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Famous Afterthought Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Moure, Erin
...said.

It's an image, E. said back.
It's a crash in the head, she said.

It's a real motorcycle.


Afterthought 1

0 excise this: her back turned,
she concentrates on something
in a kitchen sink,
& I sit behind her,
running my fingers on
the table edge.

0 excise this.


Afterthought 2

& after, excise, excise.
If the source of the pain could be located
using geological survey equipment.
Into the sedimentary layers, the slippage,
the surge...Read More



by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...iven
A welcome even to him, or I’ll suppose so— 
Adorning an unfortified assumption 
With gold that might come off with afterthought— 
Got never, if anything, more out of him 
Than a word flung like refuse in their faces,
And rarely that. For God knows what good reason, 
He lavished his whole altered arrogance 
On me; and with an overweening skill, 
Which had sometimes almost a cringing in it, 
Found a few flaws in my tight mail of hate
And slowly pricked a poison into me...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...e the soldiers, her robe billowing like plaster dust, 
seemed so far above us, another century's 
allegorical decor, an afterthought 
who'd never descend to the purely physical 
soldiers, the nearly breathing bronze ranks crushed 

into a terrible compression of perspective, 
as if the world hurried them into the ditch. 
"The unreadable," Wilde said, "is what occurs." 
And when the brutish metal rears 
above the wall of unglazed windows --
where, in a week, the kids w...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...rdy as potatoes,
Stones, without conscience, word and line endure,
Given an inch. Not that they're gross (although

Afterthought often would have them alter
To delicacy, to poise) but that they
Shortchange me continuously: whether

More or other, they still dissatisfy.
Unpoemed, unpictured, the potato
Bunches its knobby browns on a vastly
Superior page; the blunt stone also....Read More

by Untermeyer, Louis
...ullen files.
Suddenly God smiles....
On the walls of heaven a tumble of light is caught.
Low thunder rumbles like an afterthought;
And God's slow laughter calls:
"Behemot!"
Behemot, sweating blood,
Uses for his daily food
All the fodder, flesh and juice
That twelve tall mountains can produce.
Jordan, flooded to the brim,
Is a single gulp to him;
Two great streams from Paradise
Cool his lips and scarce suffice.
When he shifts from side to side

Earthquakes gape...Read More



by Lawrence, D. H.
...you columns of give-and-take. 

To me, the earth rolls ponderously, superbly 
Coming my way without forethought or afterthought. 
To me, men's footfalls fall with a dull, soft rumble, ominous and lovely, 
Coming my way. 

But not your foot-falls, pale-faces, 
They are a clicketing of bits of disjointed metal 
Working in motion. 

To me, men are palpable, invisible nearnesses in the dark 
Sending out magnetic vibrations of warning, pitch-dark throbs of invitat...Read More

by Graham, Jorie
....
She takes it in her hands
like a good idea, feeling
for texture, grain, the built-in 
limits. It's only as an afterthought she asks
and do you think it's beautiful?
Her measuring tapes hang down, corn-blond and endless,
from her neck.
When I look at her
I think Rapunzel,
how one could climb that measuring,
that love. But I was saying,
I wandered all along the street that hugs the walls,
a needle floating
on its cloth. Once
I shut my eyes and felt my way
...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...d
—a wet black leather sofa

already barnacled with ghostly lice—
and his elegant and unlikely mouth,
and the marvelous afterthought of the flukes,

and the way his broad flippers
resembled a pair of clownish gloves
or puppet hands, looming greenish white

beneath the bay's clouded sheen. 
When he had consumed his pleasure
of the shimmering swarm, his pleasure, perhaps,

in his own admired performance,
he swam out the harbor mouth,
into the Atlantic. And though grief
...Read More

by Villani, Luisa
...hat water,
and in it soak your husband's shirts,
 he'll pause at dawn when he puts one on,
its softness like a haunting afterthought.
 And if he works all day in the selva,
he'll divine his way home
 in shirtsleeves aglow with torchlight....Read More

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