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Famous Black And White Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wright, James
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom....Read More

by Lowell, Amy
With pools of red, and quivering green, and blue;
And in the shade beyond the further door,
Its sober squares of black and white were hid
Beneath a restless, shuffling, wide-eyed mob
Of lackeys and retainers come to view
The Christening.
A sudden blare of trumpets, and the throng
About the entrance parted as the guests
Filed singly in with rare and precious gifts.
Our eager fancies noted all they brought,
The glorious, unattainable delights!
But always there wa...Read More

by Ayres, Pam
...seemed a place between the Heavens and the Earth.

Certain pictures linger when considering the reign,
Hauntingly in black and white, a platform and a train,
The saddest thing I ever saw, more sharp than any other,
Prince Charles. The little boy who had to shake hands with his mother.

I will stand up and be counted; I am for the monarchy,
And if they make mistakes, well they are frail like you and me,
I would not choose a president to posture and to preen,
Live in ...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...ns out of jail,
They only fawned for dollars on the blood-dyed Clanna-Gael.
If black is black or white is white, in black and white it's down,
They're only traitors to the Queen and rebels to the Crown.

"Cleared", honourable gentlemen! Be thankful it's no more: --
The widow's curse is on your house, the dead are at your door.
On you the shame of open shame, on you from North to South
The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.

"Less black tha...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...ves along its portico 
Royal with sunset, like a thought of thee: 
And one white she-slave from the group dispersed 
Of black and white slaves (like the chequer-work 
Pavement, at once my nation's work and gift, 
Now covered with this settle-down of doves), 
One lyric woman, in her crocus vest 
Woven of sea-wools, with her two white hands 
Commends to me the strainer and the cup 
Thy lip hath bettered ere it blesses mine. 

Well-counselled, king, in thy munificence! 
For ...Read More

by Wanek, Connie
from its heavy black lines
as unalterable as the ten commandments
within which minor decisions are possible:
the dog black and white,
the kitten gray.
Under the picture we find a few words,
a title, perhaps a narrative,
a psalm or sermon.
But nowhere do we come upon
a blank page where we might justify
the careless way we scribbled
when we were tired and sad
and could bear no more....Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...smell of red clay after rain
And long red necks
And poppy colored faces
And big brown arms
And the field daisy eyes
Of black and white black white black people
And I'm gonna put white hands
And black hands and brown and yellow hands
And red clay earth hands in it
Touching everybody with kind fingers
And touching each other natural as dew
In that dawn of music when I
Get to be a composer
And write about daybreak
In Alabama....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...u! my head being crammed, the walls a blank, 
Never was such prompt disemburdening. 
First, every sort of monk, the black and white, 
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church, 
From good old gossips waiting to confess 
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,-- 
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot, 
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there 
With the little children round him in a row 
Of admiration, half for his beard and half 
For that white anger...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...that he loves me still. 
So let me, if you do not shudder at me, 
Nor shun to call me sister, dwell with you; 
Wear black and white, and be a nun like you, 
Fast with your fasts, not feasting with your feasts; 
Grieve with your griefs, not grieving at your joys, 
But not rejoicing; mingle with your rites; 
Pray and be prayed for; lie before your shrines; 
Do each low office of your holy house; 
Walk your dim cloister, and distribute dole 
To poor sick people, richer in Hi...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...ilding's silver fins 
tapering delicately needletopped, Empire State's 
taller antenna filmed milky lit amid blocks 
black and white apartmenting veil'd sky over Manhattan, 
offices new built dark glassed in blueish heaven--The East 
50's & 60's covered with castles & watertowers, seven storied 
tar-topped house-banks over York Avenue, late may-green trees 
surrounding Rockefellers' blue domed medical arbor-- 
Geodesic science at the waters edge--Cars running up 
Eas...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...ish I were the U.S. Mint, 
turning it all out, 
turtle green 
and monk black. 
Who's that at the podium 
in black and white, 
blurting into the mike? 
Ms. Dog. 
Is she spilling her guts? 
You bet. 
Otherwise they cough... 
The day is slipping away, why am I 
out here, what do they want? 
I am sorrowful in November... 
(no they don't want that, 
they want bee stings). 
Toot, toot, tootsy don't cry. 
Toot, toot, tootsy goo...Read More

