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Famous Arab Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Milosz, Czeslaw
...beaches,
An impeccable sky
Over the church of hygiene?
Is it because that
Was long ago?

To a saintly man
--So goes an Arab tale--
God said somewhat maliciously:
"Had I revealed to people
How great a sinner you are,
They could not praise you."

"And I," answered the pious one,
"Had I unveiled to them
How merciful you are,
They would not care for you."

To whom should I turn
With that affair so dark
Of pain and also guilt
In the structure of the world,
If either here ...Read more of this...



by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...us, scorched and seared,
Uttered with burning breath, 'Ho! victory!'
And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale;
So runs the Arab tale.

The sky above us showed
An universal and unmoving cloud,
On which, the cliffs permitted us to see
Only the outline of their majesty,
As master-minds, when gazed at by the crowd!
And, shining with a gloom, the water grey
Swang in its moon-taught way.

Nor moon nor stars were out.
They did not dare to tread so soon about,
Though trembli...Read more of this...

by Agustini, Delmira
...s bloodless and cold.I imagine the half-moon as a profile of the dead…And beyond the reknowned and praised pallorOf Arab pearls, I prefer the rose in recent bud.In a corner of this land with the colors of earth,I adore this pale moon, I adore this death mask!And at the altar of the night, like a flower inflamed,Inebriated by strange perfumes, my soul resigns.I know of lips withered with blasphemy and wine;After an orgy they kiss her trace in the lane.Insane on...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...s vacant mind
Flashed like strong inspiration, and he saw
The thrilling secrets of the birth of time.

Meanwhile an Arab maiden brought his food,
Her daily portion, from her father's tent, 
And spread her matting for his couch, and stole
From duties and repose to tend his steps,
Enamoured, yet not daring for deep awe
To speak her love, and watched his nightly sleep,
Sleepless herself, to gaze upon his lips
Parted in slumber, whence the regular breath
Of innocent dreams ar...Read more of this...

by Thompson, Francis
...The hunchèd camels of the night
Trouble the bright 
And silver waters of the moon. 
The Maiden of the Morn will soon 
Through Heaven stray and sing, 
Star gathering. 

Now while the dark about our loves is strewn, 
Light of my dark, blood of my heart, O come! 
And night will catch her breath up, and be dumb. 

Leave thy father, leave thy mother...Read more of this...



by Amichai, Yehuda
...An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion
And on the opposite hill I am searching for my little boy.
An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father
Both in their temporary failure.
Our two voices met above
The Sultan's Pool in the valley between us.
Neither of us wants the boy or the goat
To get caught in the wheels
Of the "Had Gadya" machine.<...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...lood so near my own. 

That blood — he hath not heard — no more — 
I'll watch him closer than before. 
He is an Arab to my sight, [5] 
Or Christian crouching in the fight — 
But hark! — I hear Zuleika's voice; 
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear: 
She is the offspring of my choice; 
Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear, 
With all to hope, and nought to fear — 
My Peri! — ever welcome here! 
Sweet, as the desert fountain's wave, 
To lips just cool'd in time to save — 
S...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...n their bosom glows,With Gothic fury now they grasp the sword.Turk, Arab, and Chaldee,With all between us and that sanguine sea,[Pg 28]Who trust in idol-gods, and slight the Lord,Thou know'st how soon their feeble strength would yield;A naked race, fearful and indol...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...ition satisfied.
Where fashion or mere fantasy decrees
We shift about - all that great glory spent -
Like some poor Arab tribesman and his tent.

We were the last romantics - chose for theme
Traditional sanctity and loveliness;
Whatever's written in what poets name
The book of the people; whatever most can bless
The mind of man or elevate a rhyme;
But all is changed, that high horse riderless,
Though mounted in that saddle Homer rode
Where the swan drifts upon a darke...Read more of this...

by Kilmer, Joyce
...a victor's pride?
The scene shall never fit the deed.
Grotesquely wonders come to pass.
The fool shall mount an Arab steed
And Jesus ride upon an ass.
This man has home and child and wife
And battle set for every day.
This man has God and love and life;
These stand, all else shall pass away.
O Carpenter of Nazareth,
Whose mother was a village maid,
Shall we, Thy children, blow our breath
In scorn on any humble trade?
Have pity on our foolishness
And give u...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...d more thy heart behoved  
One pulse more of firm endeavour¡ª 
Keep thee to-day 30 
To-morrow for ever  
Free as an Arab 
Of thy beloved. 

