Best Famous Barb Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Barb poems. This is a select list of the best famous Barb poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Barb poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of barb poems.

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Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem


You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--- Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic Where it pours bean green over blue In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene An engine, an engine, Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been sacred of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You---- Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root, The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two--- The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Revelation

 The same old sprint in the morning, boys, to the same old din and smut;
Chained all day to the same old desk, down in the same old rut;
Posting the same old greasy books, catching the same old train:
Oh, how will I manage to stick it all, if I ever get back again?

We've bidden good-bye to life in a cage, we're finished with pushing a pen;
They're pumping us full of bellicose rage, they're showing us how to be men.
We're only beginning to find ourselves; we're wonders of brawn and thew; But when we go back to our Sissy jobs, -- oh, what are we going to do? For shoulders curved with the counter stoop will be carried erect and square; And faces white from the office light will be bronzed by the open air; And we'll walk with the stride of a new-born pride, with a new-found joy in our eyes, Scornful men who have diced with death under the naked skies.
And when we get back to the dreary grind, and the bald-headed boss's call, Don't you think that the dingy window-blind, and the dingier office wall, Will suddenly melt to a vision of space, of violent, flame-scarred night? Then .
oh, the joy of the danger-thrill, and oh, the roar of the fight! Don't you think as we peddle a card of pins the counter will fade away, And again we'll be seeing the sand-bag rims, and the barb-wire's misty grey? As a flat voice asks for a pound of tea, don't you fancy we'll hear instead The night-wind moan and the soothing drone of the packet that's overhead? Don't you guess that the things we're seeing now will haunt us through all the years; Heaven and hell rolled into one, glory and blood and tears; Life's pattern picked with a scarlet thread, where once we wove with a grey To remind us all how we played our part in the shock of an epic day? Oh, we're booked for the Great Adventure now, we're pledged to the Real Romance; We'll find ourselves or we'll lose ourselves somewhere in giddy old France; We'll know the zest of the fighter's life; the best that we have we'll give; We'll hunger and thirst; we'll die .
but first -- we'll live; by the gods, we'll live! We'll breathe free air and we'll bivouac under the starry sky; We'll march with men and we'll fight with men, and we'll see men laugh and die; We'll know such joy as we never dreamed; we'll fathom the deeps of pain: But the hardest bit of it all will be -- when we come back home again.
For some of us smirk in a chiffon shop, and some of us teach in a school; Some of us help with the seat of our pants to polish an office stool; The merits of somebody's soap or jam some of us seek to explain, But all of us wonder what we'll do when we have to go back again.
Written by Carl Sandburg | Create an image from this poem

