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Famous Body Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...e to all, 
All is for individuals—All is for you, 
No condition is prohibited—not God’s, or any. 

All comes by the body—only health puts you rapport with the universe.

Produce great persons, the rest follows. 

America isolated I sing; 
I say that works made here in the spirit of other lands, are so much poison in The States.

(How dare such insects as we see assume to write poems for America? 
For our victorious armies, and the offspring following the ar...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...och! Lacklove and manless in Moloch! 
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom 
 I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch 
 who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! 
 Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! 
 Light streaming out of the sky! 
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! 
 skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic 
 industries! spectral nations! invincible mad 
 houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs! 
They broke their backs lifting ...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...Would walk ashamed of his adulteries,
And Passion creep from out the House of Lust with startled eyes.

To make the body and the spirit one
With all right things, till no thing live in vain
From morn to noon, but in sweet unison
With every pulse of flesh and throb of brain
The soul in flawless essence high enthroned,
Against all outer vain attack invincibly bastioned,

Mark with serene impartiality
The strife of things, and yet be comforted,
Knowing that by the chain caus...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
I've gotten out of my pouch 
and my teeth are glad 
and my heart, that witness, 
beats well at the thought. 

Oh body, be glad. 
You are good goods. 


Middle-class lady, 
you make me smile. 
You dig a hole 
and come out with a sunburn. 
If someone hands you a glass of water 
you start constructing a sailboat. 
If someone hands you a candy wrapper, 
you take it to the book binder. 

Once upon a time Ms. Dog was sixty...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
 And there love conquered. Love, in gentle heart 
 So quick to take dominion, overthrew 
 Him with my own fair body, and overbore 
 Me with delight to please him. Love, which gives 
 No pardon to the loved, so strongly in me 
 Was empired, that its rule, as here ye see, 
 Endureth, nor the bitter blast contrives 
 To part us. Love to one death led us. The mode 
 Afflicts me, shrinking, still. The place of Cain 
 Awaits our slayer." 
 They ceased, ...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...Psyche's lamp out of the earth up-thrust,
Dripping itself in marble wax on what was once the bed
Of Love, and his young body asleep, but now is dust instead.

There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall,
And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds;
There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds;
But never an echo of your daughters' laughter
Is there, nor any sign of you at all
Swells fungous from the rot...Read More

by Milton, John
...spiritous, and pure, 
As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending 
Each in their several active spheres assigned, 
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds 
Proportioned to each kind. So from the root 
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves 
More aery, last the bright consummate flower 
Spirits odorous breathes: flowers and their fruit, 
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed, 
To vital spirits aspire, to animal, 
To intellectual; give both life and s...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...sapeake Bay—I one of the brown-faced
Or, another time, trailing for blue-fish off Paumanok, I stand with braced body, 
My left foot is on the gunwale—my right arm throws the coils of slender rope,
In sight around me the quick veering and darting of fifty skiffs, my companions. 

O boating on the rivers! 
The voyage down the Niagara, (the St. Lawrence,)—the superb scenery—the
The ships sailing—the Thousand Islands—the occasional timber-raft, and t...Read More

by Ashbery, John
.... There is no way
To build it flat like a section of wall:
It must join the segment of a circle,
Roving back to the body of which it seems
So unlikely a part, to fence in and shore up the face
On which the effort of this condition reads
Like a pinpoint of a smile, a spark
Or star one is not sure of having seen
As darkness resumes. A perverse light whose
Imperative of subtlety dooms in advance its
Conceit to light up: unimportant but meant.
Francesco, your hand is ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
And went where he sat on a log, and led him in and assured him, 
And brought water, and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d
And gave him a room that enter’d from my own, and gave him some coarse
 clean clothes, 
And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness, 
And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles; 
He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north; 
(I had him sit next me at table—my ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, 
To know the universe itself as a road—as many roads—as roads for traveling souls. 

The Soul travels; 
The body does not travel as much as the soul;
The body has just as great a work as the soul, and parts away at last for the journeys of

All parts away for the progress of souls; 
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments,—all that was or is apparent upon this
 any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K

In the slopes away to the western bays,
Where blows not ever a tree,
He washed his soul in the west wind
And his body in the sea.

And he set to rhyme his ale-measures,
And he sang aloud his laws,
Because of the joy of the giants,
The joy without a cause. 

The King went gathering Wessex men,
As grain out of the chaff
The few that were alive to die,
Laughing, as littered skulls that lie
After lost battles turn to the sky
An everlasting laugh.

The King went...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...h oft threats me with her power:
3.73 Sometimes by wounds in idle combats taken,
3.74 Sometimes by Agues all my body shaken;
3.75 Sometimes by Fevers, all my moisture drinking,
3.76 My heart lies frying, and my eyes are sinking.
3.77 Sometimes the Cough, Stitch, painful Pleurisy,
3.78 With sad affrights of death, do menace me.
3.79 Sometimes the loathsome Pox my face be-mars
3.80 With ugly marks of his eternal scars.
3.81 Someti...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...thly love devour,
Who have taken no kiss of Nature, nor renew'd
In the world's wilderness with heavenly food
The sickly body of their perishing power. 

So none of all our company, I boast,
But now would mock my penning, could they see
How down the right it maps a jagged coast;
Seeing they hold the manlier praise to be
Strong hand and will, and the heart best when most
'Tis sober, simple, true, and fancy-free. 

How could I quarrel or blame you, most dear,
Who all ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...sp; The moon is up—the sky is blue,  The owlet in the moonlight air,  He shouts from nobody knows where;  He lengthens out his lonely shout,  Halloo! halloo! a long halloo!   —Why bustle thus about your door,  What means this bustle, Betty Foy?  Why are you in this mighty fret?  And why on horseback have you set  Him whom you love, your idi...Read More

by Blake, William
...r sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.

That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that
Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul.
That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his

But the following Contraries to these are True

Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the fi...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. Th...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...fin was laid low, 
It seamed the mockery of hell to fold 
The rottenness of eighty years in gold. 


So mix his body with the dust! It might 
Return to what it must far sooner, were 
The natural compound left alone to fight 
Its way back into earth, and fire, and air; 
But the unnatural balsams merely blight 
What nature made him at his birth, as bare 
As the mere million's base unmarried clay — 
Yet all his spices but prolong decay. 


He's dead — and upper ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...I walk
Away on wheels, instead of legs, they serve as well.
And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue.
The body is resourceful.
The body of a starfish can grow back its arms
And newts are prodigal in legs. And may I be
As prodigal in what lacks me.

She is a small island, asleep and peaceful,
And I am a white ship hooting: Goodbye, goodbye.
The day is blazing. It is very mournful.
The flowers in this room are red and tropical....Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...your smoke I sing and burn,
And the rest -- is only fire
To keep the chilled soul warm.

To keep warm the sated body,
They need my tears for this
Did I for this sing your song, God?
Did I take part of love for this?

Let me drink of such a poison,
That I would be deaf and dumb,
And my unglorious glory
Wash away to the final crumb.

x x x

The blue lacquer dims of heaven,
And the song is better heard.
It's the little trumpet made of dirt,
T...Read More

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