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Famous Arcade Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
And all that is sweetest and saddest blends
Together within my breast.

It brings back that night in the dim arcade,
In love's sweet morning and life's best prime,
When the great brass orchestra played and played,
And set our thoughts to rhyme.

It brings back that Winter of mad delights,
Of leaping pulses and tripping feet,
And those languid moon-washed Summer nights
When we heard the band in the street.

It brings back rapture and glee and glow,
It brings...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...kiss you better.

And when I was younger

Auntie Nellie took me

Once a week to Leeds

For sweets in the County

Arcade paved with mosaics

Like a Roman forum, the shop

That sold penny rolls of

Swizzles in rainbow colours

Was always our first call

And our last was milk and

Angel cake at Marks and Sparks.


Behind the streets

Lay the cooper’s yard

The drays of empty barrels

Coming and going all day

At dusk there was quiet

In the streets, the gas-lam...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...s evermoreAuntie Nellie’s hands

Thrummed the tunes

On the black and white

Upright, sheet music

From Banks in County Arcade

Gleaming in Burmantofts

 Faience tiles, marble and onyx.


May blossoms hang

In Mill Hill churchyard

Over the ultramarine

Signboard; in Trinity Church

I share God with no-one

Stained glass

Colours the silence.


Margaret, Nancy and I 

Had always played together

When we went walking

In Knostrop, climbing

The ruined...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...ouch you,

Bind your straw-gold hair

The colour of lank

February grass?


Under the stone canopy

Of the Grand Arcade

I pass Europa Nightclub;

In black designer glass

I watch the faces pass

But none is like your’s,

No voice, no eyes,

No smile at all

Like your’s.


From Kirkstall Lock

The rhubarb crop

To Knostrop’s forcing sheds

The roots ploughed up

Arranged in beds

Of perfect darkness

Where the buds burst

With a pip, rich pink

Stalks and ...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...Horovitz putting me in ‘Children of Albion’ and ‘The

Statesman’ giving me good reviews.

Decades later, in Byram Arcade, I am staring at the facade of

‘The Poetry Business’ and its proprietors sitting on the steps

Outside, trying to look civilised and their letter, "Your poetry

Is good but its not our kind" and I wondered what their kind was

And besides they’re not my kind of editor and I’m back in Leeds

With a letter from Seamus Heaney - thank you, Nobel Laureate...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...In London City I evade
For charming Burlington Arcade -
For thee in youth I met a maid
 By name of Mazie,
Who lost no time in telling me
The Ritz put up a topping tea,
But having only shillings three
 My smile was hazy.

:Instead," said I, "it might be sport
To take a bus to Hampton Court,"
(Her manner, I remarked, was short,)
 But she assented.
We climbed on top, and all the way
I held her hand,...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...etly solemnized. Then flows amain 
The surge of summer's beauty; dell and crag, 
Hollow and lake, hillside and pine arcade, 
Are touched with genius. Yonder ragged cliff 
Has thousand faces in a thousand hours.

Beneath low hills, in the broad interval 
Through which at will our Indian rivulet 
Winds mindful still of sannup and of squaw, 
Whose pipe and arrow oft the plough unburies, 
Here in pine houses built of new-fallen trees, 
Supplanters of the tribe, the fa...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...sweetly solemnized; then flows amain
The surge of summer's beauty; dell and crag,
Hollow and lake, hill-side, and pine arcade,
Are touched with genius. Yonder ragged cliff
Has thousand faces in a thousand hours.

Here friendly landlords, men ineloquent,
Inhabit, and subdue the spacious farms.
Traveller! to thee, perchance, a tedious road,
Or soon forgotten picture,— to these men
The landscape is an armory of powers,
Which, one by one, they know to draw and use.Read more of this...

by Bukowski, Charles
and nothing, getting your last paycheck
at a harbor, at a factory, at a hospital, at an
aircraft plant, at a penny arcade, at a
barbershop, at a job you didn't want
income tax, sickness, servility, broken
arms, broken heads -- all the stuffing
come out like an old pillow.

we have everything and we have nothing.
some do it well enough for a while and
then give way. fame gets them or disgust
or age or lack of proper diet or ink
across the eyes or c...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...een cancelled? Happening to be in Huddersfield on Good Friday

I staggered up three flights of stone steps in the Byram Arcade to the Poetry Business

Where, next to the ‘closed’ sign an out-of-date poster announced the reading in Leeds

At a date long gone.

I peered through the slats at empty desks, at brimming racks of books,

At overflowing bin-bags and the yellowing poster. Desperately I tried to remember

What Janice had said. “We were sat up in bed, plann...Read more of this...

by Seeger, Alan
...old pleasure-hall, long disarrayed,
Brick-tiled and raftered, and the walls foursquare
Ringed all about with a twofold arcade.
Backward dense branches intercept the glare
Of afternoon with eucalyptus shade;
Eastward the level valley-plains expand,
Sweet as a queen's survey of her own Fairyland.

For through that frame the ivied arches make,
Wide tracts of sunny midland charm the eye,
Frequent with hamlet grove, and lucent lake
Where the blue hills' inverted contours ...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...d gently whispered hope and cheer;
     Her faltering steps half led, half stayed,
     Through gallery fair and high arcade,
     Till at his touch its wings of pride
     A portal arch unfolded wide.

     Within 't was brilliant all and light,
     A thronging scene of figures bright;
     It glowed on Ellen's dazzled sight,
     As when the setting sun has given
     Ten thousand hues to summer even,
     And from their tissue fancy frames
     Aer...Read more of this...

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