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Best Famous Military Poems

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

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Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Give me the Splendid Silent Sun

GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling; 
Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard; 
Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows; 
Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape; 
Give me fresh corn and wheat—give me serene-moving animals, teaching content;
Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking
 at the
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman, of whom I should never tire; 
Give me a perfect child—give me, away, aside from the noise of the world, a rural,
Give me to warble spontaneous songs, reliev’d, recluse by myself, for my own ears
Give me solitude—give me Nature—give me again, O Nature, your primal sanities! 
—These, demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement, and rack’d by
These to procure, incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart, 
While yet incessantly asking, still I adhere to my city; 
Day upon day, and year upon year, O city, walking your streets,
Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time, refusing to give me up; 
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul—you give me forever faces; 
(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries; 
I see my own soul trampling down what it ask’d for.
) 2 Keep your splendid, silent sun; Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods; Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards; Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields, where the Ninth-month bees hum; Give me faces and streets! give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs! Give me interminable eyes! give me women! give me comrades and lovers by the thousand! Let me see new ones every day! let me hold new ones by the hand every day! Give me such shows! give me the streets of Manhattan! Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching—give me the sound of the trumpets and drums! (The soldiers in companies or regiments—some, starting away, flush’d and reckless; Some, their time up, returning, with thinn’d ranks—young, yet very old, worn, marching, noticing nothing;) —Give me the shores and the wharves heavy-fringed with the black ships! O such for me! O an intense life! O full to repletion, and varied! The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me! The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torch-light procession! The dense brigade, bound for the war, with high piled military wagons following; People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants; Manhattan streets, with their powerful throbs, with the beating drums, as now; The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets, (even the sight of the wounded;) Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus—with varied chorus, and light of the sparkling eyes; Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.

Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Some Foreign Letters

 I knew you forever and you were always old,
soft white lady of my heart.
Surely you would scold me for sitting up late, reading your letters, as if these foreign postmarks were meant for me.
You posted them first in London, wearing furs and a new dress in the winter of eighteen-ninety.
I read how London is dull on Lord Mayor's Day, where you guided past groups of robbers, the sad holes of Whitechapel, clutching your pocketbook, on the way to Jack the Ripper dissecting his famous bones.
This Wednesday in Berlin, you say, you will go to a bazaar at Bismarck's house.
And I see you as a young girl in a good world still, writing three generations before mine.
I try to reach into your page and breathe it back.
but life is a trick, life is a kitten in a sack.
This is the sack of time your death vacates.
How distant your are on your nickel-plated skates in the skating park in Berlin, gliding past me with your Count, while a military band plays a Strauss waltz.
I loved you last, a pleated old lady with a crooked hand.
Once you read Lohengrin and every goose hung high while you practiced castle life in Hanover.
Tonight your letters reduce history to a guess.
The count had a wife.
You were the old maid aunt who lived with us.
Tonight I read how the winter howled around the towers of Schloss Schwobber, how the tedious language grew in your jaw, how you loved the sound of the music of the rats tapping on the stone floors.
When you were mine you wore an earphone.
This is Wednesday, May 9th, near Lucerne, Switzerland, sixty-nine years ago.
I learn your first climb up Mount San Salvatore; this is the rocky path, the hole in your shoes, the yankee girl, the iron interior of her sweet body.
You let the Count choose your next climb.
You went together, armed with alpine stocks, with ham sandwiches and seltzer wasser.
You were not alarmed by the thick woods of briars and bushes, nor the rugged cliff, nor the first vertigo up over Lake Lucerne.
The Count sweated with his coat off as you waded through top snow.
He held your hand and kissed you.
You rattled down on the train to catch a steam boat for home; or other postmarks: Paris, verona, Rome.
This is Italy.
You learn its mother tongue.
I read how you walked on the Palatine among the ruins of the palace of the Caesars; alone in the Roman autumn, alone since July.
When you were mine they wrapped you out of here with your best hat over your face.
I cried because I was seventeen.
I am older now.
I read how your student ticket admitted you into the private chapel of the Vatican and how you cheered with the others, as we used to do on the fourth of July.
One Wednesday in November you watched a balloon, painted like a silver abll, float up over the Forum, up over the lost emperors, to shiver its little modern cage in an occasional breeze.
You worked your New England conscience out beside artisans, chestnut vendors and the devout.
Tonight I will learn to love you twice; learn your first days, your mid-Victorian face.
Tonight I will speak up and interrupt your letters, warning you that wars are coming, that the Count will die, that you will accept your America back to live like a prim thing on the farm in Maine.
I tell you, you will come here, to the suburbs of Boston, to see the blue-nose world go drunk each night, to see the handsome children jitterbug, to feel your left ear close one Friday at Symphony.
And I tell you, you will tip your boot feet out of that hall, rocking from its sour sound, out onto the crowded street, letting your spectacles fall and your hair net tangle as you stop passers-by to mumble your guilty love while your ears die.
Written by Bob Kaufman | Create an image from this poem


