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Famous Aware Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...No laughing in that house. We were alone 
This time, and it was Avon’s time to 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....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...he sleeve familiarly, 
The moment he had shut the closet door, 
By Death himself. Thus God might touch a Pope 
At unawares, ask what his baubles mean, 
And whose part he presumed to play just now? 
Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true! 

So, drawing comfortable breath again, 
You weigh and find, whatever more or less 
I boast of my ideal realized, 
Is nothing in the balance when opposed 
To your ideal, your grand simple life, 
Of which you will not realize one jot.<...Read More

by Browning, Robert


And all day long a bird sings there,
And a stray sheep drinks at the pond at times;
The place is silent and aware;
It has had its scenes, its joys and crimes,
But that is its own affair.


My perfect wife, my Leonor,
Oh heart, my own, oh eyes, mine too,
Whom else could I dare look backward for,
With whom beside should I dare pursue
The path grey heads abhor?


For it leads to a crag's sheer edge with them;
Youth, flowery all the way, there s...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...Permission to forget—
We turned our backs upon the Sun
For perjury of that—

Not Either—noticed Death—
Of Paradise—aware—
Each other's Face—was all the Disc
Each other's setting—saw—


She dealt her pretty words like Blades—
How glittering they shone—
And every One unbared a Nerve
Or wantoned with a Bone—

She never deemed—she hurt—
That—is not Steel's Affair—
A vulgar grimace in the Flesh—
How ill the Creatures bear—

To Ache is human—not polite—
Th...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Or means to pay the voice who best could tell
What most it needed--howsoe'er it was,
After a lingering,--ere she was aware,--
Like the caged bird escaping suddenly,
The little innocent soul flitted away. 

In that same week when Annie buried it,
Philip's true heart, which hunger'd for her peace
(Since Enoch left he had not look'd upon her),
Smote him, as having kept aloof so long.
`Surely' said Philip `I may see her now,
May be some little comfort;' therefore went,...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...drooped, and consciousness was gone. 
 Smiling she slept, serene and very fair, 
 He took her hand, which fell all unaware. 
 "She sleeps," said Zeno, "now let chance or fate 
 Decide for us which has the marquisate, 
 And which the girl." 
 Upon their faces now 
 A hungry tiger's look began to show. 
 "My brother, let us speak like men of sense," 
 Said Joss; "while Mahaud dreams in innocence, 
 We grasp all here—and hold the foolish thing— 
 Our Friend bel...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...from which reflection shrinks. 
Yes — there be things which we must dream and dare 
And execute ere thought be half aware: 
Whate'er might Kaled's be, it was enow 
To seal his lip, but agonise his brow. 
He gazed on Ezzelin till Lara cast 
That sidelong smile upon on the knight he pass'd; 
When Kaled saw that smile his visage fell, 
As if on something recognised right well; 
His memory read in such a meaning more 
Than Lara's aspect unto others wore. 
Forward he s...Read More

by Milton, John
...counterfeit, if any eye beheld. 
For heavenly minds from such distempers foul 
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware, 
Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm, 
Artificer of fraud; and was the first 
That practised falsehood under saintly show, 
Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge: 
Yet not enough had practised to deceive 
Uriel once warned; whose eye pursued him down 
 The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount 
 Saw him disfigured, more than could bef...Read More

by Whitman, Walt than the level I plant my house by, after all.)

I exist as I am—that is enough; 
If no other in the world be aware, I sit content; 
And if each and all be aware, I sit content. 

One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself; 
And whether I come to my own to-day, or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. 

My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite; 
I lau...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills...Read More

by Cowper, William
..., nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,
Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld;
And so long he, with unspent pow'r,
His destiny repell'd;
And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried--Adieu!

At length, his transient respite past,
His comr...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...s his scruples, too. 
165 He knelt in the cathedral with the rest, 
166 This connoisseur of elemental fate, 
167 Aware of exquisite thought. The storm was one 
168 Of many proclamations of the kind, 
169 Proclaiming something harsher than he learned 
170 From hearing signboards whimper in cold nights 
171 Or seeing the midsummer artifice 
172 Of heat upon his pane. This was the span 
173 Of force, the quintessential fact, the note 
174 Of Vulcan, that a ...Read More

by Browning, Robert her brow, like a snail's horns newly
Come out as after the rain he paces,
Two unmistakeable eye-points duly
Live and aware looked out of their places.
So, we went and found Jacynth at the entry
Of the lady's chamber standing sentry;
I told the command and produced my companion,
And Jacynth rejoiced to admit any one,
For since last night, by the same token,
Not a single word had the lady spoken:
They went in both to the presence together,
While I in the balcony watched ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter,
     And Blanche's song conviction brought.
     Not like a stag that spies the snare,
     But lion of the hunt aware,
     He waved at once his blade on high,
     'Disclose thy treachery, or die!'
     Forth at hell speed the Clansman flew,
     But in his race his bow he drew.
     The shaft just grazed Fitz-James's crest,
     And thrilled in Blanche's faded breast.—
     Murdoch of Alpine! prove thy speed,
     For ne'er had Alpine's son such need;
     ...Read More

by Strand, Mark
irresistably to failure."
It was hard to keep reading.
I was tired and wanted to give up.
The book seemed aware of this.
It hinted at changing the subject.
I waited for you to wake not knowing
how long I waited,
and it seemed that I was no longer reading.
I heard the wind passing
like a stream of sighs
and I heard the shiver of leaves
in the trees outside the window.
It would be in the book.
Everything would be there.
I looked at your fac...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...n eyes.--"lf thou canst forbear
To join the dance, which I had well forborne,"
Said the grim Feature, of my thought aware,
"I will now tell that which to this deep scorn
Led me & my companions, and relate
The progress of the pageant since the morn;
"If thirst of knowledge doth not thus abate,
Follow it even to the night, but I
Am weary" . . . Then like one who with the weight
Of his own words is staggered, wearily
He paused, and ere he could resume, I cried,
"...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .
 She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover; 
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
"Well now that's done: and I'm glad 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 Quee...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
As winter closed in,
In spite of heavy stockings
And woollen next the skin.
I was cold and wretched,
And never unaware
Of John more cold and wretched
In a trench out there.

All that long winter I wanted so much to complain, 
But my mother-in-Iaw, as far as I could see,
Felt no such impulse, though she was always in pain, 
An, as the winter fogs grew thick,
Took to walking with a stick,
Those bubble-like eyes grew black 
Whenever she rose from a ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...lded in cells of crystal silence there;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling
will never die--yet, ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are fled and gone
And the regret they leave remains alone.

And there lay Visions swift and sweet and quaint,
Each in its thin sheath like a chrysalis;--
Some eager to burst forth; some weak and faint
With the soft burden of intensest bliss
It is their work to bear to many a saint 
Whose heart adores the shrine which holi...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...This Consciousness that is aware
Of Neighbors and the Sun
Will be the one aware of Death
And that itself alone

Is traversing the interval
Experience between
And most profound experiment
Appointed unto Men --

How adequate unto itself
Its properties shall be
Itself unto itself and none
Shall make discovery.

Adventure most unto itself
The Soul condemned to be --
Attended by a sing...Read More

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