Best Famous International Poems

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

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Written by Wystan Hugh (W H) Auden | Create an image from this poem

September 1, 1939

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
Written by G K Chesterton | Create an image from this poem

The Song of Education

 III.
For the Creche Form 8277059, Sub-Section K I remember my mother, the day that we met, A thing I shall never entirely forget; And I toy with the fancy that, young as I am, I should know her again if we met in a tram.
But mother is happy in turning a crank That increases the balance in somebody's bank; And I feel satisfaction that mother is free From the sinister task of attending to me.
They have brightened our room, that is spacious and cool, With diagrams used in the Idiot School, And Books for the Blind that will teach us to see; But mother is happy, for mother is free.
For mother is dancing up forty-eight floors, For love of the Leeds International Stores, And the flame of that faith might perhaps have grown cold, With the care of a baby of seven weeks old.
For mother is happy in greasing a wheel For somebody else, who is cornering Steel; And though our one meeting was not very long, She took the occasion to sing me this song: "O, hush thee, my baby, the time will soon come When thy sleep will be broken with hooting and hum; There are handles want turning and turning all day, And knobs to be pressed in the usual way; O, hush thee, my baby, take rest while I croon, For Progress comes early, and Freedom too soon.
"
Written by Philip Levine | Create an image from this poem

Late Light

 Rain filled the streets 
once a year, rising almost 
to door and window sills, 
battering walls and roofs 
until it cleaned away the mess 
we'd made.
My father told me this, he told me it ran downtown and spilled into the river, which in turn emptied finally into the sea.
He said this only once while I sat on the arm of his chair and stared out at the banks of gray snow melting as the March rain streaked past.
All the rest of that day passed on into childhood, into nothing, or perhaps some portion hung on in a tiny corner of thought.
Perhaps a clot of cinders that peppered the front yard clung to a spar of old weed or the concrete lip of the curb and worked its way back under the new growth spring brought and is a part of that yard still.
Perhaps light falling on distant houses becomes those houses, hunching them down at dusk like sheep browsing on a far hillside, or at daybreak gilds the roofs until they groan under the new weight, or after rain lifts haloes of steam from the rinsed, white aluminum siding, and those houses and all they contain live that day in the sight of heaven.
II In the blue, winking light of the International Institute of Social Revolution I fell asleep one afternoon over a book of memoirs of a Spanish priest who'd served his own private faith in a long forgotten war.
An Anarchist and a Catholic, his remembrances moved inexplicably from Castilian to Catalan, a language I couldn't follow.
That dust, fine and gray, peculiar to libraries, slipped between the glossy pages and my sight, a slow darkness calmed me, and I forgot the agony of those men I'd come to love, forgot the battles lost and won, forgot the final trek over hopeless mountain roads, defeat, surrender, the vows to live on.
I slept until the lights came on and off.
A girl was prodding my arm, for the place was closing.
A slender Indonesian girl in sweater and American jeans, her black hair falling almost to my eyes, she told me in perfect English that I could come back, and she swept up into a folder the yellowing newspaper stories and photos spilled out before me on the desk, the little chronicles of death themselves curling and blurring into death, and took away the book still unfinished of a man more confused even than I, and switched off the light, and left me alone.
III In June of 1975 I wakened one late afternoon in Amsterdam in a dim corner of a library.
I had fallen asleep over a book and was roused by a young girl whose hand lay on my hand.
I turned my head up and stared into her brown eyes, deep and gleaming.
She was crying.
For a second I was confused and started to speak, to offer some comfort or aid, but I kept still, for she was crying for me, for the knowledge that I had wakened to a life in which loss was final.
I closed my eyes a moment.
When I opened them she'd gone, the place was dark.
I went out into the golden sunlight; the cobbled streets gleamed as after rain, the street cafes crowded and alive.
Not far off the great bell of the Westerkirk tolled in the early evening.
I thought of my oldest son, who years before had sailed from here into an unknown life in Sweden, a life which failed, of how he'd gone alone to Copenhagen, Bremen, where he'd loaded trains, Hamburg, Munich, and finally -- sick and weary -- he'd returned to us.
He slept in a corner of the living room for days, and woke gaunt and quiet, still only seventeen, his face in its own shadows.
I thought of my father on the run from an older war, and wondered had he passed through Amsterdam, had he stood, as I did now, gazing up at the pale sky, distant and opaque, for the sign that never comes.
Had he drifted in the same winds of doubt and change to another continent, another life, a family, some years of peace, an early death.
I walked on by myself for miles and still the light hung on as though the day would never end.
The gray canals darkened slowly, the sky above the high, narrow houses deepened into blue, and one by one the stars began their singular voyages.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Who Runs America?

