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Famous Barefoot Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Kizer, Carolyn
...the bequests

you had made to every friend you had!
For each of us a necklace or a ring.
A snapshot for me:
We two, barefoot in chiffon, laughing amid blossoms
your last wedding day....Read More

by Morris, William
The spring flowers bloomed along the firm dry road, 
The sleek-skinned mothers of the sharp-horned herds 
Now for the barefoot milking-maidens lowed;
While from the freshness of his blue abode, 
Glad his death-bearing arrows to forget, 
The broad sun blazed, nor scattered plagues as yet.

Through such fair things unto the gates he came, 
And found them open, as though peace were there; 
Wherethrough, unquestioned of his race or name, 
He entered, and along the streets '...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...DAUGHTERS of Time the hypocritic Days  
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes  
And marching single in an endless file  
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands. 
To each they offer gifts after his will 5 
Bread kingdoms stars and sky that holds them all. 
I in my pleach¨¨d garden watched the pomp  
Forgot my morning wishes hastily 
Took a few herbs and apples and the Day 
Turned and departed silent....Read More

by McKay, Claude
...Last night I heard your voice, mother,
The words you sang to me
When I, a little barefoot boy,
Knelt down against your knee.

And tears gushed from my heart, mother,
And passed beyond its wall,
But though the fountain reached my throat
The drops refused to fall.

'Tis ten years since you died, mother,
Just ten dark years of pain,
And oh, I only wish that I
Could weep just once again....Read More

by Dickinson, Emily closes at your feet
And opens further on—

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn—
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot—
I more than once at Noon
Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone—

Several of Nature's People
I know, and they know me—
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality—

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone—

10...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...dexterous guile 
 Had Ladisläus seized a knife that lay 
 Upon the damask cloth, and slipped away 
 His shoes; then barefoot, swiftly, silently 
 He crept behind the knight, with arm held high. 
 But Eviradnus was of all aware, 
 And turned upon the murderous weapon there, 
 And twisted it away; then in a trice 
 His strong colossal hand grasped like a vice 
 The neck of Ladisläus, who the blade 
 Now dropped; over his eyes a misty shade 
 Showed that the royal dw...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...e Arabian sea; 
So pushed them all unwilling toward the gate. 
And there was no gate like it under heaven. 
For barefoot on the keystone, which was lined 
And rippled like an ever-fleeting wave, 
The Lady of the Lake stood: all her dress 
Wept from her sides as water flowing away; 
But like the cross her great and goodly arms 
Stretched under the cornice and upheld: 
And drops of water fell from either hand; 
And down from one a sword was hung, from one 
A censer, eit...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...n others;
fat, white-bellied men,
wearing their genitals like old rags.
Not devils, but ghosts.
This one thumps barefoot, lurching
above my bed.

But that isn't all.
Some ghosts are children.
Not angels, but ghosts;
curling like pink tea cups
on any pillow, or kicking,
showing their innocent bottoms, wailing
for Lucifer....Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...window, jumped in the filthy Pas- 
 saic, leaped on *******, cried all over the street, 
 danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed 
 phonograph records of nostalgic European 
 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and 
 threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans 
 in their ears and the blast of colossal steam 
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying 
 to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude 
 watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation, 
w...Read More

by Hikmet, Nazim
...what do you know,
that awful, always off-key voice of mine
 touches me so
 that my heart breaks.
And just like the barefoot orphan
 lost in the snow
in those old sad stories, my heart
-- with moist blue eyes 
and a little red runny rose --
 wants to snuggle up in your arms.
It doesn't make me blush
 that right now
 I'm this weak,
 this selfish,
 this human simply.
No doubt my state can be explained
physiologically, psychologically, etc.
Or maybe it's
 this ba...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...die, to trace a wound that heals
only to reopen as flesh congeals:
 cycling phoenix never stops. 

So we shall walk barefoot on walnut shells
of withered worlds, and stamp out puny hells
 and heavens till the spirits squeak
surrender: to build our bed as high as jack's
bold beanstalk; lie and love till sharp scythe hacks
 away our rationed days and weeks. 

Then jet the blue tent topple, stars rain down,
and god or void appall us till we drown
 in our own tears: today...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...the proud man sighed, and with a secret pain, 
"Ah, that I were free again! 

"Free as when I rode that day, 
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay." 

She wedded a man unlearned and poor, 
And many children played round her door. 

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain, 
Left their traces on heart and brain. 

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot 
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, 

And she heard the little spring brook fall 
Over the roadside, throug...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...n lives in the simple house of his childhood, with the well-known
 neighbors and
They warmly welcome him—he is barefoot again, he forgets he is well off; 
The Dutchman voyages home, and the Scotchman and Welshman voyage home, and the native of
 Mediterranean voyages home, 
To every port of England, France, Spain, enter well-fill’d ships, 
The Swiss foots it toward his hills—the Prussian goes his way, the Hungarian his way,
 Pole his way,
The Swede retu...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy, -
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art, - the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the mi...Read More

by Keats, John
...prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
 Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
 And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
 Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:
 The sculptur'd dead, on each side, seem to freeze,
 Emprison'd in black, purgatorial rails:
 Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat'ries,
 He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

 Northward he turneth through a little door,
 And scarce three steps...Read More

by Blake, William
...said none of equal value was lost. Ezekiel
said the same of his.
I also asked Isaiah what made him go naked and barefoot three
years? he answerd, the same that made our friend Diogenes the
I then asked Ezekiel. why he eat dung, & lay so long on his
right & left side? he answerd. the desire of raising other men
into a perception of the infinite this the North American tribes
practise. & is he honest who resists his genius or conscience.
onl...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...In elder days, in Saturn's prime,
Ere baldness seized the head of Time,
While truant Jove, in infant pride,
Play'd barefoot on Olympus' side,
Each thing on earth had power to chatter,
And spoke the mother tongue of nature.
Each stock or stone could prate and gabble,
Worse than ten labourers of Babel.
Along the street, perhaps you'd see
A Post disputing with a Tree,
And mid their arguments of weight,
A Goose sit umpire of debate.
Each Dog you met, though speec...Read More

by Lowell, Robert
...Messias, in Thy side. 



There once the penitents took off their shoes
And then walked barefoot the remaining mile;
And the small trees, a stream and hedgerows file
Slowly along the munching English lane,
Like cows to the old shrine, until you lose
Track of your dragging pain.
The stream flows down under the druid tree,
Shiloah's whirlpools gurgle and make glad
The castle of God. Sailor, you were glad
And whistled Sion by that stream.<...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Oh, well, we'll soon be through with it. I'm tired." 
Willis brought up besides the Boston lawyer 
A little barefoot girl who in the noise 
Of heavy footsteps in the old frame house, 
And baritone importance of the lawyer, 
Stood for a while unnoticed with her hands 
Shyly behind her. 
"Well, and how is Mister----" 
The lawyer was already in his satchel 
As if for papers that might bear the name 
He hadn't at command. "You must excuse me, 
I dropped in at ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...o the school, 
And the friendly boys that pass’d—and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek’d girls—and the barefoot ***** boy and girl, 
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went. 

His own parents, 
He that had father’d him, and she that had conceiv’d him in her womb, and
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day—they became part of him. 

The mother at home, quietly placing the d...Read More

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