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Famous Arc Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Frost, Robert
...It is because like men we look too near,
Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere,
Our missiles always make too short an arc.
They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect
The curve of earth, and striking, break their own;
They make us cringe for metal-point on stone.
But this we know, the obstacle that checked
And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
Further than target ever showed or shone....Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...crows challenge, assaulting the vivid motes
Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright: 

Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light, 
Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
Were dark and whole with the night. 

Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel, 
Which else were aslumber along with the whole 
Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel. 

Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...s climbed

Six inches up the kitchen window

Then six inches down and six feet

Of snow lay against the POW’s as they

Marched with hefted shovels from

Knostrop’s cottage camp with curling

Smoke signalling from crooked stacks.


Yards from where I lay Hendry and

Moore sat in their attic conceiving

The Apocalypse and my natal stars

Were their ineffable words.

Shut off the telephone, I hear

Another bell, it is Saint Hilda’s

Tinny tone, one note repeated,...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...e there be that hold 
The King a shadow, and the city real: 
Yet take thou heed of him, for, so thou pass 
Beneath this archway, then wilt thou become 
A thrall to his enchantments, for the King 
Will bind thee by such vows, as is a shame 
A man should not be bound by, yet the which 
No man can keep; but, so thou dread to swear, 
Pass not beneath this gateway, but abide 
Without, among the cattle of the field. 
For an ye heard a music, like enow 
They are building still, ...Read More

by Rossetti, Christina
...I dare not look:
You should not loiter longer at this brook:
Come with me home.
The stars rise, the moon bends her arc,
Each glow-worm winks her spark,
Let us get home before the night grows dark;
For clouds may gather even
Though this is summer weather,
Put out the lights and drench us through;
Then if we lost our way what should we do?"

Laura turned cold as stone
To find her sister heard that cry alone,
That goblin cry,
"Come buy our fruits, come buy."
Must she th...Read More

by Corso, Gregory pork
Some die by swamp some by sea and some by the bushy-haired man in the night
 O there are deaths like witches of Arc Scarey deaths like Boris Karloff
 No-feeling deaths like birth-death sadless deaths like old pain Bowery
 Abandoned deaths like Capital Punishment stately deaths like senators
 And unthinkable deaths like Harpo Marx girls on Vogue covers my own
 I do not know just how horrible Bombdeath is I can only imagine
 Yet no other death I know has so laughable a ...Read More

by Mueller, Lisel,
who don't even rub their eyes.
The cook's right hand, lifted
an exact century ago,
completes its downward arc
to the kitchen boy's left ear;
the boy's tensed vocal cords
finally let go
the trapped, enduring whimper,
and the fly, arrested mid-plunge
above the strawberry pie
fulfills its abiding mission
and dives into the sweet, red glaze.

As a child I had a book
with a picture of that scene.
I was too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger ...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...ife, a spotted pard except, 
 That yawning rose, and stretched, and purred and leapt 
 So closely round my feet, that scarce I kept 
 The course I would. 
 That sleek and lovely thing, 
 The broadening light, the breath of morn and spring, 
 The sun, that with his stars in Aries lay, 
 As when Divine Love on Creation's day 
 First gave these fair things motion, all at one 
 Made lightsome hope; but lightsome hope was none 
 When down the slope there came with lifted head ...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...waxy light hurrying
 inches away from the phantom
 smudge of us, vague

in spattered glass. Then
 daylight's soft charcoal
 lusters stone walls

and we ascend to what
 passes for brightness,
 this February,

scumbled sky
 above graduated zones
 of decline:

dead rowhouses,
 charred windows'
 wet frames

around empty space,
 a few chipboard polemics
 nailed over the gaps,

speeches too long
 and obsessive for anyone
 on this train to read,

sealing the hollowed interiors
 ...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...reach the spirit's home, the heavenly sphere
Where nothing silent is and nothing dark.
So when I see the rainbow's arc
Spanning the showery sky, far-off I hear
Music, and every colour sings:
And while the symphony builds up its round
Full sweep of architectural harmony
Above the tide of Time, far, far away I see
A bow of colour in the bow of sound.

