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Famous Adze Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by McKay, Claude
...thoughts are stirred to wakefulness; because 
Long, long ago in a dim unknown land, 
A massive forest-tree, ax-felled, adze-hewn, 
Was deftly done by cunning mortal hand 
Into a symbol of the tender moon. 
Why does it thrill more than the handsome boat 
That bore me o'er the wild Atlantic ways, 
And fill me with rare sense of things remote 
From this harsh land of fretful nights and days? 
I cannot answer but, whate'er it be, 
An old wine has intoxicated me....Read More



by Whitman, Walt
...tiers of scaffolds, the workmen busy outside and
 inside,
The tools lying around, the great auger and little auger, the adze, bolt, line, square,
 gouge,
 and
 bead-plane. 

10
The shapes arise! 
The shape measur’d, saw’d, jack’d, join’d, stain’d, 
The coffin-shape for the dead to lie within in his shroud; 
The shape got out in posts, in the bedstead posts, in the posts of the bride’s bed;
The shape of the little trough, the shape of the rockers beneath, the shape of the ...Read More

by Housman, A E
..., lads, and I will die. 

"Oh, at home had I but stayed 
'Prenticed to my father's trade, 
Had I stuck to plane and adze, 
I had not been lost, my lads. 

"Then I might have built perhaps 
Gallows-trees for other chaps, 
Never dangled on my own, 
Had I left but ill alone. 

"Now, you see, they hang me high, 
And the people passing by 
Stop to shake their fists and curse; 
So 'tis come from ill to worse. 

"Here hang I, and right and left 
Two poor fellows hang...Read More

by Jackson, Helen Hunt
...or bless me, 
I care not, if but once thou dost caress me, 
O Brook, I follow thee! 

All torn and bruised with mark of adze and chain, 
Hurled down the dizzy slide of sand, 
Tossed by great waves in ecstsy of pain, 
And rudely thrown at last to land, 
The Fir-Tree heard: "Oh, see 
With what fierce love it is I must caress thee! 
I warned thee I might curse, and never bless thee, 
Why didst thou follow me? 

All stately set with spar and brace and rope, 
The Fir-Tree stood an...Read More

by Jackson, Helen Hunt
...hammers them idly year by year, 
Hammers and chuckles a low refrain: 
"A bench and a book are a ball and a chain, 
The adze is a better tool than the plane; 
What's the odds between now and next year?" 

Hammers and chuckles his low refrain, 
A lazy, dreaming fellow is he: 
When sudden, some day, his bells peal out, 
And men, at the sound, for gladness shout; 
He laughs and asks what it's all about; 
Oh, a curious sort of smith is he....Read More



by Dickinson, Emily
...met as Sparks -- Diverging Flints
Sent various -- scattered ways --
We parted as the Central Flint
Were cloven with an Adze --
Subsisting on the Light We bore
Before We felt the Dark --
A Flint unto this Day -- perhaps --
But for that single Spark....Read More

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