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Famous Afire Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Schwartz, Delmore
Heightened, intensified and softened
By the soft and the silk of the waters
Blooded made ready by the energy set afire by the
 nakedness of the body,

Electrified: deified: undenied.

A young man of thirty years beholds them from a distance.
He lives in the dungeon of ten million dollars.
He is rich, handsome and empty standing behind the linen curtains
Beholding them.
Which girl does he think most desirable, most beautiful?
They are all equally beautif...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...grown a mammoth size,
Dancing in the kitchen there.
He forgot to revile the sun next morning
When he found his vase afire in its light.
And he carried it out of the house that day,
And kept it close beside him until night.
And so it happened from day to day.
The old man fed his life
On the beauty of his vase, on its perfect shape.
And his soul forgot its former strife.
And the village-folk came and begged to see
The flagon which was dug from the ground...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...ting his heart out with a wild desire,
 One day, behind his counter trim and neat,
He hears a sound that sets his brain afire --
 The Highlanders are marching down the street.
 Oh, how the pipes shrill out, the mad drums beat!
"On to the gates of Hell, my Gordons gay!"
He flings his hated yardstick away.

He sees the sullen pass, high-crowned with snow,
 Where Afghans cower with eyes of gleaming hate.
He hurls himself against the hidden foe.
 They try to rally...Read More

by Service, Robert William

My poppies are my joy and pride;
Yet wistfully I gaze outside
To where their sisters yearn;
Their blowzy crimson cups afire,
Their lips aflutter with desire
To give without return.

My poppies dance a minuet;
Like courtiers in silk they set
My garden all aglow . . . .
Yet O the vagrants at my gate!
The gipsy trulls who peer and wait! . . .
Calling the heart they know....Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...“Do I hear them? Yes, I hear the children singing—and what of it? 
Have you come with eyes afire to find me now and ask me that? 
If I were not their father and if you were not their mother, 
We might believe they made a noise…. What are you—driving at!” 

“Well, be glad that you can hear them, and be glad they are so near us,— 
For I have heard the stars of heaven, and they were nearer still. 
All within an hour it is that I have heard th...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...ur tunnel,
and we played sheets, sheets, sheets
all day, even in the bathtub like lunatics.
But today I set the bed afire
and smoke is filling the room,
it is getting hot enough for the walls to melt,
and the icebox, a gluey white tooth.

I have on a mask in order to write my last words,
and they are just for you, and I will place them
in the icebox saved for vodka and tomatoes,
and perhaps they will last.
The dog will not. Her spots will fall off.
The old...Read More

by Alger, Julie Hill
...n matériel. Spare parts
must be manufactured,
as well as replacements
for equipment blown apart,
shattered, set afire.

Prudently, the merchants
consult their spreadsheets.
They guard against euphoria
and prepare for a possible
downside to this bonanza:
the Allies are shooting
at their best customer,
Saddam Hussein. If he loses
their market will be depressed.
There is also a danger of
restrictions on sales
to angry dictators. Thus,
th...Read More

by Nicolson, Adela Florence Cory
...ssion dies and is dispossessed
          Of his brief, despotic power.
   But the Brain, once kindled, would still be afire
   Were the whole world pasture to its desire,
   And all of love, in a single hour,—
   A single wine cup, filled to the brim,
                              Given to slake its thirst.

   Some there are who are thus-wise cursed
         Times that follow fulfilled desire
         Are of all their hours the worst.
   They find no Respite and r...Read More

by Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor
within the human breast
are a sacrifice unclean,
a tie to things material,

    and only when the soul
is afire with holiness
does sacrifice glow pure,
is adoration mute.


    I, my dearest Phyllis,
who revere you as divine,
who idolize your disdain,
and venerate your rigor;

    I, like the hapless lover
who, blindly circling and circling,
on reaching the glowing core,
falls victim to the flame;

    I, like the innocent child,
who, ...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...g the shore:
There rose our worn pavilions --
 A sail above an oar:
As flashed each yeaming anchor
 Through mellow seas afire,
So swift our careless captains
 Rowed each to his desire.

