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Famous Biography Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dunn, Stephen
...This is not the way I am.
Really, I am much taller in person,
the hairline I conceal reaches back
to my grandfather, and the shyness my wife
will not believe in has always been why
I was bold on first dates. My father a crack salesman.
I've saved his pines, the small acclamations
I used to show my friends. And the billyclub
I keep by my bed...Read more of this...

by Collins, Billy
as if you were a walking dining room or concert hall.

But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.

To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.

Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
the laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.

Imagine him flickering through the rooms of hi...Read more of this...

by Aiken, Conrad
...from Senlin: A Biography 

It is moonlight. Alone in the silence 
I ascend my stairs once more, 
While waves, remote in a pale blue starlight, 
Crash on a white sand shore. 
It is moonlight. The garden is silent. 
I stand in my room alone. 
Across my wall, from the far-off moon, 
A rain of fire is thrown . . . 
There are houses hanging abov...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ort the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press...Read more of this...

by Aiken, Conrad
...from Senlin: A Biography 

It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning 
When the light drips through the shutters like the dew, 
I arise, I face the sunrise, 
And do the things my fathers learned to do. 
Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops 
Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die, 
And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet 
Stand before a glass and tie my tie...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis

Through driving mists I seemed to see
A Thing that smirked and smiled:
And found that he was giving me
A lesson in Biography,
As if I were a child....Read more of this...

by Borges, Jorge Luis
...Oh days devoted to the useless burden
of putting out of mind the biography
of a minor poet of the Southem Hemisphere,
to whom the fates or perhaps the stars have given
a body which will leave behind no child,
and blindness, which is semi-darkness and jail,
and old age, which is the dawn of death,
and fame, which absolutely nobody deserves,
and the practice of weaving hendecasyllables,
and an old love of encyclopedias
and ...Read more of this...

by Collins, Billy
...form be better than this sudden flash?
Your whole existence going off in your face
in an eyebrow-singeing explosion of biography-
nothing like the three large volumes you envisioned.

Survivors would have us believe in a brilliance
here, some bolt of truth forking across the water,
an ultimate Light before all the lights go out,
dawning on you with all its megalithic tonnage.
But if something does flash before your eyes
as you go under, it will probably be a fish,

a...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...true and fabulous, of the patriarchs, than is warranted by our own sacred writ; and not content with Adam, they have a biography of Pre-Adamites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and Moses a prophet inferior only to Christ and Mohammed. Zuleika is the Persian name of Potiphar's wife; and her amour with Joseph constitutes one of the finest poems in their language. It is, therefore, no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, into the mouth ...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...he Hollows round His eager Eyes
Were Pages where to read
Pathetic Histories -- although
Himself had not complained.
Biography to All who passed
Of Unobtrusive Pain
Except for the italic Face
Endured, unhelped -- unknown....Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
The Lotos-eaters 

Last read:
2006-04-22 00:21:55
Viewed 581 times.

Added Mar 11 2005. 

Tennyson Info 
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(164 poems)

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...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...WHEN I read the book, the biography famous, 
And is this, then, (said I,) what the author calls a man’s life? 
And so will some one, when I am dead and gone, write my life? 
(As if any man really knew aught of my life; 
Why, even I myself, I often think, know little or nothing of my real life;
Only a few hints—a few diffused, faint clues and indirections, 
I seek, for my own use, to ...Read more of this...

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