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Famous Down And Out Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Ammons, A R
...inite, fixed,
the self, too, then
caught real, clouds
and wind melting
into their directions,
breaking around and
over, down and out,
motions profound,
alive, musical!

Perhaps the death mother like the birth mother
does not desert us but comes to tend
and produce us, to make room for us
and bear us tenderly, considerately,
through the gates, to see us through,
to ease our pains, quell our cries,
to hover over and nestle us, to deliver
us into the greatest, most enduring
peac...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...To smite Apollo's lyre I am unable;
Of loveliness, alas! I cannot sing.
My lot it i, across the tavern table,
To start a chorus to the strumming string.
I have no gift to touch your heart to pity;
I have no power to ring the note of pain:
All I can do is pipe a pot-house ditty,
Or roar a Rabelaisian refrain.

Behold yon minstrel of the empty be...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
My bitter Dirges of the Damned,
My Lyrics of the Lost.
"Let carping critic flay and flout
My Ditties of the Down and Out -
"There now," said I, "I've done with verse,
My love, my weakness and my curse."

Then lo! (As I would fain believe,
Before they crown, the fates would shame us)
I went to sleep one bitter eve,
And woke to find that I was famous. . . .
And so the sunny sequels were a
Gay villa on the Riviera,
A bank account, a limousine, a
L...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...One of the Down and Out--that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!
Stare and shrink--say! you wouldn't think that I was a millionaire.
Look at my face, it's crimped and gouged--one of them death-mask things;
Don't seem the sort of man, do I, as might be the pal of kings?
Slouching along in smelly rags, a bleary-eyed, no-good bum;
A knight of the hollow needle, pa...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
Born to be lost and starved for and not found; 
Or, at the next, the second wretchedest,
It might go mutely flickering down and out, 
And on some incomplete and piteous day, 
Some perilous day to come, she might at last 
Learn, with a noxious freedom, what it is 
To be at peace with ghosts. Then were the blow
Thrice deadlier than any kind of death 
Could ever be: to know that she had won 
The truth too late—there were the dregs indeed 
Of wisdom, and of love the final th...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...t Billy knew. 
Bill took that pain without a sound 
Till halfway through the eighteenth round, 
And then I sent him down and out, 
And Silas said, "Kane wins the bout." 

When Bill came to, you understand, 
I ripped the mitten from my hand 
And across to ask Bill shake, 
My limbs were all one pain and ache, 
I was so weary and so sore 
I don't think I'd a stood much more. 
Bill in his corner bathed his thumb, 
Buttoned his shirt and glowered glum. 
"I'll never...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...des beneath an April sky,
 And clover pastures drenched with silver rain.
He knows that it can never be, that he is down and out;
 Life leers at him with foul and fetid breath;
And then amid the revelry, the song and cheer and shout,
 He suddenly grows grim and cold as death.

He grips the table tensely, and he says: "Dear friends of mine,
 I've let you dip your fingers in my purse;
I've crammed you at my table, and I've drowned you in my wine,
 And I've little left t...Read more of this...

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