Smoke and Steel

 SMOKE of the fields in spring is one,
Smoke of the leaves in autumn another.
Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel, They all go up in a line with a smokestack, Or they twist … in the slow twist … of the wind.
If the north wind comes they run to the south.
If the west wind comes they run to the east.
By this sign all smokes know each other.
Smoke of the fields in spring and leaves in autumn, Smoke of the finished steel, chilled and blue, By the oath of work they swear: “I know you.
” Hunted and hissed from the center Deep down long ago when God made us over, Deep down are the cinders we came from— You and I and our heads of smoke.
Some of the smokes God dropped on the job Cross on the sky and count our years And sing in the secrets of our numbers; Sing their dawns and sing their evenings, Sing an old log-fire song: You may put the damper up, You may put the damper down, The smoke goes up the chimney just the same.
Smoke of a city sunset skyline, Smoke of a country dusk horizon— They cross on the sky and count our years.
Smoke of a brick-red dust Winds on a spiral Out of the stacks For a hidden and glimpsing moon.
This, said the bar-iron shed to the blooming mill, This is the slang of coal and steel.
The day-gang hands it to the night-gang, The night-gang hands it back.
Stammer at the slang of this— Let us understand half of it.
In the rolling mills and sheet mills, In the harr and boom of the blast fires, The smoke changes its shadow And men change their shadow; A nigger, a wop, a bohunk changes.
A bar of steel—it is only Smoke at the heart of it, smoke and the blood of a man.
A runner of fire ran in it, ran out, ran somewhere else, And left—smoke and the blood of a man And the finished steel, chilled and blue.
So fire runs in, runs out, runs somewhere else again, And the bar of steel is a gun, a wheel, a nail, a shovel, A rudder under the sea, a steering-gear in the sky; And always dark in the heart and through it, Smoke and the blood of a man.
Pittsburg, Youngstown, Gary—they make their steel with men.
In the blood of men and the ink of chimneys The smoke nights write their oaths: Smoke into steel and blood into steel; Homestead, Braddock, Birmingham, they make their steel with men.
Smoke and blood is the mix of steel.
The birdmen drone in the blue; it is steel a motor sings and zooms.
Steel barb-wire around The Works.
Steel guns in the holsters of the guards at the gates of The Works.
Steel ore-boats bring the loads clawed from the earth by steel, lifted and lugged by arms of steel, sung on its way by the clanking clam-shells.
The runners now, the handlers now, are steel; they dig and clutch and haul; they hoist their automatic knuckles from job to job; they are steel making steel.
Fire and dust and air fight in the furnaces; the pour is timed, the billets wriggle; the clinkers are dumped: Liners on the sea, skyscrapers on the land; diving steel in the sea, climbing steel in the sky.
Finders in the dark, you Steve with a dinner bucket, you Steve clumping in the dusk on the sidewalks with an evening paper for the woman and kids, you Steve with your head wondering where we all end up— Finders in the dark, Steve: I hook my arm in cinder sleeves; we go down the street together; it is all the same to us; you Steve and the rest of us end on the same stars; we all wear a hat in hell together, in hell or heaven.
Smoke nights now, Steve.
Smoke, smoke, lost in the sieves of yesterday; Dumped again to the scoops and hooks today.
Smoke like the clocks and whistles, always.
Smoke nights now.
To-morrow something else.
Luck moons come and go: Five men swim in a pot of red steel.
Their bones are kneaded into the bread of steel: Their bones are knocked into coils and anvils And the sucking plungers of sea-fighting turbines.
Look for them in the woven frame of a wireless station.
So ghosts hide in steel like heavy-armed men in mirrors.
Peepers, skulkers—they shadow-dance in laughing tombs.
They are always there and they never answer.
One of them said: “I like my job, the company is good to me, America is a wonderful country.
” One: “Jesus, my bones ache; the company is a liar; this is a free country, like hell.
” One: “I got a girl, a peach; we save up and go on a farm and raise pigs and be the boss ourselves.
” And the others were roughneck singers a long ways from home.
Look for them back of a steel vault door.
They laugh at the cost.
They lift the birdmen into the blue.
It is steel a motor sings and zooms.
In the subway plugs and drums, In the slow hydraulic drills, in gumbo or gravel, Under dynamo shafts in the webs of armature spiders, They shadow-dance and laugh at the cost.
The ovens light a red dome.
Spools of fire wind and wind.
Quadrangles of crimson sputter.
The lashes of dying maroon let down.
Fire and wind wash out the slag.
Forever the slag gets washed in fire and wind.
The anthem learned by the steel is: Do this or go hungry.
Look for our rust on a plow.
Listen to us in a threshing-engine razz.
Look at our job in the running wagon wheat.
Fire and wind wash at the slag.
Box-cars, clocks, steam-shovels, churns, pistons, boilers, scissors— Oh, the sleeping slag from the mountains, the slag-heavy pig-iron will go down many roads.
Men will stab and shoot with it, and make butter and tunnel rivers, and mow hay in swaths, and slit hogs and skin beeves, and steer airplanes across North America, Europe, Asia, round the world.
Hacked from a hard rock country, broken and baked in mills and smelters, the rusty dust waits Till the clean hard weave of its atoms cripples and blunts the drills chewing a hole in it.
The steel of its plinths and flanges is reckoned, O God, in one-millionth of an inch.
Once when I saw the curves of fire, the rough scarf women dancing, Dancing out of the flues and smoke-stacks—flying hair of fire, flying feet upside down; Buckets and baskets of fire exploding and chortling, fire running wild out of the steady and fastened ovens; Sparks cracking a harr-harr-huff from a solar-plexus of rock-ribs of the earth taking a laugh for themselves; Ears and noses of fire, gibbering gorilla arms of fire, gold mud-pies, gold bird-wings, red jackets riding purple mules, scarlet autocrats tumbling from the humps of camels, assassinated czars straddling vermillion balloons; I saw then the fires flash one by one: good-by: then smoke, smoke; And in the screens the great sisters of night and cool stars, sitting women arranging their hair, Waiting in the sky, waiting with slow easy eyes, waiting and half-murmuring: “Since you know all and I know nothing, tell me what I dreamed last night.
” Pearl cobwebs in the windy rain, in only a flicker of wind, are caught and lost and never known again.
A pool of moonshine comes and waits, but never waits long: the wind picks up loose gold like this and is gone.
A bar of steel sleeps and looks slant-eyed on the pearl cobwebs, the pools of moonshine; sleeps slant-eyed a million years, sleeps with a coat of rust, a vest of moths, a shirt of gathering sod and loam.
The wind never bothers … a bar of steel.
The wind picks only .
pearl cobwebs .
pools of moonshine.
Written by William Cullen Bryant | Create an image from this poem