Cling with life to the maid; 
But when the surprise 35 
First vague shadow of surmise  
Flits across her bosom young  
Of a joy apart from thee  
Free be she fancy-free; 
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem 40 
Nor the palest rose she flung 
From her summer diadem. 

Though thou loved her as thyself  
As a self of ...Read more of this...

by Levy, D A
...e you?"
i answered,
"with a name like levy,
what the hell do you think i am?"
A Ritz Cracker? A flying bathtub?
An arab?                      etc.

But now its getting pretty hip
to be a jew
and some of my best friend are
becoming converted to halavah,
even the crones who suddenly
became World War 2 catholics are
now praising bagels & lox
i still dont feel on ethnic things like

"Ok, we all niggers so lets hold hands."
&
"OK, we're all wops so lets s...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...aft-tenders on the streams of Kanada; 
I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells of the mule; 
I hear the Arab muezzin, calling from the top of the mosque; 
I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches—I hear the responsive bass
 and
 soprano;
I hear the wail of utter despair of the white-hair’d Irish grandparents, when they learn
 the
 death
 of their grandson; 
I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor’s voice, putting to sea at Okotsk; 
I ...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...nd think and think.

I think of hoary old Stamboul,
Of Moslem and of Greek,
Of Persian in coat of wool,
Of Kurd and Arab sheikh;
Of all the types of weal and woe,
And as I raise my glass,
Across Galata bridge I know
They pass and pass and pass.

I think of citron-trees aglow,
Of fan-palms shading down,
Of sailors dancing heel and toe
With wenches black and brown;
And though it's all an ocean far
From Yucatan to France,
I'll bet beside the old bazaar
They dance and dan...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...lood so near my own. 

That blood — he hath not heard — no more — 
I'll watch him closer than before. 
He is an Arab to my sight, [5] 
Or Christian crouching in the fight — 
But hark! — I hear Zuleika's voice; 
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear: 
She is the offspring of my choice; 
Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear, 
With all to hope, and nought to fear — 
My Peri! — ever welcome here! 
Sweet, as the desert fountain's wave, 
To lips just cool'd in time to save — 
S...Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...s died -- just one pulled through with nothing much to spare; 
God bless the beast that brought him home, the old white Arab mare! 
We drove the cattle through the hills, along the new-found way, 
And this was our first camping-ground -- just where I live today. 

"Then others came across the range and built the township here, 
And then there came the railway line and this young engineer; 
He drove about with tents and traps, a cook to cook his meals, 
A bath to wash hims...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ooth to enter in,
I taught them how to seize it there,
And, with their fangs, the part to tear.
I mounted, then, my Arab steed,
The offspring of a noble breed;
My hand a dart on high held forth,
And, when I had inflamed his wrath,
I stuck my sharp spurs in his side,
And urged him on as quick as thought,
And hurled my dart in circles wide
As if to pierce the beast I sought."

"And though my steed reared high in pain,
And champed and foamed beneath the rein,
And though ...Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...s died -- just one pulled through with nothing much to spare; 
God bless the beast that brought him home, the old white Arab mare! 
We drove the cattle through the hills, along the new-found way, 
And this was our first camping-ground -- just where I live today. 

"Then others came across the range and built the township here, 
And then there came the railway line and this young engineer; 
He drove about with tents and traps, a cook to cook his meals, 
A bath to wash hims...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...ollow,
And shelved to the chamber secluded
Where Bluebeard, the great lion, brooded.
The King bailed his keeper, an Arab
As glossy and black as a scarab,*1
And bade him make sport and at once stir
Up and out of his den the old monster.
They opened a hole in the wire-work
Across it, and dropped there a firework,
And fled: one's heart's beating redoubled;
A pause, while the pit's mouth was troubled,
The blackness and silence so utter,
By the firework's slow sparkling an...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ke not, nor stirred. 
By this a murmur ran 
Through all the camp and inward raced the scouts 
With rumour of Prince Arab hard at hand. 
We left her by the woman, and without 
Found the gray kings at parle: and 'Look you' cried 
My father 'that our compact be fulfilled: 
You have spoilt this child; she laughs at you and man: 
She wrongs herself, her sex, and me, and him: 
But red-faced war has rods of steel and fire; 
She yields, or war.' 
Then Gama turned to me: 
...Read more of this...

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