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Famous Asking Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Neruda, Pablo at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's sp...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Like an inspired and desperate alchemist
Staking his very life on some dark hope,
Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks
With my most innocent love, until strange tears,
Uniting with those breathless kisses, made
Such magic as compels the charmèd night
To render up thy charge; and, though ne'er yet
Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary,
Enough from incommunicable dream,
And twilight phantasms, and deep noonday thought, 
Has shone within me, that serenely now
And...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington talk.

I waited, and anon became aware 
That I was looking less at Avon’s eyes 
Than at the dictionary, like one asking 
Already why we make so much of words 
That have so little weight in the true balance.
“Your name is Resignation for an hour,” 
He said; “and I’m a little sorry for you. 
So be resigned. I shall not praise your work, 
Or strive in any way to make you happy. 
My purpose only is to make you know
How clearly I have known that you have kno...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...hrove not in her trade, not being bred
To barter, nor compensating the want
By shrewdness, neither capable of lies,
Nor asking overmuch and taking less,
And still foreboding `what would Enoch say?'
For more than once, in days of difficulty
And pressure, had she sold her wares for less
Than what she gave in buying what she sold:
She fail'd and sadden'd knowing it; and thus,
Expectant of that news that never came,
Gain'd for here own a scanty sustenance,
And lived a life of sil...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...ian summer.
Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed in the prairies;
Here, too, lands may be had for the asking, and forests of timber
With a few blows of the axe are hewn and framed into houses.
After your houses are built, and your fields are yellow with harvests,
No King George of England shall drive you away from your homesteads,
Burning your dwellings and barns, and stealing your farms and your cattle."
Speaking these words, he blew a wrathful clou...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
life as it was,
i could never gobble 
down all its
but there were parts,
tenous magic parts
open for the

I re formulated
I don't know when,
but the change
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
i no longer had to 
prove that i was a 

I did'nt have to prove

I began to see things:
coffe cups lined up
behind a counter in a 
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on...Read More

by Giovanni, Nikki
...od night"
no matter how young or old you are

Some people don't remember that
love is
listening and laughing and asking
no matter what your age

Few recognize that love is
commitment, responsibility
no fun at all

Love is
You and me ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Rose like a factor's at a trading station.
And be was rich, and I was still a rascal.
I couldn't keep from asking impolitely,
Where bad he been and what had he been doing?
How did he get so? (Rich was understood.)
In dealing in "old rags" in San Francisco.
Ob, it was terrible as well could be.
We both of us turned over in our graves.

Just specimens is all New Hampshire has,
One each of everything as in a showcase,
Which naturally she doesn't care...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...ards when we choose to ask
For what we know already is not coming, 
And we must eat the answer. Where’s the use 
Of asking when this man says everything, 
With all his tongues of silence? 


I dare say.
I dare say, but I won’t. One of those tongues 
I’ll borrow for the nonce. He’ll never miss it. 
We mean his Western Majesty, King George. 


I mean the man who rode by on his horse. 
I’ll beg of you the meed of your indulgence
If I sho...Read More

by Berman, David t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask
and that's what cool was:
the ability to deduct
to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness
means not asking when you don't know,
which is why kids grow ever more stupid.

A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises
to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness
of a teenager's promise. Not like I'm dying
for a letter from the class stoner
ten years on but...

Do you rememb...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...nst the household bosom lean, 
Upon the motley-braided mat 
Our yougest and our dearest sat, 
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes, 
Now bathed in the unfading green 
And holy peace of Paradise. 
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill, 
Or from the shade of saintly palms, 
Or silver reach of river calms, 
Do those large eyes behold me still? 
With me one little year ago: -- 
The chill weight of the winter snow 
For months upon her grave has lain; 
And now, when summer south...Read More

by Whitman, Walt for my chances, spending for vast returns; 
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me; 
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will; 
Scattering it freely forever. 