Song of Marions Men

OUR band is few but true and tried  
Our leader frank and bold; 
The British soldier trembles 
When Marion's name is told.
Our fortress is the good greenwood 5 Our tent the cypress-tree; We know the forest round us As seamen know the sea.
We know its walls of thorny vines Its glades of reedy grass 10 Its safe and silent islands Within the dark morass.
Woe to the English soldiery That little dread us near! On them shall light at midnight 15 A strange and sudden fear: When waking to their tents on fire They grasp their arms in vain And they who stand to face us Are beat to earth again; 20 And they who fly in terror deem A mighty host behind And hear the tramp of thousands Upon the hollow wind.
Then sweet the hour that brings release 25 From danger and from toil; We talk the battle over And share the battle's spoil.
The woodland rings with laugh and shout As if a hunt were up 30 And woodland flowers are gathered To crown the soldier's cup.
With merry songs we mock the wind That in the pine-top grieves And slumber long and sweetly 35 On beds of oaken leaves.
Well knows the fair and friendly moon The band that Marion leads¡ª The glitter of their rifles The scampering of their steeds.
40 'T is life to guide the fiery barb Across the moonlit plain; 'T is life to feel the night-wind That lifts his tossing mane.
A moment in the British camp¡ª 45 A moment¡ªand away Back to the pathless forest Before the peep of day.
Grave men there are by broad Santee Grave men with hoary hairs; 50 Their hearts are all with Marion For Marion are their prayers.
And lovely ladies greet our band With kindliest welcoming With smiles like those of summer 55 And tears like those of spring.
For them we wear these trusty arms And lay them down no more Till we have driven the Briton Forever from our shore.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

From the Arabic: AN IMITATION

MY faint spirit was sitting in the light 
Of thy looks my love; 
It panted for thee like the hind at noon 
For the brooks my love.
Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight 5 Bore thee far from me; My heart for my weak feet were weary soon Did companion thee.
Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed Or the death they bear 10 The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove With the wings of care; In the battle in the darkness in the need Shall mine cling to thee Nor claim one smile for all the comfort love 15 It may bring to thee.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Parnells Funeral


Under the Great Comedian's tomb the crowd.
A bundle of tempestuous cloud is blown About the sky; where that is clear of cloud Brightness remains; a brighter star shoots down; What shudders run through all that animal blood? What is this sacrifice? Can someone there Recall the Cretan barb that pierced a star? Rich foliage that the starlight glittered through, A frenzied crowd, and where the branches sprang A beautiful seated boy; a sacred bow; A woman, and an arrow on a string; A pierced boy, image of a star laid low.
That woman, the Great Mother imaging, Cut out his heart.
Some master of design Stamped boy and tree upon Sicilian coin.
An age is the reversal of an age: When strangers murdered Emmet, Fitzgerald, Tone, We lived like men that watch a painted stage.
What matter for the scene, the scene once gone: It had not touched our lives.
But popular rage, Hysterica passio dragged this quarry down.
None shared our guilt; nor did we play a part Upon a painted stage when we devoured his heart.
Come, fix upon me that accusing eye.
I thirst for accusation.
All that was sung.
All that was said in Ireland is a lie Bred out of the c-ontagion of the throng, Saving the rhyme rats hear before they die.
Leave nothing but the nothingS that belong To this bare soul, let all men judge that can Whether it be an animal or a man.
II The rest I pass, one sentence I unsay.
Had de Valera eaten parnell's heart No loose-lipped demagogue had won the day.
No civil rancour torn the land apart.
Had Cosgrave eaten parnell's heart, the land's Imagination had been satisfied, Or lacking that, government in such hands.
O'Higgins its sole statesman had not died.
Had even O'Duffy - but I name no more - Their school a crowd, his master solitude; Through Jonathan Swift's clark grove he passed, and there plucked bitter wisdom that enriched his blood.
Written by Robert Graves | Create an image from this poem

