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Famous Ability Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Ability poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous ability poems. These examples illustrate what a famous ability poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Tebb, Barry

I looked at the letter I would never end or send.

“Your poems have a strength and honesty so rare.

The ability to render character as deftly as a painter.

Your being out-of-fashion shows just how bad things are

Your poetry so easy to enjoy and difficult to forget.

Like Yeats. ‘The Dawning of the Day’ so sad

And eloquent and memorable: I read it aloud

And felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle

An unflinching bitter rhetoric straight ou...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...d's adroiter will

On Moses -- seemed to fasten
With tantalizing Play
As Boy -- should deal with lesser Boy --
To prove ability.

The fault -- was doubtless Israel's --
Myself -- had banned the Tribes --
And ushered Grand Old Moses
In Pentateuchal Robes

Upon the Broad Possession
'Twas little -- But titled Him -- to see --
Old Man on Nebo! Late as this --
My justice bleeds -- for Thee!...Read More

by Fu, Du
... Hang whip droop bridle approach purple road Always hoary head startle 10,000 people Self count on red face ability ride shoot How know burst chest chase wind foot Red sweat chariot horse black horse like spurt jade Not expect one stumble end injure Human life happy much that shame Must now sad lie quilt pillow Situation now late dusk increase bother demand Well know come ask hide my face Stick pigweed strong rise lean servant S...Read More

by Milton, John
...r, and timerous doubt 
Hath led me on desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate.
If aught in my ability may serve
To light'n what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.

Sam: Out, out Hyaena; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 
Then as repentant to submit, be...Read More

by Berman, David
big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask
and that's what cool was:
the ability to deduct
to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness
means not asking when you don't know,
which is why kids grow ever more stupid.

A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises
to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness
of a teenager's promise. Not like I'm dying
for a letter from the class stoner
ten years on...Read More

by Whitman, Walt

All waits, or goes by default, till a strong being appears; 
A strong being is the proof of the race, and of the ability of the universe; 
When he or she appears, materials are overaw’d, 
The dispute on the Soul stops,
The old customs and phrases are confronted, turn’d back, or laid away. 

What is your money-making now? what can it do now? 
What is your respectability now? 
What are your theology, tuition, society, traditions, statute-books, now? 
Where are your j...Read More

by Lowell, Amy actions sprang,
Far better than the men who only knew
Their bodily presence, the soul forever hid
From those with no ability to see.
They wait here quietly for us to come
And find them out, and know them for our friends;
These men who toiled and wrote only for this,
To leave behind such modicum of truth
As each perceived and each alone could tell.
Silently waiting that from time to time
It may be given them to illuminate
Dull daily facts with pristine radiance
For ...Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson
...This morning Hitler spoke in Danzig, we hear his voice.
A man of genius: that is, of amazing
Ability, courage, devotion, cored on a sick child's soul,
Heard clearly through the dog wrath, a sick child
Wailing in Danzig; invoking destruction and wailing at it.
Here, the day was extremely hot; about noon
A south wind like a blast from hell's mouth spilled a slight rain
On the parched land, and at five a light earthquake
Danced the house, no harm d...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...t death, with his dart, did pierce the heart of the learned divine. 

He was a man of open countenance and of great ability,
And late minister of Free St. Paul's Church, Dundee,
And during the twenty-nine years he remained as minister in Dundee
He struggled hard for the well-being of the community. 

He was the author of several works concerning great men,
In particular the Memoirs of Dr. Candlish and Christ turning His face towards Jerusalem;
Which is well wo...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...The Devil -- had he fidelity
Would be the best friend --
Because he has ability --
But Devils cannot mend --
Perfidy is the virtue
That would but he resign
The Devil -- without question
Were thoroughly divine...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz

The late Ex-Provost Rough was President of the Dundee Temperance Society,
An office which he filled with great ability;
Besides Vice-President of the Scottish Temperance League for many years,
And no doubt the friends of temperance for his loss will shed tears. 

Because many a hungry soul he relieved while in distress,
And for doing so I hope the Lord will him bless,
For his kindness towards the poor people in Dundee,
Besides for his love towards the temperance ...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...e "poisonest" kind of Pharisee.) 
The sermon was marked by a deal of humility 
And pointed the fact, with no end of ability. 
That being a Gentile's no mark of gentility, 
And, according to Samuel, would certainly d--n you well. 
Then, shedding his coat, he approaches the goat 
And, while a red fillet he carefully pins on him, 
Confesses the whole of the Israelites' sins on him. 
With this eloquent burst he exhorts the accurst -- 
"Go forth in the desert and p...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...This quiet Dust was Gentleman and Ladies
And Lads and Girls --
Was laughter and ability and Sighing
And Frocks and Curls.

This Passive Place a Summer's nimble mansion
Where Bloom and Bees
Exists an Oriental Circuit
Then cease, like these --...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...of a dancer,

The patience of a scholar and a saint’s humility,

While I have only a poet’s quickness, a journalist’s 

Ability to speed-read and the clumsiness 

Of a circus clown....Read More

by Stojanovic, Dejan
But the simple life glistening 
And hovering like a bird 
Full of unpretentious dreams 
Satisfied only with the ability to fly.
...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...Who saw no Sunrise cannot say
The Countenance 'twould be.
Who guess at seeing, guess at loss
Of the Ability.

The Emigrant of Light, it is
Afflicted for the Day.
The Blindness that beheld and blest --
And could not find its Eye....Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore,
His heart beat separate from his will:
He knows at last the old abyss
Which always faced his staring face.

No ability, no dignity
Can fail him now who trained so long
For the outrage of eternity,
Teaching his heart to beat a song
In which man's strict humanity,
Erect as a soldier, became a tongue....Read More

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