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Famous Attention Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Neruda, Pablo
...he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing 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 hi...Read More

by Lehman, David
...'re going to
 hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but
 this was incredible:
To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most 
 flamboyant murder case in years!
And he was innocent!
He could prove it!
And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison:
A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight
 of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was...Read More

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...het sang who tun'd his harp 
On Zion hill and with seraphic praise 
In psalm and sacred ode by Siloa's brook, 
Drew HIS attention who first touch'd the soul 
With taste of harmony, and bade the spheres 
Move in rich measure to the songs on high. 
Fill'd with this spirit poesy no more 
Adorns that vain mythology believ'd, 
By rude barbarian, and no more receives, 
The tale traditional, and hymn profane, 
Sung by high genius, basely prostitute. 
New strains are heard, s...Read More

by Mayakovsky, Vladimir
In parade deploying
 the armies of my pages,
I shall inspect
 the regiments in line.

Heavy as lead,
 my verses at attention stand,
ready for death
 and for immortal fame.

The poems are rigid,
 pressing muzzle
to muzzle their gaping
 pointed titles.

The favorite 
 of all the armed forces
the cavalry of witticisms
to launch a wild hallooing charge,
reins its chargers still,
the pointed lances of the rhymes.
and all
 these troops armed to the ...Read More

by Collins, Billy
to devastate some fatuous Enlightenment hack.

They are just tormenting their fellow squirts
or going after the attention of the giants
way up there with their cocktails and bad breath
talking baritone nonsense to other giants,
waiting to call them names after thanking
them for the lovely party and hearing the door close.

The mature save their hothead invective
for things: an errant hammer, tire chains,
or receding trains missed by seconds,
though they know in th...Read More

by Milton, John
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,
And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause.
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense,
And in sweet madness robbed it of itself;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now. I'll speak to her,
And she shall be my queen.QHail, foreign wonder!
Whom certain these rough shades di...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...n Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat—

I've known her—from an ample nation—
Choose One—
Then—close the Valves of her attention—
Like Stone—


He fumbles at your Soul
As Players at the Keys
Before they drop full Music on—
He stuns you by degrees—
Prepares your brittle Nature
For the Ethereal Blow
By fainter Hammers—further heard—
Then nearer—Then so slow
Your Breath has time to straighten—
Your Brain—to bubble Cool—
That s...Read More

by Pinsky, Robert
Finally one commander assembled his men
In one great room, to deal with things directly.

They stood before him at attention. "All Flemings,"
He ordered, "to the left wall." Half the men
Clustered to the left. "Now all Walloons," he ordered,

"Move to the right." An equal number crowded
Against the right wall. Only one man remained
At attention in the middle: "What are you, soldier?"

Saluting, the man said, "Sir, I am a Belgian."
"Why, that's ast...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)


If aught he loved, 'twas Lara; but was shown 
His faith in reverence and in deeds alone; 
In mute attention; and his care, which guess'd 
Each wish, fulfill'd it ere the tongue express'd. 
Still there was haughtiness in all he did, 
A spirit deep that brook'd not to be chid; 
His zeal, though more than that of servile hands, 
In act alone obeys, his air commands; 
As if 'twas Lara's less than /his/ desire 
That thus he served, but surely not for hire...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington if I do.


There’s always in some pocket of your brain 
A care for me; wherefore my gratitude 
For your attention is commensurate 
With your concern. Yes, Burr, we are two kings; 
We are as royal as two ditch-diggers;
But owe me not your sceptre. These are the days 
When first a few seem all; but if we live 
We may again be seen to be the few 
That we have always been. These are the days 
When men forget the stars, and are forgotten.


But...Read More

by Milton, John
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend 
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round 
With all his peers: attention held them mute. 
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn, 
Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last 
Words interwove with sighs found out their way:-- 
 "O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers 
Matchless, but with th' Almighth!--and that strife 
Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, 
As this place testifies, and this ...Read More

by Milton, John
...> Sage he stood 
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear 
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look 
Drew audience and attention still as night 
Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake:-- 
 "Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven, 
Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now 
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called 
Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote 
Inclines--here to continue, and build up here 
A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream, 
And kno...Read More

by Milton, John
...d whereon she trod. 
His gentle dumb expression turned at length 
The eye of Eve to mark his play; he, glad 
Of her attention gained, with serpent-tongue 
Organick, or impulse of vocal air, 
His fraudulent temptation thus began. 
Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps 
Thou canst, who art sole wonder! much less arm 
Thy looks, the Heaven of mildness, with disdain, 
Displeased that I approach thee thus, and gaze 
Insatiate; I thus single;nor have feared 
Thy awful bro...Read More

by Milton, John
...sed from their dark Divan, and with like joy 
Congratulant approached him; who with hand 
Silence, and with these words attention, won. 
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers; 
For in possession such, not only of right, 
I call ye, and declare ye now; returned 
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth 
Triumphant out of this infernal pit 
Abominable, accursed, the house of woe, 
And dungeon of our tyrant: Now possess, 
As Lords, a spacious world, to our native...Read More

by Milton, John
...his eyes, 
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranced; 
But him the gentle Angel by the hand 
Soon raised, and his attention thus recalled. 
Adam, now ope thine eyes; and first behold 
The effects, which thy original crime hath wrought 
In some to spring from thee; who never touched 
The excepted tree; nor with the snake conspired; 
Nor sinned thy sin; yet from that sin derive 
Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds. 
His eyes he opened, and beheld a field...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...spurt: that the soul is not a soul,
Has no secret, is small, and it fits
Its hollow perfectly: its room, our moment of attention.
That is the tune but there are no words.
The words are only speculation
(From the Latin speculum, mirror):
They seek and cannot find the meaning of the music.
We see only postures of the dream,
Riders of the motion that swings the face
Into view under evening skies, with no
False disarray as proof of authenticity.
But it is life en...Read More

by Masefield, John
...for man to mend. 
We spat and smoked and took our swipe 
Till Silas up and tap his pipe, 
And begged us all to pay attention 
Because he'd several things to mention. 
We'd seen the fight (Hear, hear. That's you); 
But still one task remained to do. 
That task was his, he didn't shun it, 
To give the purse to him as won it. 
With this remark, from start to out 
He'd never seen a brisker bout. 
There was the purse. At that he'd leave it. 
Let Ka...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter according pause was heard aloud
        Thine ardent symphony sublime and high!
     Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bowed;
        For still the burden of thy minstrelsy
     Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's matchless eye.

     O, wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand
        That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray;
     O, wake once more! though scarce my skill command
        Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay:
     Though har...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...staring him in the face? 

And 5thly, Putting the four preceding items together, with what conscience dare he call the attention of the laws to the publications of others, be they what they may? 

I say nothing of the cowardice of such a proceeding, its meanness speaks for itself; but I wish to touch upon the motive, which is neither more nor less than that Mr. S. has been laughed at a little in some recent publications, as he was of yore in the 'Anti-jacobin,' by hi...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
I am slow as the world. I am very patient,
Turning through my time, the suns and stars
Regarding me with attention.
The moon's concern is more personal:
She passes and repasses, luminous as a nurse.
Is she sorry for what will happen? I do not think so.
She is simply astonished at fertility.

When I walk out, I am a great event.
I do not have to think, or even rehearse.
What happens in me will happen without attention.
The pheasant st...Read More

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