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Famous Accidental Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...>


 Note 1. Burns confesses that his Jacobtism was merely sentimental “except when my passions were heated by some accidental cause,” and a tour through the country where Montrose, Claverhouse, and Prince Charles had fought, was cause enough. Strathallan fell gloriously at Culloden.—Lang. [back]...Read More



by McGonagall, William Topaz
...d to while away the time;
And they left the Craig Pier at half-past two o'clock,
Never thinking they would meet with an accidental shock. 

And after passing underneath the Bridge of Tay,
Then they took the Channel on the south side without dismay;
And Captain Methven stood on the Steamer's bridge, I do declare,
And for the passengers he seemed to have very great care. 

And all went well on board for some time,
And the silvery Tay shone beautiful in the sunshine;
And...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play --
In accidental power --
The blonde Assassin passes on --
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God....Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...-house
To give me welcome. She stood straight and calm,
Her somewhat narrow forehead braided tight
As if for taming accidental thoughts
From possible pulses ; brown hair pricked with grey
By frigid use of life, (she was not old
Although my father's elder by a year)
A nose drawn sharply yet in delicate lines ;
A close mild mouth, a little soured about
The ends, through speaking unrequited loves
Or peradventure niggardly half-truths ;
Eyes of no colour, -- once they might h...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...portion, as he shaped it thus 
For argumentatory purposes, 
He felt his foe was foolish to dispute. 
Some arbitrary accidental thoughts 
That crossed his mind, amusing because new, 
He chose to represent as fixtures there, 
Invariable convictions (such they seemed 
Beside his interlocutor's loose cards 
Flung daily down, and not the same way twice) 

While certain hell deep instincts, man's weak tongue 
Is never bold to utter in their truth 
Because styled hell-deep ('t i...Read More



by Subraman, Belinda
...rough some empty shell
some hollow wood
some emptiness

the snake 
was not so much charmed
as listening intently
to the accidental flute
to that which he knew
must be female
its empty insides
calling him
with breath music

and he joined in 
for awhile
finding a rang of sounds
he’d never heard
then peace

and a new religion
practiced in places
where snakes are holy
and music
is written in his tongue...Read More

by Grennan, Eamon
...Through an accidental crack in the curtain
I can see the eight o'clock light change from
charcoal to a faint gassy blue, inventing things

in the morning that has a thick skin of ice on it
as the water tank has, so nothing flows, all is bone,
telling its tale of how hard the night had to be

for any heart caught out in it, just flesh and blood
no match for the mindless...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...geist marching in the background,
no heavy ethos thrown over us like a cloak.

Instead, our meeting is so brief and accidental,
unnoticed by the monocled eye of History,
you could be the man I held the door for 
this morning at the bank or post office 
or the one who wrapped my speckled fish.
You could be someone I passed on the street 
or the face behind the wheel of an oncoming car.

The sunlight flashes off your windshield,
and when I look up into the small, po...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth
were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at
each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of
unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white
checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady ...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...'as got to stop.
Well, next time when we makes a big attack,
As soon as we gets well across the top,
I'll plug 'em (accidental) in the back.
'E'll cop a blinkin' packet in 'is spine,
And that'll be the end of 'im, the swine.

It's easy in the muck-up of a fight;
And all me mates'll think it was the foe.
And 'oo can say it doesn't serve 'im right?
And I'll go 'ome and none will ever know,
My missis didn't oughter do that sort o' thing,
Seein' as 'ow she wears m...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...It was a quiet seeming Day --
There was no harm in earth or sky --
Till with the closing sun
There strayed an accidental Red
A Strolling Hue, one would have said
To westward of the Town --

But when the Earth began to jar
And Houses vanished with a roar
And Human Nature hid
We comprehended by the Awe
As those that Dissolution saw
The Poppy in the Cloud...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...ongevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instmment.

Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Acco...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...held the nation a week
And one or two million men stood together
And swore by the retribution of steel.

It was all accidental.
He lived flecking lint off coat lapels
Of men he talked with.
He kissed the miners’ babies
And wrote a Denver paper
Of picket silhouettes on a mountain line.

He had no mother but Mother Jones
Crying from a jail window of Trinidad:
“All I want is room enough to stand
And shake my fist at the enemies of the human race.”

Named by a...Read More

by Jarrell, Randall
...
The chance of life. Now the boy pats my dog
And we start home. Now I am good.
The last mistaken,
Ecstatic, accidental bliss, the blind

Happiness that, bursting, leaves upon the palm
Some soap and water--
It was so long ago, back in some Gay
Twenties, Nineties, I don't know . . . Today I miss
My lovely daughter
Away at school, my sons away at school,

My husband away at work--I wish for them.
The dog, the maid,
And I go through the sure unvarying ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...mens; but now
water faucets spawn no danger; each crab
and octopus -- scrabbling just beyond the view,
waiting for some accidental break
in ritual, to strike -- is definitely gone;
the authentic sea denies them and will pluck
fantastic flesh down to the honest bone.

We take the plunge; under water our limbs
waver, faintly green, shuddering away
from the genuine color of skin; can our dreams
ever blur the intransigent lines which draw
the shape that shuts us in? absolute ...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...mid magnificence and doom, 
To build himself an airy monument 
That should, or fail him in his vague intent,
Outlast an accidental universe— 
To call it nothing worse— 
Or, by the burrowing guile 
Of Time disintegrated and effaced, 
Like once-remembered mighty trees go down
To ruin, of which by man may now be traced 
No part sufficient even to be rotten, 
And in the book of things that are forgotten 
Is entered as a thing not quite worth while. 
He may have been so great
...Read More

by Finch, Anne Kingsmill
...y. 

The Fool, to imitate the Wits,
Complains of thy pretended Fits,
And Dulness, born with him, wou'd lay
Upon thy accidental Sway; 
Because, sometimes, thou dost presume
Into the ablest Heads to come:
That, often, Men of Thoughts refin'd,
Impatient of unequal Sence,
Such slow Returns, where they so much dispense,
Retiring from the Croud, are to thy Shades inclin'd.
O'er me, alas! thou dost too much prevail:
I feel thy Force, whilst I against thee rail; 
I feel my Ve...Read More

by Levis, Larry
...the unwobbling tripod, 
The way he checked each aperture against
The light meter, in love with all things
That were not accidental, & I remember
The care he took when focusing; how
He tried two different lens filters before
He found the one appropriate for that
Sensual, late, slow blush of afternoon
Falling through the one broad bay window.
I remember holding still & looking down
Into the square because he asked me to;
Because my mother & father had asked me please
To obe...Read More

by Philips, Katherine
...
Who most Affection or most Peace engrost; 
Whose Love is strongest, or whose Bliss is most. 

4. 
May nothing accidental e're appear 
But what shall with new bonds their Souls endear; 
And may they count the hours as they pass, 
By their own Joys, and not by Sun or Glass: 
While every day like this may Sacred prove 
To Friendship, Gratitude, and Strictest Love....Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...
That street which was not on the map entire!

Upon the sound of voice behind an open door,
Upon the sight of every accidental letter,
You will remember: "Here has she herself
Come to assist my disbelief unfettered."



x x x

Did not scold me, did not praise me,
Like friends and like enemies.
Only left his soul to me
And then said, "Now keep in peace."

And one thing worries me so:
If this moment he will die,
God's archangel will come to me
...Read More

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