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Famous Short Poetry Poems. Short Poetry Poetry by Famous Poets

Famous Short Poetry Poems. Short Poetry Poetry by Famous Poets. A collection of the all-time best Poetry short poems

See also: Best Famous Short Poems | Short Member Poems | Best Short Member Poems | Top 100 Famous Short Poems

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by Emily Dickinson

To see the Summer Sky

 To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie --
True Poems flee --


by Robert Herrick

Departure of the Good Daemon

 What can I do in poetry,
Now the good spirit's gone from me?
Why, nothing now but lonely sit
And over-read what I have writ.


by Robert Burns

163. On Elphinstone’s Translation of Martial’s Epigrams

 O THOU whom Poetry abhors,
Whom Prose has turnèd out of doors,
Heard’st thou yon groan?—proceed no further,
’Twas laurel’d Martial calling murther.


by Robert Herrick

HIS REQUEST TO JULIA

 Julia, if I chance to die
Ere I print my poetry,
I most humbly thee desire
To commit it to the fire:
Better 'twere my book were dead,
Than to live not perfected.


by Emily Dickinson

Yesterday is History

 Yesterday is History,
'Tis so far away --
Yesterday is Poetry --
'Tis Philosophy --

Yesterday is mystery --
Where it is Today
While we shrewdly speculate
Flutter both away


by Maya Angelou

A Conceit

Give me your hand

Make room for me
to lead and follow
you
beyond this rage of poetry.

Let others have
the privacy of
touching words
and love of loss
of love.

For me
Give me your hand.


by Jean Valentine

To Plath To Sexton

 So what use was poetry
to a white empty house?

Wolf, swan, hare,
in by the fire.

And when your tree
crashed through your house,

what use then
was all your power?

It was the use of you.
It was the flower.


by Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book

 There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry --
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll --
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.


by Emily Dickinson

To pile like Thunder to its close

 To pile like Thunder to its close
Then crumble grand away
While Everything created hid
This -- would be Poetry --

Or Love -- the two coeval come --
We both and neither prove --
Experience either and consume --
For None see God and live --


by Li Po

About Tu Fu

 I met Tu Fu on a mountaintop
in August when the sun was hot.

Under the shade of his big straw hat
his face was sad--

in the years since we last parted,
he'd grown wan, exhausted.

Poor old Tu Fu, I thought then,
he must be agonizing over poetry again.


by Li Bai

About Du Fu

I met Du Fu on a mountaintop

in August when the sun was hot.

Under the shade of his big straw hat

his face was sad--

in the years since we last parted,

he'd grown wane, exhausted.

Poor old Du Fu, I thought then,

he must be agonizing over poetry again.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

POETRY.

 GOD to his untaught children sent

Law, order, knowledge, art, from high,
And ev'ry heav'nly favour lent,

The world's hard lot to qualify.
They knew not how they should behave,

For all from Heav'n stark-naked came;
But Poetry their garments gave,

And then not one had cause for shame.

 1816.


by Constantine P Cavafy

Voices

 Ideal and beloved voices
of those who are dead, or of those
who are lost to us like the dead.

Sometimes they speak to us in our dreams;
sometimes in thought the mind hears them.

And with their sound for a moment return
other sounds from the first poetry of our life --
like distant music that dies off in the night.


by Jack Gilbert

Poetry Is A Kind Of Lying

 Poetry is a kind of lying,
necessarily. To profit the poet
or beauty. But also in
that truth may be told only so.

Those who, admirably, refuse
to falsify (as those who will not
risk pretensions) are excluded
from saying even so much.

Degas said he didn't paint
what he saw, but what
would enable them to see
the thing he had.


by Amy Lowell

Fragment

 What is poetry? Is it a mosaic
Of coloured stones which curiously are wrought
Into a pattern? Rather glass that's taught
By patient labor any hue to take
And glowing with a sumptuous splendor, make
Beauty a thing of awe; where sunbeams caught,
Transmuted fall in sheafs of rainbows fraught
With storied meaning for religion's sake.


by Amy Lowell

Fragment

 What is poetry? Is it a mosaic
Of coloured stones which curiously are wrought
Into a pattern? Rather glass that's taught
By patient labor any hue to take
And glowing with a sumptuous splendor, make
Beauty a thing of awe; where sunbeams caught,
Transmuted fall in sheafs of rainbows fraught
With storied meaning for religion's sake.


by Marianne Moore

The Past is the Present

 If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words - 
"Hebrew poetry is prose
with a sort of heightened consciousness." Ecstasy affords
the occasion and expediency determines the form.


by Wystan Hugh (W H) Auden

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.


by Jack Spicer

Thing Language

 This ocean, humiliating in its disguises
Tougher than anything.
No one listens to poetry. The ocean
Does not mean to be listened to. A drop
Or crash of water. It means
Nothing.
It
Is bread and butter
Pepper and salt. The death
That young men hope for. Aimlessly
It pounds the shore. White and aimless signals. No
One listens to poetry.


by Constantine P Cavafy

So Much I Gazed

 So much I gazed on beauty,
that my vision is replete with it.

Contours of the body. Red lips. Voluptuous limbs.
Hair as if taken from greek statues;
always beautiful, even when uncombed,
and it falls, slightly, over white foreheads.
Faces of love, as my poetry
wanted them.... in the nights of my youth,
in my nights, secretly, met....


by Dorothy Parker

Interview

 The ladies men admire, I've heard, 
Would shudder at a wicked word. 
Their candle gives a single light; 
They'd rather stay at home at night. 
They do not keep awake till three, 
Nor read erotic poetry. 
They never sanction the impure, 
Nor recognize an overture. 
They shrink from powders and from paints ... 
So far, I've had no complaints.


by Charles Bukowski

Short Order

 I took my girlfriend to your last poetry reading,
she said.
yes, yes? I asked.
she's young and pretty, she said.
and? I asked.
she hated your
guts.
then she stretched out on the couch
and pulled off her
boots.
I don't have very good legs,
she said.
all right, I thought, I don't have very good
poetry; she doesn't have very good
legs.
scramble two.


by Julie Hill Alger

Lesson 1

 At least I've learned this much:
Life doesn't have to be
all poetry and roses. Life
can be bus rides, gritty sidewalks,
electric bills, dishwashing,
chapped lips, dull stubby pencils
with the erasers chewed off,
cheap radios played too loud,
the rank smell of stale coffee 
yet still glow
with the inner fire of an opal,
still taste like honey.

 -Julie Alger


by Adrienne Rich

In A Classroom

 Talking of poetry, hauling the books
arm-full to the table where the heads
bend or gaze upward, listening, reading aloud,
talking of consonants, elision,
caught in the how, oblivious of why:
I look in your face, Jude,
neither frowning nor nodding,
opaque in the slant of dust-motes over the table:
a presence like a stone, if a stone were thinking
What I cannot say, is me. For that I came.


by Conrad Aiken

The House Of Dust: Introduction

 THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


 This text comes from the source available at 
 Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss 
 of Omaha, NE.


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