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Best Famous Simple Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Anna Akhmatova | |

I Dont Like Flowers...

I don't like flowers - they do remind me often
Of funerals, of weddings and of balls;
Their presence on tables for a dinner calls.
But sub-eternal roses' ever simple charm Which was my solace when I was a child, Has stayed - my heritage - a set of years behind, Like Mozart's ever-living music's hum.


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

The Day is Done

THE DAY is done and the darkness 
Falls from the wings of Night  
As a feather is wafted downward 
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village 5 Gleam through the rain and the mist And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist: A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain 10 And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.
Come read to me some poem Some simple and heartfelt lay That shall soothe this restless feeling 15 And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters Not from the bards sublime Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.
20 For like strains of martial music Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet 25 Whose songs gushed from his heart As showers from the clouds of summer Or tears from the eyelids start; Who through long days of labor And nights devoid of ease 30 Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care And come like the benediction 35 That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice.
40 And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs And as silently steal away.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

The Rhodora - On Being Asked Whence Is the Flower

IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, 
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, 
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, 
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool, 5 Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, 10 Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose 15 The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.


More great poems below...

by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Poet

TO clothe the fiery thought 
In simple words succeeds  
For still the craft of genius is 
To mask a king in weeds.


by | |

A Farewell to the World

FALSE world good night! since thou hast brought 
That hour upon my morn of age; 
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought  
My part is ended on thy stage.
Yes threaten do.
Alas! I fear 5 As little as I hope from thee: I know thou canst not show nor bear More hatred than thou hast to me.
My tender first and simple years Thou didst abuse and then betray; 10 Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears When all the causes were away.
Then in a soil hast planted me Where breathe the basest of thy fools; Where envious arts profess¨¨d be 15 And pride and ignorance the schools; Where nothing is examined weigh'd But as 'tis rumour'd so believed; Where every freedom is betray'd And every goodness tax'd or grieved.
20 But what we're born for we must bear: Our frail condition it is such That what to all may happen here If 't chance to me I must not grutch.
Else I my state should much mistake 25 To harbour a divided thought From all my kind¡ªthat for my sake There should a miracle be wrought.
No I do know that I was born To age misfortune sickness grief: 30 But I will bear these with that scorn As shall not need thy false relief.
Nor for my peace will I go far As wanderers do that still do roam; But make my strengths such as they are 35 Here in my bosom and at home.


by Wang Wei | |

A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER

In the slant of the sun on the country-side, 
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane; 
And a rugged old man in a thatch door 
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears, Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders, Hail one another familiarly.
.
.
.
No wonder I long for the simple life And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!


by | |

Simple Simon


Simple Simon met a pieman,
    Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    "Let me taste your ware.
"
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
    "Show me first your penny,"
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    "Indeed, I have not any.
"
Simple Simon went a-fishing
    For to catch a whale;
All the water he could find
    Was in his mother's pail!
Simple Simon went to look
    If plums grew on a thistle;
He pricked his fingers very much,
    Which made poor Simon whistle.

He went to catch a dicky bird,
    And thought he could not fail,
Because he had a little salt,
    To put upon its tail.

He went for water with a sieve,
    But soon it ran all through;
And now poor Simple Simon
    Bids you all adieu.


by Anonymous | |

GOD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE.

God is in His holy temple;
Thoughts of earth be silent now,
While with reverence we assemble,
And before His presence bow.
He is with us, now and ever,
While we call upon His name,
Aiding every good endeavor,
Guiding every upward aim.
God is in His holy temple,—
In the pure and humble mind;
In the reverent heart and simple;
In the soul from sense refined.
Then let every low emotion
Banished far and silent be;
And our hearts in pure devotion,
Lord, be temples worthy Thee.
[Pg 024]


by Anonymous | |

DESPISE NOT SIMPLE THINGS.

Despise not simple things:
The humblest flower that wakes
In early spring, to scent the air
Of woodland brakes,
Should have thy love as well
As blushing parlor rose,
That never felt the perfect breath
Of nature round it close.
[Pg 033]
Despise not simple things:
The poor demand thy love,
As well as those who in the halls
Of splendor move.
The beggar at thy door
Thou shouldst not e’er despise;
For that may be a noble heart
Which ’neath his tatters lies.
Despise not little things:
An ant can teach of toil;
The buttercup can light the heart
With its own pleasant smile;
’Tis not from towering heights alone
The noble thought within us springs;
There’s something holy and sublime
In the love of simple things.


by Ruth Stone | |

Spring Beauties

The abandoned campus,
empty brick buildings and early June
when you came to visit me;
crossing the states midway,
the straggled belts of little roads;
hitchhiking with your portable typewriter.
The campus, an academy of trees, under which some hand, the wind's I guess, had scattered the pale light of thousands of spring beauties, petals stained with pink veins; secret, blooming for themselves.
We sat among them.
Your long fingers, thin body, and long bones of improbable genius; some scattered gene as Kafka must have had.
Your deep voice, this passing dust of miracles.
That simple that was myself, half conscious, as though each moment was a page where words appeared; the bent hammer of the type struck against the moving ribbon.
The light air, the restless leaves; the ripple of time warped by our longing.
There, as if we were painted by some unknown impressionist.


