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Famous Block Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Mayakovsky, Vladimir
...t, amok with a knife, 
caught up, 
cut him down ¨C 
out with him! 

The stroke of twelve fell 
like a head from a block. 

On the windowpanes, grey raindrops 
howled together, 
piling on a grimace 
as though the gargoyles 
of Notre Dame were howling. 

Damn you! 
Isn¡¯t that enough? 
Screams will soon claw my mouth apart. 

Then I heard, 
a nerve leap 
like a sick man from his bed. 
barely moving, 
at first, 
it soon sc...Read More

by Tebb, Barry

Or falter in their stride.


At dawn in Leeds

I was lost

Once I had left

The lock

Car park, office block,

Grand hotel looming

And no path

But then I found

Back Lane, every

Window blocked,

Every inch cobbled,

A road to nowhere

Built a hundred

Years ago.

I found a gas lamp

Anchored to a corner

Rusty and forgotten

In the glare

Of the million watt

Yorkshire Electricity

Tower of Steel for

The new museum

‘Guns before butter’

And I wonde...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...gorge and it
By boulder-stones where lichens mock
The marks on a moth, and small ferns fit
Their teeth to the polished block.


Oh the sense of the yellow mountain-flowers,
And thorny balls, each three in one,
The chestnuts throw on our path in showers!
For the drop of the woodland fruit's begun,
These early November hours,


That crimson the creeper's leaf across
Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt,
O'er a shield else gold from rim to boss,
And lay ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, and all the work with ice, 
The implements for daguerreotyping—the tools of the rigger, grappler, sail-maker,
Goods of gutta-percha, papier-maché, colors, brushes, brush-making, glazier’s

O you robust, sacred! 
I cannot tell you how I love you; 
All I love America for, is contained in men and women like you. 

The veneer and glue-pot, the confectioner’s ornaments, the decanter and glasses, the
 shears and
The awl and knee...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...even now: 
I read and seem as if I heard thee speak. 
The master of thy galley still unlades 
Gift after gift; they block my court at last 
And pile themselves 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...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...pix on greige, deckle-edged
Stock--to come clattering through the rainbow trellis
Where Pistachio Avenue rams the 2300 block of Highland
Fling Terrace. He promised he'd get me out of this one,
That mean old cartoonist, but just look what he's 
Done to me now! I scarce dare approach me mug's attenuated
Reflection in yon hubcap, so jaundiced, so déconfit
Are its lineaments--fun, no doubt, for some quack phrenologist's
Fern-clogged waiting room, but hardly what you'd call
C...Read More

by Bowers, Edgar
...pine twenty feet high, banana shrub,
The owls’ tall pine curved like a flattened S.
The pump house Mort and I built block by block,
Smooth concrete floor, roof pale aluminum
Half-covered by a clematis, the pump 
Thirty feet down the mountain’s granite foot. 

Mort was the hired man sent to us by Fortune,
Childlike enough to lead us. He brought home,
Although he could not even drive a tractor,
Cheated, a worthless car, which we returned.
When, at the trial to g...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed...Read More

by Hikmet, Nazim
a gilded mote on blue velvet--
 I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
 in pitch-black space ...
You must grieve for this right now
--you have to feel this sorrow now--
for the world must be loved this much
 if you're going to say "I lived" ......Read More

by Brautigan, Richard really looked

good, right on the lake.

 Unit 4 had a stove. It was a square metal box mounted on

a cement block. There was a stove pipe on top of the box,

but there were no bullet holes in the pipe. I was amazed. Al-

most all the camp stoves we had seen in Idaho had been full

of bullet holes. I guess it's only reasonable that people,

when they get the chance, would want to shoot some old stove

sitting in the woods.

 Unit 4 had a big woo...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...oubt if

they will ever want vanilla pudding again.



Half a block from Broadway and Columbus is Hotel Trout

Fishing in America, a cheap hotel. It is very old and run by

some Chinese. They are young and ambitious Chinese and

the lobby is filled with the smell of Lysol.

