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Famous Arrogant Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
 I markèd nought uncommon.

I watch’d the symptoms o’ the Great,
The gentle pride, the lordly state,
 The arrogant assuming;
The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see,
 Mair than an honest ploughman.

Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
Henceforth to meet with unconcern
 One rank as weel’s another;
Nae honest, worthy man need care
To meet with noble youthful Daer,
 For he but meets a brother.

 Note 1. At the hou...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
Was the defiant sun --
Some conflict with those upper friends
So genial in the main
That we deplore peculiarly
Their arrogant campaign --...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...low'ry chain: 
Cold Superstition favour'd the deceit, 
And e'en Religion lent her aid to cheat,­ 
When warlike LOUIS, I arrogant and vain, 
Whom worth could never hold, or fear restrain; 
The soul's last refuge, in repentance sought,
An artful MAINTENON absolv'd each fault;
She who had led his worldly steps astray,
Now, "smooth'd his passage to the realms of day!"
O, monstrous hypocrite!­who vainly strove
By pious fraud, to win a people's love;
Whose coffers groan'd with reli...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...nor praised.
but he d object to the host,
The glass because my glass;
A ghost-lover he was
And may have grown more arrogant being a ghost.

But names are nothing. What matter who it be,
So that his elements have grown so fine
The fume of muscatel
Can give his sharpened palate ecstasy
No living man can drink from the whole wine.
I have mummy truths to tell
Whereat the living mock,
Though not for sober ear,
For maybe all that hear
Should laugh and weep an hour ...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler

She. A Sweetheart from another life floats there
As though she had been forced to linger
From vague distress
Or arrogant loveliness,
Merely to loosen out a tress
Among the starry eddies of her hair
Upon the paleness of a finger.

He. But why should you grow suddenly afraid
And start - I at your shoulder -
That any night could bring
An image up, or anything
Even to eyes that beauty had driven mad,
But images to make me fonder?

She. Now She has th...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...lifted fist, 
And your foot on the neck of the menacing one, the scorner, utterly crush’d beneath
The menacing, arrogant one, that strode and advanced with his senseless scorn, bearing the
 murderous knife; 
—Lo! the wide swelling one, the braggart, that would yesterday do so much!
To-day a carrion dead and damn’d, the despised of all the earth! 
An offal rank, to the dunghill maggots spurn’d.) 

Others take finish, but the Republic is ever constructive, and eve...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler

Blessed be this place,
More blessed still this tower;
A bloody, arrogant power
Rose out of the race
Uttering, mastering it,
Rose like these walls from these
Storm-beaten cottages -
In mockery I have set
A powerful emblem up,
And sing it rhyme upon rhyme
In mockery of a time
Half dead at the top.


Alexandria's was a beacon tower, and Babylon's
An image of the moving heavens, a log-book of the sun's journey and the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
But to the high seas launch, my thought, his memory.

Lo, Soul, by this tomb’s lambency, 
The darkness of the arrogant standards of the world, 
With all its flaunting aims, ambitions, pleasures. 

(Old, commonplace, and rusty saws, 
The rich, the gay, the supercilious, smiled at long,
Now, piercing to the marrow in my bones, 
Fused with each drop my heart’s blood jets, 
Swim in ineffable meaning.) 

Lo, Soul, the sphere requireth, portioneth, 
To each his sh...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, on the ground, under a chill rain, 
Wearied that night we lay, foil’d and sullen;
While scornfully laugh’d many an arrogant lord, off against us encamp’d, 
Quite within hearing, feasting, klinking wine-glasses together over their victory. 

So, dull and damp, and another day; 
But the night of that, mist lifting, rain ceasing, 
Silent as a ghost, while they thought they were sure of him, my General retreated.

I saw him at the river-side, 
Down by the ferry, lit ...Read More

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
will I acknowledge you, will I proclaim you
as no one ever has before.

And if this should be arrogance, so let me
arrogant be to justify my prayer
that stands so serious and so alone
before your forehead, circled by the clouds....Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson
...ness, the terrible eyes. 
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant. 

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him; 
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.


I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; 
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...casting lots who shall be
 kill’d, to
 preserve the lives of the rest; 
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor,
 *******, and the like; 
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, 
See, hear, and am silent....Read More

by Larkin, Philip
...of sense
And say why it never worked for me.
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity....Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
All the things I might not be:
Take her head upon your knee.
She that was so proud and wild,
Flippant, arrogant and free,
She that had no need of me,
Is a little lonely child
Lost in Hell,—Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee:
Say to her, "My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here."...Read More

by Service, Robert William
The silken emblem seems to lag;
Two hundred people watch it gravely -
But only two salute the flag.

Fine-clad and arrogant of manner
The twain are like dark dons of old,
And to that high and haughty banner
Uplifted palms they proudly hold.
The others watch them glumly, grimly;
No sullen proletariat these,
but middle-class, well clad though dimly,
Who seem to live in decent ease.

Then sadly they look at each other,
And sigh ans shrug and turn away.
What is t...Read More

by Muir, Edwin
...hose this form and fashion for our sake? 

The Word made flesh here is made word again
A word made word in flourish and arrogant crook.
See there King Calvin with his iron pen,
And God three angry letters in a book,
And there the logical hook
On which the Mystery is impaled and bent
Into an ideological argument. 

There's better gospel in man's natural tongue,
And truer sight was theirs outside the Law
Who saw the far side of the Cross among
The archaic peoples in the...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer that they may not pass 
And live. Elizabeth long ago 
Honoured and loved, and bold as brass, 
Daring and subtle, arrogant, clever, 
English, too, to her stiff backbone,
Somewhat a bully, like her own
Father— yet even Elizabeth never
Dared to oppose the sullen might
Of the English, standing upon a right. 

And were they not English, our forefathers, never more 
English than when they shook the dust of her sod 
From their feet for ever, angrily seeking a shore 
...Read More

by Agustini, Delmira
...d to an abyss…—Labor, labor of glory, painful and frivolous;Fabric where my spirit went weaving herself!You come to the arrogant head of the rock,And I fall, without end, into the bloody abyss! ...Read More

by McHugh, Heather
this one's mystery). Among Italian writers we

could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,
the brazen and the glib. And there was one
administrator (The Conservative), in suit
of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide
with measured pace and uninflected tone
narrated sights and histories
the hired van hauled us past.
Of all he was most politic--
and least poetic-- so
it seemed. Our last
few days in Rome
I fou...Read More

by Walker, Alice>
The children crept up and stroked it,
And she felt beautiful.

Such wonderful people, Africans
Childish, arrogant, self-indulgent, pompous,
Cowardly and treacherous-a great disappointment
To Israel, of course, and really rather
Ridiculous in international affairs
But, withal, opined Golda, a people of charm
And good taste. ...Read More

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