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Famous Carp Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...t time mak proof;
But I shall scribble down some blether
 Just clean aff-loof.

My worthy friend, ne’er grudge an’ carp,
Tho’ fortune use you hard an’ sharp;
Come, kittle up your moorland harp
 Wi’ gleesome touch!
Ne’er mind how Fortune waft and warp;
 She’s but a *****.

She ’s gien me mony a jirt an’ fleg,
Sin’ I could striddle owre a rig;
But, by the L—d, tho’ I should beg
 Wi’ lyart pow,
I’ll laugh an’ sing, an’ shake my leg,
 As lang’s I dow!

Now comes the sa...Read more of this...

by Hardy, Thomas
...backed his tools and went, 
And wandered workless; for it seemed unwise 
To close with one who dared to criticize 
 And carp on points of taste: 
To work where they were placed rude men were meant. 


Years whiled. He aged, sank, sickened, and was not: 
And it was said, "A man intractable 
And curst is gone." None sighed to hear his knell, 
 None sought his churchyard-place; 
His name, his rugged face, were soon forgot. 


The stones of that fair hall...Read more of this...

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
...of erring on ventiferous ripes. 

How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes,
Dorm on the herb with none to supervise,
Carp the suave berries from thc crescent vine,
And bibe the flow from longicaudate kine! 

To me, alas! no verdurous visions come,
Save yon exiguous pool's conferva-scum,--
No concave vast repeats the tender hue
That laves my milk-jug with celestial blue! 

Me wretched! Let me curr to quercine shades!
Effund your albid hausts, lactiferous maids!
Oh, might I ...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...rthyest of the worldes kynde,
Preue for to play wyth in other pure laykez,
And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
And that hatz wayned me hider, iwyis, at this tyme.
Yghe may be seker bi this braunch that I bere here
That I passe as in pes, and no plyyght seche;
For had I founded in fere in feyghtyng wyse,
I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme bothe,
A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bryyght,
Ande other weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;
Bot fo...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...How much the present moment means
To those who've nothing more --
The Fop -- the Carp -- the Atheist --
Stake an entire store
Upon a Moment's shallow Rim
While their commuted Feet
The Torrents of Eternity
Do all but inundate --...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
in Tetuan, the room filling 
with the first colors, and water running 
in a tub. 


A row of sparkling carp 
iced in the new sun, odor 
of first love, of childhood, 
the fingers held to the nose, 
or hours while the clock hummed. 

The fat woman in the orange smock 
places tiny greens at mouth 
and tail as though she remembered 
or yearned instead for forests, deep floors 
of needles, and the hushed breath. 


Blue nosed cannisters 
as fat as barre...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
...and gathers alongside it 
A few gnarled elms with grumpy silhouettes;
Seemingly tired of all the frisky breezes, 
They carp at every gust that stirs them up.
At one side of my house a big wheelbarrow 
Is rusting; and before me lies the vast
Horizon, all its notches filled with ocean blue; 
Cocks and hens spread their gildings, and converse
Beneath my window; and the rooftop attics, 
Now and then, toss me songs in dialect.
In my lane dwells a patriarchal rope-maker; 
...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
waited on her wide front porch.
 My children
behind her house played
 in a silted pond
poking sticks at the slow
 carp that flashed
in the fallen sunlight. You
 are thirty-two
only once in your life, and though
 July comes
too quickly, you pray for
 the overbearing
heat to pass. It does, and
 the year turns
before it holds still for
 even a moment.
Beyond the last carob
 or Joshua tree
the magpie flashes his sudden
 wings; a second
flames and vanishes into t...Read more of this...

by Emanuel, James A
...we called them,
and ate with our fingers, laughing.

Once, dreaming of fish in far-off waters,
I hooked a two-foot carp in Michigan,
on nylon line so fine
a fellow-fisher shook his head:
"He'll break it, sure; he'll roll on it and get away."
A quarter-hour it took to bring him in;
back-and-forth toward my net,
syllable by syllable I let him have his way
till he lay flopping on the grass—
beside no other, himself enough in size:
he fed the three of us (each differentl...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
The factory of Sevres had lent
Elegant boxes with ornament
Culled from gardens where fountains splashed
And golden carp in the shadows flashed,
Nuzzling for crumbs under lily-pads,
Which ladies threw as the last of fads.
Eggshell trays where gay beaux knelt,
Hand on heart, and daintily spelt
Their love in flowers, brittle and bright,
Artificial and fragile, which told aright
The vows of an eighteenth-century knight.
The cruder tones of old Dutch jugs
Glared from ...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...ort like children, laugh in each other's eyes;
Weave gay garlands of poppies, crown each other with flowers,
Pull plump carp from the lilies, rifle the ferny bowers.
To-day with feasting and gladness the wine of Cyprus will flow;
To-day is the day we were wedded only a twelvemonth ago."