 The Lysol sits like another guest on the stuffed furniture

reading a copy of the Chronicle, the Sports Section. It is the

only f...Read More

by Frost, Robert
To get a puff of black smoke from the flame,
Or blow a rumple in the collie’s coat.
You make a little foursquare block of air,
Quiet and light and warm, in spite of all
The illimitable dark and cold and storm,
And by so doing give these three, lamp, dog,
And book-leaf, that keep near you, their repose;
Though for all anyone can tell, repose
May be the thing you haven’t, yet you give it.
So false it is that what we haven’t we can’t give;
So false, that what we alway...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
They do not hasten—each man hits in his place. 

The ***** holds firmly the reins of his four horses—the block swags
 underneath on its tied-over chain; 
The ***** that drives the dray of the stone-yard—steady and tall he stands,
 pois’d on one leg on the string-piece; 
His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast, and loosens over his hip-band;

His glance is calm and commanding—he tosses the slouch of his hat away from
 his forehead;
The sun falls...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...d of art! and, lo!
Out of the matter which thy pains control
The statue springs!--not as with labor wrung
From the hard block, but as from nothing sprung--
Airy and light--the offspring of the soul!
The pangs, the cares, the weary toils it cost
Leave not a trace when once the work is done--
The Artist's human frailty merged and lost
In art's great victory won! [40]

If human sin confronts the rigid law
Of perfect truth and virtue [41], awe
Seizes and saddens thee to see how f...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...e death-axe sound.
     As on the noblest of the land
     Fell the stern headsmen's bloody hand,—
     The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb
     Prepare—for Douglas seeks his doom!
     But hark! what blithe and jolly peal
     Makes the Franciscan steeple reel?
     And see! upon the crowded street,
     In motley groups what masquers meet!
     Banner and pageant, pipe and drum,
     And merry morrice-dancers come.
     I guess, by all this quaint array,
     ...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...he steady chime 
And beating of the waves of Time! 
Who from its bed of primal rock 
First wrenched thy dark, unshapely block? 
Whose hand, of curious skill untaught, 
Thy rude and savage outline wrought? 
The waters of my native stream 
Are glancing in the sun's warm beam; 
From sail-urged keel and flashing oar 
The circles widen to its shore; 
And cultured field and peopled town 
Slope to its willowed margin down. 
Yet, while this morning breeze is bringing 
The home-li...Read More

by Trumbull, John
Would make his compliments and bow,
And every Swine with congees come,
To know how did all friends at home.
Each Block sublime could make a speech,
In style and eloquence as rich,
And could pronounce it and could pen it,
As well as Chatham in the senate.

Nor prose alone.--In these young times,
Each field was fruitful too in rhymes;
Each feather'd minstrel felt the passion,
And every wind breathed inspiration.
Each Bullfrog croak'd in loud bombastic,
Each ...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
..., and backward, and below 
I count, as god of avenues and gates, 
The years that through my portals come and go. 
I block the roads, and drift the fields with snow; 
I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen; 
My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow, 
My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men. 


I am lustration, and the sea is mine! 
I wash the sands and headlands with my tide; 
My brow is crowned with branches of the pine; 
Before my chariot-wheels...Read More

by Johnson, Samuel
...lace or sequester'd rent;
169 Mark'd out by dangerous parts he meets the shock,
170 And fatal Learning leads him to the block:
171 Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep,
172 But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep. 


253 Enlarge my life with multitude of days,
254 In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays;
255 Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know,
256 That life protracted is protracted woe.
257 Time hovers o'er, impatien...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...e arching spumes

Or white water fountains and the steel barricades of Novotel

Rise from the ruins of a sixties office block.

I hurry past and join Boar Lane’s Friday crew

From Keighley and Dewsbury’s mills, hesitating

At the thought of being told I’m past my 

Sell-by-date and turned away by the West Indian

Bouncers, black-suited and city-council badged

Who checked my bag but smiled at ‘The Lights of 

Leeds’ and ‘Poets of Our Time’ tucked away as carefully as cond...Read More

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