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Famous Beach Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...ed to speak of Charmides
Deeming that he some evil thing had wrought,
And when they reached the strait Symplegades
They beached their galley on the shore, and sought
The toll-gate of the city hastily,
And in the market showed their brown and pictured pottery.


But some good Triton-god had ruth, and bare
The boy's drowned body back to Grecian land,
And mermaids combed his dank and dripping hair
And smoothed his brow, and loosed his clenching hand;
Some brought s...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...rrows; and a hazelwood,
By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes
Green in a cuplike hollow of the down. 

Here on this beach a hundred years ago,
Three children of three houses, Annie Lee,
The prettiest little damsel in the port,
And Philip Ray the miller's only son,
And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad
Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd
Among the waste and lumber of the shore,
Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing-nets,
Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats updrawn,
An...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...hands they clasped some fragments of playthings.

Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth they hurried; and there on the sea-beach
Piled in confusion lay the household goods of the peasants.
All day long between the shore and the ships did the boats ply;
All day long the wains came laboring down from the village.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting,
Echoed far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard.
Thither the women and chil...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...imself his gnashing teeth and tore. 

 But he deserveth, and I speak, no more. 

 Now, as we neared the further beach, I heard 
 The lamentable and unceasing wail 
 By which the air of all the hells is stirred 
 Increasing ever, which caused mine eyes unveil 
 Their keenest vision to search what came, and he 
 Who marked, indulgent, told. "Ahead we see 
 The city of Dis, with all its dolorous crew, 
 Numerous, and burdened with reliefless pain, 
 And guilt intoler...Read More

by Milton, John
...n's azure; and the torrid clime 
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire. 
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach 
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called 
His legions--Angel Forms, who lay entranced 
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks 
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades 
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge 
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed 
Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew 
Busiris and his Memphian chival...Read More

by Milton, John Gorgonian rigour not to move; 
And with Asphaltick slime, broad as the gate, 
Deep to the roots of Hell the gathered beach 
They fastened, and the mole immense wrought on 
Over the foaming deep high-arched, a bridge 
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall 
Immoveable of this now fenceless world, 
Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad, 
Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to Hell. 
So, if great things to small may be compared, 
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yok...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...p the
 join’d seine-ends in the water, 
The boats separate—they diverge and row off, each on its rounding course to the beach,
 the mossbonkers;
The net is drawn in by a windlass by those who stop ashore, 
Some of the fishermen lounge in their boats—others stand negligently ankle-deep in the
 pois’d on strong legs; 
The boats are partly drawn up—the water slaps against them; 
On the sand, in heaps and winrows, well out from the water, lie the green-back’d s...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf Boar's Head, 
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals 
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals; 
The chowder on the sand-beach made, 
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot, 
With spoons of clam-shell from the pot. 
We heard the tales of witchcraft old, 
And dream and sign and marvel told 
To sleepy listeners as they lay 
Stretched idly on the salted hay, 
Adrift along the winding shores, 
When favoring breezes deigned to blow 
The square sail of the gundelow 
And idle lay the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt my windows, my eyes, 
As I went forth in the morning—As I beheld the light breaking in the east; 
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach of the Western Sea; 
As I roam’d the streets of inland Chicago—whatever streets I have roam’d;
Or cities, or silent woods, or peace, or even amid the sights of war; 
Wherever I have been, I have charged myself with contentment and triumph. 

I sing the Equalities, modern or old, 
I sing the endless finales...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...r I see you; 
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room. 

Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth bather;
The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them. 

The beards of the young men glisten’d with wet, it ran from their long
Little streams pass’d all over their bodies. 

An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies; 
It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.

The young men...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) hand 
May there be mark'd; nor far remote 
A broken torch, an oarless boat; 
And tangled on the weeds that heap 
The beach where shelving to the deep 
There lies a white capote! 
'Tis rent in twain — one dark-red stain 
The wave yet ripples o'er in vain: 
But where is he who wore? 
Ye! who would o'er his relics weep, 
Go, seek them where the surges sweep 
Their burthen round Sig?um's steep, 
And cast on Lemnos' shore: 
The sea-birds shriek above the prey, 
O'er which their...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
 They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
 He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pair of boots--but the worst of it was,
 He had wholly forgotten his name.

He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,
 Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"
To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"
 But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"

...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...almost viewless wave,
     The weeping willow twig to rave,
     And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
     The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
      The boat had touched this silver strand
     Just as the Hunter left his stand,
     And stood concealed amid the brake,
     To view this Lady of the Lake.
      The maiden paused, as if again
     She thought to catch the distant strain.
     With head upraised, and look intent,
     And eye and ear attentive ...Read More

by Brooks, Gwendolyn
...sunburst clocks,
Turtle soup, Chippendale, red satin "hangings,"
Aubussons and Hattie Carnegie. They Winter
In Palm Beach; cross the Water in June; attend,
When suitable, the nice Art Institute;
Buy the right books in the best bindings; saunter
On Michigan, Easter mornings, in sun or wind.
Oh Squalor! This sick four-story hulk, this fibre
With fissures everywhere! Why, what are bringings
Of loathe-love largesse? What shall peril hungers
So old old, what shall flatter ...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...d shook me, 
"Up, bastard! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behin...Read More

by Tebb, Barry Our children grew, then you wrote, too, by candle

In the dark or by the breath of the midnight sea on Brighton beach.

You made the rat return so I could face it, retracing childhood’s

Nightmare footsteps while you recalled the terror of countless

Nights and days until I understood the meaning of our parted ways.


If only we could go back to the cottage on the hill at Honley

Where the road sweeps gently under the bridge where trains never ran

Our...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...her defeat was plain,
Yet madly strove with might and main
To get the upper hand again. 

Fixing her eyes upon the beach,
As though unconscious of his speech,
She said "Each gives to more than each." 

He could not answer yea or nay:
He faltered "Gifts may pass away."
Yet knew not what he meant to say. 

"If that be so," she straight replied,
"Each heart with each doth coincide.
What boots it? For the world is wide." 

"The world is but a Thought," sa...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...f this bright host 
A Spirit of a different aspect waves 
His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast 
Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved; 
His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd; 
Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved 
Eternal wrath on his immortal face, 
And where he gazed a gloom pervaded space. 


As he drew near, he gazed upon the gate 
Ne'er to be enter'd more by him or Sin, 
With such a glance of supernatural hate, 
As made Saint ...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...ysters, come and walk with us!"
   The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
   Along the briny beach;
We cannot do with more than four,
   To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
   But never a word he said;
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
   And shook his heavy head—
Meaning to say he did not choose
   To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
   All eager for the treat;
Their coats were br...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
..., I feel the first wave tug
Its cargo of agony toward me, inescapable, tidal.
And I, a shell, echoing on this white beach
Face the voices that overwhelm, the terrible element.

I am a mountain now, among mountainy women.
The doctors move among us as if our bigness
Frightened the mind. They smile like fools.
They are to blame for what I am, and they know it.
They hug their flatness like a kind of health.
And what if they found themselve...Read More

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