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Famous Detroit Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Bukowski, Charles
 we have everything and we have nothing
and some men do it in churches
and some men do it by tearing butterflies
in half
and some men do it in Palm Springs
laying it...Read More



by Levine, Philip
 All afternoon my father drove the country roads
between Detroit and Lansing. What he was looking for
I never learned, no doubt because he never knew himself,
though he would grab any...Read More

by Knight, Etheridge
 (or Blues for a Mississippi Black Boy)

I was born in Mississippi;
I walked barefooted thru the mud.
Born black in Mississippi,
Walked barefooted thru the mud.
But, when I reached the age of...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
 THE SINS of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.

The sins of Kalamazoo are a convict gray, a dishwater drab.

And the people who sin the sins of Kalamazoo are neither...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 Hungry and cold, I stood in a doorway
on Delancey Street in 1946
as the rain came down. The worst part is this
is not from a bad movie. I'd read Dos...Read More



by Levine, Philip
 Brooklyn, 1929. Of course Crane's
been drinking and has no idea who
this curious Andalusian is, unable
even to speak the language of poetry.
The young man who brought them
together knows both Spanish...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands, 
An iron authority against the snow, 
And this grey monument to common sense 
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands, 
Of...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 We stripped in the first warm spring night
and ran down into the Detroit River
to baptize ourselves in the brine
of car parts, dead fish, stolen bicycles,
melted snow. I remember going...Read More

by Forche, Carolyn
 Grandma, come back, I forgot
How much lard for these rolls 

Think you can put yourself in the ground
Like plain potatoes and grow in Ohio?
I am damn sick of getting...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 He made a line on the blackboard,
one bold stroke from right to left
diagonally downward and stood back
to ask, looking as always at no one
in particular, "What have I done?"
From...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 My brother comes home from work 
and climbs the stairs to our room. 
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop 
one by one. You can have...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
 BOX cars run by a mile long.
And I wonder what they say to each other
When they stop a mile long on a sidetrack.
 Maybe their chatter goes:
I came from...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 A man roams the streets with a basket
of freestone peaches hollering, "Peaches,
peaches, yellow freestone peaches for sale."

My grandfather in his prime could outshout
the Tigers of Wrath or the factory...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 Four bright steel crosses,
universal joints, plucked
out of the burlap sack --
"the heart of the drive train,"
the book says. Stars
on Lemon's wooden palm,
stars that must be capped,
rolled, and anointed,
that have...Read More

by Levine, Philip
 Iron growing in the dark, 
it dreams all night long 
and will not work. A flower 
that hates God, a child 
tearing at itself, this one 
closes on nothing....Read More

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