by John, David St
...cheeks. Maestro
Was always cool. He'd let them use his room upstairs,
Sometimes, because they couldn't go out--
Black and white couldn't mix like that then.
I mean, think about it--
This kid star and a cool beauty who made King Cole
Sound raw? No, they had to keep it
To the club; though sometimes,
Near the end, he'd come out to her place
At the beach, always taking the iced whisky
I brought to him with a sly, sweet smile.
Once, sweeping his arm out in a slow
H...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...toon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope: 
it does look like heaven. 
But a skeletal lighthouse standing there 
in black and white clerical dress, 
who lives on his nerves, thinks he knows better. 
He thinks that hell rages below his iron feet, 
that that is why the shallow water is so warm, 
and he knows that heaven is not like this. 
Heaven is not like flying or swimming, 
but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare 
and when it gets dark he will ...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...As Parmigianino did it, the right hand
Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer
And swerving easily away, as though to protect
What it advertises. A few leaded panes, old beams,
Fur, pleated muslin, a coral ring run together
In a movement supporting the face, which swims
Toward and away like the hand
Except that it is in repose. It is what is
Seq...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...lowing in War's bloody trail, 
Shall every lingering wrong assail; 
All chains from limb and spirit strike, 
Uplift the black and white alike; 
Scatter before their swift advance 
The darkness and the ignorance, 
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth, 
Which nurtured Treason's monstrous growth, 
Made murder pastime, and the hell 
Of prison-torture possible; 
The cruel lie of caste refute, 
Old forms remould, and substitute 
For Slavery's lash the freeman's will, 
For blind r...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...[On my birthday]

At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare
and the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.
Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,
the water in the bight doesn't wet anything,
the color of the gas flame turned as low as possible.
One can smell it turning to gas; if one wer...Read More

by Pope, Alexander Place,
But diff'ring far in Figure and in Face.
Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient Maid,
Her wrinkled Form in Black and White array'd;
With store of Pray'rs, for Mornings, Nights, and Noons,
Her Hand is fill'd; her Bosom with Lampoons. 

There Affectation with a sickly Mien
Shows in her Cheek the Roses of Eighteen,
Practis'd to Lisp, and hang the Head aside,
Faints into Airs, and languishes with Pride;
On the rich Quilt sinks with becoming Woe,
Wrapt in a Gown, ...Read More

by Ondaatje, Michael
...under a quilt.
And when I say 'like'
I mean of course 'love'
but that embarrasses you.
You who feel superior to black and white movies
(coaxed for hours to see Casablanca)
though you were moved
by Creature from the Black Lagoon.

One day I'll come swimming
beside your ship or someone will
and if you hear the siren
listen to it. For if you close your ears
only nothing happens. You will never change.

I don't care if you risk
your life to angry goalies
c...Read More

by Lawson, Henry

I see the brown and yellow rule 
The southern lands and southern waves, 
White children in the heathen school, 
And black and white together slaves; 
I see the colour-line so drawn 
(I see it plain and speak I must), 
That our brown masters of the dawn 
Might, aye, have fair girls for their lusts! 

With land and life and race at stake – 
No matter which race wronged, or how – 
Let all and one Australia make 
A superhuman effort now. 
Clear out the blasting parasites,...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...Something spreading underground won't speak to us
under skin won't declare itself
not all life-forms want dialogue with the
machine-gods in their drama hogging down
the deep bush clear-cutting refugees
from ancient or transient villages into
our opportunistic fervor to search
 crazily for a host a lifeboat

Suddenly instead of art we're eyeing
organisms tr...Read More

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