Famous Back Poems by Famous Poets
These are examples of famous Back poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous back poems. These examples illustrate what a famous back poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).
by Ginsberg, Allen
...d poles of
Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo-
tionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery
dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops,
storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon
blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree
vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook-
lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless
ride from Battery to holy Bronx on b...Read More
by Wilde, Oscar
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep
From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack
Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And flaps his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across t...Read More
by Angelou, Maya
...The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
by Alighieri, Dante
...at path astray,
Beset with sleep, I know not. This I know.
When gained my feet the upward, lighted way,
I backward gazed, as one the drowning sea,
The deep strong tides, has baffled, and panting lies,
On the shelved shore, and turns his eyes to see
The league-wide wastes that held him. So mine eyes
Surveyed that fear, the while my wearied frame
Rested, and ever my heart's tossed lake became
Then from that pass released, which ye...Read More
by Wordsworth, William
... She half inclosed me with her arms, She press'd me with a meek embrace; And bending back her head look'd up, And gaz'd upon my face. 'Twas partly Love, and partly Fear, And partly 'twas a bashful Art That I might rather feel than see The Swelling of her Heart. I calm'd her Tears; and she was calm, ...Read More
by Whitman, Walt
...joy of increase, growth, recuperation;
The joy of soothing and pacifying—the joy of concord and harmony.
O to go back to the place where I was born!
To hear the birds sing once more!
To ramble about the house and barn, and over the fields, once more,
And through the orchard and along the old lanes once more.
O male and female!
O the presence of women! (I swear there is nothing more exquisite to me than the mere
O for the girl, my mate!...Read More
by Whitman, Walt
...side-curved head, curious what will come next;
Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.
Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and
I have no mockings or arguments—I witness and wait.
I believe in you, my Soul—the other I am must not abase itself to you;
And you must not be abased to the other.
Loafe with me on the grass—loose the stop from your throat;
Not words, not music ...Read More
by Whitman, Walt
...riage, the fop, the eloping couple,
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back
They pass—I also pass—anything passes—none can be interdicted;
None but are accepted—none but are dear to me.
You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular...Read More
by Angelou, Maya
...es my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's root...Read More
by Chesterton, G K
...fred up against them bare
And gripped the ground and grasped the air,
Staggered, and strove to stand.
He bent them back with spear and spade,
With desperate dyke and wall,
With foemen leaning on his shield
And roaring on him when he reeled;
And no help came at all.
He broke them with a broken sword
A little towards the sea,
And for one hour of panting peace,
Ringed with a roar that would not cease,
With golden crown and girded fleece
Made laws under a tree.
by Byron, George (Lord)
...the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light;
What business had they there at such a time?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love;—Oh! she was changed,
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was...Read More
by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...simple, true, and fancy-free.
How could I quarrel or blame you, most dear,
Who all thy virtues gavest and kept back none;
Kindness and gentleness, truth without peer,
And beauty that my fancy fed upon?
Now not my life's contrition for my fault
Can blot that day, nor work me recompence,
Tho' I might worthily thy worth exalt,
Making thee long amends for short offence.
For surely nowhere, love, if not in thee
Are grace and truth and beauty to be found;
And all my p...Read More
by Wordsworth, William
... What means this bustle, Betty Foy? Why are you in this mighty fret? And why on horseback have you set Him whom you love, your idiot boy? Beneath the moon that shines so bright, Till she is tired, let Betty Foy With girt and stirrup fiddle-faddle; But wherefore set upon a saddle Him whom she loves, her idiot boy? There's s...Read More
by Poe, Edgar Allan
...e no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:"
Merely this and nothing more. 30
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore;
Let my heart be still a moment an...Read More
by Frost, Robert
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. ...Read More
by Carroll, Lewis
And in that silence dead, but she
To muse a little space did seem,
Then, like the echo of a dream,
Harked back upon her threadbare theme.
Still an attentive ear he lent
But could not fathom what she meant:
She was not deep, nor eloquent.
He marked the ripple on the sand:
The even swaying of her hand
Was all that he could understand.
He saw in dreams a drawing-room,
Where thirteen wretches sat in gloom,
Waiting - he thought he knew for whom:
by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...few who could not tame
Their spirits to the Conqueror, but as soon
As they had touched the world with living flame
Fled back like eagles to their native noon,
Of those who put aside the diadem
Of earthly thrones or gems, till the last one
Were there;--for they of Athens & Jerusalem
Were neither mid the mighty captives seen
Nor mid the ribald crowd that followed them
Or fled before . . Now swift, fierce & obscene
The wild dance maddens in the van, & those
Who lead it, ...Read More
by Byron, George (Lord)
...ody with the dust! It might
Return to what it must far sooner, were
The natural compound left alone to fight
Its way back into earth, and fire, and air;
But the unnatural balsams merely blight
What nature made him at his birth, as bare
As the mere million's base unmarried clay —
Yet all his spices but prolong decay.
He's dead — and upper earth with him has done;
He's buried; save the undertaker's bill,
Or lapidary scrawl, the world is gone
For him, unles...Read More
by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Wo weilest du?
"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
"They called me the hyacinth girl."
––Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed' und leer das Meer.
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a...Read More
by Akhmatova, Anna
...e become more oblivious than inviting,
Quietly years swim.
Lips unkissed, eyes unsmiling --
Nothing will give me back him.
x x x
Ah! It is you again. You enter in this house
Not as a kid in love, but as a husband
Courageous, harsh and in control.
The calm before the storm is fearful to my soul.
You ask me what it is that I have done of late
With given unto me forever love and fate.
I have betrayed you. And this to repeat --
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