 On yardbird corners of embryonic hopes, drowned in a heroin tear.
On yardbird corners of parkerflights to sound filled pockets in space.
On neuro-corners of striped brains & desperate electro-surgeons.
On alcohol corners of pointless discussion & historical hangovers.
On television corners of cornflakes & rockwells impotent America.
On university corners of tailored intellect & greek letter openers.
On military corners of megathon deaths & universal anesthesia.
On religious corners of theological limericks and On radio corners of century-long records & static events.
On advertising corners of filter-tipped ice-cream & instant instants On teen-age corners of comic book seduction and corrupted guitars, On political corners of wamted candidates & ritual lies.
On motion picture corners of lassie & other symbols.
On intellectual corners of conversational therapy & analyzed fear.
On newspaper corners of sexy headlines & scholarly comics.
On love divided corners of die now pay later mortuaries.
On philosophical corners of semantic desperadoes & idea-mongers.
On middle class corners of private school puberty & anatomical revolts On ultra-real corners of love on abandoned roller-coasters On lonely poet corners of low lying leaves & moist prophet eyes.
Written by Philip Levine | Create an image from this poem


 The first time I drank gin
I thought it must be hair tonic.
My brother swiped the bottle from a guy whose father owned a drug store that sold booze in those ancient, honorable days when we acknowledged the stuff was a drug.
Three of us passed the bottle around, each tasting with disbelief.
People paid for this? People had to have it, the way we had to have the women we never got near.
(Actually they were girls, but never mind, the important fact was their impenetrability.
) Leo, the third foolish partner, suggested my brother should have swiped Canadian whiskey or brandy, but Eddie defended his choice on the grounds of the expressions "gin house" and "gin lane," both of which indicated the preeminence of gin in the world of drinking, a world we were entering without understanding how difficult exit might be.
Maybe the bliss that came with drinking came only after a certain period of apprenticeship.
Eddie likened it to the holy man's self-flagellation to experience the fullness of faith.
(He was very well read for a kid of fourteen in the public schools.
) So we dug in and passed the bottle around a second time and then a third, in the silence each of us expecting some transformation.
"You get used to it," Leo said.
"You don't like it but you get used to it.
" I know now that brain cells were dying for no earthly purpose, that three boys were becoming increasingly despiritualized even as they took into themselves these spirits, but I thought then I was at last sharing the world with the movie stars, that before long I would be shaving because I needed to, that hair would sprout across the flat prairie of my chest and plunge even to my groin, that first girls and then women would be drawn to my qualities.
Amazingly, later some of this took place, but first the bottle had to be emptied, and then the three boys had to empty themselves of all they had so painfully taken in and by means even more painful as they bowed by turns over the eye of the toilet bowl to discharge their shame.
Ahead lay cigarettes, the futility of guaranteed programs of exercise, the elaborate lies of conquest no one believed, forms of sexual torture and rejection undreamed of.
Ahead lay our fifteenth birthdays, acne, deodorants, crabs, salves, butch haircuts, draft registration, the military and political victories of Dwight Eisenhower, who brought us Richard Nixon with wife and dog.
Any wonder we tried gin.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

