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Famous Bayou Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Sweeps with majestic curve the river away to the eastward.
They, too, swerved from their course; and, entering the Bayou of Plaquemine,
Soon were lost in a maze of sluggish and devious waters,
Which, like a network of steel, extended in every direction.
Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress
Met in a dusky arch, and trailing mosses in mid-air
Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals.
Deathlike the silence seemed, ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt with tassels—with beautiful ears, each well-sheath’d in its husk; 
An Arkansas prairie—a sleeping lake, or still bayou;
O my heart! O tender and fierce pangs—I can stand them not—I will depart; 
O to be a Virginian, where I grew up! O to be a Carolinian! 
O longings irrepressible! O I will go back to old Tennessee, and never wander more!...Read More

by Tusa, Chris
...nd cayenne, 
Catholics chasing black cats down Dumaine, 
even got Creoles two-stepping with pythons 
along the banks of Bayou St. John.

They say soon my powers gonna fade,
that there’s a noose aloose in the streets
looking for a neck to blame. 
But I’m just a lowly colored woman 
and ain’t nobody gonna blame a worm
for scaring a catfish onto a hook....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...flabby length on a rock—where the otter is
 feeding on fish; 
Where the alligator in his tough pimples sleeps by the bayou; 
Where the black bear is searching for roots or honey—where the beaver pats
 the mud with his paddle-shaped tail; 
Over the growing sugar—over the yellow-flower’d cotton plant—over
 the rice in its low moist field; 
Over the sharp-peak’d farm house, with its scallop’d scum and slender
 shoots from the gutters;
Over the western persimmon—over th...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Under the shore his boat was tied,
And all her listless crew
Watched the gray alligator slide
Into the still bayou.

Odors of orange-flowers, and spice,
Reached them from time to time,
Like airs that breathe from Paradise
Upon a world of crime.

The Planter, under his roof of thatch,
Smoked thoughtfully and slow;
The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,
He seemed in haste to go.

He said, "My ship at anchor rides
In yonder broad lagoon;
I only wait the even...Read More

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