In the Wilderness

 Christ of His gentleness 
Thirsting and hungering, 
Walked in the wilderness; 
Soft words of grace He spoke 
Unto lost desert-folk
That listened wondering.
He heard the bitterns call From ruined palace-wall, Answered them brotherly.
He held communion With the she-pelican Of lonely piety.
Basilisk, cockatrice, Flocked to his homilies, With mail of dread device, With monstrous barb?d slings, With eager dragon-eyes; Great rats on leather wings And poor blind broken things, Foul in their miseries.
And ever with Him went, Of all His wanderings Comrade, with ragged coat, Gaunt ribs—poor innocent— Bleeding foot, burning throat, The guileless old scapegoat; For forty nights and days Followed in Jesus’ ways, Sure guard behind Him kept, Tears like a lover wept.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

From the Arabic an Imitation

 MY faint spirit was sitting in the light 
 Of thy looks, my love; 
 It panted for thee like the hind at noon 
 For the brooks, my love.
Thy barb, whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight, Bore thee far from me; My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon, Did companion thee.
Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed, Or the death they bear, The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove With the wings of care; In the battle, in the darkness, in the need, Shall mine cling to thee, Nor claim one smile for all the comfort, love, It may bring to thee.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

Barb-Wire Bill

 At dawn of day the white land lay all gruesome-like and grim,
When Bill Mc'Gee he says to me: "We've got to do it, Jim.
We've got to make Fort Liard quick.
I know the river's bad, But, oh! the little woman's sick .
why! don't you savvy, lad?" And me! Well, yes, I must confess it wasn't hard to see Their little family group of two would soon be one of three.
And so I answered, careless-like: "Why, Bill! you don't suppose I'm scared of that there `babbling brook'? Whatever you say -- goes.
" A real live man was Barb-wire Bill, with insides copper-lined; For "barb-wire" was the brand of "hooch" to which he most inclined.
They knew him far; his igloos are on Kittiegazuit strand.
They knew him well, the tribes who dwell within the Barren Land.
From Koyokuk to Kuskoquim his fame was everywhere; And he did love, all life above, that little Julie Claire, The lithe, white slave-girl he had bought for seven hundred skins, And taken to his wickiup to make his moccasins.
We crawled down to the river bank and feeble folk were we, That Julie Claire from God-knows-where, and Barb-wire Bill and me.
From shore to shore we heard the roar the heaving ice-floes make, And loud we laughed, and launched our raft, and followed in their wake.
The river swept and seethed and leapt, and caught us in its stride; And on we hurled amid a world that crashed on every side.
With sullen din the banks caved in; the shore-ice lanced the stream; The naked floes like spooks arose, all jiggling and agleam.
Black anchor-ice of strange device shot upward from its bed, As night and day we cleft our way, and arrow-like we sped.
But "Faster still!" cried Barb-wire Bill, and looked the live-long day In dull despair at Julie Claire, as white like death she lay.
And sometimes he would seem to pray and sometimes seem to curse, And bent above, with eyes of love, yet ever she grew worse.
And as we plunged and leapt and lunged, her face was plucked with pain, And I could feel his nerves of steel a-quiver at the strain.
And in the night he gripped me tight as I lay fast asleep: "The river's kicking like a steer .
run out the forward sweep! That's Hell-gate Canyon right ahead; I know of old its roar, And .
I'll be damned! the ice is jammed! We've GOT to make the shore.
" With one wild leap I gripped the sweep.
The night was black as sin.
The float-ice crashed and ripped and smashed, and stunned us with its din.
And near and near, and clear and clear I heard the canyon boom; And swift and strong we swept along to meet our awful doom.
And as with dread I glimpsed ahead the death that waited there, My only thought was of the girl, the little Julie Claire; And so, like demon mad with fear, I panted at the oar, And foot by foot, and inch by inch, we worked the raft ashore.
