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Famous Apparition Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...nd go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times, and the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marking the employment or station in life.—R. B. [back]
Note 13. Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a “bear-stack,” and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time yo...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...sleep that night or not 
I do not know. I was awake for hours, 
Toiling in vain to let myself believe 
That Avon’s apparition was a dream, 
And that he might have added, for romance,
The part that I had taken home with me 
For reasons not in Avon’s dictionary. 
But each recurrent memory of his eyes, 
And of the man himself that I had known 
So long and well, made soon of all my toil
An evanescent and a vain evasion; 
And it was half as in expectancy 
That I obeyed th...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
From the open countenances of animals, or from inanimate things, 
From the landscape or waters, or from the exquisite apparition of the sky, 
From our countenances, mine and yours, faithfully returning them, 
Every day in public appearing without fail, but never twice with the same companions. 

Embracing man, embracing all, proceed the three hundred and sixty-five resistlessly round
Embracing all, soothing, supporting, follow close three hundred and sixty-...Read More

by Soyinka, Wole
...My apparition rose from the fall of lead,
Declared, 'I am a civilian.' It only served
To aggravate your fright. For how could I
Have risen, a being of this world, in that hour
Of impartial death! And I thought also: nor is
Your quarrel of this world.

You stood still
For both eternities, and oh I heard the lesson
Of your traing sessions, ca...Read More

by Milton, John
...nd gave it me,
And bade me keep it as of sovran use
'Gainst all enchantments, mildew blast, or damp,
Or ghastly Furies' apparition.
I pursed it up, but little reckoning made,
Till now that this extremity compelled.
But now I find it true; for by this means
I knew the foul enchanter, though disguised,
Entered the very lime-twigs of his spells,
And yet came off. If you have this about you
(As I will give you when we go), you may
Boldly assault the necromancer's hall...Read More

by Cummings, Edward Estlin (E E)
...i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...dark blue eyes 
And one gay jewel in her golden hair, 
Had come upon the two of them unseen, 
Till now she was a russet apparition 
At which the two arose—one with a dash
Of easy leisure in his courtliness, 
One with a stately calm that might have pleased 
The Queen of a strange land indifferently. 
The firm incisive languor of her speech, 
Heard once, was heard through battles: “Lancelot,
What have you done to-day that God should save you? 
What has he done, Gawaine, tha...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...tood beside you
just long enough, though far
 smaller than you
but fearless in a way
 a man or woman
could never be? An apparition
 with two dark
and urgent eyes and motions
 so quick and precise
they were barely motions at all?
 When he was gone
you turned, alarmed by the rustling
 of oily feathers
and the curious pungency,
 and were sure
you'd heard him say the words
 that could explain
the meaning of blond grasses
 burning on a hillside
beneath the hands of a man
 in the m...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...lasts have strain'd their wits;
And think you not, the clouds know how
To make the pun, as well you?
Did there arise an apparition,
But grinn'd forth ruin to sedition;
A death-watch, but has join'd our leagues,
And click'd destruction to the Whigs?
Heard ye not, when the wind was fair,
At night our prophets in the air,
Who, loud, like admiralty libel,
Read awful chapters from the Bible,
And war and plague and death denounced,
And told you how you'd soon be trounced?
I see, to...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...hen I blinked and stood astare,
And questioned at my sight condition,
For I was seeing empty air -
He must have been an apparition.
Amazed I gazed . . . no one was there:
My sanity roused my suspicion.

I strode to where I saw him stand
So solitary in the sun -
Nothing! just empty sew and land,
no smallest sign of anyone.
While down below I heard the roar
Of waves, five hundred feet or more.

I had been drinking, I confess;
There was confusion in m...Read More

by Ransom, John Crowe
...By dark severance the apparition head 
Smiles from the air a capital on no 
Column or a Platonic perhaps head 
On a canvas sky depending from nothing; 

Stirs up an old illusion of grandeur 
By tickling the instinct of heads to be 
Absolute and to try decapitation 
And to play truant from the body bush; 

But too happy and beautiful for those sorts 
Of head (homekeeping heads are...Read More

by Milton, John
...ssing to my former state 
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve: 
When suddenly stood at my head a dream, 
Whose inward apparition gently moved 
My fancy to believe I yet had being, 
And lived: One came, methought, of shape divine, 
And said, 'Thy mansion wants thee, Adam; rise, 
'First Man, of men innumerable ordained 
'First Father! called by thee, I come thy guide 
'To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepared.' 
So saying, by the hand he took me raised, 
And over fields ...Read More

by Milton, John
...or by this the heavenly bands 
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now 
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt; 
A glorious apparition, had not doubt 
And carnal fear that day dimmed Adam's eye. 
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met 
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw 
The field pavilioned with his guardians bright; 
Nor that, which on the flaming mount appeared 
In Dothan, covered with a camp of fire, 
Against the Syrian king, who to surprise 
One man, assassin-like, had...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...zing its children.

Is it some operation that is taking place?
It is the surgeon my neighbors are waiting for,
This apparition in a green helmet,
Shining gloves and white suit.
Is it the butcher, the grocer, the postman, someone I know?

I cannot run, I am rooted, and the gorse hurts me
With its yellow purses, its spiky armory.
I could not run without having to run forever.
The white hive is snug as a virgin,
Sealing off her brood cells, her honey, and quietly...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
..., variable, obscure, 
565 Glozing his life with after-shining flicks, 
566 Illuminating, from a fancy gorged 
567 By apparition, plain and common things, 
568 Sequestering the fluster from the year, 
569 Making gulped potions from obstreperous drops, 
570 And so distorting, proving what he proves 
571 Is nothing, what can all this matter since 
572 The relation comes, benignly, to its end? 

573 So may the relation of each man be clipped....Read More

by Moore, Thomas
...ever go farther, believe me. 

If at that hour the heavens be not dim, 
My science shall call up before you 
A male apparition -- the image of him 
Whose destiny 'tis to adore you. 

And if to that phantom you'll be kind, 
So fondly around you he'll hover, 
You'll hardly, my dear, any difference find 
'Twixt him and a true living lover. 

Down at your feet, in the pale moonlight, 
He'll kneel, with a warmth of devotion -- 
An ardour, of which such an innocent spri...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter

     Fitz-James looked round,—yet scarce believed
     The witness that his sight received;
     Such apparition well might seem
     Delusion of a dreadful dream.
     Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,
     And to his look the Chief replied:
     'Fear naught—nay, that I need not say
     But—doubt not aught from mine array.
     Thou art my guest;—I pledged my word
     As far as Coilantogle ford:
     Nor would I call a clansman's brand
     For ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) the creation of the world, he would have spared the Maker some absurdities."

3. See Aubrey's account of the apparition which disappeared "with a curious perfume and a melodious twang;" or see the Antiquary, Vol. I.

4. A drowned body lies at the body till rotten; it then floats, as most people know....Read More

by Pushkin, Alexander
Hides in its depths the bitter exultation.
I don’t deplore my passing dream of life --
Vanish in dark, the empty apparition!
I care only for my love’s infliction,
And let me die, but only die in love!...Read More

by Darwish, Mahmoud
...etings to the one who shares my glass with me 
In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces: 
Greetings to my apparition. 

My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me, 
A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees 
A marble epitaph of time 
And always I anticipate them at the funeral: 
Who then has died...who? 

Writing is a puppy biting nothingness 
Writing wounds without a trace of blood. 

Our cups of coffee. Bird...Read More

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