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Famous Burlesque Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...AULD chuckie Reekie’s 1 sair distrest,
Down droops her ance weel burnish’d crest,
Nae joy her bonie buskit nest
 Can yield ava,
Her darling bird that she lo’es best—
 Willie’s awa!


O Willie was a witty wight,
And had o’ things an unco’ sleight,
Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight,
 And trig an’ braw:
But now they’ll busk her like a fright,—
 Willie’s awa!


...Read More



by Brodsky, Joseph
.... He doesn't spare his kin:
what's been reached is the highest possible latitude!
And like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen it climbs up his thigh: gangrene....Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...ade. 
So, whether on the actor's form 
The stately robes of Hamlet sit, 
Or as Macbeth he rave and storm, 
Or plays burlesque to please the pit, 

'Tis each and all a work of art, 
That constant care and practice means -- 
The actor who creates a part 
Has done his work behind the scenes....Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...s under bridges
with lonely crazy men; he sits in country
jails with bootleggers; he adopts the children
of broken-down burlesque actresses; he has
cried a heart of tears for Windy MacPherson’s
father; he pencils wrists of lonely women.

Can a man sit at a desk in a skyscraper in Chicago
and be a harnessmaker in a corn town in Iowa
and feel the tall grass coming up in June
and the ache of the cottonwood trees
singing with the prairie wind?...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...flappers
They moved to measure, or bell-clappers.
I said ``Is it blessing, is it banning,
``Do they applaud you or burlesque you---
``Those hands and fingers with no flesh on?''
But, just as I thought to spring in to the rescue,
At once I was stopped by the lady's expression:
For it was life her eyes were drinking
From the crone's wide pair above unwinking,
---Life's pure fire received without shrinking,
Into the heart and breast whose heaving
Told you no single drop the...Read More



by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...r something in the ballads which they sang, 
Or in their silent influence as they sat, 
Had ever seemed to wrestle with burlesque, 
And drove us, last, to quite a solemn close-- 
They hated banter, wished for something real, 
A gallant fight, a noble princess--why 
Not make her true-heroic--true-sublime? 
Or all, they said, as earnest as the close? 
Which yet with such a framework scarce could be. 
Then rose a little feud betwixt the two, 
Betwixt the mockers and the real...Read More

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