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Famous Butterfly Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Basho, Matsuo
...A caterpillar,
this deep in fall--
 still not a butterfly....Read more of this...



by Aiken, Conrad
...autumn thoughts like these to flow,
and, from the Gorge, sends word of Chouang's dream.
Did Chouang dream he was a butterfly?
Or did the butterfly dream Chouang? If so,
why then all things can change, and change again,
the sea to brook, the brook to sea, and we
from man to butterfly; and back to man.
This 'I,' this moving ‘I,' this focal ‘I,'
which changes, when it dreams the butterfly,
into the thing it dreams of; liquid eye
in which the thing takes shape, but from ...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the hon...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire....Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...feared to be too soon forgot
By the green rush, its playfellow, - and yet, it is a spot

So small, that the inconstant butterfly
Could steal the hoarded money from each flower
Ere it was noon, and still not satisfy
Its over-greedy love, - within an hour
A sailor boy, were he but rude enow
To land and pluck a garland for his galley's painted prow,

Would almost leave the little meadow bare,
For it knows nothing of great pageantry,
Only a few narcissi here and there
Stand sepa...Read more of this...



by Dickinson, Emily
...ills
I held her hand the tighter—
Which shortened all the miles—

And still her hum
The years among,
Deceives the Butterfly;
Still in her Eye
The Violets lie
Mouldered this many May.

I spilt the dew—
But took the morn—
I chose this single star
From out the wide night's numbers—
Sue—forevermore!

67

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...in the water: how!
It swells, it buds, it flowers beneath his sight;
And, in the middle, there is softly pight
A golden butterfly; upon whose wings
There must be surely character'd strange things,
For with wide eye he wonders, and smiles oft.

 Lightly this little herald flew aloft,
Follow'd by glad Endymion's clasped hands:
Onward it flies. From languor's sullen bands
His limbs are loos'd, and eager, on he hies
Dazzled to trace it in the sunny skies.
It seem'd he...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...aves,
And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves
To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses;
My kingdom's at its death, and just it is
That I should die with it: so in all this
We miscal grief, bale, sorrow, heartbreak, woe,
What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe
I am but rightly serv'd." So saying, he
Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of ...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...t? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys,
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpli...Read more of this...

by Milligan, Spike
...I cannot 
and I will not 
No, I cannot love you less 
Like the flower to the butterfly 
The corsage to the dress 

She turns my love to dust 
my destination empty 
my beliefs scattered: Diaspora! 

Who set this course - and why? 
Now my wings beat - 
without purpose 
Yet they speed......Read more of this...

by Ali, Muhammad
...I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee...Read more of this...

by Neruda, Pablo
...your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a rin...Read more of this...

by Moore, Marianne
...disappointing,
revengefully wrought in the attitude
of an adoring child
to a distinguished parent."
She says, "This butterfly,
this waterfly, this nomad
that has `proposed
to settle on my hand for life.' --
What can one do with it?
There must have been more time
in Shakespeare's day
to sit and watch a play.
You know so many artists are fools."
He says, "You know so many fools
who are not artists."
The fact forgot
that "some have merely rights
while some ha...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
...thy odors longest, sweetest rise. 
 
 Have where ye will your dwelling, 
 Or breath or tint whose praise we sing; 
 Butterfly shining bright, 
 Full-blown or bursting rosebud, flow'r or wing. 
 Dwell together ye fair, 
 'Tis a boon to the loveliest given; 
 Perchance ye then may choose your home 
 On the earth or in heaven. 
 
 W.C. WESTBROOK 


 A SIMILE. 
 
 ("Soyez comme l'oiseau.") 
 
 {XXXIII. vi.} 


 Thou art like the bird 
 That alights an...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...eraea's brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening's dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove's gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky f...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...sound began,
Long as the span
Of a white road snaking about a hill.
The orchards are filled
With cherry blossoms at butterfly poise.
Hawthorn buds are cracking,
And in the distance a shepherd is clacking
His shears, snip-snipping the wool from his sheep.
The notes are asleep,
Lying adrift on the air
In level lines
Like sunlight hanging in pines and pines,
Strung and threaded,
All imbedded
In the blue-green of the hazy pines.
Lines -- long, straight lines!
And ...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...August tan. And you came each
weekend. But I lie.
You seldom came. I just pretended
you, small piglet, butterfly
girl with jelly bean cheeks,
disobedient three, my splendid

stranger. And I had to learn
why I would rather
die than love, how your innocence
would hurt and how I gather
guilt like a young intern
his symptons, his certain evidence.

That October day we went
to Gloucester the red hills
reminded me of the dry red fur fox
coat I played in as ...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...own. 

"Sometimes I let a sunbeam slip, 
To light her shaded eye; 
A second flutter'd round her lip 
Like a golden butterfly; 

"A third would glimmer on her neck 
To make the necklace shine; 
Another slid, a sunny fleck, 
From head to ankle fine, 

"Then close and dark my arms I spread, 
And shadow'd all her rest--- 
Dropt dews upon her golden head, 
An acorn in her breast. 

"But in a pet she started up, 
And pluck'd it out, and drew 
My little oakling from the cup...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ts friendly green wanders the pathway along.
Round me is humming the busy bee, and with pinion uncertain
Hovers the butterfly gay over the trefoil's red flower.
Fiercely the darts of the sun fall on me,--the zephyr is silent,
Only the song of the lark echoes athwart the clear air.
Now from the neighboring copse comes a roar, and the tops of the alders
Bend low down,--in the wind dances the silvery grass;
Night ambrosial circles me round; in the coolness so fragran...Read more of this...

by Darwish, Mahmoud
...side me. 

*** 
Greetings to the one who shares with me an attention to 
The drunkenness of light, the light of the butterfly, in the 
Blackness of this tunnel! 

*** 
Greetings to the one who shares my glass with me 
In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces: 
Greetings to my apparition. 

*** 
My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me, 
A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees 
A marble epitaph of time 
And always I anticipate them at th...Read more of this...

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