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Famous Dead End Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pinsky, Robert Robert Hass and in memory of Elliot Gilbert

Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn,
Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon;
In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,

The secret courtesy that courses like ichor
Through the old form of the rude, full-scale joke,
Impossible to tell in writing. "Bashõ"

He named himself, "Banana Tree": ban...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington of the ridiculous,
To pity ourselves and laugh at faith 
And while we curse life bear it? 
And if we see the soul’s dead end in death, 
Are we to fear it? 
What folly is here that has not yet a name
Unless we say outright that we are liars? 
What have we seen beyond our sunset fires 
That lights again the way by which we came? 
Why pay we such a price, and one we give 
So clamoringly, for each racked empty day
That leads one more last human hope away, 
As quiet fiends wou...Read More

by Hughes, Ted
...The mahogany table-top you smashed
Had been the broad plank top
Of my mother's heirloom sideboard-
Mapped with the scars of my whole life.

That came under the hammer.
That high stool you swung that day
Demented by my being
Twenty minutes late for baby-minding.

'Marvellous!' I shouted, 'Go on,
Smash it into kindling.
That's the stuff you'r...Read More

by Simic, Charles

The brightly-painted horse
Had a boy's face,
And four small wheels
Under his feet,

Plus a long string
To pull him by this way and that
Across the floor,
Should you care to.

A string in-waiting
That slipped away
In many wiles
From each and every try.


Knock and they'll answer,
Mother told me.

So I climbed four flights of stairs
And w...Read More

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