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Famous Abrupt Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...ssomless bed
Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses
Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,
To the low last edge of the long lone land.
If a step should sound or a word be spoken,
Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?
So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless,
Through branches and briars if a man make way,
He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless
Night and day.

The dense hard passage is blin...Read More



by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...hose windings gave ten thousand various tongues
To the loud stream. Lo! where the pass expands 
Its stony jaws, the abrupt mountain breaks,
And seems with its accumulated crags
To overhang the world; for wide expand
Beneath the wan stars and descending moon
Islanded seas, blue mountains, mighty streams,
Dim tracts and vast, robed in the lustrous gloom
Of leaden-colored even, and fiery hills
Mingling their flames with twilight, on the verge
Of the remote horizon. The n...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...dering; 
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life; 
Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt, alone, or in the crowded street,
Comes before me the unknown soldier’s grave—comes the inscription rude in
 Virginia’s
 woods, 
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...s begun,
These early November hours,

XII.

That crimson the creeper's leaf across
Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt,
O'er a shield else gold from rim to boss,
And lay it for show on the fairy-cupped
Elf-needled mat of moss,

XIII.

By the rose-flesh mushrooms, undivulged
Last evening---nay, in to-day's first dew
Yon sudden coral nipple bulged,
Where a freaked fawn-coloured flaky crew
Of toadstools peep indulged.

XIV.

And yonder, at foot of the frontin...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...ght thus to a disgraceful end-
He rolled his eye with stern regard
Upon the gentle ministrel bard,
And said in tones abrupt, austere-
'Why, Bracy! dost thou loiter here?
I bade thee hence!' The bard obeyed;
And turning from his own sweet maid,
The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
Led forth the lady Geraldine!

(Coleridge never finished the poem;
this conclusion is by James Gillman,
who cared for Coleridge during the
latter years. He wrote the following
based on wha...Read More



by Whitman, Walt
...ls, was mine;
I too walk’d the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it; 
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me, 
In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me, 
In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me. 

I too had been struck from the float forever held in solution;
I too had receiv’d identity by my Body; 
That I was, I knew was of my body—and what I should be, I knew I should b...Read More

by Keats, John
...hey brought the burden to a close,
A shout from the whole multitude arose,
That lingered in the air like dying rolls
Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine,
Young companies nimbly began dancing
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly
To tunes forgotten--out of memory:
Fair creatures! whose young children's children bred
Thermopylæ its he...Read More

by Keats, John
...ms.
Aye, millions sparkled on a vein of gold,
Along whose track the prince quick footsteps told,
With all its lines abrupt and angular:
Out-shooting sometimes, like a meteor-star,
Through a vast antre; then the metal woof,
Like Vulcan's rainbow, with some monstrous roof
Curves hugely: now, far in the deep abyss,
It seems an angry lightning, and doth hiss
Fancy into belief: anon it leads
Through winding passages, where sameness breeds
Vexing conceptions of some sudden chan...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...ul beauty smiled.

Night came,--and in their lighted bower, full late,
The joy of converse had endured--when, hark!
Abrupt and loud, a summons shook their gate;
And heedless of the dog's obstrep'rous bark,
A form had rush'ed amidst them from the dark,
And spread his arms,--and fell upon the floor:
Of aged strength his limbs retained the mark;
But desolate he look's and famish'd, poor,
As ever shipwreck'd wretch lone left on desert shore.

Uprisen, each wond'ring brow ...Read More

by Edgar, Marriott
...g, says "'Ere, take a screw!" 

They looked to were 'Ardy were pointing, 
And saw lots o' ships in a row. 
Joe says abrupt like but respectful, 
"'Oratio lad, yon's the foe." 

'What say we attack 'em?' says Nelson, 
Says Joe 'Nay lad, not today.' 
And 'Ardy says, 'Aye, well let's toss up.'
'Oratio answers 'Okay.' 

They tossed... it were heads for attacking, 
And tails for t'other way 'bout. 
Joe lent them his two-headed penny, 
So the ans...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...Bid us remember all we ever had 
Of sweet and gay delight—
We who are free,
But cannot quite be glad,
Thinking of huge, abrupt disaster brought
Upon so many of our kind
Who treasure as do we the vivid look on the unfrightened face,
The careless happy stride from place to place,
And the unbounded regions of untrammelled thought
Open as interstellar space
To the exploring and excited mind.

