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Famous Architecture Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...deil nor ye never rise!)
And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies!
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost,
That Architecture’s noble art is lost!”

NEW BRIG “Fine architecture, trowth, I needs must say’t o’t,
The L—d be thankit that we’ve tint the gate o’t!
Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
Hanging with threat’ning jut, like precipices;
O’er-arching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
Supporting roofs, fantastic, stony groves;
Windows and doors in nameless sculpt...Read more of this...

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry'd the fertile land. 
Who has not heard of Cusco, Lima and 
The town of Mexico; huge cities form'd 
From Europe's architecture, e're the arms 
Of haughty Spain disturb'd the peaceful soil. 

Such disquisition leads the puzzled mind 
From maze to maze by queries still perplex'd. 
But this we know, if from the east they came 
Where science first and revelation beam'd, 
Long since they've lost all memory, all trace 
Of this their origin: Tradition t...Read more of this...

by Bidart, Frank
frilly shades, cowhide 

I thought of Cambridge:

 the lovely congruent elegance
 of Revolutionary architecture, even of

ersatz thirties Georgian

seemed alien, a threat, sign
of all I was not--

to bode order and lucidity

as an ideal, if not reality--

not this California plush, which


I was not.

And so I made myself an Easterner,
finding it, after all, more like me
than I had let myself hope.

 And now, staring into the embittered face...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt, where would they all be? 
The most renown’d poems would be ashes, orations and plays would be vacuums. 

All architecture is what you do to it when you look upon it; 
(Did you think it was in the white or gray stone? or the lines of the arches and

All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments; 
It is not the violins and the cornets—it is not the oboe nor the beating drums, nor
 of the baritone singer singing his...Read more of this...

by Neruda, Pablo
...remble in the pure springs of the southern tides?
Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on 
 the crystal architecture
of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now?
You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean 
 The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
 The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
 in the deep places like a thread in the water?

 I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its 
 jewel boxes
 is ...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...ed in the golden breast-pin. 
He had learnt it all from Ruskin 
(Author of 'The Stones of Venice,' 
'Seven Lamps of Architecture,' 
'Modern Painters,' and some others); 
And perhaps he had not fully 
Understood his author's meaning; 
But, whatever was the reason 
All was fruitless, as the picture 
Ended in an utter failure....Read more of this...

by Paz, Octavio
it offers
             (tall pink flame
made of stone and air and birds
time at rest on the water)

the architecture of silence...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...h hair like jet

And danced with her five minutes centre stage –

I’ve lost all inhibitions in old age. A Malaysian architecture

Student invited me to sit and get my breath back

"Le Corbusier described a house as a machine for living in,"

I quipped; she slipped a smile and sipped her drink and said

"I love Leeds and its people; in seven years I’ve never 

Heard a single racist comment, whatever the papers say"

Malaysian girls are rightly known for their sensual beaut...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...ple, where it stands
Erect, by famed Britannic hands.
'Tis the Black-hole of Indian structure,
New-built in English architecture,
On plan, 'tis said, contrived and wrote
By Clive, before he cut his throat;
Who, ere he took himself in hand,
Was her high-priest in nabob-land:
And when with conq'ring triumph crown'd,
He'd well enslaved the nation round,
With tender British heart, the Chief,
Since slavery's worse than loss of life,
Bade desolation circle far,
And famine end t...Read more of this...

by Neruda, Pablo
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
oozed topaz,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth's breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet....Read more of this...

by Ashbery, John
...m to multiply stakes and possibilities, or
At least confuse issues by means of an investing
Aura that would corrode the architecture
Of the whole in a haze of suppressed mockery,
Are beside the point. They are out of the game,
Which doesn't exist until they are out of it.
It seems like a very hostile universe
But as the principle of each individual thing is
Hostile to, exists at the expense of all the others
As philosophers have often pointed out, at least
This thing,...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...s with still feet and
Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruin’d city; 
The blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the

I am a free companion—I bivouac by invading watchfires. 

