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Famous Credit Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Plath, Sylvia
...u will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle,

No falling ribbons, no scream at the end.
I do not think you credit me with this discretion.

If you only knew how the veils were killing my days.
To you they are only transparencies, clear air.

But my god, the clouds are like cotton.
Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide.

Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in,
Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million

Probable motes that tick the years ...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...k: Henry Holt, 2000):
221-75. 22.

1Later revised to "Donder and Blitzen" by Clement Clarke
Moore when he took credit for the poem in Poems (New York: Bartlett
and Welford, 1844).

Source: more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...and was to fill my life, 
I have known Peace only as one more word 
Among the many others we say over
That have an airy credit of no meaning. 
One of these days, if I were seeing many 
To live, I might erect a cenotaph 
To Job’s wife. I assume that you remember; 
If you forget, she’s extant in your Bible.”

Now this was not the language of a man 
Whom I had known as Avon, and I winced 
Hearing it—though I knew that in my heart 
There was no visitation of surprise....Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...GIVE all to love; 
Obey thy heart; 
Friends kindred days  
Estate good fame  
Plans credit and the Muse¡ª 5 
Nothing refuse. 

'Tis a brave master; 
Let it have scope: 
Follow it utterly  
Hope beyond hope: 10 
High and more high 
It dives into noon  
With wing unspent  
Untold intent; 
But it is a god 15 
Knows its own path  
And the outlets of the sky. 

It was never for the mean; 
It requireth courage stout  
Sou...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
Why not his Majesty, and done with it? 
Forgive me if I shook your meditation, 
But you that weld our credit should have eyes 
To see what’s coming. Bury me first if I do.


There’s always in some pocket of your brain 
A care for me; wherefore my gratitude 
For your attention is commensurate 
With your concern. Yes, Burr, we are two kings; 
We are as royal as two ditch-diggers;
But owe me not your sceptre. These are the days 
When fi...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...she spake. 
Serpent, we might have spared our coming hither, 
Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess, 
The credit of whose virtue rest with thee; 
Wonderous indeed, if cause of such effects. 
But of this tree we may not taste nor touch; 
God so commanded, and left that command 
Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live 
Law to ourselves; our reason is our law. 
To whom the Tempter guilefully replied. 
Indeed! hath God then said that of the fruit 
...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...or his own.
But—as a man who had been matchless held 
In cunning, over-reached where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage-time,
About the wine-press where sweet must is poured,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew,
(Vain battery!)...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...d. Again
Eunice described her vision, and how when
Awoke at last she had known dreadful pain.

He could not credit it, and misery fed Upon 
his spirit, day by day it grew.
To Gervase he forbade the house, and led The Lady Eunice such 
a life she flew
At his approaching footsteps. Winter came Snowing 
and blustering through the Manor trees.
All the roof-edges spiked with icicles In 
fluted companies.
The Lady Eunice with her tambour-frame
Kept herse...Read more of this...

by Bronte, Anne
...ets thy sight?' 

'I see, far back, a helpless child,
Feeble and full of causeless fears,
Simple and easily beguiled
To credit all it hears.
More timid than the wild wood-dove,
Yet trusting to another's care,
And finding in protecting love
Its only refuge from despair, -­
Its only balm for every woe,
The only bliss its soul can know; -­
Still hiding in its breast.
A tender heart too prone to weep,
A love so earnest, strong, and deep
It could not be expressed. 

Po...Read more of this...

by Clifton, Lucille
...t black
let our hair go back
be loving ourselves
be loving ourselves
be sisters.

only where you sing,
I poet.

Credit: Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd., more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...s, on other shores,
Nations once powerful, now reduced, withdrawn, or desolate, 
I dare not proceed till I respectfully credit what you have left, wafted hither:

I have perused it—own it is admirable, (moving awhile among it;) 
Think nothing can ever be greater—nothing can ever deserve more than it
Regarding it all intently a long while—then dismissing it,
I stand in my place, with my own day, here. 

Here lands female and male; 
Here the heir-ship and heires...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...ith their preaching,
 They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you're a credit to their teaching --
 But can't you hear the Wild? -- it's calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
 Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
 And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go....Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...olk had gathered 
To listen to me while I blathered; 
I said my piece, and when I'd said it, 
I'll do the purple parson credit, 
He sunk (as sometimes parsons can) 
His coat's excuses in the man. 
"You'd think the Squire and I are kings 
Who made the existing state of things, 
And made it ill. I answer, No, 
States are not made, nor patched; they grow, 
Grow slow through centuries of pain 
And grow correctly in the main, 
But only grow by certain laws 
Of certain bits...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ensample *buyers
For to be wise in buying of vitaille*. *victuals
For whether that he paid, or took *by taile*, *on credit
Algate* he waited so in his achate**, *always **purchase
That he was aye before in good estate.
Now is not that of God a full fair grace
That such a lewed* mannes wit shall pace** *unlearned **surpass
The wisdom of an heap of learned men?
Of masters had he more than thries ten,
That were of law expert and curious:
Of which there was a dozen in tha...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...covered well with equatorial snows—
And all for what, the devil only knows— 
Will aggregate an inkling to confirm 
The credit of a sage or of a worm, 
Or tell us why one man in five 
Should have a care to stay alive
While in his heart he feels no violence 
Laid on his humor and intelligence 
When infant Science makes a pleasant face 
And waves again that hollow toy, the Race; 
No planetary trap where souls are wrought
For nothing but the sake of being caught 
And sent again ...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard clear the loan,
When we bougnt half-shares in a cheap 'un and hoisted a flag of our own.
Patching and coaling on credit, and living the Lord knew how,
We started the Red Ox freighters -- we've eight-and-thirty now.
And those were the days of clippers, and the freights were clipper-freights,
And we knew we were making our fortune, but she died in Macassar Straits --
By the Little Patemosters, as you come to the Union Bank --
And we dropped her in fourteen fathom: I ...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...ings below.
Some secret Truths from Learned Pride conceal'd,
To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd:
What tho' no Credit doubting Wits may give?
The Fair and Innocent shall still believe. 
Know then, unnumbered Spirits round thee fly,
The light Militia of the lower Sky;
These, tho' unseen, are ever on the Wing,
Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an Equipage thou hast in Air,
And view with scorn Two Pages and a Chair.
As now your own, our...Read more of this...

by Khayyam, Omar
...liever passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware. 

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song. 

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore -- but was I sober when I swore?
And then, and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore. 

And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne

The amnesiac
who tunes into a new neighborhood,
having misplaced the past,
having thrown out someone else's
credit cards and monogrammed watch,
would understand.

The drunken poet
(a genius by daylight)
who places long-distance calls
at three A.M. and then lets you sit
holding the phone while he vomits
(he calls it "The Night of the Long Knives")
getting his kicks out of the death call,
would understand.

The insomniac
listening to his heart
thumpi...Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...hough trusted long in great affairs,
He gave himself no haughty airs.
Without regarding private ends,
Spent all his credit for his friends;
And only chose the wise and good;
No flatterers; no allies in blood;
But succoured virtue in distress,
And seldom failed of good success;
As numbers in their hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.
With princes kept a due decorum,
But never stood in awe before 'em.
He followed David's lesson just:
In princes never...Read more of this...

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