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Famous Adopted Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Betjeman, John
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surry twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

Around us ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...he city where women walk in public processions in the streets, the same as the men; 
O a wan and terrible emblem, by me adopted! 
O shapes arising! shapes of the future centuries! 
O muscle and pluck forever for me!
O workmen and workwomen forever for me! 
O farmers and sailors! O drivers of horses forever for me! 
O I will make the new bardic list of trades and tools! 
O you coarse and wilful! I love you! 
O South! O longings for my dear home! O soft and sunny airs!
O pensiv...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...your own, O city! 
Behold me! incarnate me, as I have incarnated you! 
I have rejected nothing you offer’d me—whom you adopted, I have adopted; 
Good or bad, I never question you—I love all—I do not condemn anything; 
I chant and celebrate all that is yours—yet peace no more;
In peace I chanted peace, but now the drum of war is mine; 
War, red war, is my song through your streets, O city!...Read More

by Berryman, John
...ershorts, with visitors, whereof
we can say their childlessness is ending. Love
finally took over,

after their two adopted: she has a month to go
and Henry has (perhaps) many months to go
until another Spring
wakens another Henry, with far to go;
far to go, pal.
My pussy-willow ceased. The tiger-lily dreamed.

All we dream, uncertain, in Syracuse & here
& there: dread we our loves, whereas the National Geographic
is on its way somewhere.
We're not. We...Read More

by Berryman, John
and that was not, friends, his worst idea.
Tiny Hardy, toward the end, refused to say anything, 
a programme adopted early on by long Housman,
and Gottfried Benn
said:—We are using our own skins for wallpaper and we cannot win....Read More

by Yevtushenko, Yevgeny
 they removed
 the pedestal
to a filthy little red-light district.
And the poet stood,
 as the sailor's adopted brother,
against a background
 you might call native to him.
Our Bilbao loved cracking jokes.
He would say:
 'On this best of possible planets 
there are prostitutes and politutes -- 
as I'm a poet,
 I prefer the former.'"
And Neruda comments, with a hint of slyness:
"A poet is
 beyond the rise and fall of values.
It's not hard to rem...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas

Adieu! sweet scion of the rising sun!
But should affliction's storms thy blossom mock,
Then come again--my own adopted one!
And I will graft thee on a noble stock:
The crocodile, the condor of the rock,
Shall be the pastime of thy sylvan wars;
And I will teach thee in the battle' shock
To pay with Huron blood thy father's scars,
And gratulate his soul rejoicing in the stars!"

So finish'd he the rhyme (howe'er uncouth)
That true to nature's fervid feelings ran;
(And ...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz hard to find 

'Twas in the year of 1895, March the 2nd, he died at 10 o'clock.
Which to his dear wife, and his adopted son, was a great shock;
And before he died he bade farewell to his adopted son and wife.
Which, no doubt, they will remember during life. 

Professor Blackie celebrated his golden wedding three years ago,
When he was made the recipient of respect from high and low.
He leaves a widow, but, fortunately, no family,
Which will cause Mrs. ...Read More

by Southey, Robert ballad was related to me, when a school boy, as a fact which had really happened in the North of England. I have
adopted the metre of Mr. Lewis's Alonzo and Imogene--a poem deservedly


Who is she, the poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
Seem a heart overcharged to express?
She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs,
She never complains, but her silence implies
The composure of settled distress.


No aid, no compassion the Mani...Read More

by Dryden, John
...ew-plucked from Paradise,
In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
Rich with immortal green, above the rest:
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
Thou roll'st above us in thy wand'ring race,
Or, in procession fixed and regular
Moved with the heavens' majestic pace;
Or, called to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'st with seraphims the vast abyss:
Whatever happy region be thy place,
Cease thy celestial song a little space;
(Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
Si...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...out, that 
of the first publication being given, when that of the composition 
is unknown. The order of arrangement adopted is that of the authorized 
German editions. As Goethe would never arrange them himself in the 
chronological order of their composition, it has become impossible 
to do so, now that he is dead. The plan adopted in the present volume 
would therefore seem to be the best, as it facilitates reference 
to the original. The circumstances atten...Read More

by Milton, John
...ed the vine 
To wed her elm; she, spoused, about him twines 
Her marriageable arms, and with him brings 
Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn 
His barren leaves. Them thus employed beheld 
With pity Heaven's high King, and to him called 
Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deigned 
To travel with Tobias, and secured 
His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. 
Raphael, said he, thou hearest what stir on Earth 
Satan, from Hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf,...Read More

by Southey, Robert

Now who can judge this to be other than one of those spirits that are
named Incubi? says Thomas Heywood. I have adopted his story, but not his
solution, making the unknown soldier not an evil spirit, but one who had
purchased happiness of a malevolent being, by the promised sacrifice of
his first-born child.


Bright on the mountain's heathy slope
The day's last splendors shine
A...Read More

by Blake, William
...s children are
call'd Sin & Death
But in the Book of Job Miltons Messiah is call'd Satan.
For this history has been adopted by both parties
It indeed appear'd to Reason as if Desire was cast out. but the
Devils account is, that the Messi[PL 6]ah fell. & formed a heaven
of what he stole from the Abyss
This is shewn in the Gospel, where he prays to the Father to
send the comforter or Desire that Reason may have Ideas to build
on, the Jehovah of the Bible being no ot...Read More

by Dryden, John
But baffled by an arbitrary crowd; 
And medals graved, their conquest to record, 
The stamp and coin of their adopted lord. 

The man who laughed but once, to see an ass 
Mumbling to make the cross-grained thistles pass, 
Might laugh again to see a jury chaw 
The prickles of unpalatable law. 
The witnesses that, leech-like lived on blood, 
Sucking for them were med'cinally good; 
But when they fastened on their festered sore, 
Then justice and religion they ...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
For out of Thought's interior sphere  
These wonders rose to upper air; 40 
And Nature gladly gave them place  
Adopted them into her race  
And granted them an equal date 
With Andes and with Ararat. 

These temples grew as grows the grass; 45 
Art might obey but not surpass. 
The passive Master lent his hand 
To the vast soul that o'er him planned; 
And the same power that reared the shrine  
Bestrode the tribes that knelt within. 50 
Ever the ...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von, too,
Scatters abroad to the winds, feelings once god-like and free.
All thy holy symbols, O truth, deceit has adopted,
And has e'en dared to pollute Nature's own voices so fair,
That the craving heart in the tumult of gladness discovers;
True sensations are now mute and can scarcely be heard.
Justice boasts at the tribune, and harmony vaunts in the cottage,
While the ghost of the law stands at the throne of the king.
Years together, ay, centuries long, may t...Read More

by Dryden, John pluck'd from Paradise,
In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
Rich with immortal green above the rest:
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
Thou roll'st above us, in thy wand'ring race,
 Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
 Mov'd with the Heavens' majestic pace:
 Or, call'd to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'st, with seraphims, the vast abyss.
What ever happy region is thy place,
Cease thy celestial song a little space;
(Thou wilt have time enough for hymn...Read More

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