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Famous Athlete Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt, 
I now suspect that is not all; 
I now suspect there is something fierce in you, eligible to burst forth; 
For an athlete is enamour’d of me—and I of him;
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me, eligible to burst forth, 
I dare not tell it in words—not even in these songs....Read More

by Tynan, Katharine
...ngs and cries 
Amid the bergs and ice. 

Yea, Death, great Death is dead, 
And Life reigns in his stead;
Cometh the Athlete 
New from dead Death's defeat. 

Cometh the Wrestler, 
But Death he makes no stir, 
Utterly spent and done, 
And all his kingdom gone....Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore
...Athlete, virtuoso,
Training for happiness,
Bend arm and knee, and seek
The body's sharp distress,
For pain is pleasure's cost,
Denial is route
To speech before the millions
Or personal with the flute.

The ape and great Achilles,
Heavy with their fate,
Batter doors down, strike
Small children at the gate,
Driven by love to this,
As knock-kneed Hegel said...Read More

by Grahn, Judy
the microphone, whose whiskey voice
is precise and sultry and overwhelming,
she who is princess and harlequin,
athlete and moll and whore and lady,
goddess of the silver screen
the only original American queen

and Helen
when she was an angel
when she went to Hollywood...Read More

by Kunitz, Stanley
...As if I were composed of dust and air,
The shape confronting me upon the stair
(Athlete of shadow, lighted by a stain
On its disjunctive breast--I saw it plain--)
Moved through my middle flesh. I turned around,
Shaken and it was marching without sound
Beyond the door; and when my hand was taken

From my mouth to beat the standing heart, I cried
My distant name, thinking myself had died.
One moment I was entered; one moment then
...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
His winter task a pastime made. 
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein 
He tuned his merry violin, 
Or played the athlete in the barn, 
Or held the good dame's winding-yarn, 
Or mirth-provoking versions told 
Of classic legends rare and old, 
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome 
Had all the commonplace of home, 
And little seemed at best the odds 
'Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods; 
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took 
The guise of any grist-mill brok, 
And dread Olympu...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...prick'd with goads and stings;
Here play'd, a tiger, rolling to and fro
The heads and crowns of kings;

Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or bind
All force in bonds that might endure,
And here once more like some sick man declined,
And trusted any cure.

But over these she trod: and those great bells
Began to chime. She took her throne:
She sat betwixt the shining Oriels,
To sing her songs alone.

And thro' the topmost Oriels' coloured flame
Two godlike f...Read More

by Masefield, John

I did but glance upon these anchored ships. 
Even as my thought had told, I saw her plain; 
Tense, like a supple athlete with lean hips, 
Swiftness at pause, the Wanderer come again-- 

Come as of old a queen, untouched by Time, 
Resting the beauty that no seas could tire, 
Sparkling, as though the midnight's rain were rime, 
Like a man's thought transfigured into fire, 

And as I looked, one of her men began 
To sing some simple tune of Christmas day; 
Among her crew ...Read More

by Housman, A E
...The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay...Read More

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