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Famous Artifice Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Jackson, Helen Hunt
...of Golden-Rod cannot offset 
One meadow with a single violet; 
And well the singing thrush and lily know, 
Spite of all artifice which her regret 
Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!...Read more of this...

by Killigrew, Anne
...many of thy Sex, 
 Whose Pride it is, the doting World to vex; 

Spreading their Universal Nets to take
 Who e're their artifice can captive make. 
 But thou command'st thy Sweet, but Modest Eye, 
 That no Inviting Glance from thence should fly. 
 Beholding with a Gen'rous Disdain, 
 The lighter Courtships of each amorous Swain; 
 Knowing, true Fame, Vertue alone can give: 
 Nor dost thou greedily even that receive. 
 And what 'bove this thy Character can raise ? ...Read more of this...

by Piercy, Marge
...The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to...Read more of this...

by Doty, Mark
wisteria or trout scales;

surfaces burnished
like a tidal stream
on which an excitation

of minnows boils
and blooms, artifice
made to show us

the lavish wardrobe
of things, the world's
glaze of appearances

worked into the thin
and gleaming stuff
of craft. A story:

at the puppet opera
--where one man animated
the entire cast

while another ghosted
the voices, basso
to coloratura -- Jimmy wept

at the world of tiny gestures,
forgot, he said,
these were puppets,

forgo...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...else accused me -- and I smiled --
My Soul -- that Morning -- was My friend --

Her favor -- is the best Disdain
Toward Artifice of Time -- or Men --
But Her Disdain -- 'twere lighter bear
A finger of Enamelled Fire --...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...Not to discover weakness is
The Artifice of strength --
Impregnability inheres
As much through Consciousness

Of faith of others in itself
As Pyramidal Nerve
Behind the most unconscious clock
What skilful Pointers move --...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ous knights 
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast 
Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; 
The skill of artifice or office mean, 
Not that which justly gives heroick name 
To person, or to poem. Me, of these 
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument 
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise 
That name, unless an age too late, or cold 
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 
Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine, 
Not hers, who brings it nightly to ...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington any, by this time, 
Unwillingly and eagerly have bitten 
Another devil’s-apple of unrest, 
And so, by some attendant artifice 
Or other, might anon have had you sharing
A taste that would have tainted everything, 
And so had been for two, instead of one, 
The taste of death in life—which is the food 
Of art that has betrayed itself alive 
And is a food of hell. She might have heard
Unhappily the temporary noise 
Of louder names than yours, and on frail urns 
That hardl...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.


Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come....Read more of this...

by Carruth, Hayden
...e retired
Bankers of Arizona are ringing the death knell

For everyone, how ideologies compel
Children to violence. Artifice acquired
For its own sake is war. Frail villanelle,

Have you this power? And must Igo and sell
Myself? "Wow," they say, and "cool"--this hired
Old poetry guy with his spaced-out death knell.

Ah, far from home and God knows not much fired
By thoughts of when he thought he was inspired,
He writes by writing what he must. Death knell
Is w...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...t disdainShe check'd my love and taught me peace to gain.O graceful artifice! deserved success!I with my fond verse, with her bright eyes she,Glory in her, she virtue got in me. Macgregor....Read more of this...

by Stevens, Wallace something harsher than he learned 
170 From hearing signboards whimper in cold nights 
171 Or seeing the midsummer artifice 
172 Of heat upon his pane. This was the span 
173 Of force, the quintessential fact, the note 
174 Of Vulcan, that a valet seeks to own, 
175 The thing that makes him envious in phrase. 

176 And while the torrent on the roof still droned 
177 He felt the Andean breath. His mind was free 
178 And more than free, elate, intent, p...Read more of this...

by Seeger, Alan
...perate joy to quivering finger-tips,

They knew; and here where morning-glories cling
Round carven forms of carefullest artifice,
They made a bower where every outward thing
Should comment on the cause of their own bliss;
With flowers of liveliest hue encompassing
That flower that the beloved body is
That rose that for the banquet of Love's bee
Has budded all the æons of past eternity.

But their choice seat was where the garden wall,
Crowning a little summit, far and nea...Read more of this...

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