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Famous Apathy Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Gordon, Adam Lindsay
...an they be living yet?

Let woman's nature cherish grief,
I rarely heave a sigh
Before emotion takes relief
In listless apathy;
While from my pipe the vapours curl
Towards the evening sky,
And 'neath my feet the billows whirl
In dull monotony!

The sky still wears the crimson streak
Of Sol's departing ray,
Some briny drops are on my cheek,
'Tis but the salt sea spray!
Then let our barque the ocean roam,
Our keel the billows plough;
I shed no tears at quitting home,
Nor will I...Read More



by Whitman, Walt
...odians, standing, menacing,
 silent—the mechanics, Manhattanese, western men, southerners, significant alike in
 their
 apathy, and in the promptness of their love? 
Does it see what finally befalls, and has always finally befallen, each temporizer,
 patcher,
 outsider, partialist, alarmist, infidel, who has ever ask’d anything of America? 
What mocking and scornful negligence?
The track strew’d with the dust of skeletons; 
By the roadside others disdainfully toss’d. 

13...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...mer's sun to bask,
To mingle with the quiet of her sky,
To see her gentle face without a mask
And never gaze on it with apathy.
She was my early friend, and now shall be
My sister—till I look again on thee.

I can reduce all feelings but this one;
And that I would not;—for at length I see
Such scenes as those wherein my life begun.
The earliest—even the only paths for me— 
Had I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun,
I had been better than I now can be;
The passions...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...ut,
 For the lack of air and meat 
In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street. 

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
 The wrong things and the bad things
 And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street. 

I lef...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...he strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Pri...Read More



by Hardy, Thomas
...ten thou? 
The age to come the man of now 
 Know nothing of? - 
We fear not such a threat from thee; 
We are too old in apathy! 
Mankind shall cease.--So let it be," 
 I said to Love....Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...ng coupling-vow?
The age to come the man of now
Know nothing of?
We fear not such a threat from thee;
We are too old in apathy!
Mankind shall cease.. -
So let it be,"
I said to Love....Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...'er us pass, when as th' expanding eye 
To the loved object - so the tear to the lid 
Will start, which lately slept in apathy? 
And yet it need not be - (that object) hid 
From us in life - but common - which doth lie 
Each hour before us - but then only bid 
With a strange sound, as of a harpstring broken 
T' awake us - 'Tis a symbol and a token - 

IV. 

Of what in other worlds shall be - and given 
In beauty by our God, to those alone 
Who otherwise would fall from li...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...s,
Love, free to range, and regal banquetings?
Bend ye on these, indeed, an unmoved eye,
Not Gods but ghosts, in frozen apathy?

'Or is it that some Force, too wise, too strong,
Even for yourselves to conquer or beguile,
Sweeps earth, and heaven, and men, and Gods along,
Like the broad volume of the insurgent Nile?
And the great powers we serve, themselves may be
Slaves of a tyrannous necessity?

'Or in mid-heaven, perhaps, your golden cars,
Where earthly voice climbs never, ...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...y blest repose, 
While Fashion twin'd about thy head 
A wreath of wounding woes; 
See Dissipation smoothly glide, 
Cold Apathy, and puny Pride, 
Capricious Fortune, dull, and blind, 
O'er splendid Folly throws her veil, 
While Envy's meagre tribe assail 
Thy gentle form, and spotless mind. 

Their spells prevail! no more those eyes 
Shoot undulating fires; 
On thy wan cheek, the young rose dies, 
Thy lip's deep tint expires; 
Dark Melancholy chills thy mind; 
Thy silent t...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
... 
There REASON clos'd her radiant eye, 
And fainting HOPE retir'd to die, 
Truth shrunk appall'd, 
In spells of icy Apathy enthrall'd; 
Till FREEDOM spurn'd the ignominious chain, 
And roused from Superstition's night, 
Exulting Nature claim'd her right, 
And call'd dire Vengeance from her dark domain. 

Now take thy solitary flight 
Amid the turbid gales of night, 
Where Spectres starting from the tomb, 
Glide along th' impervious gloom; 
Or, stretch'd upon the sea-b...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...ed sting; 
And CALUMNY, beneath the wing 
Of dark oblivion steals. 

Before thy pure and lambent fire 
Shall frozen Apathy expire; 
Thy influence warm and unconfin'd, 
Shall rapt'rous transports give, 
And in the base and torpid mind, 
Shall bid the fine Affections live; 
When JEALOUSY's malignant dart, 
Strikes at the fondly throbbing heart; 
When fancied woes, on every side assail, 
Thy honey'd accents shall prevail; 
When burning Passion withers up the brain, 
And the ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...cks.
I drove them under foot in bits of flight
That kept the ground. almost disputing right
Of way with me from apathy of wing,
A talking twitter all they had to sing.
A few I must have driven to despair
Made quick asides, but having done in air
A whir among white branches great and small
As in some too much carven marble hall
Where one false wing beat would have brought down all,
Came tamely back in front of me, the Drover,
To suffer the same driven nightmare ove...Read More

by Milton, John
...end, in wandering mazes lost. 
Of good and evil much they argued then, 
Of happiness and final misery, 
Passion and apathy, and glory and shame: 
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy!-- 
Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm 
Pain for a while or anguish, and excite 
Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured breast 
With stubborn patience as with triple steel. 
Another part, in squadrons and gross bands, 
On bold adventure to discover wide 
That dismal world, if any cli...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...xiled from that of the young man!
Let the sun and moon go! let scenery take the applause of the audience! let there be
 apathy
 under the stars! 
Let freedom prove no man’s inalienable right! every one who can tyrannize, let him
 tyrannize to his satisfaction! 
Let none but infidels be countenanced! 
Let the eminence of meanness, treachery, sarcasm, hate, greed, indecency, impotence, lust,
 be
 taken for granted above all! let writers, judges, governments, households, religio...Read More

by Mandelstam, Osip
...seething fish ashore.
And from the bird net spread on high
From the humid azure stones,
Streams a flood of helpless apathy
On your single, fatal wound....Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill, changeless brow,

Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, aye, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the Tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first, last look by Death revealed!
Such is the aspect of his shore;
'T is Greece, but living ...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...Dear Bessie, would my tired rhyme
Had force to rise from apathy,
And shaking off its lethargy
Ring word-tones like a Christmas chime.
But in my soul's high belfry, chill
The bitter wind of doubt has blown,
The summer swallows all have flown,
The bells are frost-bound, mute and still.
Upon the crumbling boards the snow
Has drifted deep, the clappers hang
Prismed with icicles, their clang
Unheard since ages ...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...do with thee?"
He wearily looks the other way,
And she even more wearily looks another way still,
Each with the utmost apathy,
Incognisant,
Unaware,
Nothing.

As for papa,
He snaps when I offer him his offspring,
Just as he snaps when I poke a bit of stick at him,
Because he is irascible this morning, an irascible tortoise
Being touched with love, and devoid of fatherliness.

Father and mother,
And three little brothers,
And all rambling aimless, like little perambul...Read More

by Gordon, Adam Lindsay
...
Near the harbour where the sea-tides ebb and flow. 

All silent—they are dumb—and the breezes go and come 
With an apathy that mocks at man’s distress; 
Laugh, scoffer, while you may! I could bow me down and pray 
For an answer that might stay my bitterness. 

Oh, harshly screams the bird, and the wattle-bloom is stirred; 
There’s a sullen weird-like whisper in the bough: 
‘Aye, kneel and pray and weep, but HIS BELOVED SLEEP 
CAN NEVER BE DISTURBED BY SUCH AS THOU!’...Read More

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