The larks trilled high in the heavens; his heart was lyric with joy;
He plucked a posy of lilies; he sped like a love-sick boy.
He stole up the velvety pathway--his cottage was su...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...reen. A fountain 
tosses itself
up at the blue sky, and through the spattered water in the basin 
he can see
copper carp, lazily floating among cold leaves. A wind-harp 
in a cedar-tree
grieves and whispers, and words blow into his brain, bubbled, iridescent,
shooting up like flowers of fire, higher and higher. Boom!
The flame-flowers snap on their slender stems. The fountain 
rears up
in long broken spears of dishevelled water and flattens into the 
earth.Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...ifferent men." 
What with the fight and what with drinking 
And being awake alone there thinking, 
My mind began to carp and tetter, 
"If this life's all, the beasts are better." 
And then I thought, "I wish I'd seen 
The many towns this town has been; 
I wish I knew if they'd a got 
A kind of summat we've a-not, 
If them as built the church so fair 
Were half the chaps folk say they were; 
For they'd the skill to draw their plan, 
And skill's a joy to any man; 
And t...Read more of this...

by Forche, Carolyn
...aper cranes.
Not an angel, but a woman where she once had been,
who walks through the garden Shukkei-en
calling the carp to the surface by clapping her hands.

Do Americans think of us?

So she began as we squatted over the toilets:
If you want, I'll tell you, but nothing I say will be enough.

We tried to dress our burns with vegetable oil.

Her hair is the white froth of rice rising up kettlesides, her mind also.
In the postwar years she thought deeply a...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
A sheriff had he been, and a countour
Was nowhere such a worthy vavasour.

A WEBBE*, a DYER, and a TAPISER**, *weaver **tapestry-maker
Were with us eke, cloth'd in one livery,
Of a solemn and great fraternity.
Full fresh and new their gear y-picked* was. *spruce
Their knives were y-chaped* not with brass, *mounted
But all with silver wrought full clean and well,
Their girdles and their pouches *every deal*. *...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...m the goodly places that she knew; 
And last bethought her how she used to watch, 
Near that old home, a pool of golden carp; 
And one was patched and blurred and lustreless 
Among his burnished brethren of the pool; 
And half asleep she made comparison 
Of that and these to her own faded self 
And the gay court, and fell asleep again; 
And dreamt herself was such a faded form 
Among her burnished sisters of the pool; 
But this was in the garden of a king; 
And though she lay...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...ame of the sky.
Brown lily-pads lie heavy and supine
Within a granite basin, under one
The bronze-gold glimmer of a carp; and I
Reach out my hand and pluck a nectarine....Read more of this...

by Hughes, Ted
...dusk is closing
 Like a slow trap of steel
On trees and roads and hills and all
 That can no longer feel.
 But the carp is in its depth
 Like a planet in its heaven.
 And the badger in its bedding
 Like a loaf in the oven.
 And the butterfly in its mummy
 Like a viol in its case.
 And the owl in its feathers
 Like a doll in its lace. 

Freezing dusk has tightened
 Like a nut screwed tight
On the starry aeroplane
 Of the soaring night.
 But the trout i...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Richard
...the stare
of sunfish hovering above the cloud-stained sand,
a sucker nudging cans, the grinning maskinonge.

How do carp resolve the eel and terror here?
They face so many times this brown-ribbed fall of leaves
predicting weather foreign as a shark or prawn
and floating still above them in the paling sun....Read more of this...

by Bell, Marvin
...Gray rainwater lay on the grass in the late afternoon.
The carp lay on the bottom, resting, while dusk took shape
in the form of the first stirrings of his hunger,
and the trees, shorter and heavier, breathed heavily upward.
Into this sodden, nourishing afternoon I emerged,
partway toward a paycheck, halfway toward the weekend,
carrying the last mail and holding above still puddles
the books of noble ideas. ...Read more of this...

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