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Famous Bone Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
...hedules had she many a one,
Which she perused, sigh'd, tore, and gave the flood;
Crack'd many a ring of posied gold and bone
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet moe letters sadly penn'd in blood,
With sleided silk feat and affectedly
Enswathed, and seal'd to curious secrecy.

These often bathed she in her fluxive eyes,
And often kiss'd, and often 'gan to tear:
Cried 'O false blood, thou register of lies,
What unapproved witness dost thou bear!
Ink would h...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
She dealt her pretty words like Blades—
How glittering they shone—
And every One unbared a Nerve
Or wantoned with a Bone—

She never deemed—she hurt—
That—is not Steel's Affair—
A vulgar grimace in the Flesh—
How ill the Creatures bear—

To Ache is human—not polite—
The Film upon the eye
Mortality's old Custom—
Just locking up—to Die.


I was the slightest in the House—
I took the smallest Room—
At night, my little Lamp, and Book—
And one Geranium...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:--nor can I now--so on
I move to the end in l...Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...ersey leaving a 
 trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic 
 City Hall, 
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind- 
 ings and migraines of China under junk-with- 
 drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room, 
who wandered around and around at midnight in the 
 railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, 
 leaving no broken hearts, 
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing 
 through snow toward lonesome farms in grand- 
 father night, 
who studi...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...its for me. 
he is probably twenty-three now, 
learning his trade. 
He'll stitch up the gren, 
he'll fasten the bones down 
lest they fly away. 
I am flying today. 
I am not tired today. 
I am a motor. 
I am cramming in the sugar. 
I am running up the hallways. 
I am squeezing out the milk. 
I am dissecting the dictionary. 
I am God, la de dah. 
Peanut butter is the American food. 
We all eat it, being patriotic. 

Ms. D...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
...cked lean flanks, and waited. Such was she 
 In aspect ruthless that I quaked to see, 
 And where she lay among her bones had brought 
 So many to grief before, that all my thought 
 Aghast turned backward to the sunless night 
 I left. But while I plunged in headlong flight 
 To that most feared before, a shade, or man 
 (Either he seemed), obstructing where I ran, 
 Called to me with a voice that few should know, 
 Faint from forgetful silence, "Where ye go, 
 Take ...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...ere adventured, man of might, 
Sweet Painter, draw his picture while I write. 
Paint him of person tall, and big of bone, 
Large limbs like ox, not to be killed but shown. 
Scarce can burnt ivory feign an hair so black, 
Or face so red, thine ocher and thy lac. 
Mix a vain terror in his martial look, 
And all those lines by which men are mistook; 
But when, by shame constrained to go on board, 
He heard how the wild cannon nearer roared, 
And saw himself confined ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John rib afford, yet loss of thee 
Would never from my heart: no, no!I feel 
The link of Nature draw me: flesh of flesh, 
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state 
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. 
So having said, as one from sad dismay 
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbed 
Submitting to what seemed remediless, 
Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turned. 
Bold deed thou hast presumed, adventurous Eve, 
And peril great provoked, who thus hast dared,...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my
 bare-stript heart, 
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the
 argument of the earth; 
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, 
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my ow...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
WEAPON, shapely, naked, wan! 
Head from the mother’s bowels drawn! 
Wooded flesh and metal bone! limb only one, and lip only one! 
Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown! helve produced from a little seed sown! 
Resting the grass amid and upon,
To be lean’d, and to lean on. 

Strong shapes, and attributes of strong shapes—masculine trades, sights and sounds; 
Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music; 
Fingers of the organist skipping staccato o...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...e a blue tree in the trees
When he came to Eldred's farm.

But Eldred's farm was fallen awry,
Like an old cripple's bones,
And Eldred's tools were red with rust,
And on his well was a green crust,
And purple thistles upward thrust,
Between the kitchen stones.

But smoke of some good feasting
Went upwards evermore,
And Eldred's doors stood wide apart
For loitering foot or labouring cart,
And Eldred's great and foolish heart
Stood open like his door.