Red as the dawn the trumpet rings,
Imperial purple from the trombone flows,
The mellow horn melts into evening rose.Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...million painted forms
Which in turn thy glory warms,
The frailest leaf, the mossy bark,
The acorn's cup, the raindrop's arc,
The swinging spider's silver line,
The ruby of the drop of wine,
The shining pebble of the pond,
Thou inscribest with a bond
In thy momentary play
Would bankrupt Nature to repay.

Ah! what avails it
To hide or to shun
Whom the Infinite One
Hath granted his throne?
The heaven high over
Is the deep's lover,
The sun and sea
Informed by thee,
Before me ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
I reached out blindly to save my face,
But neglected, however lightly, to lace
My fingers and close my arms in an arc.
A slim door got in past my guard,
And hit me a blow in the head so hard
I had my native simile jarred.
So people and things don't pair any more
With what they used to pair with before....Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...n to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,—we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night fal...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey

Our Hoste saw well that the brighte sun
Th' arc of his artificial day had run
The fourthe part, and half an houre more;
And, though he were not deep expert in lore,
He wist it was the eight-and-twenty day
Of April, that is messenger to May;
And saw well that the shadow of every tree
Was in its length of the same quantity
That was the body erect that caused it;
And therefore by the shadow he took his w...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...hue to hue, 
Now poring on the glowworm, now the star, 
I paced the terrace, till the Bear had wheeled 
Through a great arc his seven slow suns. 
A step 
Of lightest echo, then a loftier form 
Than female, moving through the uncertain gloom, 
Disturbed me with the doubt 'if this were she,' 
But it was Florian. 'Hist O Hist,' he said, 
'They seek us: out so late is out of rules. 
Moreover "seize the strangers" is the cry. 
How came you here?' I told him: 'I' sa...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord calm and added suppliantly: 

'We two were friends: I go to mine own land 
For ever: find some other: as for me 
I scarce am fit for your great plans: yet speak to me, 
Say one soft word and let me part forgiven.' 

But Ida spoke not, rapt upon the child. 
Then Arac. 'Ida--'sdeath! you blame the man; 
You wrong yourselves--the woman is so hard 
Upon the woman. Come, a grace to me! 
I am your warrior: I and mine have fought 
Your battle: kiss her; take her h...Read More

by Levis, Larry
...I was driving south toward a large city famous
For so little it had a replica, in concrete,
In two-thirds scale, of the Arc de Triomphe stuck
In the midst of traffic, & obstructing it.
But the city was hours away, beyond the hills
Shaped like the bodies of sleeping women.
Often I had to slow down for herds of goats
Or cattle milling on those narrow roads, & for
The narrower, lost, stone streets of villages
I passed through. The pains in my stomach had grown
Gradua...Read More

by García Lorca, Federico
...After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan
of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot
of a larger arc into the green of evening;
I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud
still white; though dead in its warm bloom;
always the enemy is the foe at home.
And I wondered what surgery could recover
our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure
which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile
not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused.
We, ...Read More

by Wheelwright, John
...or Horace Gregory

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan
of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot
of a larger arc into the green of evening;
I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud
still white; though dead in its warm bloom;
always the enemy is the foe at home.
And I wondered what surgery could recover
our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure
which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile
not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused.
We, ...Read More

by Edson, Russell
...Out of nothing there comes a time called childhood, which 
is simply a path leading through an archway called 
adolescence. A small town there, past the arch called youth.
 Soon, down the road, where one almost misses the life 
lived beyond the flower, is a small shack labeled, you.
 And it is here the future lives in the several postures of 
arm on windowsill, cheek on this; elbows on knees, face in 
the hands; sometimes the head thrown b...Read More

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