by Thomas Stearns Eliot (T S) Eliot | |

La Figlia che Piange

 O quam te memorem virgo.
.
.
STAND on the highest pavement of the stair— Lean on a garden urn— Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair— Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise— Fling them to the ground and turn With a fugitive resentment in your eyes: But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.
So I would have had him leave, So I would have had her stand and grieve, So he would have left As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised, As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find Some way incomparably light and deft, Some way we both should understand, Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.
She turned away, but with the autumn weather Compelled my imagination many days, Many days and many hours: Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together! I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
Sometimes these cogitations still amaze The troubled midnight and the noon’s repose.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

A Song of Pitcairns Island

 Come, take our boy, and we will go
Before our cabin door;
The winds shall bring us, as they blow,
The murmurs of the shore;
And we will kiss his young blue eyes, 
And I will sing him, as he lies,
Songs that were made of yore:
I'll sing, in his delighted ear,
The island lays thou lov'st to hear.
And thou, while stammering I repeat, Thy country's tongue shalt teach; 'Tis not so soft, but far more sweet, Than my own native speech: For thou no other tongue didst know, When, scarcely twenty moons ago, Upon Tahete's beach, Thou cam'st to woo me to be thine, With many a speaking look and sign.
I knew thy meaning--thou didst praise My eyes, my locks of jet; Ah! well for me they won thy gaze,-- But thine were fairer yet! I'm glad to see my infant wear Thy soft blue eyes and sunny hair, And when my sight is met By his white brow and blooming cheek, I feel a joy I cannot speak.
Come talk of Europe's maids with me, Whose necks and cheeks, they tell, Outshine the beauty of the sea, White foam and crimson shell.
I'll shape like theirs my simple dress, And bind like them each jetty tress.
A sight to please thee well: And for my dusky brow will braid A bonnet like an English maid.
Come, for the soft low sunlight calls, We lose the pleasant hours; 'Tis lovelier than these cottage walls,-- That seat among the flowers.
And I will learn of thee a prayer, To Him, who gave a home so fair, A lot so blessed as ours-- The God who made, for thee and me, This sweet lone isle amid the sea.


by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

The Innovator

 (A Pharaoh Speaks.
) I said, "Why should a pyramid Stand always dully on its base? I'll change it! Let the top be hid, The bottom take the apex-place!" And as I bade they did.
The people flocked in, scores on scores, To see it balance on its tip.
They praised me with the praise that bores, My godlike mind on every lip.
-- Until it fell, of course.
And then they took my body out From my crushed palace, mad with rage, -- Well, half the town WAS wrecked, no doubt -- Their crazy anger to assuage By dragging it about.
The end? Foul birds defile my skull.
The new king's praises fill the land.
He clings to precept, simple, dull; HIS pyramids on bases stand.
But -- Lord, how usual!


by Sir Thomas Wyatt | |

My Lute Awake

 My lute awake! perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
And end that I have now begun;
For when this song is sung and past,
My lute be still, for I have done.
As to be heard where ear is none, As lead to grave in marble stone, My song may pierce her heart as soon; Should we then sigh or sing or moan? No, no, my lute, for I have done.
The rocks do not so cruelly Repulse the waves continually, As she my suit and affection; So that I am past remedy, Whereby my lute and I have done.
Proud of the spoil that thou hast got Of simple hearts thorough Love's shot, By whom, unkind, thou hast them won, Think not he hath his bow forgot, Although my lute and I have done.
Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain That makest but game on earnest pain.
Think not alone under the sun Unquit to cause thy lovers plain, Although my lute and I have done.
Perchance thee lie wethered and old The winter nights that are so cold, Plaining in vain unto the moon; Thy wishes then dare not be told; Care then who list, for I have done.
And then may chance thee to repent The time that thou hast lost and spent To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon; Then shalt thou know beauty but lent, And wish and want as I have done.
Now cease, my lute; this is the last Labour that thou and I shall waste, And ended is that we begun.
Now is this song both sung and past: My lute be still, for I have done.


by José Martí | |

Once I was sailing for fun (Simple Verses XII)

Once I was sailing for fun
On a lake of great allure,
Like gold the sun shone so pure,
And my soul more than the sun.
Then suddenly I could smell Before I saw at my feet, A foul fish, with death replete, At the bottom of the well


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

The Merry Maid

 OH, I am grown so free from care
Since my heart broke!
I set my throat against the air, 
I laugh at simple folk! 

There's little kind and little fair
Is worth its weight in smoke
To me, that's grown so free from care 
Since my heart broke! 

Lass, if to sleep you would repair
As peaceful as you woke,
Best not besiege your lover there
For just the words he spoke
To me, that's grown so free from care 
Since my heart broke!


