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Famous Answers Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Aiken, Conrad of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
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 ec...Read More

by Wilmot, John
Hunger calls out, my reason bids me eat;
Perversely. yours your appetite does mock:
This asks for food, that answers, 'what's o'clock'
This plain distinction, sir, your doubt secures,
'Tis not true reason I despise, but yours.
Thus I think reason righted, but for man,
I'll ne'er recant, defend him if you can:
For all his pride, and his philosophy,
'Tis evident: beasts are in their own degree
As wise at least, and better far than he.

Those creatures are the...Read More

by Dryden, John
...l name,
A father's right, and fear of future fame;
The public good, the universal call,
To which even Heav'n submitted, answers all.
Nor let his love enchant your generous mind;
'Tis Nature's trick to propagate her kind.
Our fond begetters, who would never die,
Love but themselves in their posterity.
Or let his kindness by th'effects be tri'd,
Or let him lay his vain pretence aside.
God said he lov'd your father; could he bring
A better proof, than to anoint h...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
If, where the Rules not far enough extend,
(Since Rules were made but to promote their End)
Some Lucky LICENCE answers to the full
Th' Intent propos'd, that Licence is a Rule.
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common Track.
Great Wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to Faults true Criticks dare not mend;
From vulgar Bounds with brave Disorder part,
And snatch a Grace beyond the Reach of Art,
Which, without passing thro'...Read More

by Jennings, Elizabeth
...Answers...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip

Because I oft in darke abstracted guise
Seeme most alone in greatest company,
With dearth of words, or answers quite awrie,
To them that would make speech of speech arise;
They deeme, and of their doome the runour flies,
That poison foul of bubbling pride doth lie
So in my swelling breast, that only I
Fawne on my selfe, and others do despise.
Yet pride I thinke doth not my soule possesse
(Which looks too oft in his vnflatt'ring glasse):
But one wo...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne

How do I exist? 

This was the silence I wanted to break in you
I had questions but you would not answer 

I had answers but you could not use them
The is useless to you and perhaps to others 


It was an old theme even for me:
Language cannot do everything- 

chalk it on the walls where the dead poets
lie in their mausoleums 

If at the will of the poet the poem
could turn into a thing 

a granite flank laid bare, a lifted head
alight with dew 

If it could si...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...ER, sins against th' Eternal Cause.

V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, 
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, "Tis for mine: 
For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r, 
Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r; 
Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew 
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew; 
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings; 
For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; 
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise; 
My foot-stool ea...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,--
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting ...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...eaven's were glad;
The towers brown-striped and grey
Take fire from heaven of day
As though the prayers they pray
Their answers had.

Higher in these high first hours
Wax all the keen church towers,
And higher all hearts of ours
Than the old hills' crown,
Higher than the pillared height
Of that strange cliff-side bright
With basalt towers whose might
Strong time bows down.

And the old fierce ruin there
Of the old wild princes' lair
Whose blood in mine hath share
Gape...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ral worth and truth be tried: 
I gage my life, my falchion to attest 
My words, so may I mingle with the blest!" 

What answers Lara? to its centre shrunk 
His soul, in deep abstraction sudden sunk; 
The words of many, and the eyes of all 
That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall; 
But his were silent, his appear'd to stray 
In far forgetfulness away — away — 
Alas! that heedlessness of all around 
Bespoke remembrance only too profound. 


"To-morrow! — ...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo>
Let not unto the stones the day
Her lily and rose, her sea and land display;
Read the celestial sign!
Lo! the South answers to the North;
Bookworm, break this sloth urbane;
A greater Spirit bids thee forth,
Than the gray dreams which thee detain.

Mark how the climbing Oreads
Beckon thee to their arcades;
Youth, for a moment free as they,
Teach thy feet to feel the ground,
Ere yet arrive the wintry day
When Time thy feet has bound.
Accept the bounty of thy birth;
...Read More

by Kendall, Henry
...the hopes of loftier range! 

Is it well, thou friendly Being, well to wish for such a change?'' 

But the Spirit answers nothing! and the dazzling mantle fades; 
And a wailing whisper wanders out from dismal seaside shades! 
``Lo, the trees are moaning loudly, underneath their hood-like shrouds, 
And the arch above us darkens, scarred with ragged thunder clouds!'' 
But the spirit answers nothing, and I linger all alone, 
Gazing through the moony vapours where the ...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...lenger pounding on the gates of an amazed
Castle. Your argument, Francesco,
Had begun to grow stale as no answer
Or answers were forthcoming. If it dissolves now
Into dust, that only means its time had come
Some time ago, but look now, and listen:
It may be that another life is stocked there
In recesses no one knew of; that it,
Not we, are the change; that we are in fact it
If we could get back to it, relive some of the way
It looked, turn our faces to the globe as it...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...t let me go without him. 

I roll myself upon you, as upon a bed—I resign myself to the dusk.

He whom I call answers me, and takes the place of my lover, 
He rises with me silently from the bed. 

Darkness! you are gentler than my lover—his flesh was sweaty and panting, 
I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me. 

My hands are spread forth, I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which you are journeying. 

Be careful, da...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...'d its ray? — the blood that thou hast shed! 
Hark! to the hurried question of Despair: 
"Where is my child?" — an Echo answers — "Where?" [42] 


Within the place of thousand tombs 
That shine beneath, while dark above 
The sad but living cypress glooms, 
And withers not, though branch and leaf 
Are stamp'd with an eternal grief, 
Like early unrequited Love, 
One spot exists, which ever blooms, 
Ev'n in that deadly grove — 
A single rose is shedding there 
Its lo...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...let us go, against the pallid shield
Of the wan sky the almond blossoms gleam,
The corncrake nested in the unmown field
Answers its mate, across the misty stream
On fitful wing the startled curlews fly,
And in his sedgy bed the lark, for joy that Day is nigh,

Scatters the pearled dew from off the grass,
In tremulous ecstasy to greet the sun,
Who soon in gilded panoply will pass
Forth from yon orange-curtained pavilion
Hung in the burning east: see, the red rim
O'ertops the e...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
I sware a vow to follow it till I saw." 

`Then when he asked us, knight by knight, if any 
Had seen it, all their answers were as one: 
"Nay, lord, and therefore have we sworn our vows." 

`"Lo now," said Arthur, "have ye seen a cloud? 
What go ye into the wilderness to see?" 

`Then Galahad on the sudden, and in a voice 
Shrilling along the hall to Arthur, called, 
"But I, Sir Arthur, saw the Holy Grail, 
I saw the Holy Grail and heard a cry-- 
`O Galahad, and O Ga...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...louds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...rd than has been felt before 
By those who tempt it to betray 85 
These secrets of an elder day. 
But sweetly as its answers will 
Flatter hands of perfect skill  
It keeps its highest holiest tone 
For one beloved Friend alone. 90 ...Read More

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