War Profit Litany

 To Ezra Pound

These are the names of the companies that have made
 money from this war
nineteenhundredsixtyeight Annodomini fourthousand
 eighty Hebraic
These are the Corporations who have profited by merchan-
 dising skinburning phosphorous or shells fragmented
 to thousands of fleshpiercing needles
and here listed money millions gained by each combine for
and here are gains numbered, index'd swelling a decade, set
 in order,
here named the Fathers in office in these industries, tele-
 phones directing finance,
names of directors, makers of fates, and the names of the 
 stockholders of these destined Aggregates,
and here are the names of their ambassadors to the Capital,
 representatives to legislature, those who sit drinking
 in hotel lobbies to persuade,
and separate listed, those who drop Amphetamine with
 military, gossip, argue, and persuade
suggesting policy naming language proposing strategy, this
 done for fee as ambassadors to Pentagon, consul-
 tants to military, paid by their industry:
and these are the names of the generals & captains mili-
 tary, who know thus work for war goods manufactur-
and above these, listed, the names of the banks, combines,
 investment trusts that control these industries:
and these are the names of the newspapers owned by these
and these are the names of the airstations owned by these
and these are the numbers of thousands of citizens em-
 ployed by these businesses named;
and the beginning of this accounting is 1958 and the end
 1968, that static be contained in orderly mind,
 coherent and definite,
and the first form of this litany begun first day December
 1967 furthers this poem of these States.
December 1, 1967

Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Ode To The Artichoke

 The artichoke 
With a tender heart 
Dressed up like a warrior, 
Standing at attention, it built 
A small helmet 
Under its scales 
It remained 
By its side 
The crazy vegetables 
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns, 
Throbbing bulbs, 
In the sub-soil 
The carrot 
With its red mustaches 
Was sleeping, 
The grapevine 
Hung out to dry its branches 
Through which the wine will rise, 
The cabbage 
Dedicated itself 
To trying on skirts, 
The oregano 
To perfuming the world, 
And the sweet 
There in the garden, 
Dressed like a warrior, 
Like a proud 
And one day Side by side In big wicker baskets Walking through the market To realize their dream The artichoke army In formation.
Never was it so military Like on parade.
The men In their white shirts Among the vegetables Were The Marshals Of the artichokes Lines in close order Command voices, And the bang Of a falling box.
But Then Maria Comes With her basket She chooses An artichoke, She's not afraid of it.
She examines it, she observes it Up against the light like it was an egg, She buys it, She mixes it up In her handbag With a pair of shoes With a cabbage head and a Bottle Of vinegar Until She enters the kitchen And submerges it in a pot.
Thus ends In peace This career Of the armed vegetable Which is called an artichoke, Then Scale by scale, We strip off The delicacy And eat The peaceful mush Of its green heart.
Written by Du Fu | Create an image from this poem

Autumn Meditations (4)

Hear say Chang'an resemble Chinese chess
Hundred years world affairs not bear sorrow
Nobility degree dwelling all new master
Civil military clothes cap different former time
Straight north pass mountain gold drum arouse
Invade west cart horse feather document hurry
Fish dragon still silent autumn river cold
Motherland peace live have thing think

I've heard them say that Chang'an seems like in a game of chess,
A hundred years of world events have caused unbearable pain.
The palaces of the noblemen all have their new masters,
Civil and military dress and caps are not like those before.
Straight north over mountain passes, gongs and drums ring out,
Conquering the west, carts and horses, feather-hurried dispatches.
The fish and dragons are still and silent, the autumn river cold,
A peaceful life in my homeland always in my thoughts.
Written by Victor Hugo | Create an image from this poem