Oil brown smog over Denver 
Oil red dung colored smoke 
level to level across the horizon 

blue tainted sky above 
Oil car smog gasoline 
hazing red Denver's day 

December bare trees 

sticking up from housetop streets 

Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over 

radar wheels, black smoke 

drifts from tailfins 

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains 
Oil from Texas, Bahrein, Venezuela Mexico 
Oil that turns General Motors 

revs up Ford 
lights up General Electric, oil that crackles 

thru International Business Machine computers, 

charges dynamos for ITT 
sparks Western 
Electric 

runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires 

Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses, 
rings in Mobil gas tank cranks, rumbles 

Chrysler engines 

shoots thru Texaco pipelines 

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

Standard of California derricks offshore.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Cosmopolitan Greetings

 To Struga Festival Golden Wreath Laureates
 & International Bards 1986

Stand up against governments, against God.
Stay irresponsible.
Say only what we know & imagine.
Absolutes are coercion.
Change is absolute.
Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions.
Observe what's vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
If we don't show anyone, we're free to write anything.
Remember the future.
Advise only yourself.
Don't drink yourself to death.
Two molecules clanking against each other requires an observer to become scientific data.
The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal world after Einstein.
The universe is subjective.
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is person.
Inside skull vast as outside skull.
Mind is outer space.
"Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound.
" First thought, best thought.
Mind is shapely, Art is shapely.
Maximum information, minimum number of syllables.
Syntax condensed, sound is solid.
Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best.
Consonants around vowels make sense.
Savor vowels, appreciate consonants.
Subject is known by what she sees.
Others can measure their vision by what we see.
Candor ends paranoia.
Kral Majales June 25, 1986 Boulder, Colorado
Written by Alice Walker | Create an image from this poem

When Golda Meir was in Africa

When Golda Meir
Was in Africa
She shook out her hair
And combed it
Everywhere she went.
According to her autobiography Africans loved this.
In Russia, Minneapolis, London, Washington, D.
C.
, Germany, Palestine, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem She never combed at all.
There was no point.
In those Places people said, "She looks like Any other aging grandmother.
She looks Like a troll.
Let's sell her cookery And guns.
" "Kreplach your cookery," said Golda.
Only in Africa could she finally Settle down and comb her hair.
The children crept up and stroked it, And she felt beautiful.
Such wonderful people, Africans Childish, arrogant, self-indulgent, pompous, Cowardly and treacherous-a great disappointment To Israel, of course, and really rather Ridiculous in international affairs But, withal, opined Golda, a people of charm And good taste.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Footnote To Howl

 Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
 Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! 
 The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand 
 and asshole holy! 
Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is 
 holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an 
 angel! 
The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is 
 holy as you my soul are holy! 
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is 
 holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy! 
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy 
 Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas- 
 sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering 
 beggars holy the hideous human angels! 
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks 
 of the grandfathers of Kansas! 
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop 
 apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana 
 hipsters peace & junk & drums! 
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy 
 the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the 
 mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! 
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the 
 middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell- 
 ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! 
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & 
 Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow 
 Holy Istanbul! 
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the 
 clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy 
 the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! 
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the 
 locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- 
 tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the 
 abyss! 
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! 
 bodies! suffering! magnanimity! 
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent 
 kindness of the soul! 

