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Famous Apartment Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...n is in a doubtful state, by being too green or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, etc., makes a large apartment in his stack, with an opening in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind: this he calls a “fause-house.”—R. B. [back]
Note 8. Burning the nuts is a favorite charm. They name the lad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay them in the fire; and according as they burn quietly together, or start from beside one another, ...Read More

by Mayakovsky, Vladimir
in its effort to grasp at the sky, 
lifted high 
the flaming arms of the Lusitania. 

Into the calm of the apartment 
where people quake, 
a hundred-eye blaze bursts from the docks. 
into the centuries, 
if you can, a last scream: I¡¯m on fire! 


Glorify me! 
For me the great are no match. 
Upon every achievement 
I stamp nihil 

I never want 
to read anything. 
What are books! 

Formerly I believed 
books wer...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...Still sober, César Vallejo comes home and finds a black ribbon 
around the apartment building covering the front door. 
He puts down his cane, removes his greasy fedora, and begins 
to untangle the mess. His neighbors line up behind him 
wondering what's going on. A middle-aged woman carrying 
a loaf of fresh bread asks him to step aside so she 
can enter, ascend the two steep flights to her apartment, 
and begin the da...Read More

by Bidart, Frank

Before the tribunal of the world I submit the following

 Nancy showed it to us,
in her apartment at the model,
as she waited month by month
for the property settlement, her children grown
and working for their father,
at fifty-three now alone, 
a drink in her hand:

 as my father said,
"They keep a drink in her hand":

 Name Wallace du Bois
 Box No 128 Chino, Calif.
 Date July 25 ,19 54

Mr Howard Arturian
 I am writing a letter to you thi...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...ts unreturning stylus
the isolation it denies. 


The classical music station
playing hour upon hour in the apartment 

the picking up and picking up
and again picking up the telephone 

The syllables uttering
the old script over and over 

The loneliness of the liar
living in the formal network of the lie 

twisting the dials to drown the terror
beneath the unsaid word 


The technology of silence
The rituals, etiquette 

the blurring of terms
silence not...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...ant evil
we walk a little drunk up these three flughts
where you tacked a Dufy print above your army cot.

The thin apartment doors on the way up will
not tell us. We are saying, we have our rights
and let them see the sandwiches and wine we bought

for we do not explain my husband's insane abuse
and we do not say why your wild-haired wife has fled
or that my father opened like a walnut and then was dead.
Your palms fold over me like knees. Love is the only us...Read More

by Flynn, Nick
...ack to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.

They jerk around the apartment like that
holding on to each other, their cheeks

almost touching. One is shirtless, the other
wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window

to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn't matter anymore 
which, what's important is he was found

& someone pulled a gun, and now they are holding on,
awkwardly dancing through the room, up...Read More

by Estep, Maggie
...your money.
my life is your life
my soul is yours
without you I'm nothing.

Move in with me 
we'll get a studio apartment together, save on rent,
well, wait, I mean, a one bedroom,
so we don't get in each other's hair or anything
or, well,
maybe a two bedroom
I'll have my own bedroom,
it's nothing personal
I just need to be alone sometimes,
you do understand,
don't you?

Hey, why are you acting distant?

Where you goin',
was it something I said?
What did I do?

I...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...The first of the undecoded messages read: "Popeye sits 
in thunder,
Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,
From livid curtain's hue, a tangram emerges: a country."
Meanwhile the Sea Hag was relaxing on a green couch: "How 
To spend one's vacation en la casa de Popeye," she 
Her cleft chin's solitary hair. She remembered spinach

And was going to ask Wimpy if he had bought any spinach.
"M'love," he intercepted, "the plains...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...r a door in the 
 East River to open to a room full of steamheat 
 and opium, 
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment 
 cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime 
 blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall 
 be crowned with laurel in oblivion, 
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested 
 the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of 
who wept at the romance of the streets with their 
 pushcarts full of onions and bad music, 
who sat in...Read More

by Pinsky, Robert
...a court of one: the queen a young mother,
Unhappy, alone all day with her firstborn child
And her new baby in a squalid apartment

Of too few rooms, a different race from her neighbors.
She tells the child she's going to kill herself.
She broods, she rages. Hoping to distract her,

The child cuts capers, he sings, he does imitations
Of different people in the building, he jokes,
He feels if he keeps her alive until the father

Gets home from work, they'll be okay ...Read More

by Doty, Mark, the junk was arranged
 in rough aisles,

someone's intimate
 clutter and collection,
 no walls but still

a kind of apartment
 and a fire ribboned out
 of a ruined stove,

and white plates
 were laid out
 on the table beside it.

