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Famous Alchemy Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Aiken, Conrad
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow's foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come. 


The thousand eyes, the Argus ‘I's...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...which night and time have quenched forever-- 
Still, dark, and dry, and unremembered now.

Oh, for Medea's wondrous alchemy,
Which wheresoe'er it fell made the earth gleam
With bright flowers, and the wintry boughs exhale
From vernal blooms fresh fragrance! Oh, that God,
Profuse of poisons, would concede the chalice
Which but one living man has drained, who now,
Vessel of deathless wrath, a slave that feels
No proud exemption in the blighting curse
He bears, over the worl...Read More

by Seeger, Alan in this cold embrace 
That the warm arms so hunger to replace?" 
Into the damsel's cheeks such color flew 
As by the alchemy of ancient days 
If whitest ivory should take the hue 
Of coral where it blooms deep in the liquid blue. 

Nor yet so tightly drawn the cruel chains 
Clasped the slim ankles and the wounded hands, 
But with soft, cringing attitudes in vain 
She strove to shield her from that ardent glance. 
So, clinging to the walls of some old manse, 
The r...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...y; and he that has 
No kindlier commodity than hate, 
Glossed with a pity that belies itself 
In its negation and lacks alchemy
To fuse itself to—love, would you have me say? 
I don’t believe it. No, there is no such word. 
If I say tolerance, there’s no more to say. 
And he who sickens even in saying that— 
What coin of God has he to pay the toll
To peace on earth? Good will to men—oh, yes! 
That’s easy; and it means no more than sap, 
Until we boil the water out...Read More

by Rumi, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad
...addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts? We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked. Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessn...Read More

by Wanek, Connie la creme.
It was a delicacy which assured me
that bliss follows agitation,
that even pasture daisies
through the alchemy of four stomachs
may grace a king's table.

We have a yellow bowl near the toaster
where summer's butter grows
soft and sentimental.
We love it better for its weeping,
its nostalgia for buckets and churns
and deep stone wells,
for the press of a wooden butter mold
shaped like a swollen heart....Read More

by Raine, Kathleen
...dy to change? 
Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass 
All your life long 

For the unknown, the unborn 
In the alchemy 
Of the world's dream? 

You will change, 
says the stars to the sun, 
Says the night to the stars....Read More

by Masters, Edgar Lee You were not rejected
By those for whom you were defeated.
You did not eat the savorless bread
Which a poor alchemy had made from ideals.
You went to Manila, Harry Wilmans,
While I enlisted in the bedraggled army
Of bright-eyed, divine youths,
Who surged forward, who were driven back and fell,
Sick, broken, crying, shorn of faith,
Following the flag of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You and I, Harry Wilmans, have fallen
In our several ways, not knowing
Good from b...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...n the total animal soup of 
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed 
 with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use 
 of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat- 
 ing plane, 
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space 
 through images juxtaposed, and trapped the 
 archangel of the soul between 2 visual images 
 and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun 
 and dash of consciousness together jumping 
 with sensation of Pater Omnipoten...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...tand erect
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan's death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which ne...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
Dumb woods, have ye uttered a bird?

* * * * *

Reverend Marsh, low-couched along the sea,
Old chemist, rapt in alchemy,
Distilling silence, -- lo,
That which our father-age had died to know --
The menstruum that dissolves all matter -- thou
Hast found it: for this silence, filling now
The globed clarity of receiving space,
This solves us all: man, matter, doubt, disgrace,
Death, love, sin, sanity,
Must in yon silence' clear solution lie.
Too clear! That crystal n...Read More

by Montgomery, Lucy Maud
...of the gloom
The lost sunshine of old summers is keeping­
The wealth of forests that held in fee 
Many a season's rare alchemy, 
And the glow and gladness without a name 
That dwells in the deeps of unstinted flame. 

Gather we now round the opulent blaze
With the face that loves and the heart that rejoices, 
Dream we once more of the old-time days,
Listen once more to the old-time voices! 
From the clutch of the cities and paths of the sea 
We have come again to our own...Read More

by Service, Robert William
And our thaumaturgic day
Had its source in ooze and clay . . .
But I have not power to see
Such stupendous alchemy:
And in star-bright lily bud
Lo! I worship Mother Mud....Read More

by Milton, John
...h trumpet's regal sound the great result: 
Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim 
Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy, 
By herald's voice explained; the hollow Abyss 
Heard far adn wide, and all the host of Hell 
With deafening shout returned them loud acclaim. 
Thence more at ease their minds, and somewhat raised 
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged Powers 
Disband; and, wandering, each his several way 
Pursues, as inclination or sad choice 
Leads him perple...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...t beyond telling,
Which were ours once. This would be the point
Of invading the privacy of this man who
"Dabbled in alchemy, but whose wish
Here was not to examine the subtleties of art
In a detached, scientific spirit: he wished through them
To impart the sense of novelty and amazement to the spectator"
(Freedberg). Later portraits such as the Uffizi
"Gentleman," the Borghese "Young Prelate" and
The Naples "Antea" issue from Mannerist
Tensions, but here, as Freedberg...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...k up the monarch's plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
To make of monsters, and things indigest,
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best
As fast as objects to his beams assemble?
O, 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up;
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup.
If...Read More

by Levertov, Denise
...ur slow ascent
and the drip, drip, of darkness glimmers on the stone
to show you how your longing waits alone.
What alchemy shines from under that shut door,
spinning out gold from the hollow of the heart?

Enter the turret of your love, and lie
close in the arms of the sea; let in new suns
that beat and echo in the mind like sounds
risen from sunken cities lost to fear;
let in the light that answers your desire
awakening at midnight with the fire,
until its magic burns t...Read More

by Donne, John
...tates, and all princes I;
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy sphere....Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
" 'Arise and quench thy thirst,' was her reply,
And as a shut lily, stricken by the wand
Of dewy morning's vital alchemy,
"I rose; and, bending at her sweet command,
Touched with faint lips the cup she raised,
And suddenly my brain became as sand
"Where the first wave had more than half erased
The track of deer on desert Labrador,
Whilst the fierce wolf from which they fled amazed
"Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore
Until the second bursts--so on my sight
Burst a ...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...rmy shall be felled like the ox.
The fatal hour is striking in all the doomsday clocks.
The while, by freedom's alchemy
Beauty is born.
Ring every sleigh-bell, ring every church bell,
Blow the clear trumpet, and listen for the answer: —
The blast from the sky of the Gabriel horn.

Hail the Russian picture around the little box: —
Troops in files,
Generals in uniform,
Mujiks in their smocks,
And holy maiden soldiers who have cut away their locks.

A...Read More

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