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Famous Attitudes Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...take that instrument used in winnowing the corn, which in our country dialect we call a “wecht,” and go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times, and the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marking the employment or station in life.—R. B. [back]
Note 13. Take an opportunity of going unn...Read More

by Murray, Les
...nnual visit to the latitudes
of rice, kerosene and resignation,
an averted, temporary visit
unrelated, for most, to the attitudes
of festive northbound jets gaining height -
closer, for some few, to the memory
of ulcers scraped with a tin spoon
or sweated faces bowing before dry
where the flesh is worn inside out,
all the hunger-organs clutched in rank nylon,
by those for whom exhaustion is spirit: 

an intrusive, heart-narrowing season
at this far southern foot of the monsoo...Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore the train all night, in the sick light. A bird
Flew parallel with a singular will. In daydream's moods and
The other passengers slumped, dozed, slept, read,
Waiting, and waiting for place to be displaced
On the exact track of safety or the rack of accident.

Looked out at the night, unable to distinguish
Lights in the towns of passage from the yellow lights
Numb on the ceiling. And the bird flew parallel and still
As the train shot forth the str...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
The single-file—the swinging hatchets—the surprise and slaughter of enemies; 
—All the acts, scenes, ways, persons, attitudes of These States—reminiscences,
All These States, compact—Every square mile of These States, without excepting a
 particle—you also—me also, 
Me pleas’d, rambling in lanes and country fields, Paumanok’s fields,
Me, observing the spiral flight of two little yellow butterflies, shuffling between each
 ascending high in the...Read More

by Seeger, Alan

Nor yet so tightly drawn the cruel chains 
Clasped the slim ankles and the wounded hands, 
But with soft, cringing attitudes in vain 
She strove to shield her from that ardent glance. 
So, clinging to the walls of some old manse, 
The rose-vine strives to shield her tender flowers, 
When the rude wind, as autumn weeks advance, 
Beats on the walls and whirls about the towers 
And spills at every blast her pride in piteous showers. 

And first for choking sobs she...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
...zure deep; 
I hate all movements that disturb my pose, 
I smile not ever, neither do I weep. 

Before my monumental attitudes, 
That breathe a soul into the plastic arts, 
My poets pray in austere studious moods, 

For I, to fold enchantment round their hearts, 
Have pools of light where beauty flames and dies, 
The placid mirrors of my luminous eyes....Read More

by Francis, Robert
...Two boys uncoached are tossing a poem together,
Overhand, underhand, backhand, sleight of hand, everyhand,
Teasing with attitudes, latitudes, interludes, altitudes,
High, make him fly off the ground for it, low, make him stoop,
Make him scoop it up, make him as-almost-as possible miss it,
Fast, let him sting from it, now, now fool him slowly,
Anything, everything tricky, risky, nonchalant,
Anything under the sun to outwit the prosy,
Over the tree and the long sweet cadence do...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...rry for the others

rearrange their

juggling mates

confusion is

and it will
whoever they 
deal with.

beware of them:
one of their
key words is

and beware those who
only take
instructions from their

for they have 
failed completely to live their own

don't feel sorry for me
because I am alone

for even 
at the most terrible
is my...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...he fire, the pause when the bell strikes suddenly again, and the
 listening on the alert, 
The natural, perfect, varied attitudes—the bent head, the curv’d neck, and the
Such-like I love—I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother’s breast with the
 little child, 
Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in line with the firemen, and pause,
 listen, and count. 

I know a man, a common farmer—the father of five sons; 
And in them were the fathe...Read More

by Verhaeren, Emile stately pageantries.
But how quickly I tire of the game, seeing you gentle and wise, and so little like those whose attitudes men embellish.
Your brow, so shining and pure and white with certitude, your gentle, childlike hands peaceful upon your knees, your breasts rising and falling with the rhythm of your pulse that beats like your immense, ingenuous heart,
Oh! how everything, except that and your prayer, oh! how everything is poor and empty, except the light that gaz...Read More

by Delville, Jean
...ard the risen Moon, the symbolic Bronzes
Curve, in the blue night, their antique nudity
In the sphinx-like majesty of attitudes.