A mighty man w...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...e at the coral of our love.
Yet they wait,
in their short time,
like little utero half-borns,
half killed, thin and bone soft.
They breathe the air that stands
for twenty-five illicit days,
the sun crawling inside the sheets,
the moon spinning like a tornado
in the washbowl,
and we orchestrated them both,
calling ourselves TWO CAMP DIRECTORS.
There was a song, our song on your cassette,
that played over and over
and baptised the prodigals.
It spoke the unspeak...Read more of this...

by Baudelaire, Charles
...s around a dry foot, shod 
With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod. 

The swarms that hum about her collar-bones 
As the lascivious streams caress the stones, 
Conceal from every scornful jest that flies, 
Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes 

Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays 
Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways, 
Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae. 
O charm of nothing decked in folly! they 

Who laugh and name you a Caric...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John my slats. 
And when we broke, as I foresaw, 
He swung his right in for the jaw. 
I stopped it on my shoulder bone, 
And at the shock I heard Bill groan 
A little groan or moan or grunt 
As though I'd hit his wind a bunt. 
At that, I clinched, and while we clinched, 
His old time right arm dig was flinched, 
And when we broke he hit me light 
As though he didn't trust his right, 
He flapped me somehow with his wrist 
As though he couldn't use his fist, 
And when...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
That thou and I be damned to prison
Perpetual, us gaineth no ranson.
We strive, as did the houndes for the bone;
They fought all day, and yet their part was none.
There came a kite, while that they were so wroth,
And bare away the bone betwixt them both.
And therefore at the kinge's court, my brother,
Each man for himselfe, there is no other.
Love if thee list; for I love and aye shall
And soothly, leve brother, this is all.
Here in this prison mu...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter told.
     His mother watched a midnight fold,
     Built deep within a dreary glen,
     Where scattered lay the bones of men
     In some forgotten battle slain,
     And bleached by drifting wind and rain.
     It might have tamed a warrior's heart
     To view  such mockery of his art!
     The knot-grass fettered there the hand
     Which once could burst an iron band;
     Beneath the broad and ample bone,
     That bucklered heart to fear unknown,
     A...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
Was fetched, and on this book he swore anon
She guilty was; and, in the meanewhiles,
An hand him smote upon the necke bone,
That down he fell at once right as a stone:
And both his eyen burst out of his face
In sight of ev'rybody in that place.

A voice was heard, in general audience,
That said; "Thou hast deslander'd guilteless
The daughter of holy Church in high presence;
Thus hast thou done, and yet *hold I my peace?"* *shall I be silent?*
Of this marvel aghast was a...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...him four-and-nine,
And he was going out to dine. 

"To dine!" she sneered in acid tone.
"To bend thy being to a bone
Clothed in a radiance not its own!" 

The tear-drop trickled to his chin:
There was a meaning in her grin
That made him feel on fire within. 

"Term it not 'radiance,'" said he:
"'Tis solid nutriment to me.
Dinner is Dinner: Tea is Tea." 

And she "Yea so? Yet wherefore cease?
Let thy scant knowledge find increase.
Say 'Men are Men, and ...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...ey take you in! 
The kindest, the truest, 
The best friends ever known, 
It's hard to remember 
How they froze you to a bone. 
They showed me all London, 
Johnnie and his friends; 
They took me to the country
For long week-ends;
I never was so happy,
I never had such fun,
I stayed many weeks in England
Instead of just one.

John had one of those English faces 
That always were and will always be 
Found in the cream of English places 
Till England herself sink in...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...rewithal so well he could me glose,* *flatter
When that he woulde have my belle chose,
Though he had beaten me on every bone,
Yet could he win again my love anon.
I trow, I lov'd him better, for that he
Was of his love so dangerous* to me. *sparing, difficult
We women have, if that I shall not lie,
In this matter a quainte fantasy.
Whatever thing we may not lightly have,
Thereafter will we cry all day and crave.
Forbid us thing, and that desire we;
Press on us...Read more of this...

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