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Famous Beaches Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Milosz, Czeslaw
...live beings
Each with its own pain,
Each with its own dying,
Its own trepidation.

Why then innocence
On paradisal beaches,
An impeccable sky
Over the church of hygiene?
Is it because that
Was long ago?

To a saintly man
--So goes an Arab tale--
God said somewhat maliciously:
"Had I revealed to people
How great a sinner you are,
They could not praise you."

"And I," answered the pious one,
"Had I unveiled to them
How merciful you are,
They would not care for you....Read More



by Tolkien, J R R
...sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I'll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the star above my mast!...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...As sure as prehistoric fish grew legs
and sauntered off the beaches into forests
working up some irregular verbs for their
first conversation, so three-year-old children
enter the phase of name-calling.

Every day a new one arrives and is added
to the repertoire. You Dumb Goopyhead,
You Big Sewerface, You Poop-on-the-Floor
(a kind of Navaho ring to that one)
they yell from knee level, their little mugs
flushe...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...mp gold wings
on sun-lit evenings.
Enormous turtles, helpless and mild,
die and leave their barnacled shells on the beaches,
and their large white skulls with round eye-sockets
twice the size of a man's.
The palm trees clatter in the stiff breeze
like the bills of the pelicans. The tropical rain comes down
to freshen the tide-looped strings of fading shells:
Job's Tear, the Chinese Alphabet, the scarce Junonia, 
parti-colored pectins and Ladies' Ears,
arranged as ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...he river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Ma...Read More



by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...birch canoe in circles, 
Round and round in gurgling eddies, 
Till the circles in the water 
Reached the far-off sandy beaches, 
Till the water-flags and rushes 
Nodded on the distant margins.
But when Hiawatha saw him 
Slowly rising through the water, 
Lifting up his disk refulgent, 
Loud he shouted in derision, 
"Esa! esa! shame upon you! 
You are Ugudwash, the sun-fish, 
You are not the fish I wanted, 
You are not the King of Fishes!"
Slowly downward, wavering, gleami...Read More

by Teasdale, Sara
...d the sea, and bending
Breathe the same honeysuckle, low and white.

We will come down at night to these resounding beaches
And the long gentle thunder of the sea,
Here for a single hour in the wide starlight
We shall be happy, for the dead are free....Read More

by Burnside, John
...

And of the tree and the water 
Named Oasis 
For a woman's love 

I speak of the voracious Sea 
Reclaiming shells from beaches 
Waves from children 

The faceless Sea 
Its hundreds of drowned faces 
Wrapped in seaweed 
Slippery and green 
Like creatures of the deep 

The reckless Sea, unfinished story, 
Removed from anquish 
Full of death tales 

I speak of open valleys 
Fertile at men's feet 
Overgrown with flowers 

Of captive summits 

Of mountains, of clear skies 
Devour...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...tom with a sound
that tells me my letter is alone.
They will have to bring in a plane
from a place of coastline and beaches,
from a climate of fresh figs and apricot,
to cradle my one letter. Up in the air
it will leave behind some of its ugly nuance,
its unpleasant habit of humanity
which wants to smear itself over others:
the spot in which it wasn't clear, perhaps,
how to take my words, which were suggestive,
the paragraph in which the names of flowers,
ostensibly t...Read More

by Piercy, Marge
...akers blared Christmas carols 
and palm trees were decked with blinking 
lights. Except by the tourist 
hotels, the beaches were empty. 

Pelicans with pregnant pouches 
flapped overhead like pterodactyls. 
In my mind I felt you die. 
First the pain lifted and then 
you flickered and went out. 


2.

I walk through the rooms of memory. 
Sometimes everything is shrouded in dropcloths, 
every chair ghostly and muted. 

Other times memory lights u...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...rifting drifting 
On the shifting 20 
Currents of the restless main; 
Till in sheltered coves and reaches 
Of sandy beaches  
All have found repose again. 

So when storms of wild emotion 25 
Strike the ocean 
Of the poet's soul erelong 
From each cave and rocky fastness  
In its vastness  
Floats some fragment of a song: 30 

From the far-off isles enchanted  
Heaven has planted 
With the golden fruit of Truth; 
From the flashing surf whose vision 
Glea...Read More

by Raine, Kathleen
...Reaching down arm-deep into bright water 
I gathered on white sand under waves 
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone 
Inhabit a finite world of years and days. 
I reached my arm down a myriad years 
To gather treasure from the yester-milliennial sea-floor, 
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation. 

Building their beauty in three dimensions 
Over which the world recedes away from us, 
And in the fourth, that takes away ourselves...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...own hairs rise
on arms and legs in a fringe of kelp; green soap
navigates the tidal slosh of seas
breaking on legendary beaches; in faith
we shall board our imagined ship and wildly sail
among sacred islands of the mad till death
shatters the fabulous stars and makes us real....Read More

by Tagore, Rabindranath
...I only said, "When in the evening the round full moon gets
entangled among the beaches of that Dadam tree, couldn't somebody
catch it?"
But dada laughed at me and said, "Baby, you are the silliest
child I have ever known. The moon is ever so far from us, how could
anybody catch it?"
I said, "Dada, how foolish you are! When mother looks out of
her window and smiles down at us playing, would you call her far
away?"
Still dada said, "...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...raw egg on a plate--
Slick from the sea. He cursed it,
 For he knew it sealed his fate.

He saw the long white beaches
 And people going to swim,
With towels and beach umbrellas,
 But the soldiers were after him.

Far, far below, the people
 Were little colored spots,
And the heads of those in swimming
 Were floating coconuts.

He heard the peanut vendor
 Go peep-peep on his whistle,
And the man that sells umbrellas
 Swinging his watchman's rattle.

Women...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...ard
From heaths starred with broom,
And high rocks throw mildly
On the blanched sands a gloom;
Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks we will hie,
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white sleeping town;
At the church on the hillside— 
And then come back down.
Singing: 'There dwells a loved one,
But cruel is she!
She left lonely for ever
The kings of the sea.'...Read More

by Bonnefoy, Yves
...on the stones, of our voices,
And up ahead, there might well be death,
But with that milky color you find at the end of beaches
In the evening, when far off
The children still touch bottom, and laugh in the peaceful water,
And keep on playing.)...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...loom where the pillared forests frown,
By the sullen, bestial rivers running where God only knows,
On the starlit coral beaches when the combers thunder down,
In the death-spell of the barrens, in the shudder of the snows;
In a blazing belt of triumph from the palm-leaf to the pine,
As a symbol of defiance lo! the wilderness I span;
And my beacons burn exultant as an everlasting sign
Of unending domination, of the mastery of Man;
I, the Life, the fierce Uplifter, I that weane...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...rysler engines 

shoots thru Texaco pipelines 

blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers 
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from 

Standard of California derricks offshore. 

...Read More

by Wylie, Elinor
...ming cornucopias which spill 
Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; 
Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches 
We'll trample bright persimmons, while you kill 
Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback.

4

Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones 
There's something in this richness that I hate. 
I love the look, austere, immaculate, 
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones. 
There's something in my very blood that owns 
Bare hills, cold sil...Read More

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