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Famous America Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Bukowski, Charles
..." Then he
sang "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." He sang "The St. Louis
Blues." He sasng "God Bless America," stopping several times and laughing.
Then he sat down next to Constance. He said, "Connie, you have beautiful legs."
He asked for another cigarette. He smoked it, drank two more drinks, then put his head
down on Connie's legs, against the stockings, in her lap, and he said, "Connie, I
guess I'm no good, I guess I'm crazy, I'm sorry ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
A Phantom, gigantic, superb, with stern visage, accosted me; 
Chant me the poem, it said, that comes from the soul of America—chant me
 carol of victory; 
And strike up the marches of Libertad—marches more powerful yet;
And sing me before you go, the song of the throes of Democracy. 

(Democracy—the destin’d conqueror—yet treacherous lip-smiles everywhere, 
And Death and infidelity at every step.) 

A Nation announcing itself, 
I myself make the only growth b...Read More

by Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
...key and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkeywrenching
crucial parts of the engine
and its life-support systems
and they got a big fat hose
to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
And all the while we just sit there
in the passenger seats
without parachutes
listening to all the news that's fit to air
over the one-way PA system
about how the...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind—


Volcanoes be in Sicily
And South America
I judge from my Geography—
Volcanos nearer here
A Lava step at any time
Am I inclined to climb—
A Crater I may contemplate
Vesuvius at home.


Rearrange a "Wife's" affection!
When they dislocate my Brain!
Amputate my freckled Bosom!
Make me bearded like a man!

Blush, my spirit, in thy Fastness—
Blush, my unacknowledged clay—...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
Adventurers and booty seekers,
Free men and indentured servants,
Slave men and slave masters, all new-
To a new world, America!

With billowing sails the galleons came
Bringing men and dreams, women and dreams.
In little bands together,
Heart reaching out to heart,
Hand reaching out to hand,
They began to build our land.
Some were free hands
Seeking a greater freedom,
Some were indentured hands
Hoping to find their freedom,
Some were slave hands
Guarding in their hea...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...gry and lonesome through Houston 
 seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the 
 brilliant Spaniard to converse about America 
 and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship 
 to Africa, 
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving 
 behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees 
 and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire 
 place Chicago, 
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the 
 F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist 
 eyes sex...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America....Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above...Read More

by Frost, Robert
For art's sake one could almost wish them worse
Rather than better. How are we to write
The Russian novel in America
As long as life goes so unterribly?
There is the pinch from which our only outcry 
In literature to date is heard to come.
We get what little misery we can
Out of not having cause for misery.
It makes the guild of novel writers sick
To be expected to be Dostoievskis
On nothing worse than too much luck and comfort.
This is not sorrow, thou...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...asco de Gama sails forth; 
Again the knowledge gain’d, the mariner’s compass, 
Lands found, and nations born—thou born, America, (a hemisphere unborn,) 
For purpose vast, man’s long probation fill’d,
Thou, rondure of the world, at last accomplish’d. 

O, vast Rondure, swimming in space! 
Cover’d all over with visible power and beauty! 
Alternate light and day, and the teeming, spiritual darkness; 
Unspeakable, high processions of sun and moon, and countless stars, above...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen before front range of Rocky Mountains
twelve miles north of Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility in 
 United States of North America, Western Hemi-
of planet Earth six months and fourteen days around
 our Solar System in a Spiral Galaxy
the local year after Dominion of the last God nineteen 
 hundred seventy eight
Completed as yellow hazed dawn clouds brighten East,
 Denver city white below
Blue sky transparent rising empty deep & spacious to a 
 morning star high over the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...thunder of the voice out from the ribs and throat, 
To make the people rage, weep, hate, desire, with yourself,
To lead America—to quell America with a great tongue. 

O the joy of my soul leaning pois’d on itself—receiving identity through
 and loving them—observing characters, and absorbing them; 
O my soul, vibrated back to me, from them—from facts, sight, hearing, touch, my
 phrenology, reason, articulation, comparison, memory, and the like; 
The real life...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...they, fill’d with dwellers? 

Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens; 
Asia, Africa, Europe, are to the east—America is provided for in the west;
Banding the bulge of the earth winds the hot equator, 
Curiously north and south turn the axis-ends; 
Within me is the longest day—the sun wheels in slanting rings—it does not set for months;

Stretch’d in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above the horizon, and sinks

Within me zones, seas, cataracts...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e least particle! 
O spirituality of things! 
O strain musical, flowing through ages and continents—now reaching me and America!
I take your strong chords—I intersperse them, and cheerfully pass them forward. 

I too carol the sun, usher’d, or at noon, or, as now, setting, 
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth, and of all the growths of the earth, 
I too have felt the resistless call of myself. 

As I sail’d down the Mississippi,
As I wander’d over the pra...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...od-men, with their clear untrimm’d faces, 
The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on themselves, 
The American contempt for statutes and ceremonies, the boundless impatience of restraint,

The loose drift of character, the inkling through random types, the solidification;
The butcher in the slaughter-house, the hands aboard schooners and sloops, the raftsman,
Lumbermen in their winter camp, day-break in the woods, stripes of snow on the limbs...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...unwritten book 
195 For the legendary moonlight that once burned 
196 In Crispin's mind above a continent. 
197 America was always north to him, 
198 A northern west or western north, but north, 
199 And thereby polar, polar-purple, chilled 
200 And lank, rising and slumping from a sea 
201 Of hardy foam, receding flatly, spread 
202 In endless ledges, glittering, submerged 
203 And cold in a boreal mistiness of the moon. 
204 The spring came there in clink...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ehold virtues, was neither a successful nor a patriot king, — inasmuch as several years of his reign passed in war with America and Ireland, to say nothing of the aggression upon France, — like all other exaggeration, necessarily begets opposition. In whatever manner he may be spoken of in this new 'Vision,' his public career will not be more favourably transmitted by history. Of his private virtues (although a little expense to the nation) there can be no doubt. ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...e pallasii, the hermit-thrush
which I have heard in Quebec County. Chapman says (Handbook of
Birds of Eastern North America) "it is most at home in secluded
woodland and thickety retreats. . . . Its notes are not remarkable
for variety or volume, but in purity and sweetness of tone and
exquisite modulation they are unequalled." Its
"water-dripping song"
is justly celebrated.
360. The following lines were stimulated by the account of one
of the ...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...thought her blank and cold and stiff.

And presently she said as they 
Sooner or later always say: 
'You're an American, Miss Dunne? 
Really you do not speak like one.' 
She seemed to think she'd said a thing 
Both courteous and flattering. 
I answered though my wrist were weak 
With anger: 'Not at all, I speak— 
At least I've always thought this true— 
As educated people do 
In any country-even mine.' 
'Really?' I saw her head incline, 
I saw her ready t...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...eal monks and nuns in their identical garments.
I see them showering like stars on to the world--
On India, Africa, America, these miraculous ones,
These pure, small images. They smell of milk.
Their footsoles are untouched. They are walkers of air.

Can nothingness be so prodigal?
Here is my son.
His wide eye is that general, flat blue.
He is turning to me like a little, blind, bright plant.
One cry. It is the hook I hang on.
And I am ...Read More

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