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Famous Abortive Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilmot, John
...e ventures to do like the best,
But wanting common sense, th' ingredient
In choosing well not least expedient,
Converts abortive imitation
To universal affectation.
Thus he not only eats and talks
But feels and smells, sits down and walks,
Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote,
In an old tawdry birthday coat.

The second was a Grays Inn wit,
A great inhabiter of the pit,
Where critic-like he sits and squints,
Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints
From 's neighbor, ...Read more of this...

by Wheatley, Phillis
...rising radiance drives the shades away--
But Oh! I feel his fervid beams too strong,
And scarce begun, concludes th' abortive song....Read more of this...

by Williams, William Carlos (WCW)
or heroes
 if silence is a virtue.
 The sea alone
with its multiplicity
 holds any hope.
 The storm
has proven abortive
 but we remain
 after the thoughts it roused
 re-cement our lives.
 It is the mind
the mind
 that must be cured
 short of death's
 and the will becomes again
 a garden. The poem
is complex and the place made
 in our lives
 for the poem.
Silence can be complex too,
 but you do not get far
 with silence.
Begin again.Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
...irs, for that which once they wore 
 Of mortal likeness in their shades to show. 
 Waste was their choice, and this abortive strife 
 And toil unmeaning is the end they are 
 They butt for ever, until the last award 
 Shall call them from their graves. Ill-holding those 
 Ill-loosing these, alike have doomed to know 
 This darkness, and the fairer world forgo. 
 Behold what mockery doth their fate afford! 
 It needs no fineness of spun words to tell. 
 For thi...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew with the sick steam didst fail; 
Ye neighboring elms, that your green leaves did shed, 
And fawns that from the womb abortive fled; 
Not unprovoked, she tries forbidden arts, 
But in her soft breast love's hid cancer smarts, 
While she resoloves, at once, Sidney's disgrace 
And her self scorned for emulous Denham's face, 
And nightly hears the hated guards, away 
Galloping with the Duke to other prey. 

Paint Castlemaine in colours that will hold 
(Her, not her picture...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Of unessential Night receives him next, 
Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being 
Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf. 
If thence he scape, into whatever world, 
Or unknown region, what remains him less 
Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape? 
But I should ill become this throne, O Peers, 
And this imperial sovereignty, adorned 
With splendour, armed with power, if aught proposed 
And judged of public moment in the shape 
Of difficulty or danger, could ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...t the praise of men, here find 
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds; 
All the unaccomplished works of Nature's hand, 
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixed, 
Dissolved on earth, fleet hither, and in vain, 
Till final dissolution, wander here; 
Not in the neighbouring moon as some have dreamed; 
Those argent fields more likely habitants, 
Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold 
Betwixt the angelical and human kind. 
Hither of ill-joined sons and daughters born 
First...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...bear; those now, that were dispensed 
The burden of many ages, on me light 
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth 
Abortive, to torment me ere their being, 
With thought that they must be. Let no man seek 
Henceforth to be foretold, what shall befall 
Him or his children; evil he may be sure, 
Which neither his foreknowing can prevent; 
And he the future evil shall no less 
In apprehension than in substance feel, 
Grievous to bear: but that care now is past, 
Man is ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...sturbed his sleep. And either tropic now
'Gan thunder, and both ends of heaven; the clouds 
From many a horrid rift abortive poured
Fierce rain with lightning mixed, water with fire,
In ruin reconciled; nor slept the winds
Within their stony caves, but rushed abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vexed wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks,
Bowed their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer.Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...assion and divine desire,
Raw, quivering nerve-stuff and devouring fire,
Foredoomed to failure though they try and try;
Abortive, blindly to destruction hurled;
Unfound, unfit to grapple with the world. . . .

And now to light my wheezy jet of gas;
Chink up the window-crannies and the door,
So that no single breath of air may pass;
So that I'm sealed air-tight from roof to floor.
There, there, that's done; and now there's nothing more. . . .Read more of this...

by Brooks, Gwendolyn
...n the innocence
With which they baffle nature. Who are full,
Sleek, tender-clad, fit, fiftyish, a-glow, all
Sweetly abortive, hinting at fat fruit,
Judge it high time that fiftyish fingers felt
Beneath the lovelier planes of enterprise.
To resurrect. To moisten with milky chill.
To be a random hitching post or plush.
To be, for wet eyes, random and handy hem.
Their guild is giving money to the poor.
The worthy poor. The very very worthy
And bea...Read more of this...

by Carew, Thomas
...the extorted praise 
Of vulgar breath, trust thou to after-days; 
Thy labour'd works shall live when time devours 
Th' abortive offspring of their hasty hours. 
Thou are not of their rank, the quarrel lies 
Within thine own verge; then let this suffice, 
The wiser world doth greater thee confess 
Than all men else, than thyself only less....Read more of this...

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