The pure contralto sings in the organ loft;
The carpenter dresses his plank—the tongue of his foreplane whistles its
 wild ascending lisp; 
The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanksgiving dinner; 
The pilot seizes the king-pin—he heaves down with a...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...daily ruse,
Official treacheries of face and name,
Have out our true identity? I could hazard
An answer now, if you are asking still.
We are a small and lonely human race
Showing no sign of mastering solitude
Out on this stony planet that we farm.
The most that we can do for one another
Is let our blunders and our blind mischances
Argue a certain brusque abrupt compassion.
We might as well be truthful. I should say
They're luckiest who know they're not unique;...Read More

by Chesterton, G K soul remembered Rome.

Then Alfred of the lonely spear
Lifted his lion head;
And fronted with the Italian's eye,
Asking him of his whence and why,
King Alfred stood and said:

"I am that oft-defeated King
Whose failure fills the land,
Who fled before the Danes of old,
Who chaffered with the Danes with gold,
Who now upon the Wessex wold
Hardly has feet to stand.

"But out of the mouth of the Mother of God
I have seen the truth like fire,
This--that the sky grows dar...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...the strength 
298 Of his aesthetic, his philosophy, 
299 The more invidious, the more desired. 
300 The florist asking aid from cabbages, 
301 The rich man going bare, the paladin 
302 Afraid, the blind man as astronomer, 
303 The appointed power unwielded from disdain. 
304 His western voyage ended and began. 
305 The torment of fastidious thought grew slack, 
306 Another, still more bellicose, came on. 
307 He, therefore, wrote his prolegomena, 
...Read More

by Blake, William
...e acts with honest, triumphant pride, 
And this is the cause that Jesus dies. 
He did not die with Christian ease, 
Asking pardon of His enemies: 
If He had, Caiaphas would forgive; 
Sneaking submission can always live. 
He had only to say that God was the Devil, 
And the Devil was God, like a Christian civil; 
Mild Christian regrets to the Devil confess 
For affronting him thrice in the wilderness; 
He had soon been bloody Caesar’s elf, 
And at last he would have bee...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...t sware, and many among the knights, 
And Gawain sware, and louder than the rest.' 

Then spake the monk Ambrosius, asking him, 
`What said the King? Did Arthur take the vow?' 

`Nay, for my lord,' said Percivale, `the King, 
Was not in hall: for early that same day, 
Scaped through a cavern from a bandit hold, 
An outraged maiden sprang into the hall 
Crying on help: for all her shining hair 
Was smeared with earth, and either milky arm 
Red-rent with hooks of bramble, a...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey friends in alle that ye may.
I you forgive this trespass *every deal*. *completely*
And they him sware *his asking* fair and well, *what he asked*
And him of lordship and of mercy pray'd,
And he them granted grace, and thus he said:

"To speak of royal lineage and richess,
Though that she were a queen or a princess,
Each of you both is worthy doubteless
To wedde when time is; but natheless
I speak as for my sister Emily,
For whom ye have this strife and jealousy,
...Read More

by Strand, Mark
...are the living proof of that.
It is dark outside, in the room it is darker.
I hear your breathing.
You are asking me if I am tired,
if I want to keep reading.
Yes, I am tired.
Yes, I want to keep reading.
I say yes to everything.
You cannot hear me.
"They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were the copies, the tired phantoms
of something they had been before.
The attitudes they took were jaded.
They stared into the book
and w...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
...ell to your ear to hear the sea 
When it's really your own red little sparkle, the echo 
Of marching blood. She's asking a phantom 
World of pearled-up mist for proof
That her man exists: that gamelans and tumbrils
Won't evade her. But now, among 
The kitchen garden's rose-haws, mallow, Pernod- 
Coloured pears, she unhooks herself thorn by thorn 
For the exit aria. For fade-out. Suddenly there he is
In the avenue, the man she's written to - Charon
Gazing at ...Read More

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