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Famous Cut It Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...he) an’ what for no?
If that your right hand, leg or toe
Should ever prove your sp’ritual foe,
 You should remember
To cut it aff—an’ what for no
 Your dearest member?”

“Na, na, (quo’ I,) I’m no for that,
Gelding’s nae better than ’tis ca’t;
I’d rather suffer for my faut
 A hearty flewit,
As sair owre hip as ye can draw’t,
 Tho’ I should rue it.

“Or, gin ye like to end the bother,
To please us a’—I’ve just ae ither—
When next wi’ yon lass I forgather,
 Whate’er betid...Read more of this...

by Bai, Li
...h are exalted to distant thought,
Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.
But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,
And sorrow return,though we drown them with wine,
Since the world can in no way answer our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishing-boat....Read more of this...

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...teel at the patient reed  
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed 
To prove it fresh from the river. 

He cut it short did the great god Pan 
(How tall it stood in the river!) 20 
Then drew the pith like the heart of a man  
Steadily from the outside ring  
And notch'd the poor dry empty thing 
In holes as he sat by the river. 

'This is the way ' laugh'd the great god Pan 25 
(Laugh'd while he sat by the river)  
'The only way since gods began 
To...Read more of this...

by Field, Eugene
...out of hand;
No enervating fashion
Shall cheat us of our right
To gratify our passion
With a mouthful at a bite!
We'll cut it square or bias,
Or any way we please,
And faith shall justify us
When we carve our pie and cheese!

De gustibus, 't is stated,
Non disputandum est.
Which meaneth, when translated,
That all is for the best.
So let the foolish choose 'em
The vapid sweets of sin,
I will not disabuse 'em
Of the heresy they're in;
But I, when I undress me
Each nigh...Read more of this...

by Snyder, Gary
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase 
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
"When making an axe handle
 the pattern is not far off."
And I say this to Kai
"Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the ax...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
And now there is but one of all my blood,
Who will embrace me in the world-to-be:
This hair is his: she cut it off and gave it,
And I have borne it with me all these years,
And thought to bear it with me to my grave;
But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him,
My babe in bliss: wherefore when I am gone,
Take, give her this, for it may comfort her:
It will moreover be a token to her,
That I am he.' 

He ceased; and Miriam Lane
Made such a voluble answe...Read more of this...

by Po, Li
...oth are exalted to distant thought,
Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.
But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,
And sorrow return,though we drown them with wine,
Since the world can in no way answer our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishing-boat....Read more of this...

by Atwood, Margaret
...o have talent 
to peddle a thing so nebulous
and without material form.
Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way
you cut it, but I've a choice
of how, and I'll take the money.

I do give value.
Like preachers, I sell vision,
like perfume ads, desire
or its facsimile. Like jokes
or war, it's all in the timing.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see
a chain-saw murder just before it happe...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth cloak, O Hiawatha!"
With his knife the tree he girdled; 
Just beneath its lowest branches, 
Just above the roots, he cut it, 
Till the sap came oozing outward;
Down the trunk, from top to bottom, 
Sheer he cleft the bark asunder, 
With a wooden wedge he raised it, 
Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.
"Give me of your boughs, O Cedar! 
Of your strong and pliant branches, 
My canoe to make more steady, 
Make more strong and firm beneath me!"
Through the summit of the Ce...Read more of this...

by Bukowski, Charles there, leaving notes stuck
into the door. I go back and the notes
are still there. I take the Maltese cross
cut it down from my car mirror, tie it
to her doorknob with a shoelace, leave
a book of poems.
when I go back the next night everything
is still there. 
I keep searching the streets for that
blood-wine battleship she drives
with a weak battery, and the doors
hanging from broken hinges. 
I drive around the streets 
an inch away from weeping,
asham...Read more of this...

by Housman, A E
...urt, but here are salves to friend you, 
And many a balsam grows on ground. 

And if your hand or foot offend you, 
Cut it off, lad, and be whole; 
But play the man, stand up and end you, 
When your sickness is your soul....Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...mrades gave you,
 Though we had faith divine . . .
The blessed Lord stooped down to save you,
 But Gosh! He cut it fine.'...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...all kings
With scarlet beards like blood:
The world turned empty where they trod,
They took the kindly cross of God
And cut it up for wood.

Their souls were drifting as the sea,
And all good towns and lands
They only saw with heavy eyes,
And broke with heavy hands,

Their gods were sadder than the sea,
Gods of a wandering will,
Who cried for blood like beasts at night,
Sadly, from hill to hill.

They seemed as trees walking the earth,
As witless and as tall,
Yet they...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
between you and an old friend 
or a new friend and reach out your hand, 
shutting down the thought that 
an axe may cut it off unexpectedly. 
One learns not to blab about all this 
except to yourself or the typewriter keys 
who tell no one until they get brave 
and crawl off onto the printed page. 

I'm getting bored with it, 
I tell the typewriter, 
this constantly walking around 
in wet shoes and then, surprise! 
Somehow DECEASED keeps getting 
stamped in red ov...Read more of this...

by Stevenson, Robert Louis
...Through all the pleasant meadow-side 
The grass grew shoulder-high, 
Till the shining scythes went far and wide 
And cut it down to dry. 

Those green and sweetly smelling crops 
They led the waggons home; 
And they piled them here in mountain tops 
For mountaineers to roam. 

Here is Mount Clear, Mount Rusty-Nail, 
Mount Eagle and Mount High;-- 
The mice that in these mountains dwell, 
No happier are than I! 

Oh, what a joy to clamber there, 
Oh, what a place for...Read more of this...

by Bukowski, Charles
these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off..." 
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom 
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he
wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to 
him and gently t...Read more of this...

by Hicok, Bob a tree, 
at yellow leaves 
threshed by wind and want you 
reading this to be staring 
at the same tree. I could 
cut it down and laminate it 
or ask you to live with me 
on the stairs with the window 
keeping an eye on the maple 
but I think your real life 
would miss you. The story 
here is that all morning
I've thought of the statement 
that art is about loneliness
while watching golden leaves 
become unhinged. 
By ones or in bunches 
they tumble and hang 
fo...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...rd from children’s play,

The privet was matted with shards of glass, worn tennis balls and broken toys,

So tattered I cut it back to the wall, I sat on the top step and read,

Watching the children play in the sand I’d trundled in barrow loads

From the builder’s yard, a make-do sandpit which drew the whole street,

West Indian, English and Asian built temples together. Our sandalled

Bearded neighbour was the first to complain, his teacher wife beside him,

The next-do...Read more of this...

by Jones, Richard
and shot up quick as a weed
to tower over our rooftops,
where it now brandishes
a rich, luxuriant crown.
Should we cut it down?
Neither of us wants to --
we agree that we like
the flourishing branches,
shade like thick woods.
We don't say it,
studying our tree in silence,
but we know that if the roots
get into the foundations
we've got real trouble.
John goes back inside.
Nothing to be done in summer --
not to those heavy branches.
I balance my empty glas...Read more of this...

by Simic, Charles
All the lines said: fate.

Do you take this line
Stretching to infinity?

I take this chipped tooth
On which to cut it in half.

Do you take this circle
Bounded by a single curved line?

I take this breath
That it cannot capture.

Then you may kiss the spot
Where her bridal train last rustled.

Winter can come now,
The earth narrow to a ditch--

And the sky with its castles and stone lions
Above the empty plains.

The snow can fall...
Wha...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things