White china! Something
 was moving, and
 --you understand

it takes longer to tell this
 than to see it, only
 a train window's worth

of actuality--
 I knew what moved
 was an arm,

the arm of the (man
 or woman?) in the center
 of that hapl...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...t sheet

for a shroud. I said no, and we got into a big argument over

it and woke up the Puerto Ricans in the next apartment, and

they began pounding on the walls.

 The dead people all left in a huff. "We know when we're

not wanted, " one of them said.

 "You're damn tootin'," I said.

 I've had enough.

 I' m going to get out of New York. Tomorrow I'm leaving for

Alaska. I'm going to find an ice-cold creek near the Arctic

where that stra...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard

 But all this goes back to another time, to when my daught-

er was conceived. We'd just moved into a new apartment and

the lights hadn't been turned on yet. We were surrounded by

unpacked boxes of stuff and there was a candle burning like

milk on a saucer. So we got one in and we're sure it was the

right one.

 A friend was sleeping in another room. In retrospect I

hope we didn't wake him up, though he has been awakened and

gone to sleep h...Read More

by Lehman, David
is asleep or trying or worrying why
they aren't asleep, while unknown to them Ulysses walks
into the shabby apartment I live in, humming and feeling
happy with the avant-garde weather we're having,
the winds (a fugue for flute and oboe) pouring
into the windows which I left open although
I live on the ground floor and there have been
two burglaries on my block already this week,
do I quickly take a look to see
if the valuables are missing? No, that is I can't,
it'...Read More

by Olds, Sharon
...She was four, he was one, it was raining, we had colds,
we had been in the apartment two weeks straight,
I grabbed her to keep her from shoving him over on his
face, again, and when I had her wrist
in my grasp I compressed it, fiercely, for a couple
of seconds, to make an impression on her,
to hurt her, our beloved firstborn, I even almost
savored the stinging sensation of the squeezing,
the expression, into her, of my anger,
"Neve...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...ave made her fast.
I sang her out. I caught her down.
I stamped her out with a song.
There was no other apartment for it.
There was no other chamber for it.
Only the knot. The bedded-down knot.
Thus I have laid my hands upon her
and have called her eyes and her mouth
as mine, as also her tongue.

Why do you ask me to make choices?
I am not a judge or a psychologist.
You own your bedded-down knot.

And yet I have real daytimes and ni...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...hungrily at the plaster walls but nobody could hear outside
 thru the window
My eye caught the edge of the red neighbor apartment building standing in
 deafening stillness
We gazed at each other his implacable yellow eye in the red halo of fur
Waxed rhuemy on my own but he stopped roaring and bared a fang
I turned my back and cooked broccoli for supper on an iron gas stove
boilt water and took a hot bath in the old tup under the sink board.

He didn't eat m...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...nd groped by the walles to and fro
To find a staff; and she start up also,
And knew the estres* better than this John, *apartment
And by the wall she took a staff anon:
And saw a little shimmering of a light,
For at an hole in shone the moone bright,
And by that light she saw them both the two,
But sickerly* she wist not who was who, *certainly
But as she saw a white thing in her eye.
And when she gan this white thing espy,
She ween'd* the clerk had wear'd a volupere**; *...Read More

by Duhamel, Denise mother pushed my sister out of the apartment door with an empty 
suitcase because she kept threatening to run away my sister was sick of me
getting the best of everything the bathrobe with the pink stripes instead of 
the red the soft middle piece of bread while she got the crust I was sick with 
asthma and she thought this made me a favorite

I wanted to be like the girl in the made-for-tv m...Read More

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