O Muses, O immortal Nine!—
Or do ye languish? Can ye die?
Must all go under?—
How sh...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...weather?
Draining shallow sea-pools dry,
When we bicycled together
Down the bohreens fuchsia-high.
Till there rose, abrupt and lonely,
A ruined abbey, chancel only,
Lichen-crusted, time-befriended,
Soared the arches, splayed and splendid,
Romanesque against the sky.

There in pinnacled protection,
One extinguished family waits
A Church of Ireland resurrection
By the broken, rusty gates.
Sheepswool, straw and droppings cover,
Graves of spinster, rake and lover,
Who...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...ny with his feckless cousins between their bouts in prison.

The pointless team meetings he was patted through,

My abrupt dismissal as carer at the keyworker’s instigation,

The admission we knew nothing of, the abscondings we were told of

And had to sort out, then the phone call from the ASW.

"We are about to section your son for six months, have you

Any comment?" Then the final absconding to London

From a fifteen minute break on PICU, to face his brother’s 

Dr...Read More

by Milton, John
...palpable obscure find out 
His uncouth way, or spread his airy flight, 
Upborne with indefatigable wings 
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive 
The happy Isle? What strength, what art, can then 
Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe, 
Through the strict senteries and stations thick 
Of Angels watching round? Here he had need 
All circumspection: and we now no less 
Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send 
The weight of all, and our last hope, relies." 
 This said, he ...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...farm.
The most that we can do for one another
Is let our blunders and our blind mischances
Argue a certain brusque abrupt compassion.
We might as well be truthful. I should say
They're luckiest who know they're not unique;
But only art or common interchange
Can teach that kindest truth. And even art
Can only hint at what disturbed a Melville
Or calmed a Mahler's frenzy; you and I
Still look from separate windows every morning
Upon the same white daylight in t...Read More

by Atwood, Margaret
...levelness of surface like a rebuke
to the dent in our car door.
No shouting here, or
shatter of glass; nothing more abrupt
than the rational whine of a power mower
cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass.

But though the driveways neatly
sidestep hysteria
by being even, the roofs all display
the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky,
certain things:
the smell of spilled oil a faint
sickness lingering in the garages,
a splash of paint on brick surprising as ...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...'d with woods
Of chesnut, pine, and oak: as on these hills
Is yonder little thoughtless shepherd lad,
Who, on the slope abrupt of downy turf
Reclin'd in playful indolence, sends off
The chalky ball, quick bounding far below;
While, half forgetful of his simple task,
Hardly his length'ning shadow, or the bells'
Slow tinkling of his flock, that supping tend
To the brown fallows in the vale beneath,
Where nightly it is folded, from his sport
Recal the happy idler.--While I g...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...hin the dark ravines below,
     Where twined the path in shadow hid,
     Round many a rocky pyramid,
     Shooting abruptly from the dell
     Its thunder-splintered pinnacle;
     Round many an insulated mass,
     The native bulwarks of the pass,
     Huge as the tower which builders vain
     Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain.
     The rocky summits, split and rent,
     Formed turret, dome, or battlement.
     Or seemed fantastically set
     With cupola ...Read More

by Thomson, James
...s along,
Resistless, roaring; dreadful down it comes
From the chapt Mountain, and the mossy Wild, 
Tumbling thro' Rocks abrupt, and sounding far:
Then o'er the sanded Valley, floating, spreads,
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again constrain'd,
Betwixt two meeting Hills, it bursts a Way,
Where Rocks, and Woods o'erhang the turbid Stream. 
There gathering triple Force, rapid, and deep,
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders thro'.

NATURE! great Parent! whose direc...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...meet again— 
Now, while he turns down that cool narrow lane
Into the blackness, out of grave Madrid
All fire and shine—abrupt as when there's slid
Its stiff gold blazing pall
From some black coffin-lid.
Or, best of all,
I love to think
The leaving us was just a feint;
Back here to London did he slink;
And now works on without a wink
Of sleep, and we are on the brink
Of something great in fresco-paint:
Some garret's ceiling, walls and floor,
Up and down and o'er and o'er
...Read More

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