

I Do I Will I Have

 How wise I am to have instructed the butler
to instruct the first footman to instruct the second
footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen, I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam, I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam, And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown, And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the windowsill, it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right, it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce, Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and combat over everything debatable and combatable, Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable.

Written by Raymond Carver |

What The Doctor Said

 He said it doesn't look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I'm glad I wouldn't want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I'm real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn't catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who'd just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong

More great poems below...

Written by Sharon Olds |

Sex Without Love

 How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away.
How do they come to the come to the come to the God come to the still waters, and not love the one who came there with them, light rising slowly as steam off their joined skin? These are the true religious, the purists, the pros, the ones who will not accept a false Messiah, love the priest instead of the God.
They do not mistake the lover for their own pleasure, they are like great runners: they know they are alone with the road surface, the cold, the wind, the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio- vascular health--just factors, like the partner in the bed, and not the truth, which is the single body alone in the universe against its own best time.

Written by Bob Kaufman |


 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.

Written by David Lehman |

Twelfth Night

 His first infidelity was a mistake, but not as big
As her false pregnancy.
Later, the boy found out He was born three months earlier than the date On his birth certificate, which had turned into A marriage license in his hands.
Had he been trapped In a net, like a moth mistaken for a butterfly? And why did she--what was in it for her? It took him all this time to figure it out.
The barroom boast, "I never had to pay for it," Is bogus if marriage is a religious institution On the operating model of a nineteenth-century factory.
On the other hand, women's lot was no worse then Than it is now.
The division of labor made sense In theories developed by college boys in jeans Who grasped the logic their fathers had used To seduce women and deceive themselves.
The pattern repeats itself, the same events In a different order obeying the conventions of A popular genre.
Winter on a desolate beach.
Spring While there's snow still on the balcony and, In the window, a plane flies over the warehouse.
The panic is gone.
But the pain remains.
And the apple, The knife, and the honey are months away.

Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot |

Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service

 Look, look, master, here comes two religious caterpillars.
The Jew of Malta.
POLYPHILOPROGENITIVE The sapient sutlers of the Lord Drift across the window-panes.
In the beginning was the Word.
In the beginning was the Word.
Superfetation of , And at the mensual turn of time Produced enervate Origen.
A painter of the Umbrian school Designed upon a gesso ground The nimbus of the Baptized God.
The wilderness is cracked and browned But through the water pale and thin Still shine the unoffending feet And there above the painter set The Father and the Paraclete.
The sable presbyters approach The avenue of penitence; The young are red and pustular Clutching piaculative pence.
Under the penitential gates Sustained by staring Seraphim Where the souls of the devout Burn invisible and dim.
Along the garden-wall the bees With hairy bellies pass between The staminate and pistilate, Blest office of the epicene.
Sweeney shifts from ham to ham Stirring the water in his bath.
The masters of the subtle schools Are controversial, polymath.

Written by Sylvia Plath |

Getting There

 How far is it?
How far is it now?
The gigantic gorilla interior
Of the wheels move, they appall me ---
The terrible brains
Of Krupp, black muzzles
Revolving, the sound
Punching out Absence! Like cannon.
It is Russia I have to get across, it is some was or other.
I am dragging my body Quietly through the straw of the boxcars.
Now is the time for bribery.
What do wheels eat, these wheels Fixed to their arcs like gods, The silver leash of the will ---- Inexorable.
And their pride! All the gods know destinations.
I am a letter in this slot! I fly to a name, two eyes.
Will there be fire, will there be bread? Here there is such mud.
It is a trainstop, the nurses Undergoing the faucet water, its veils, veils in a nunnery, Touching their wounded, The men the blood still pumps forward, Legs, arms piled outside The tent of unending cries ---- A hospital of dolls.
And the men, what is left of the men Pumped ahead by these pistons, this blood Into the next mile, The next hour ---- Dynasty of broken arrows! How far is it? There is mud on my feet, Thick, red and slipping.
It is Adam's side, This earth I rise from, and I in agony.
I cannot undo myself, and the train is steaming.
Steaming and breathing, its teeth Ready to roll, like a devil's.
There is a minute at the end of it A minute, a dewdrop.
How far is it? It is so small The place I am getting to, why are there these obstacles ---- The body of this woman, Charred skirts and deathmask Mourned by religious figures, by garlanded children.
And now detonations ---- Thunder and guns.
The fire's between us.
Is there no place Turning and turning in the middle air, Untouchable and untouchable.
The train is dragging itself, it is screaming ---- An animal Insane for the destination, The bloodspot, The face at the end of the flare.
I shall bury the wounded like pupas, I shall count and bury the dead.
Let their souls writhe in like dew, Incense in my track.
The carriages rock, they are cradles.
And I, stepping from this skin Of old bandages, boredoms, old faces Step up to you from the black car of Lethe, Pure as a baby.

