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Famous Alternating Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...whirlpool all that ample chasm;
Stair above stair the eddying waters rose, 
Circling immeasurably fast, and laved
With alternating dash the gnarlèd roots
Of mighty trees, that stretched their giant arms
In darkness over it. I' the midst was left,
Reflecting yet distorting every cloud,
A pool of treacherous and tremendous calm.
Seized by the sway of the ascending stream,
With dizzy swiftness, round and round and round,
Ridge after ridge the straining boat arose,
Till ...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
Wonderment fresh dost thou feel, as soon as the stem rears the flower

Over the scaffolding frail of the alternating leaves.
But this glory is only the new creation's foreteller,

Yes, the leaf with its hues feeleth the hand all 
And on a sudden contracteth itself; the tenderest figures

Twofold as yet, hasten on, destined to blend into 
Lovingly now the beauteous pairs are standing together,

Gather'd in countless array, there where the al...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...far away within the view.
A sea of narrow, horizontal boards 
lies out behind our lonely monument,
its long grains alternating right and left
like floor-boards--spotted, swarming-still,
and motionless. A sky runs parallel,
and it is palings, coarser than the sea's:
splintery sunlight and long-fibred clouds.
"Why does the strange sea make no sound?
Is it because we're far away?
Where are we? Are we in Asia Minor, 
or in Mongolia?"
 An ancient promontory,
an ancien...Read More

by Moore, Marianne
...-shod. The prey of fear, he, always
 curtailed, extinguished, thwarted by the dusk, work partly
 says to the alternating blaze,
 "Again the sun!
 anew each day; and new and new and new,
 that comes into and steadies my soul."...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
In Change -- unerudite --

It only moved as do the Suns --
For merit of Return --
Or Birds -- confirmed perpetual
By Alternating Zone --

I only have it not Tonight
In its established place --
For technicality of Death --
Omitted in the Lease --...Read More

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