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Famous Appearance Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...or her) that is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee.” Look over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, “Come after me and shaw thee,” that is, show thyself; in which case, it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and say: “Come after me and harrow thee.”—R. B. [back]
Note 12. This charm must likewise be performed unperceived and alone. You ...Read more of this...

by Williams, John
Suspects a fatal misreading
Of our original text,
Not to mention the dreaded subtext.
Reality, we fear, mocks appearance.
Or is trapped in a hall of mirrors
Where infinite regress prevents
A grateful egress. That is,
We can never know the meaning
Of being two-in-one,
Or if we are one-in-two.
What-I-Am is grieved at What-I'm-Not.
What-We-Should-Be is numbed by What-We-Are.

Yes, I'm playing word games
With the idea of marriage,
Musing over how eve...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...The smile of iceboxes annihilates me.
Such blue currents in the veins of my loved one!
I hear her great heart purr.

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit like kisses.
It is Monday in her mind: morals

Launder and present themselves.
What am I to make of these contradictions?
I wear white cuffs, I bow.

Is this love then, this...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington> Whether he lives or not
Is rather for time to answer than for me; 
And that’s a reason, or a part of one, 
For your appearance here. You do not know him, 
And even if you should pass him in the street 
He might go by without your feeling him
Between you and the world. I cannot say 
Whether he would, but I suppose he might.” 

“And I suppose you might, if urged,” I said, 
“Say in what water it is that we are fishing. 
You that have reasons hidden in a well,...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...y will serve as well as anybody,
And what's his hour? He flies, and flies, and flies,
And in his fly's mind has a brave appearance;
And then your spider gets him in her net,
And eats him out, and hangs him up to dry.
That's Nature, the kind mother of us all.
And then your slattern housemaid swings her broom,
And where's your spider? And that's Nature, also.
It's Nature, and it's Nothing. It's all Nothing.
It's all a world where bugs and emperors
Go singula...Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...nking against each other requires an observer to become 
 scientific data.

The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal
 world after Einstein.

The universe is subjective.

Walt Whitman celebrated Person.

We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.

Universe is person.

Inside skull vast as outside skull.

Mind is outer space.

"Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound."

First th...Read more of this...

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
...ith a mission
as last year on the plaque in Santa Maria Formosa.
What they want of me is that I gently remove the appearance
of injustice about their death-which at times
slightly hinders their souls from proceeding onward.
Of course it is strange to inhabit the earth no longer
to give up customs one barely had time to learn
not to see roses and other promising Things
in terms of a human future; no longer to be
what one was in infinitely anxious hands; to lea...Read more of this...

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
...r the puppet. It at least is full.
I will endure this well-stuffed doll, the wire,
the face that is nothing but appearance. Here out front
I wait. Even if the lights go down and I am told:
"There's nothing more to come," -even if
the grayish drafts of emptiness come drifting down
from the deserted stage -even if not one
of my now silent forebears sist beside me
any longer, not a woman, not even a boy-
he with the brown and squinting eyes-:
I'll still remain.Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...esend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of "The Terror of the Thames."

His manners and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.

The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame,
At Hammersmith and Putney people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen...Read more of this...

by Smart, Christopher
...industry, which are good. 

Let Chalcol praise with the Beetle, whose life is precious in the sight of God, tho his appearance is against him. 

Let Darda with a Leech bless the Name of the Physician of body and soul. 

Let Mahol praise the Maker of Earth and Sea with the Otter, whom God has given to dive and to burrow for his preservation. 

Let David bless with the Bear -- The beginning of victory to the Lord -- to the Lord the perfection of excellence -- Ha...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...ow'r so vain,
Or union with that splendid train?"

"Alas, great Malcolm cried, experience
Might teach you not to trust appearance.
Here stands, as dress'd by fell Bellona,
The ghost of Continental Money!
Of Dame Necessity descended,
With whom Credulity engender'd:
Though born with constitution frail,
And feeble strength, that soon must fail,
Yet strangely vers'd in magic lore,
And gifted with transforming power.
His skill the wealth Peruvian joins,
With diamonds of B...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Despoiled of innocence, of faith, of bliss! 
For now, and since first break of dawn, the Fiend, 
Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come; 
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find 
The only two of mankind, but in them 
The whole included race, his purposed prey. 
In bower and field he sought, where any tuft 
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, 
Their tendance, or plantation for delight; 
By fountain or by shady rivulet 
He sought them both, but wis...Read more of this...

by Brautigan, Richard
...d with the sweet smell of ripe

blackberry bushes.

 He wore trout fishing in America as a costume to hide

his own appearance from the world while he performed his

deeds of murder in the night.

Who would have expected?

 Nobody !

 Scotland Yard?

 (Pouf !)

 They were always a hundred miles away, wearing halibut-

stalker hats, looking under the dust.

 Nobody ever found out.

 0, now he's the Mayor of the Twentieth Century ! A razor,

a knife and a ukelel...Read more of this...

by Collins, Billy
...d and excited dog
the leash has wrapped itself around her ankles
several times giving her a rather bridled
and helpless appearance which is added to
by the impossibly high heels she is teetering on.
You would like to come to her rescue,
gather up the little dog in your arms,
untangle the leash, lead her to safety,
and receive her bottomless gratitude, but
the mechanic is calling you over to look
at something under your car. It seems that he has
run into a problem and ...Read more of this...

by Tzara, Tristan

Hypodrome of immortal guarantees: there is
no such thing as importance there is no transparence 
or appearance

BLIND MEN take the stage

THE SYRINGE is only for my understanding. I write because it is
natural exactly the way I piss the way I'm sick


Art is a PRETENSION warmed by the
TIMIDITY of the urinary basin, the hysteria born

We are in search of
the force that is direct pure...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...e in camp or listed field:
And now am come to see of whom such noise
Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey,
If thy appearance answer loud report. 

Sam: The way to know were not to see but taste.

Har: Dost thou already single me; I thought
Gives and the Mill had tam'd thee? O that fortune
Had brought me to the field where thou art fam'd
To have wrought such wonders with an Asses Jaw;
I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms,
Or left thy carkass where the A...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...cavils about the Soul now? 

A sterile landscape covers the ore—there is as good as the best, for all the forbidding
There is the mine, there are the miners; 
The forge-furnace is there, the melt is accomplish’d; the hammers-men are at hand with
 and hammers; 
What always served, and always serves, is at hand.

Than this, nothing has better served—it has served all: 
Served the fluent-tongued and subtle-sensed Greek, and long ere the Greek: 
...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...a spiritual existence.
My friend the Angel climb'd up from his station into the mill;
I remain'd alone, & then this appearance was no more, but I found
myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moon light
hearing a harper who sung to the harp. & his theme was, The man
who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds
reptiles of the mind.
But I arose, and sought for the mill, & there I found my
Angel, who surprised asked me, how I escaped?
I ...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...Inferno, xxxiii. 46:
 "ed io sentii
chiavar l'uscio di sotto
 all'orribile torre."
Also F. H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality, p. 346:
"My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my
thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within
my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its
elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround
it. . . . In brief, regarded as an exi...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...hand of scorn,
Attend, if lonely age you dread,
And wish to please, or wish to wed.

When beauties lose their gay appearance,
And lovers fall from perseverance,
When eyes grow dim and charms decay,
And all your roses fade away,
First know yourselves; lay by those airs,
Which well might suit your former years,
Nor ape in vain the childish mien,
And airy follies of sixteen.

We pardon faults in youth's gay flow,
While beauty prompts the cheek to glow,
While every gla...Read more of this...

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