I turn the bridegroom out of bed, and stay with the bride myself; 
I tighten her all night to my thighs and lips. 

My voice is the wife’s voice, the screech by the rail of the stairs; 
They fetch my man’s body up, drip...Read more of this...

by Doty, Mark
...esign something grand 
on his own body. Once he said, When a child 
realizes his parents aren't enough,
he turns to architecture. 
I think I know what he meant. 
Imagine the Masons parading, 

one of them, in his splendid get-up, 
striding forward with the golden staff, 
above his head Cheops' beautiful shape -- 
a form we cannot separate 
from the stories about the form, 
even if we hardly know them, 
even if it no longer signifies, if it only shines....Read more of this...

by Turner Smith, Charlotte Heaven, my voice
Was seldom heard, that yet my prayer was made
To him who hears even silence; not in domes
Of human architecture, fill'd with crowds,
But on these hills, where boundless, yet distinct,
Even as a map, beneath are spread the fields
His bounty cloaths; divided here by woods,
And there by commons rude, or winding brooks,
While I might breathe the air perfum'd with flowers,
Or the fresh odours of the mountain turf;
And gaze on clouds above me, as they sail'd
Ma...Read more of this...

by Graham, Jorie
...a bit
dizzy up here rearranging things,
they will come up here soon, and need a setting for their fears,
and loves, an architecture for their evolutionary
morphic needs -- what will they need if I don't make the place? --
what will they know to miss?, what cry out for, what feel the bitter

 restless irritations
for? A bit dizzy from the altitude of everlastingness,
the tireless altitudes of the created place,
in which to make a life -- a liberty -- the hollow, fetishized, a...Read more of this...

by Doty, Mark
Once, on the lawn of the Tool

and Die Company, a swan;
the word doesn't convey the shock
of the thing, white architecture
rippling like a pond's rain-pocked skin,
beak lifting to hiss at my approach.
Magisterial, set down in elegant authority,

he let us know exactly how close we might come.
After a week of long rains
that filled the marsh until it poured
across the road to make in low woods
a new heaven for toads,
a snapping turtle lumbered down the center...Read more of this...

by Troupe, Quincy brussels, eye sat in the grand place cafe & heard
duke's place, played after salsa
between the old majestic architecture, jazz bouncing off
all that gilded gold history snoring complacently there
flowers all over the ground, up inside the sound
the old white band jammin the music
tight & heavy, like some food
pushin pedal to the metal
gettin all the way down
under the scaffolding surrounding
l'hotel de ville, chattanooga choochoo
choo choing all the way home, upsi...Read more of this...

by Rich, Adrienne
...ou my daughter
nor are we lovers or any kind of couple
 except in the intensive care
 of poetry and
death's master plan architecture-in-progress
draft elevations of a black-and-white mosaic dome
the master left on your doorstep
with a white card in black calligraphy:
 Make what you will of this
 As if leaving purple roses


If (how many conditionals must we suffer?)
I tell you a letter from the master
is lying on my own doorstep
glued there with leaves and rain
and I haven'...Read more of this...

by Hicok, Bob
...were inadequately 
bowed by dogma. To be loved 
by Blondie, Dagwood
gets nothing right 
except the hallucinogenic 
architecture of sandwiches. 
He would have drilled 
through a finger too 
while making a case for books 
on home repair and health. 
Drilling through my finger's 
not the dumbest thing 
I've done. Second place 
was approaching 
a frozen gas-cap with lighter
in hand while thinking 
heat melts ice and not 
explosion kills *******. First 
place ...Read more of this...

by Lehman, David
...s interests. He became a schoolteacher, 
then a gardener's assistant at a monastery 
near Vienna. He dabbled in architecture. 


He returned to Cambridge in 1929, 
receiving his doctorate for the Tractatus, 
"a work of genius," in G. E. Moore's opinion. 
Starting in 1930 he gave a weekly lecture 
and led a weekly discussion group. He spoke 
without notes amid long periods of silence. 
Afterwards, exhausted, he went to the movies 
and sa...Read more of this...

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