The bank was staked with grinding ice, and as we scraped and crashed, I only knew one thing to do, and through my mind it flashed: Yet while I groped to find the rope, I heard Bill's savage cry: "That's my job, lad! It's me that jumps.
I'll snub this raft or die!" I saw him leap, I saw him creep, I saw him gain the land; I saw him crawl, I saw him fall, then run with rope in hand.
And then the darkness gulped him up, and down we dashed once more, And nearer, nearer drew the jam, and thunder-like its roar.
Oh God! all's lost .
from Julie Claire there came a wail of pain, And then -- the rope grew sudden taut, and quivered at the strain; It slacked and slipped, it whined and gripped, and oh, I held my breath! And there we hung and there we swung right in the jaws of death.
A little strand of hempen rope, and how I watched it there, With all around a hell of sound, and darkness and despair; A little strand of hempen rope, I watched it all alone, And somewhere in the dark behind I heard a woman moan; And somewhere in the dark ahead I heard a man cry out, Then silence, silence, silence fell, and mocked my hollow shout.
And yet once more from out the shore I heard that cry of pain, A moan of mortal agony, then all was still again.
That night was hell with all the frills, and when the dawn broke dim, I saw a lean and level land, but never sign of him.
I saw a flat and frozen shore of hideous device, I saw a long-drawn strand of rope that vanished through the ice.
And on that treeless, rockless shore I found my partner -- dead.
No place was there to snub the raft, so -- he had served instead; And with the rope lashed round his waist, in last defiant fight, He'd thrown himself beneath the ice, that closed and gripped him tight; And there he'd held us back from death, as fast in death he lay.
Say, boys! I'm not the pious brand, but -- I just tried to pray.
And then I looked to Julie Claire, and sore abashed was I, For from the robes that covered her, I - heard - a - baby - cry.
Thus was Love conqueror of death, and life for life was given; And though no saint on earth, d'ye think -- Bill's squared hisself with Heaven?
Written by Andrew Marvell | Create an image from this poem

To His Noble Friend Mr. Richard Lovelace Upon His Poems

Our times are much degenerate from those 
Which your sweet muse with your fair fortune chose, 
And as complexions alter with the climes, 
Our wits have drawn the infection of our times.
That candid age no other way could tell To be ingenious, but by speaking well.
Who best could praise had then the greatest praise, 'Twas more esteemed to give than bear the bays: Modest ambition studied only then To honour not herself but worthy men.
These virtues now are banished out of town, Our Civil Wars have lost the civic crown.
He highest builds, who with most art destroys, And against others' fame his own employs.
I see the envious caterpillar sit On the fair blossom of each growing wit.
The air's already tainted with the swarms Of insects which against you rise in arms: Word-peckers, paper-rats, book-scorpions, Of wit corrupted, the unfashioned sons.
The barb?d censurers begin to look Like the grim consistory on thy book; And on each line cast a reforming eye, Severer than the young presbytery.
Till when in vain they have thee all perused, You shall, for being faultless, be accused.
Some reading your Lucasta will allege You wronged in her the House's privelege.
Some that you under sequestration are, And one the book prohibits, because Kent Their first petition by the author sent.
But when the beauteous ladies came to know That their dear Lovelace was endangered so: Lovelace that thawed the most congeal?d breast -- He who loved best and them defended best, Whose hand so rudely grasps the steely brand, Whose hand most gently melts the lady's hand -- They all in mutiny though yet undressed Sallied, and would in his defence contest.
And one, the loveliest that was yet e'er seen, Thinking that I too of the rout had been, Mine eyes invaded with a female spite, (She knew what pain 'twould cause to lose that sight.
) `O no, mistake not,' I replied, `for I In your defence, or in his cause, would die.
' But he, secure of glory and of time, Above their envy, or mine aid, doth climb.
Him valiant'st men and fairest nymphs approve; His book in them finds judgement, with you love.