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Famous Beat Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...her door, by the darkness befriended,
And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her footsteps,
Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron;
Or at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the village,
Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered
Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music.
But, among all who came, young Gabriel only was welcome;
Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith,
Who was a mighty ...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm 
 of thought in his naked and endless head, 
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, 
 yet putting down here what might be left to say 
 in time come after death, 
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in 
 the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the 
 suffering of America's naked mind for love into 
 an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone 
 cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio 
with ...Read More

by Keats, John, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep organ tone:
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...t haste, and go 
 With golden wisdom of thy speech, that so 
 For me be consolation. Thou shalt say, 
 "I come from Beatric?." Downward far, 
 From Heaven to I leaven I sank, from star to star, 
 To find thee, and to point his rescuing way. 
 Fain would I to my place of light return; 
 Love moved me from it, and gave me power to learn 
 Thy speech. When next before my Lord I stand 
 I very oft shall praise thee.' 
 she ceased, 
 And I gave answer to ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ies more cloudless, moons of purer blaze, 
Of nights more soft and frequent, hearts that now — 
No — no — the storm may beat upon his brow, 
Unfelt — unsparing — but a night like this, 
A night of beauty mock'd such breast as his. 


He turn'd within his solitary hall, 
And his high shadow shot along the wall; 
There were the painted forms of other times, 
'Twas all they left of virtues or of crimes, 
Save vague tradition; and the gloomy vaults 
That hid their du...Read More

by Ali, Muhammad
...Last night I had a dream, When I got to Africa,
I had one hell of a rumble.
I had to beat Tarzan’s behind first,
For claiming to be King of the Jungle.
For this fight, I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And throw thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
I’m so fast, man,
I can ru...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
To behold his calmness! to be warm’d in the rays of his smile!
To go to battle! to hear the bugles play, and the drums beat! 
To hear the crash of artillery! to see the glittering of the bayonets and musket-barrels
 in the
To see men fall and die, and not complain! 
To taste the savage taste of blood! to be so devilish! 
To gloat so over the wounds and deaths of the enemy.

O the whaleman’s joys! O I cruise my old cruise again! 
I feel the ship’s motion under me...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine; 
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood
 and air through my lungs;
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore, and
 dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn; 
The sound of the belch’d words of my voice, words loos’d to the eddies
 of the wind; 
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms; 
The play of shine an...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...urple and peacock skies grow dark
With a moving locust-tower;
Or tawny sand-winds tall and dry,
Like hell's red banners beat and fly,
When death comes out of Araby,
Was Eldred in his hour.

But while he moved like a massacre
He murmured as in sleep,
And his words were all of low hedges
And little fields and sheep.

Even as he strode like a pestilence,
That strides from Rhine to Rome,
He thought how tall his beans might be
If ever he went home.

Spoke some stiff pi...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles 

And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find, 
Among us here, no lover to your mind; 
Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave? 
The charms of horror please none but the brave. 

Your eyes' black gulf, where awful broodings stir, 
Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller 
Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath, 
The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth. 

For he who has not folded in his arms 
A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms, 
Recks ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...leep profound;
In which it seem'd that thou wert given to me,
Rending my body, where with hurried sound
I feel my heart beat, when I think of thee. 

Love that I know, love I am wise in, love,
My strength, my pride, my grace, my skill untaught,
My faith here upon earth, my hope above,
My contemplation and perpetual thought:
The pleasure of my fancy, my heart's fire,
My joy, my peace, my praise, my happy theme,
The aim of all my doing, my desire
Of being, my life by day...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...against Arthur and the Table Round, 
And the strange sound of an adulterous race, 
Across the iron grating of her cell 
Beat, and she prayed and fasted all the more. 

`And he to whom she told her sins, or what 
Her all but utter whiteness held for sin, 
A man wellnigh a hundred winters old, 
Spake often with her of the Holy Grail, 
A legend handed down through five or six, 
And each of these a hundred winters old, 
From our Lord's time. And when King Arthur made 
His...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...That all the fieldes glitter up and down:
And by his banner borne is his pennon
Of gold full rich, in which there was y-beat* *stamped
The Minotaur which that he slew in Crete
Thus rit this Duke, thus rit this conqueror
And in his host of chivalry the flower,
Till that he came to Thebes, and alight
Fair in a field, there as he thought to fight.
But shortly for to speaken of this thing,
With Creon, which that was of Thebes king,
He fought, and slew him manly as a knight...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
..., side by side,
     Emblems of punishment and pride,
     Grouped their dark hues with every stain
     The weather-beaten crags retain.
     With boughs that quaked at every breath,
     Gray birch and aspen wept beneath;
     Aloft, the ash and warrior oak
     Cast anchor in the rifted rock;
     And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung
     His shattered trunk, and frequent flung,
     Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high,
     His boughs athwart the narrowed sk...Read More

by Thomson, James
With quivering Pinions, in the genial Blaze;
Flys off, in airy Circles: then returns, 
And hums, and dances to the beating Ray.
Nor shall the Man, that, musing, walks alone,
And, heedless, strays within his radiant Lists,
Go unchastis'd away. -- Sometimes, a Fleece
Of Clouds, wide-scattering, with a lucid Veil, 
Soft, shadow o'er th'unruffled Face of Heaven;
And, thro' their dewy Sluices, shed the Sun,
With temper'd Influence down. Then is the Time,
For those...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...he loaded omnibus
Has reached the railway terminus: 

When, for the tumult of the street,
Is heard the engine's stifled beat,
The velvet tread of porters' feet. 

With glance that ever sought the ground,
She moved her lips without a sound,
And every now and then she frowned. 

He gazed upon the sleeping sea,
And joyed in its tranquillity,
And in that silence dead, but she 

To muse a little space did seem,
Then, like the echo of a dream,
Harked back upon her threadbar...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...el. 'Why,' 
Replied the spirit, 'since old scores are past, 
Must I turn evidence? In faith, not I. 
Besides, I beat him hollow at the last, 
With all his Lords and Commons: in the sky 
I don't like ripping up old stories, since 
His conduct was but natural in a prince. 


'Foolish, no doubt, and wicked, to oppress 
A poor unlucky devil without a shilling; 
But then I blame the man himself much less 
Than Bute and Grafton, and shall be unwilling 
To see him ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...otherless, I did not know— 
I was all unprepared to feel this glow, 
Holy as a Madonna's, and as crude 
As any animal's beatitude— 
Crude as my own black cat's, who used to bring 
Her newest litter to me every spring, 
And say, with green eyes shining in the sun: 
'Behold this miracle that I have done.' 
And John came home on leave, and all was joy 
And thankfulness to me, because my boy 
Was not a baby only, but the heir— 
Heir to the Devon acres and a name 
As old as En...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna,
But those that reach it struck with woe that lingers.
Now you have understood, why forever
My heart does not beat underneath your fingers.

x x x

All has been taken: strength as well as love.
Into the unloved town the corpse is thrown.
It does not love the sun. I fear, that blood
Inside of me already cold has grown.

I do not recognize sweet Muse's loving taste:
She looks ahead and does not let a word pass,
And bows a head in t...Read More

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