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Famous Automatic Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Levine, Philip
...h its curious taste,
part milk, part iron, part blood, as it passes
from me into the world. This is not me,
this is automatic, this entering and exiting,
my body's essential occupation without which
I am a thing. The whole process has a name,
a word I don't know, an elegant word not
in English or Yiddish or Spanish, a word
that means nothing to me. Howard truly believed
what he said that day when he steered
Parker into a cab and drove the silent miles
beside him w...Read More



by Rich, Susan
...if I’ll pay.

It’s South Africa, after all, after apartheid;

but we’re still idling here, my car to her curb,

my automatic locks to her inadequate wage....Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...d of city dust and horse dung blowing and he stood at an intersection of five sewers and there pumped the bullets of an automatic pistol into another man, a fellow citizen.
Therefore, the prosecuting attorneys, fellow citizens, and a jury of his peers, also fellow citizens, listened to the testimony of other fellow citizens, policemen, doctors, and after a verdict of guilty, the judge, a fellow citizen, said: I sentence you to be hanged by the neck till you are dead.
...Read More

by Tate, James
...touching bottom." 
He drank it all in, rugged and dusky.
I think I know what he was thinking. 
He held his automatic to my little head 
and recited a poem about my many weaknesses, 
for which I loved him so....Read More

by Taylor, Edward
...touching bottom." 
He drank it all in, rugged and dusky.
I think I know what he was thinking. 
He held his automatic to my little head 
and recited a poem about my many weaknesses, 
for which I loved him so....Read More



by Sandburg, Carl
...oud neck and forehead toward 
the empty sky and the empty land—and blows one last wonder-cry.

And as the shuttling automatic memory of man clicks off its results willy-nilly and 
inevitable as the snick of a mouse-trap or the trajectory of a 42-centimeter projectile,

I flash to the form of a man to his hips in snow drifts of Manitoba and Minnesota—in the 
sled derby run from Winnipeg to Minneapolis.

He is beaten in the race the first day out of Winnipeg—the lead do...Read More

by Tate, James
...and it felt unlucky
touching his skull like that.
"Forget what I said," he said.
"What did you say?" I asked
in automatic compliance.
And then it got very dark and quiet.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of an emu I once loved....Read More

by Taylor, Edward
...and it felt unlucky
touching his skull like that.
"Forget what I said," he said.
"What did you say?" I asked
in automatic compliance.
And then it got very dark and quiet.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of an emu I once loved....Read More

by Levine, Philip
...When the Lieutenant of the Guardia de Asalto
heard the automatic go off, he turned
and took the second shot just above
the sternum, the third tore away
the right shoulder of his uniform,
the fourth perforated his cheek. As he
slid out of his comrade's hold
toward the gray cement of the Ramblas
he lost count and knew only
that he would not die and that the blue sky
smudged with clouds was not heaven
for heave...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...a bean field and he never said a word

to me.

 His stopping and picking me up and driving me down the

road was as automatic a thing to him as closing the barn

door, nothing need be said about it, but still I was in motion

traveling thirty-five miles an hour down the road, watching

houses and groves of trees go by, watching chickens and

mailboxes enter and pass through my vision.

 Then I did not see any houses for a while. "This is where

I get out, " I said...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...attens itself in the gutter,
Slips out its tongue
And devours a morsel of rancid butter.”
So the hand of the child, automatic,
Slipped out and pocketed a toy that was running along the quay.
I could see nothing behind that child’s eye.
I have seen eyes in the street
Trying to peer through lighted shutters,
And a crab one afternoon in a pool,
An old crab with barnacles on his back,
Gripped the end of a stick which I held him.

Half-past three,
The lamp sputtere...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...clanking clam-shells.
The runners now, the handlers now, are steel; they dig and clutch and haul; they hoist their automatic knuckles from job to job; they are steel making steel.
Fire and dust and air fight in the furnaces; the pour is timed, the billets wriggle; the clinkers are dumped:
Liners on the sea, skyscrapers on the land; diving steel in the sea, climbing steel in the sky.

Finders in the dark, you Steve with a dinner bucket, you Steve clumping in the d...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...over."
  When lovely woman stoops to folly and
  Paces about her room again, alone,
  She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
  And puts a record on the gramophone.

  "This music crept by me upon the waters"
  And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
  O City city, I can sometimes hear
  Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,                             260
  The pleasant whining of a mandoline
  And a clatter and a chatter from within
...Read More

by Field, Eugene
...hair;
Some postal cars, and baggage, too; a vestibule of patent make;
With buffers, duffers, switches, and the soughing automatic brake--
This is the Orient's novel pride, and Syria's gaudiest modern gem:
The railway scheme that is to ply 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem.

Beware, O sacred Mooley cow, the engine when you hear its bell;
Beware, O camel, when resounds the whistle's shrill, unholy swell;
And, native of that guileless land, unused to modern travel's snare,
Beware t...Read More

by Crowley, Aleister
...ere, for I feel his shudder take 
My veins: some deadlier asp or cockatrice
Slimes in my senses: I am half awake, 
Half automatic, as I move along
Wrapped in a cloud of blackness deep as hell,
Hearing afar some half-forgotten song
As of disruption; yet strange glories dwell
Above my head, as if a sword of light,
Rayed of the very Dawn, would strike within
The limitations of this deadly night
That folds me for the sign of death and sin -
O Light! descend! My feet move vaguely ...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...dark, 
All lips are dusky and valved. 

Save your lips, O pale-faces, 
Which are slips of metal, 
Like slits in an automatic-machine, you columns of give-and-take. 

To me, the earth rolls ponderously, superbly 
Coming my way without forethought or afterthought. 
To me, men's footfalls fall with a dull, soft rumble, ominous and lovely, 
Coming my way. 

But not your foot-falls, pale-faces, 
They are a clicketing of bits of disjointed metal 
Working in motion....Read More

by Nash, Ogden
...s me at wakes,
The drop of a hat is less than it takes.
They kiss me at cocktails,
They kiss me at bridge,
It's all automatic, like slapping a midge.
The sound of their kisses
Is loud in my ears
Like the locusts that swarm every seventeen years.

I'm arthritic, dyspeptic,
Potentially ulcery,
And weary of kisses by custom compulsory.
Should my dear ones commit me
As senile demential,
It's from kisses perfunctory, inconsequential.
Answer, O Parcae,
For fain ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...lad it's over."
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.
 "This music crept by me upon the waters"
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, 
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnu...Read More

by Hughes, Ted
...t their single-mind-sized skulls, or a trained 
Body, or genius, or a nestful of brats
Gives their days this bullet and automatic
Purpose? Mozart's brain had it, and the shark's mouth
That hungers down the blood-smell even to a leak of its own 
Side and devouring of itself: efficiency which
Strikes too streamlined for any doubt to pluck at it
Or obstruction deflect. 

With a man it is otherwise. Heroisms on horseback, 
Outstripping his desk-diary at a broad desk, 
Car...Read More

by Butler, Ellis Parker
...

The Sheepmen tried to steal the maid,
The Villain sought the attic,
The Hero fifteen bad men slayed
With his blue automatic.

The Hero kissed the willing lass,
The final scene was snappy;
The Villain went to Boston, Mass.,
And everyone was happy....Read More

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