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Famous Backhand Poems by Famous Poets

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

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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...Read more of this...



by Berryman, John
...The weather was fine. They took away his teeth,
white & helpful; bothered his backhand;
halved his green hair.
They blew out his loves, his interests. 'Underneath,'
(they called in iron voices) 'understand,
is nothing. So there.'

The weather was very fine. They lifted off
his covers till he showed, and cringed & pled
to see himself less.
They instaleld mirrors till he flowed. 'Enough'
(murmmered they) 'if ...Read more of this...

by Graves, Robert
...osses wood, a flash, and oh! 
Shame for beauty’s overthrow! 40 
(God’s eyes are dim, His ears are shut.) 
One cruel backhand sabre-cut— 
“I’m hit! I’m killed!” young David cries, 
Throws blindly forward, chokes … and dies. 
And look, spike-helmeted, grey, grim,
Goliath straddles over him....Read more of this...

by Clampitt, Amy
...irst Cause said once, "Let there
be sundews," and there were, or they've
made their way here unaided
other than by that backhand, round-
about refusal to assume responsibility
known as Natural Selection.
 But the sun
underfoot is so dazzling
down there among the sundews,
there is so much light
in that cup that, looking,
you start to fall upward....Read more of this...

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