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Famous Actual Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...low, for there is
nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself ...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...fe for ever and a day 
Through ever trying to be and ever being-- 
In the evolution of successive spheres-- 
Before its actual sphere and place of life, 
Halfway into the next, which having reached, 
It shoots with corresponding foolery 

Halfway into the next still, on and off! 
As when a traveller, bound from North to South, 
Scouts fur in Russia: what's its use in France? 
In France spurns flannel: where's its need in Spain? 
In Spain drops cloth, too cumbrous for Algiers...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...stations, stands
of fruits and vegetables, a kiosk selling trinkets
from Mexico and the Philippines. It was all
so actual and Western, it was a new creation
coming into being, like the music of Charlie Parker
someone later called "glad," though that day
I would have said silent, "the silent music
of Charlie Parker." Howard said nothing.
He paid the driver and helped Bird up two flights
to their room, got his boots off, and went out
to let him sleep as the afterno...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...e hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled,
Where action were otherwise movement
Of that which is only moved
And has in it no source of movement—
Driven by dæmonic, chthonic
Powers. And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we h...Read More

by Kinnell, Galway
...his plane dragged 
its track of used ozone half the world long 
thrusts some four hundred of us 
toward places where actual known people 
live and may wait, 
we diminish down in our seats, 
disappeared into novels of lives clearer than ours, 
and yet we do not forget for a moment 
the life down there, the doorway each will soon enter: 
where I will meet her again 
and know her again, 
dark radiance with, and then mostly without, the stars. 

Very likely she h...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...many bonds
other than breed (friendships of lesser motiv, found
even in the brutes) and since our politick is based
on actual association of living men, 'twil come
that the spiritual idea of Friendship, the huge
vastidity of its essence, is fritter'd away
in observation of the usual habits of men;
as happ'd with the great moralist, where his book saith
that ther can be no friendship betwixt God and man
because of their unlimited disparity.
From this dilemma of pagan thou...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...igent editors, or were run down by the 
 drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality, 
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap- 
 pened and walked away unknown and forgotten 
 into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley 
 ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer, 
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of 
 the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas- 
 saic, leaped on *******, cried all over the street, 
 danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed 
 p...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...y choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell's arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us: the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us: but that Spirit hath...Read More

by Hayden, Robert glister toward 
fata morgana's lucent melting shore, 
weave toward New World littorals that are 
mirage and myth and actual shore. 

Voyage through death, 
voyage whose chartings are unlove. 

A charnel stench, effluvium of living death 
spreads outward from the hold, 
where the living and the dead, the horribly dying, 
lie interlocked, lie foul with blood and excrement. 

Deep in the festering hold thy father lies, the corpse of mercy 
rots with him, rats eat ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
No, none of these has raised me to my throne
Of intellectual dissatisfaction,
But the sad accident of having seen
Our actual mountains given in a map
Of early times as twice the height they are—
Ten thousand feet instead of only five—
Which shows how sad an accident may be.
Five thousand is no longer high enough.
Whereas I never had a good idea
About improving people in the world,
Here I am overfertile in suggestion,
And cannot rest from planning day or night
How hi...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...d reached the goal,
Thus much had the world to boast _in fructu_---
The Truth of Man, as by God first spoken,
Which the actual generations garble,
Was re-uttered, and Soul (which Limbs betoken)
And Limbs (Soul informs) made new in marble.


So, you saw yourself as you wished you were,
As you might have been, as you cannot be;
Earth here, rebuked by Olympus there:
And grew content in your poor degree
With your little power, by those statues' godhead,
And your litt...Read More

by Justice, Donald
...ered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor.
What audience would ever know our story?
Beyond our windows shone the actual world.

We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor.
And time went by, drawn by slow horses.
Somewhere beyond our windows shone the actual world.
The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog.

And time went by, drawn by slow horses.
We did not ourselves know what the end was.
The Great Depression had entered ...Read More

by Milton, John
...ctaean Jove was born. 
Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair 
Too soon arrived; Sin, there in power before, 
Once actual; now in body, and to dwell 
Habitual habitant; behind her Death, 
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet 
On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began. 
Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death! 
What thinkest thou of our empire now, though earned 
With travel difficult, not better far 
Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat watc...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...thought of God, 
At Nature and its wonders, Time and Space and Death, 
But that I, turning, call to thee, O soul, thou actual Me, 
And lo! thou gently masterest the orbs,
Thou matest Time, smilest content at Death, 
And fillest, swellest full, the vastnesses of Space. 

Greater than stars or suns, 
Bounding, O soul, thou journeyest forth; 
—What love, than thine and ours could wider amplify?
What aspirations, wishes, outvie thine and ours, O soul? 
What dreams of the ide...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...e an electric light
lays the chromium nerves of plumbing raw;
such poverty assaults the ego; caught
naked in the merely actual room,
the stranger in the lavatory mirror
puts on a public grin, repeats our name
but scrupulously reflects the usual terror.

Just how guilty are we when the ceiling
reveals no cracks that can be decoded? when washbowl
maintains it has no more holy calling
than physical ablution, and the towel
dryly disclaims that fierce troll faces lurk
in its e...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...92 Crispin dwelt in the land and dwelling there 
393 Slid from his continent by slow recess 
394 To things within his actual eye, alert 
395 To the difficulty of rebellious thought 
396 When the sky is blue. The blue infected will. 
397 It may be that the yarrow in his fields 
398 Sealed pensive purple under its concern. 
399 But day by day, now this thing and now that 
400 Confined him, while it cosseted, condoned, 
401 Little by little, as if the suzera...Read More

by Doty, Mark
..., the physical fact of your face:
inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.
Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,
your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth
and clarity of you—warm brown tea—we held
each other for the time the dream allowed.

Bless you. You came back so I could see you
once more, plainly, so I could rest against you
without thinking this ha...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...e poor desires
That are of small import to happy men
Who easily can compass them, to me
Become mere hopeless Heavens or actual Hells,
-- Sir, strengthened so with manhood's seasoned soul,
I lie in this damned cradle day and night,
Still, still, so still, my Lord: less than a babe
In powers but more than any man in needs;
Dreaming, with open eye, of days when men
Have fallen cloven through steel and bone and flesh
At single strokes of this -- of that big arm
Once wielded aught...Read More

by Dryden, John
By proving theirs no plot they prove 'tis worse, 
Unmasked rebellion, and audiacious force, 
Which, though not actual, yet all eyes may see 
'Tis working, in the immediate power to be; 
For from pretended grievances they rise 
First to dislike and after to dispise; 
Then, Cyclop-like, in human flesh to deal, 
Chop up a minister at every meal; 
Perhaps not wholly to melt down the king, 
But clip his regal rights within the ring; 
From thence to asssume the power of pe...Read More

by Brown, Fleda
...shaking Nixon's hand, 
dating this starlet or that, while he is faithful to her 
like a stone in her belly, like the actual love child, 
its bills and diapers. Once he had kissed her 
and time had stood still, at least some point seems to 
remain back there as a place to return to, to wait for. 
What is she waiting for? He will not marry her, nor will he 
stop very often. Desireé will grow up to say her father is dead. 
Desireé will imagine him standi...Read More

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