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Famous Classical Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Tebb, Barry

The best reader of the century, if not the best poet.

Resonant, mesmeric, his verse the anti-type of mine,

Classical, not personal, Apollonian not Dionysian

And most unconfessional but nonetheless a poet

Deserving honour in his eighty-fifth year.

Thirty people crowded into a room

With stacked chairs like a Sunday School

A table of pamphlets looked over but not bought

A lacquered screen holding court, a century’s junk.

An ivory dial telephone, a b...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...our blood. Repeats itself. 

Inscribes with its unreturning stylus
the isolation it denies. 


The classical music station
playing hour upon hour in the apartment 

the picking up and picking up
and again picking up the telephone 

The syllables uttering
the old script over and over 

The loneliness of the liar
living in the formal network of the lie 

twisting the dials to drown the terror
beneath the unsaid word 


The technology of silence
The ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia you meditate --
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star....Read More

by Subraman, Belinda
...past the hippies
past Ravi Shankar
eons before
when the first Asian snake
came alive
stiffened with sound
through some empty shell
some hollow wood
some emptiness

the snake 
was not so much charmed
as listening intently
to the accidental flute
to that which he knew
must be female
its empty insides
calling him
with breath music

and he joined in 
for awhil...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock 
 star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-
 ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-
 peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger 
 fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-
 harp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, 
 Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-
 chusets su...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...I can remember starving in a 
small room in a strange city 
shades pulled down, listening to 
classical music 
I was young I was so young it hurt like a knife 
because there was no alternative except to hide as long 
as possible-- 
not in self-pity but with dismay at my limited chance: 
trying to connect. 

the old composers -- Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, 
Brahms were the only ones who spoke to me and 
they were dead. 

finally, starved ...Read More

by Estep, Maggie
...eed the cat and **** ME
you can do it, I know you can.

**** ME
and theorize about
Sado Masochism's relationship
to classical philosophy
tell me how this stimulates
the fabric of most human relationships,
I love that kind of pointless intellectualism
so do it again and
**** ME.

Stop being logical
stop contemplating
the origins of evil
and the beauty of death
this is not a TV movie about Plato sex life,
this is **** ME
so **** ME

It's the pause that refreshes
just ad...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...I will lay here for six
days, my three cats hungrily ripping the flesh
from my elbows, wrists, head 
the radio playing classical music ... 
I promised myself never to write old man poems
but this one's funny, you see, excusable, be-
cause I've long gone past using myself and there's
still more left
here at 3 a.m. I am going to take this sheet from
the typer
pour another glass and
make love to the fresh new whiteness 
maybe get lucky
first fo...Read More

by Homer,
...Mysteries. The text below was translated from the Greek by Hugh G. Evelyn-White and first published by the Loeb Classical Library in 1914. This text has been scanned and proof-read by Edward A. Beach, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.]

I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess -- of her and her trim-ankled daughter whom Aidoneus [Hades] rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thun...Read More

by Jennings, Elizabeth
For these I never encountered face to face.

Sentiment will creep in. I cast it out
Wishing to give these classical repose,
No epitaph, no poppy and no rose
From me, and certainly no wish to learn about
The way they lived or died. In earth or fire
They are gone. Simply because they were human, I admire....Read More

by Plath, Sylvia for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.

His head is a little interior of grey mirrors.
Each gesture flees immediately down an alley
Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance
Drains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On th...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...nslation of the Poems of Goethe (originally published in 
1853), to add to the Collection a version of the much admired classical 
Poem of Hermann and Dorothea, which was previously omitted by me 
in consequence of its length. Its universal popularity, however, 
and the fact that it exhibits the versatility of Goethe's talents 
to a greater extent than, perhaps, any other of his poetical works, 
seem to call for its admission into the present volume. 

On the other ha...Read More

by Moore, Thomas
...nd Cross,
Ere he had been forc'd to sell at a loss.
They quote thim the Stock of various nations,
But, spite of his classical associations,
Lord how he loathes the Greek quotations!

"Who'll buy my Scrip! Who'll buy my Scrip?"
Is now the theme of the patriot's lip,
And he runs to tell how hard his lot is
To Messrs. Orlando and Luriottis,
And says, "Oh Greece, for Liberty's sake,
Do buy my Scrip and I vow to break
Those dark, unholy bonds of thine --
If you'll only co...Read More

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