 ("Frères, vous avez vos journées.") 
 {I., July, 1830.} 

 Youth of France, sons of the bold, 
 Your oak-leaf victor-wreaths behold! 
 Our civic-laurels—honored dead! 
 So bright your triumphs in life's morn, 
 Your maiden-standards hacked and torn, 
 On Austerlitz might lustre shed. 
 All that your fathers did re-done— 
 A people's rights all nobly won— 
 Ye tore them living from the shroud! 
 Three glorious days bright July's gift, 
 The Bastiles off our hearts ye lift! 
 Oh! of such deeds be ever proud! 
 Of patriot sires ye lineage claim, 
 Their souls shone in your eye of flame; 
 Commencing the great work was theirs; 
 On you the task to finish laid 
 Your fruitful mother, France, who bade 
 Flow in one day a hundred years. 
 E'en chilly Albion admires, 
 The grand example Europe fires; 
 America shall clap her hands, 
 When swiftly o'er the Atlantic wave, 
 Fame sounds the news of how the brave, 
 In three bright days, have burst their bands! 
 With tyrant dead your fathers traced 
 A circle wide, with battles graced; 
 Victorious garland, red and vast! 
 Which blooming out from home did go 
 To Cadiz, Cairo, Rome, Moscow, 
 From Jemappes to Montmirail passed! 
 Of warlike Lyceums{1} ye are 
 The favored sons; there, deeds of war 
 Formed e'en your plays, while o'er you shook 
 The battle-flags in air aloft! 
 Passing your lines, Napoleon oft 
 Electrified you with a look! 
 Eagle of France! whose vivid wing 
 Did in a hundred places fling 
 A bloody feather, till one night 
 The arrow whelmed thee 'neath the wave! 
 Look up—rejoice—for now thy brave 
 And worthy eaglets dare the light. 
 {Footnote 1: The pupils of the Polytechnic Military School distinguished 
 themselves by their patriotic zeal and military skill, through all the 


Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem


 We've travelled per Joe Gardiner, a humping of our swag 
In the country of the Gidgee and Belar.
We've swum the Di'mantina with our raiment in a bag, And we've travelled per superior motor car, But when we went to Germany we hadn't any choice, No matter what our training or pursuits, For they gave us no selection 'twixt a Ford or Rolls de Royce So we did it in our good Australian boots.
They called us "mad Australians"; they couldn't understand How officers and men could fraternise, Thay said that we were "reckless", we were "wild, and out of hand", With nothing great or sacred to our eyes.
But on one thing you could gamble, in the thickest of the fray, Though they called us volunteers and raw recruits, You could track us past the shell holes, and the tracks were all one way Of the good Australian ammunition boots.
The Highlanders were next of kin, the Irish were a treat, The Yankees knew it all and had to learn, The Frenchmen kept it going, both in vict'ry and defeat, Fighting grimly till the tide was on the turn.
And our army kept beside 'em, did its bit and took its chance, And I hailed our newborn nation and its fruits, As I listened to the clatter on the cobblestones of France Of the good Australian military boots.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Daddy Warbucks

 In Memoriam

What's missing is the eyeballs
in each of us, but it doesn't matter
because you've got the bucks, the bucks, the bucks.
You let me touch them, fondle the green faces lick at their numbers and it lets you be my "Daddy!" "Daddy!" and though I fought all alone with molesters and crooks, I knew your money would save me, your courage, your "I've had considerable experience as a soldier.
fighting to win millions for myself, it's true.
But I did win," and me praying for "our men out there" just made it okay to be an orphan whose blood was no one's, whose curls were hung up on a wire machine and electrified, while you built and unbuilt intrigues called nations, and did in the bad ones, always, always, and always came at my perils, the black Christs of childhood, always came when my heart stood naked in the street and they threw apples at it or twelve-day-old-dead-fish.
"Daddy!" "Daddy," we all won that war, when you sang me the money songs Annie, Annie you sang and I knew you drove a pure gold car and put diamonds in you coke for the crunchy sound, the adorable sound and the moon too was in your portfolio, as well as the ocean with its sleepy dead.
And I was always brave, wasn't I? I never bled? I never saw a man expose himself.
I never saw a drunkard in his blubber.
I never let lightning go in one car and out the other.
And all the men out there were never to come.
Never, like a deluge, to swim over my breasts and lay their lamps in my insides.
Just me and my "Daddy" and his tempestuous bucks rolling in them like corn flakes and only the bad ones died.
But I died yesterday, "Daddy," I died, swallowing the Nazi-Jap animal and it won't get out it keeps knocking at my eyes, my big orphan eyes, kicking! Until eyeballs pop out and even my dog puts up his four feet and lets go of his military secret with his big red tongue flying up and down like yours should have as we board our velvet train.