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Famous Against Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
...ail of his all-hurting aim,
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame;
And, veil'd in them, did win whom he would maim:
Against the thing he sought he would exclaim;
When he most burn'd in heart-wish'd luxury,
He preach'd pure maid, and praised cold chastity.

'Thus merely with the garment of a Grace
The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd;
That th' unexperient gave the tempter place,
Which like a cherubin above them hover'd.
Who, young and simple, would not be so lo...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
 amativeness, angers, teach?
Have you sped through fleeting customs, popularities? 
Can you hold your hand against all seductions, follies, whirls, fierce contentions? are
 very strong? are you really of the whole people? 
Are you not of some coterie? some school or mere religion? 
Are you done with reviews and criticisms of life? animating now to life itself? 
Have you vivified yourself from the maternity of These States?
Have you too the old, ever-fresh fo...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats—
And Saints—to windows run—
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the—Sun—


Wild Nights—Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile—the Winds—
To a heart in port—
Done with the Compass—
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden—
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor—Tonight—
In Thee!


You see I cannot see—your lifetime—
I must guess—
How many times it ache for me—toda...Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...e void 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you accuse your doctors of insanity and 
 plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the 
 fascist national Golgotha 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you will split the heavens of Long Island 
 and resurrect your living human Jesus from the 
 superhuman tomb 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com- 
 rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where ...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...age of a summer's day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalk...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours
Before the dawn in season due should blush,
He breath'd fierce breath against the sleepy portals,
Clear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode
Each day from east to west the heavens through,
Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds;
Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid,
But ever and anon the glancing spheres,
Circles, and arcs, and ...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
..., and whirl aloft, 
 Backward, and down, nor any rest allow, 
 Nor pause of such contending wraths as oft 
 Batter them against the precipitous sides, and there 
 The shrieks and moanings quench the screaming air, 
 The cries of their blaspheming. 
 are they 
 That lust made sinful. As the starlings rise 
 At autumn, darkening all the colder skies, 
 In crowded troops their wings up-bear, so here 
 These evil-doers on each contending blast 
 Were lifted upward,...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...l was sad, 
And his glance follow'd fast each fluttering fair, 
Whose steps of lightness woke no echo there: 
He lean'd against the lofty pillar nigh 
With folded arms and long attentive eye, 
Nor mark'd a glance so sternly fix'd on his, 
Ill brook'd high Lara scrutiny like this: 
At length he caught it, 'tis a face unknown, 
But seems as searching his, and his alone; 
Prying and dark, a stranger's by his mien, 
Who still till now had gazed on him unseen; 
At length encounter...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...And she was there, my Hope, my Joy,    My own dear Genevieve!   She lean'd against the Armed Man,  The Statue of the Armed Knight:  She stood and listen'd to my Harp    Amid the ling'ring Light.   Few Sorrows hath she of her own,  My Hope, my Joy, my Genevieve!  She loves me best, whene'er I sing    The Songs...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...none of the rest, 
It is offensive, never defensive—yet how magnetic it draws. 

O joy of suffering!
To struggle against great odds! to meet enemies undaunted! 
To be entirely alone with them! to find how much one can stand! 
To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, death, face to face! 
To mount the scaffold! to advance to the muzzles of guns with perfect nonchalance! 
To be indeed a God!

O, to sail to sea in a ship! 
To leave this steady, unendurable land!...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...The three stood listening to a fresh access
Of wind that caught against the house a moment,
Gulped snow, and then blew free again—the Coles
Dressed, but dishevelled from some hours of sleep,
Meserve belittled in the great skin coat he wore.

Meserve was first to speak. He pointed backward
Over his shoulder with his pipe-stem, saying,
“You can just see it glancing off the roof
Making a great scroll upward toward t...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...of me, it shall be you! 
You my rich blood! Your milky stream, pale strippings of my life. 

Breast that presses against other breasts, it shall be you! 
My brain, it shall be your occult convolutions.

Root of wash’d sweet flag! timorous pond-snipe! nest of guarded duplicate
 eggs! it shall be you! 
Mix’d tussled hay of head, beard, brawn, it shall be you! 
Trickling sap of maple! fibre of manly wheat! it shall be you! 

Sun so generous, it shall be you! 
...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...s of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law, and mocks all authority and all argument

Here is the test of wisdom; 
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools; 
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it, to another not having it; 
Wisdom is of the Soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities, and is content, 
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and ...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...deep grass,
Hardened his heart with hope.

A sea-folk blinder than the sea
Broke all about his land,
But Alfred up against them bare
And gripped the ground and grasped the air,
Staggered, and strove to stand.

He bent them back with spear and spade,
With desperate dyke and wall,
With foemen leaning on his shield
And roaring on him when he reeled;
And no help came at all.

He broke them with a broken sword
A little towards the sea,
And for one hour of panting peac...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...rthly names
Were never told can form and sense bestow;
And man hath sped his instinct to outgo
The step of science; and against her shames
Imagination stakes out heavenly claims,
Building a tower above the head of woe. 
Nor is there fairer work for beauty found
Than that she win in nature her release
From all the woes that in the world abound:
Nay with his sorrow may his love increase,
If from man's greater need beauty redound,
And claim his tears for homage of his peace....Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...nt my dreaming gaze!


If--and the thing is wildly possible--the charge of writing nonsense were ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on the line (in p.18) 

"Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes." 

In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) appeal indignantly to my other writings as a proof that I am incapable of such a deed: I will not (as I might) point...Read more of this...

by Angelou, Maya like the
Small fists of sleeping
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live....Read more of this...

by Blake, William
before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he 
bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to
lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exis without breaking these 
ten commandments: Jesus was all virtue and acted from im[PL 24]pulse: 
not from rules.
When he had so spoken: I beheld the Angel who stretched out
his arms embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose
as Elijah.

Note. This Angel, who is now b...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord) of an informer. If there exists anywhere, except in his imagination, such a School, is he not sufficiently armed against it by his own intense vanity? The truth is, that there are certain writers whom Mr. S. imagines, like Scrub, to have 'talked of him; for they have laughed consumedly.' 

I think I know enough of most of the writers to whom he is supposed to allude, to assert, that they, in their individual capacities, have done more good, in the charities...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Quando fiam ceu chelidon - O swallow swallow
Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie 
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
shantih shantih

Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism
of the poem were suggested by Miss Jessie L. Weston's book on the Grail legend:
From Ritual to Romance (Macmillan)....Read more of this...

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