 Berkeley 1955
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

A Sane Revolution

 If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don't make it in ghastly seriousness,
don't do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.
Don't do it because you hate people, do it just to spit in their eye.
Don't do it for the money, do it and be damned to the money.
Don't do it for equality, do it because we've got too much equality and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.
Don't do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.
Don't do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let's abolish labour, let's have done with labouring! Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it's not labour.
Let's have it so! Let's make a revolution for fun!
Written by John Betjeman | Create an image from this poem

Myfanwy

 Kind o’er the kinderbank leans my Myfanwy,
White o’er the playpen the sheen of her dress,
Fresh from the bathroom and soft in the nursery
Soap scented fingers I long to caress.
Were you a prefect and head of your dormit'ry? Were you a hockey girl, tennis or gym? Who was your favourite? Who had a crush on you? Which were the baths where they taught you to swim? Smooth down the Avenue glitters the bicycle, Black-stockinged legs under navy blue serge, Home and Colonial, Star, International, Balancing bicycle leant on the verge.
Trace me your wheel-tracks, you fortunate bicycle, Out of the shopping and into the dark, Back down the avenue, back to the pottingshed, Back to the house on the fringe of the park.
Golden the light on the locks of Myfanwy, Golden the light on the book on her knee, Finger marked pages of Rackham's Hans Anderson, Time for the children to come down to tea.
Oh! Fullers angel-cake, Robertson’s marmalade, Liberty lampshade, come shine on us all, My! what a spread for the friends of Myfanwy, Some in the alcove and some in the hall.
Then what sardines in half-lighted passages! Locking of fingers in long hide-and-seek.
You will protect me, my silken Myfanwy, Ring leader, tom-boy, and chum to the weak.
Written by Les Murray | Create an image from this poem

The New Hieroglyphics

 In the World language, sometimes called
Airport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondola
under it is a symbol for speculation.
Thumbs down to ear and tongue: World can be written and read, even painted but not spoken.
People use their own words.
Latin letters are in it for names, for e.
g.
OK and H2S O4, for musical notes, but mostly it's diagrams: skirt-figure, trousered figure have escaped their toilet doors.
I (that is, saya, Ego, watashji wa) am two eyes without pupils; those aren't seen when you look out through them.
You has both pupils, we has one, and one blank.
Good is thumbs up, thumb and finger zipping lips is confidential.
Evil is three-cornered snake eyes.
The effort is always to make the symbols obvious: the bolt of electricity, winged stethoscope of course for flying doctor.
Prams under fire? Soviet film industry.
Pictographs also shouldn't be too culture-bound: A heart circled and crossed out surely isn't.
For red, betel spit lost out to ace of diamonds.
Black is the ace of spades.
The kind of spades reads Union boss, the two is feeble effort.
If is the shorthand Libra sing , the scales.
Spare literal pictures render most nouns and verbs and computers can draw them faster than Pharaoh's scribes.
A bordello prospectus is as explicit as the action, but everywhere there's sunflower talk, i.
e.
metaphor, as we've seen.
A figure riding a skyhook bearing food in one hand is the pictograph for grace, two animals in a book read Nature, two books Inside an animal, instinct.
Rice in bowl with chopsticks denotes food.
Figure 1 lying prone equals other.
Most emotions are mini-faces, and the speech balloon is ubiquitous.
A bull inside one is dialect for placards inside one.
Sun and moon together inside one is poetry.
Sun and moon over palette, over shoes etc are all art forms — but above a cracked heart and champagne glass? Riddle that and you're starting to think in World, whose grammar is Chinese-terse and fluid.
Who needs the square- equals-diamond book, the dictionary,to know figures led by strings to their genitals mean fashion? just as a skirt beneath a circle meanas demure or ao similar circle shouldering two arrows is macho.
All peoples are at times cat in water with this language but it does promote international bird on shoulder.
This foretaste now lays its knife and fork parallel.
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