Written by G K Chesterton |

The Higher Unity

 The Rev.
Isaiah Bunter has disappeared into the interior of the Solomon Islands, and it is feared that he may have been devoured by the natives, as there has been a considerable revival of religious customs among the Polynesians.
--A real paragraph from a real Paper; only the names altered.
It was Isaiah Bunter Who sailed to the world's end, And spread religion in a way That he did not intend.
He gave, if not the gospel-feast, At least a ritual meal; And in a highly painful sense He was devoured with zeal.
And who are we (as Henson says) That we should close the door? And should not Evangelicals All jump at shedding Gore? And many a man will melt in man, Becoming one, not two, When smacks across the startled earth The Kiss of Kikuyu.
When Man is the Turk, and the Atheist, Essene, Erastian, Whig, And the Thug and the Druse and the Catholic And the crew of the Captain's gig.

Written by Belinda Subraman |

My Indian In-laws

 I remember India:
palm trees, monkey families,
fresh lime juice in the streets,
the sensual inundation
of sights and smells
and excess in everything.
I was exotic and believable there.
I was walking through dirt in my sari, to temples of the deities following the lead of my Indian in-laws.
I was scooping up fire with my hands, glancing at idols that held no meaning for me, being marked by the ash.
They smiled at the Western woman, acting religious, knowing it was my way of showing respect.
It was an adventure for me but an arm around their culture for them.
To me it was living a dream I knew I could wake up from.
To them it was the willingness to be Indian that pleased.
We were holding hands across a cultural cosmos, knowing there were no differences hearts could not soothe.
They accepted me as I accepted them, baffled but in love with our wedded mystery.

Written by Pablo Neruda |

Magellanic Penguin

 Neither clown nor child nor black
nor white but verticle
and a questioning innocence
dressed in night and snow:
The mother smiles at the sailor,
the fisherman at the astronaunt,
but the child child does not smile
when he looks at the bird child,
and from the disorderly ocean
the immaculate passenger
emerges in snowy mourning.
I was without doubt the child bird there in the cold archipelagoes when it looked at me with its eyes, with its ancient ocean eyes: it had neither arms nor wings but hard little oars on its sides: it was as old as the salt; the age of moving water, and it looked at me from its age: since then I know I do not exist; I am a worm in the sand.
the reasons for my respect remained in the sand: the religious bird did not need to fly, did not need to sing, and through its form was visible its wild soul bled salt: as if a vein from the bitter sea had been broken.
Penguin, static traveler, deliberate priest of the cold, I salute your vertical salt and envy your plumed pride.

Written by William Topaz McGonagall |

Lines in Defence of the Stage

 Good people of high and low degree,
I pray ye all be advised by me,
And don't believe what the clergy doth say,
That by going to the theatre you will be led astray.
No, in the theatre we see vice punished and virtue rewarded, The villain either hanged or shot, and his career retarded; Therefore the theatre is useful in every way, And has no inducement to lead the people astray.
Because therein we see the end of the bad men, Which must appall the audience - deny it who can Which will help to retard them from going astray, While witnessing in a theatre a moral play.
The theatre ought to be encouraged in every respect, Because example is better than precept, And is bound to have a greater effect On the minds of theatre-goers in every respect.
Sometimes in theatres, guilty creatures there have been Struck to the soul by the cunning of the scene; By witnessing a play wherein murder is enacted, They were proven to be murderers, they felt so distracted, And left the theatre, they felt so much fear, Such has been the case, so says Shakespeare.
And such is my opinion, I will venture to say, That murderers will quake with fear on seeing murder in a play.
Hamlet discovered his father's murderer by a play That he composed for the purpose, without dismay, And the king, his uncle, couldn't endure to see that play, And he withdrew from the scene without delay.
And by that play the murder was found out, And clearly proven, without any doubt; Therefore, stage representation has a greater effect On the minds of the people than religious precept.
We see in Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello, which is sublime, Cassio losing his lieutenancy through drinking wine; And, in delirium and grief, he exclaims - "Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!" A young man in London went to the theatre one night To see the play of George Barnwell, and he got a great fright; He saw George Barnwell murder his uncle in the play, And he had resolved to murder his uncle, but was stricken with dismay.
But when he saw George Barnwell was to be hung The dread of murdering his uncle tenaciously to him clung, That he couldn't murder and rob his uncle dear, Because the play he saw enacted filled his heart with fear.
And, in conclusion, I will say without dismay, Visit the theatre without delay, Because the theatre is a school of morality, And hasn't the least tendency to lead to prodigality.