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Elegy Before Death

 There will be rose and rhododendron
When you are dead and under ground;
Still will be heard from white syringas
Heavy with bees, a sunny sound;

Still will the tamaracks be raining
After the rain has ceased, and still
Will there be robins in the stubble,
Brown sheep upon the warm green hill.
Spring will not ail nor autumn falter; Nothing will know that you are gone, Saving alone some sullen plough-land None but yourself sets foot upon; Saving the may-weed and the pig-weed Nothing will know that you are dead,— These, and perhaps a useless wagon Standing beside some tumbled shed.
Oh, there will pass with your great passing Little of beauty not your own,— Only the light from common water, Only the grace from simple stone!


by Petrarch | |

SONNET CX.

SONNET CX.

Come talora al caldo tempo suole.

HE LIKENS HIMSELF TO THE INSECT WHICH, FLYING INTO ONE'S EYES, MEETS ITS DEATH.

As when at times in summer's scorching heats.
Lured by the light, the simple insect flies,
As a charm'd thing, into the passer's eyes,
Whence death the one and pain the other meets,
Thus ever I, my fatal sun to greet,
Rush to those eyes where so much sweetness lies
That reason's guiding hand fierce Love defies,
And by strong will is better judgment beat.
I clearly see they value me but ill,
[Pg 140]And, for against their torture fails my strength.
That I am doom'd my life to lose at length:
But Love so dazzles and deludes me still,
My heart their pain and not my loss laments,
And blind, to its own death my soul consents.
Macgregor.


by Dejan Stojanovic | |

Being Late

From where do simplicity and ease 
In the movement of heavenly bodies derive? 
It is precision.
Sun is never late to rise upon the Earth, Moon is never late to cause the tides, Earth is never late to greet the Sun and the Moon; Thus accidents are not accidents But precise arrivals at the wrong right time.
Love is almost never simple; Too often, feelings arrive too soon, Waiting for thoughts that often come too late.
I wanted too, to be simple and precise Like the Sun, Like the Moon, Like the Earth But the Earth was booked Billions of years in advance; Designed to meet all desires, All arrivals, all sunrises, all sunsets, All departures, So I will have to be a little bit late.


by Dejan Stojanovic | |

Simplicity

The most complicated skill 
Is to be simple.
To say more while saying less Is the secret of being simple.
To not say all that can be said Is the secret of discipline and economy.
To leave out beautiful sunsets Is the secret of good taste.
To hide feelings when you are near crying Is the secret of dignity.
To cut and tighten sentences Is the secret of mastery.
To keep the air fresh among words Is the secret of verbal cleanliness.
To write good poems Is the secret of brevity.
To go against the grain Is the secret of bravery.
To risk life to save a smile on a face of a woman or a child Is the secret of chivalry.
To go where no one else has ever gone before Is the secret of heroism.
To expect to be kissed having bad breath Is the secret of a fool.
Words rich in meaning Can be cheap in sound effects.


by Dejan Stojanovic | |

It Is So Simple

I feel the light inside and out 
Sun is a close keen 

The world glows, and so I glow 
The world is growing 

And I grow glowing 
Thinking so is so simple 

Not to think, but glisten 
Not to analyze, but feel 

The light inside and out 
And grow by glowing 


by Dejan Stojanovic | |

Unpretentious Dreams

How hard it is not to say too much, 
How hard to love more, 
To say simple things, 
Live like a river slowly eroding the stone, 
Watch from the shore the distant dot, 
Imagine places bathing in its light, 
To see, not colors, not shapes, not the sea 
But the simple life glistening 
And hovering like a bird 
Full of unpretentious dreams 
Satisfied only with the ability to fly.


by William Rose Benet | |

Mad Blake

 Blake saw a treeful of angels at Peckham Rye, 
And his hands could lay hold on the tiger's terrible heart.
Blake knew how deep is Hell, and Heaven how high, And could build the universe from one tiny part.
Blake heard the asides of God, as with furrowed brow He sifts the star-streams between the Then and the Now, In vast infant sagacity brooding, an infant's grace Shining serene on his simple, benignant face.
Blake was mad, they say, -- and Space's Pandora-box Loosed its wonders upon him -- devils, but angels indeed.
I, they say, am sane, but no key of mine unlocks One lock of one gate wherethrough Heaven's glory is freed.
And I stand and I hold my breath, daylong, yearlong, Out of comfort and easy dreaming evermore starting awake, -- Yearning beyond all sanity for some echo of that Song Of Songs that was sung to the soul of the madman, Blake!


by Jiri Mordecai Langer | |

The poem

 The poem
that I chose for you
is simple,
as are all my singing poems.
It has the trace of a veil, a little balsam, and a taste of the honey of lies.
There is also the coming end of summer when heat scorches the meadow and the quick waters of the river cease to flow.


by Walter de la Mare | |

Bones

 Said Mr.
Smith, “I really cannot Tell you, Dr.
Jones— The most peculiar pain I’m in— I think it’s in my bones.
” Said Dr.
Jones, “Oh, Mr.
Smith, That’s nothing.
Without doubt We have a simple cure for that; It is to take them out.
” He laid forthwith poor Mr.
Smith Close-clamped upon the table, And, cold as stone, took out his bones As fast as he was able.
Smith said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” And wished him a good-day; And with his parcel ‘neath his arm He slowly moved away.