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Famous Dream Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dickinson, Emily
...low exchange of Hope—
For something passiver—Content
Too steep for looking up—

The Liberty we knew
Avoided—Like a Dream—
Too wide for any Night but Heaven—
If That—indeed—redeem—

680

Each Life Converges to some Centre—
Expressed—or still—
Exists in every Human Nature
A Goal—

Embodied scarcely to itself—it may be—
Too fair
For Credibility's presumption
To mar—

Adored with caution—as a Brittle Heaven—
To reach
Were hopeless, as the Rainbow's Raiment
...Read More



by Hughes, Langston
...What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...e in paint hotels or drank turpentine in 
 Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their 
 torsos night after night 
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al- 
 cohol and cock and endless balls, 
incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and 
 lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of 
 Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo- 
 tionless world of Time between, 
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery 
 dawns, wine drunkenness over the ro...Read More

by Keats, John
...pon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave;
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her fallen hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One ...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...al in lies, 
Or being hated don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim, 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same:. 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build...Read More



by Alighieri, Dante
...They gave him. Plato there, and Socrates 
 I marked, who closeliest reached his height; and near 
 Democritus, who dreamed a world of chance 
 Born blindly in the whirl of circumstance; 
 And Anaxagoras, Diogenes, 
 Thales, Heraclitus, Empedocles, 
 Zeno, were there; and Dioscorides 
 Who searched the healing powers of herbs and trees; 
 And Orpheus, Tullius, Livius, Seneca, 
 Euclid and Ptolem?us; Avicenna, 
 Galen, Hippocrates; Averrho?s, 
 The Master's great interpret...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...lent a flagging wing to weary Time. 
They see, they recognise, yet almost deem 
The present dubious, or the past a dream. 

He lives, nor yet is past his manhood's prime, 
Though sear'd by toil, and something touch'd by time; 
His faults, whate'er they were, if scarce forgot, 
Might be untaught him by his varied lot; 
Nor good nor ill of late were known, his name 
Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame. 
His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins 
No more than pl...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...re but Ministers of Love,    And feed his sacred flame.   Oft in my waking dreams do I  Live o'er again that happy hour,  When midway on the Mount I lay    Beside the Ruin'd Tower.   The Moonshine stealing o'er the scene  Had blended with the Lights of Eve;  And she was there, my Hope, my Joy,    My own dear ...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise....Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...et gleam.
And the roads of the world that lead to Rome
Were filled with faces that moved like foam,
Like faces in a dream.

And men rode out of the eastern lands,
Broad river and burning plain;
Trees that are Titan flowers to see,
And tiger skies, striped horribly,
With tints of tropic rain.

Where Ind's enamelled peaks arise
Around that inmost one,
Where ancient eagles on its brink,
Vast as archangels, gather and drink
The sacrament of the sun.

And men brake...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...undary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past—they speak
Like sibyls of the future;...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
... 

3
The whole world now is but the minister
Of thee to me: I see no other scheme
But universal love, from timeless dream
Waking to thee his joy's interpreter.
I walk around and in the fields confer
Of love at large with tree and flower and stream,
And list the lark descant upon my theme,
Heaven's musical accepted worshipper. 
Thy smile outfaceth ill: and that old feud
'Twixt things and me is quash'd in our new truce;
And nature now dearly with thee endued
No more...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...soul no more!
 Work claims my wakeful nights, my busy days--
Albeit bright memories of that sunlit shore
 Yet haunt my dreaming gaze!


PREFACE


If--and the thing is wildly possible--the charge of writing nonsense were ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on the line (in p.18) 

"Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes." 

In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) ap...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...there and nothing more. 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 25 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; 
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" 
Merely this and nothing more. 30 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...with an aspect cold and grim,
Regardless of its battered rim,
She took it up and gave it him. 

A while like one in dreams he stood,
Then faltered forth his gratitude
In words just short of being rude: 

For it had lost its shape and shine,
And it had cost him four-and-nine,
And he was going out to dine. 

"To dine!" she sneered in acid tone.
"To bend thy being to a bone
Clothed in a radiance not its own!" 

The tear-drop trickled to his chin:
There was a meaning ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...then a Vision on my brain was rolled.

As in that trance of wondrous thought I lay
This was the tenour of my waking dream.
Methought I sate beside a public way
Thick strewn with summer dust, & a great stream
Of people there was hurrying to & fro
Numerous as gnats upon the evening gleam,
All hastening onward, yet none seemed to know
Whither he went, or whence he came, or why
He made one of the multitude, yet so
Was borne amid the crowd as through the sky
One of the mil...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...s 
Could they distinguish whose the features were; 
The Devil himself seem'd puzzled even to guess; 
They varied like a dream — now here, now there; 
And several people swore from out the press 
They knew him perfectly; and one could swear 
He was his father: upon which another 
Was sure he was his mother's cousin's brother: 

LXXVII 

Another, that he was a duke, or a knight, 
An orator, a lawyer, or a priest, 
A nabob, a man-midwife; but the wight 
Mysterious changed his co...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...drummed into use.
My eyes are squeezed by this blackness.
I see nothing.

SECOND VOICE:
I am accused. I dream of massacres.
I am a garden of black and red agonies. I drink them,
Hating myself, hating and fearing. And now the world conceives
Its end and runs toward it, arms held out in love.
It is a love of death that sickens everything.
A dead sun stains the newsprint. It is red.
I lose life after life. The dark earth drinks the...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep 
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And pace...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...ecial, pure hours
And the winds of May fly over
You past the iron beams
You are like a dying sinner
Seeing heavenly dreams



x x x

Ancient city is as if dead,
Strange's my coming here.
Vladimir has raised a black cross
Over the river.
Noisy elm trees, noisy lindens
In the gardens dark,
Raised to God, the needle-bearing
Stars' bright diamond sparks.
Sacrificial and glorious
Way, I am ending here,
With me is but you, my equal,
And my love so...Read More

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