Written by G K Chesterton |

The New Freethinker

 John Grubby who was short and stout 
And troubled with religious doubt, 
Refused about the age of three 
To sit upon the curate's knee; 
(For so the eternal strife must rage 
Between the spirit of the age 
And Dogma, which, as is well known, 
Does simply hate to be outgrown).
Grubby, the young idea that shoots, Outgrew the ages like old boots; While still, to all appearance, small, Would have no Miracles at all; And just before the age of ten Firmly refused Free Will to men.
The altars reeled, the heavens shook, Just as he read of in the book; Flung from his house went forth the youth Alone with tempests and the Truth.
Up to the distant city and dim Where his papa had bought for him A partnership in Chepe and Deer Worth, say twelve hundred pounds a year.
But he was resolute.
Lord Brute Had found him useful; and Lord Loot, With whom few other men would act, Valued his promptitude and tact; Never did even philanthrophy Enrich a man more rapidly: 'Twas he that stopped the Strike in Coal, For hungry children racked his soul; To end their misery there and then He filled the mines with Chinamen Sat in that House that broke the Kings, And voted for all sorts of things -- And rose from Under-Sec.
to Sec.
With scarce a murmur or a check.
Some grumbled.
Growlers who gave less Than generous worship to success, The little printers in Dundee, Who got ten years for blasphemy, (Although he let them off with seven) Respect him rather less than heaven.
No matter.
This can still be said: Never to supernatural dread Never to unseen deity, Did Sir John Grubby bend the knee; Nor was he bribed by fabled bliss To kneel to any world but this.
The curate lives in Camden Town, His lap still empty of renown, And still across the waste of years John Grubby, in the House of Peers, Faces that curate, proud and free, And never sits upon his knee.

Written by Anne Bradstreet |


 Her Mother's Epitaph

Here lies
A worthy matron of unspotted life,
A loving mother and obedient wife,
A friendly neighbor, pitiful to poor,
Whom oft she fed, and clothed with her store;
To servants wisely aweful, but yet kind,
And as they did, so they reward did find:
A true instructor of her family,
The which she ordered with dexterity,
The public meetings ever did frequent,
And in her closest constant hours she spent;
Religious in all her words and ways,
Preparing still for death, till end of days:
Of all her children, children lived to see,
Then dying, left a blessed memory.
Her Father's Epitaph Within this tomb a patriot lies That was both pious, just and wise, To truth a shield, to right a wall, To sectaries a whip and maul, A magazine of history, A prizer of good company In manners pleasant and severe The good him loved, the bad did fear, And when his time with years was spent In some rejoiced, more did lament.
1653, age 77

Written by Robert Graves |

The Naked And The Nude

 For me, the naked and the nude 
(By lexicographers construed 
As synonyms that should express 
The same deficiency of dress 
Or shelter) stand as wide apart 
As love from lies, or truth from art.
Lovers without reproach will gaze On bodies naked and ablaze; The Hippocratic eye will see In nakedness, anatomy; And naked shines the Goddess when She mounts her lion among men.
The nude are bold, the nude are sly To hold each treasonable eye.
While draping by a showman's trick Their dishabille in rhetoric, They grin a mock-religious grin Of scorn at those of naked skin.
The naked, therefore, who compete Against the nude may know defeat; Yet when they both together tread The briary pastures of the dead, By Gorgons with long whips pursued, How naked go the sometime nude!