Where lay our loosened harness?
 Where turned our naked feet?
Whose tavern 'mid the palm-trees?
 What quenchings of what heat?
Oh, fountain in the desert!
 Oh, cistern in the waste!
Oh, bread we ate in secret!
 Oh, cup we spilled in haste!

The youth new-taught of longing,
 The widow curbe...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...poem. Its subject
Matters too much, and not enough, standing there helplessly
While the poem streaked by, its tail afire, a bad
Comet screaming hate and disaster, but so turned inward
That the meaning, good or other, can never
Become known. The singer thinks
Constructively, builds up his chant in progressive stages
Like a skyscraper, but at the last minute turns away.
The song is engulfed in an instant in blackness
Which must in turn flood the whole continent
Wit...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard my brother a league inland?
(Shoal! 'Ware shoal!) Not I!

In the flush of the hot June prime,
 O'ersleek flood-tides afire,
I hear him hurry the chime
 To the bidding of checked Desire;
 Till the sweated ringers tire
And the wild bob-majors die.
 Could I wait for my turn in the godly choir:
(Shoal! 'Ware shoal!) Not I!

When the smoking scud is blown--
 When the greasy wind-rack lowers--
Apart and at peace and alone,
 He counts the changeless hours.
 He wars with d...Read More

by Masefield, John
...e leaves 
The bonfires' smoking trails and heaves, 
And girt red flam?s twink and twire 
As though he ploughed the hill afire. 
And in men's hearts in many lands 
A spiritual ploughman stands 
Forever waiting, waiting now, 
The heart's "Put in, man, zook the plough."

By this the sun was all one glitter, 
The little birds were all atwitter; 
Out of a tuft a little lark 
Went higher up than I could mark, 
His little throat was all one thirst 
To sing until his heart sh...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustom...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustom...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...t and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...with pain;
Backward I press you until you cry,
Your lips grow white, I kiss you again,
I will take a torch and set you afire,
I will break your body and fling it away. . . .
Look, you are trembling. . . .Lie still, beloved!
Lock your hands in my hair, and say
Darling! darling! darling! darling!
All night long till the break of day.

Is it your heart I hear beneath me. . . .
Or the far tolling of that tower?
The voices are s...Read More

by Riley, James Whitcomb
...oast' rambos from a' orchurd-tree,
An' et 'em -- all ist roast' an' hot! --
An' it's so, too! -- 'cause a corn-crib got
Afire one time an' all burn' down
On "The Smoot Farm," 'bout four mile from town --
On "The Smoot Farm"! Yes -- an' the hired han'
'At worked there nen 'uz The Raggedy Man! --
 Ain't he the beatin'est Raggedy Man?
 Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

The Raggedy Man's so good an' kind
He'll be our "horsey," an' "haw" an' mind
Ever'thing 'at you make him do --
A...Read More

by Clampitt, Amy
...a star-swarm thick as the gnats
they're set to catch, delectable
double-faced cockleburs, each
hair-tip a sticky mirror
afire with sunlight, a million
of them and again a million,
each mirror a trap set to
unhand believing,
 that either
a First Cause said once, "Let there
be sundews," and there were, or they've
made their way here unaided
other than by that backhand, round-
about refusal to assume responsibility
known as Natural Selection.
 But the sun
underfoot is so daz...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...And, since she durst not tell it unto man
Down to a marish fast thereby she ran,
Till she came there, her heart was all afire:
And, as a bittern bumbles* in the mire, *makes a humming noise
She laid her mouth unto the water down
"Bewray me not, thou water, with thy soun'"
Quoth she, "to thee I tell it, and no mo',
Mine husband hath long ass's eares two!
Now is mine heart all whole; now is it out;
I might no longer keep it, out of doubt."
Here may ye see, though we a time ...Read More

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