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Famous Cryptic Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Tebb, Barry
 (or ‘Huddersfield the Second Poetry Capital of England Re-visited’)

What was it Janice Simmons said to me as James lay dying in Ireland?

“Phone Peter Pegnall in Leeds, an ex-pupil of...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
 A young man is afraid of his demon and puts his hand
over the demon's mouth sometimes...-- D. H. Lawrence

I mentioned my demon to a friend
and the friend swam in...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
 THE MOUTH of this man is a gaunt strong mouth.
The head of this man is a gaunt strong head.

The jaws of this man are bone of the Rocky Mountains,...Read More

by Shapiro, Karl
 The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
 Take it away, and swallow it yourself. 
Ha! Look you, there’s a rat. 
Last night there were a dozen on that shelf, 
And two of them were living in...Read More

by Wagoner, David
 He would leave early and walk slowly
 As if balancing books
 On the way to school, already expecting
To be tardy once again and heavy
 With numbers, the unfashionably rounded
...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
 A flying word from here and there 
Had sown the name at which we sneered, 
To be reviled and then revered: 
A presence to be loved and feared-- 
We...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
telling where the wind comes from
 open a story.

telling where the wind goes
 end a story.

These eager pencils
come to a stop
.. only .. when the stars high over
come...Read More

by Crane, Stephen
 The impact of a dollar upon the heart
Smiles warm red light,
Sweeping from the hearth rosily upon the white table,
With the hanging cool velvet shadows
Moving softly upon the door.

The impact...Read More

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