A dream of incense symphonies the lustral Lake,
Enchanted by the sidereal presence of Swans,
Elegiacally swooning their silver-pale lines,
Beneath the sacred music of astral infinitude.

Drunken with silence, the aching lawns
Grow languid in the brightness of calm reveries;
Amid the somnolent shadows of the bowers

Hovers the conjugal ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
The perpetual shows and marches on land, are for him, if they are for any body. 

He puts things in their attitudes; 
He puts to-day out of himself, with plasticity and love; 
He places his own city, times, reminiscences, parents, brothers and sisters, associations,
 employment, politics, so that the rest never shame them afterward, nor assume to command

He is the answerer: 
What can be answer’d he answers—and what cannot be answer’d, he shows how
 i...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
And Unconcern so sovereign
To Universe, or me --
Infects my simple spirit
With Taints of Majesty --
Till I take vaster attitudes --
And strut upon my stem --
Disdaining Men, and Oxygen,
For Arrogance of them --

My Splendors, are Menagerie --
But their Completeless Show
Will entertain the Centuries
When I, am long ago,
An Island in dishonored Grass --
Whom none but Beetles -- know....Read More

by Rich, Adrienne must look back
and let them happen.

If you do not go through
it is possible
to live worthily

to maintain your attitudes
to hold your position
to die bravely

but much will blind you,
much will evade you,
at what cost who knows?

The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door....Read More

by Clampitt, Amy
..., reclaim 
a parking lot,
and the bag-laden
hermit woman, disencumbered 
of a greater incubus,

the crush of unexamined
attitudes, stoutly
follows her routine,
mining the mountainsides
of our daily refuse

for artifacts: subversive
with each arcane
trash-basket dig
the pleasures of the ruined....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared, 
The blows of mallets and hammers, the attitudes of the men, their curv’d limbs, 
Bending, standing, astride the beams, driving in pins, holding on by posts and braces,
The hook’d arm over the plate, the other arm wielding the axe, 
The floor-men forcing the planks close, to be nail’d, 
Their postures bringing their weapons downward on the bearers, 
The echoes resounding through the vacant buildi...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...ed me to the Beak
Because I was a Happy Vegetarian.

Oh, I know a Doctor Gluck,
And his nose it had a hook,
And his attitudes were anything but Aryan;
So I gave him all the pork
That I had, upon a fork
Because I am myself a Vegetarian.

I am silent in the Club,
I am silent in the pub.,
I am silent on a bally peak in Darien;
For I stuff away for life
Shoving peas in with a knife,
Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.

No more the milk of cows
Shall pollute my privat...Read More

by Strand, Mark
...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 were horrified by their innocence,
their reluctance to give up.
They sat beside each other on the couch.
They were determined to accept the truth.
Whatever it was they would accept it.
The book would have to be written
and would have to be read.
They are the book and they a...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
Waiting - he thought he knew for whom: 

He saw them drooping here and there,
Each feebly huddled on a chair,
In attitudes of blank despair: 

Oysters were not more mute than they,
For all their brains were pumped away,
And they had nothing more to say - 

Save one, who groaned "Three hours are gone!"
Who shrieked "We'll wait no longer, John!
Tell them to set the dinner on!" 

The vision passed: the ghosts were fled:
He saw once more that woman dread:
He heard once mor...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...will twice 
Lift up their lungs when fairly overcrow'd; 
And now the bard could plead his own bad cause, 
With all the attitudes of self-applause. 


He said — (I only give the heads) — he said, 
He meant no harm in scribbling; 'twas his way 
Upon all topics; 'twas, besides, his bread, 
Of which he butter'd both sides; 'twould delay 
Too long the assembly (he was pleased to dread), 
And take up rather more time than a day, 
To name his works — he would but cite a f...Read More

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