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Famous Fishing Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Aiken, Conrad
...frost. The tide
scales with moon-silver, floods the marsh, fulfils
Payne Creek and Quivett Creek, rises to lift
the fishing-boats against a jetty wall;
and past them floods the plankton and the weed
and limp sea-lettuce for the horseshoe crab
who sleeps till daybreak in his nest of reed.
The hour is open as the mind is open.
Closed as the mind is closed. Opens as the hand opens
to receive the ghostly snowflakes of the moon, closes
to feel the sunbeams of the b...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...the old sycamore-trees—the
 black smoke from the pitch-pine, curling and rising; 
Southern fishermen fishing—the sounds and inlets of North Carolina’s
 shad-fishery and the herring-fishery—the large sweep-seines—the windlasses on
 work’d by horses—the clearing, curing, and packing-houses; 
Deep in the forest, in piney woods, turpentine dropping from the incisions in the
 are the turpentine works,
There are the ******* at work,...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...ould, but I suppose he might.” 

“And I suppose you might, if urged,” I said, 
“Say in what water it is that we are fishing. 
You that have reasons hidden in a well,
Not mentioning all your nameless friends that walk 
The streets and are not either dead or living 
For company, are surely, one would say 
To be forgiven if you may seem distraught— 
I mean distrait. I don’t know what I mean.
I only know that I am at your service, 
Always, yet with a special reser...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...vine adjustment of our own 
Particular shrewd cells, or something else,
What others, for untutored sympathy, 
Go spirit-fishing more than half their lives 
To catch—like cheerful sinners to catch faith; 
And I have not a doubt but I assumed 
Some egotistic attribute like this
When, cautiously, next morning I reduced 
The fretful qualms of my novitiate, 
For most part, to an undigested pride. 
Only, I live convinced that I regret 
This enterprise no more than I regret
My l...Read More

by Browning, Robert
That epos on thy hundred plates of gold 
Is mine,--and also mine the little chant, 
So sure to rise from every fishing-bark 
When, lights at prow, the seamen haul their net. 
The image of the sun-god on the phare, 
Men turn from the sun's self to see, is mine; 
The P?o'er-storied its whole length, 
As thou didst hear, with painting, is mine too. 
I know the true proportions of a man 
And woman also, not observed before; 
And I have written three books on the ...Read More

by Keats, John
...e night;
To Flora, and a nightingale shall light
Tame on thy finger; to the River-gods,
And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods
Of gold, and lines of Naiads' long bright tress.
Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness!
Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be
'Fore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee:
Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak
Laws to my footsteps, colour to my cheek,
Trembling or stedfastness to this same voice,
And of three sweetes...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...s lad
Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd
Among the waste and lumber of the shore,
Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing-nets,
Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats updrawn,
And built their castles of dissolving sand
To watch them overflow'd, or following up
And flying the white breaker, daily left
The little footprint daily wash'd away. 

A narrow cave ran in beneath the cliff:
In this the children play'd at keeping house.
Enoch was host one day, Philip the next,
...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to re...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...July, and she gave me her sweater 
to bundle up in. The next summer Skeezix tied 
strings in that hat when we were fishing in Maine. 
(It had gone into the lake twice.) 
Of such moments is happiness made. 

Forgive us, Father, for we know not. 

Once upon a time we were all born, 
popped out like jelly rolls 
forgetting our fishdom, 
the pleasuring seas, 
the country of comfort, 
spanked into the oxygens of death, 
Good morning life, we say when we wake, ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
And before that of exploration even.
John Smith remarked them as be coasted by,
Dangling their legs and fishing off a wharf
At the Isles of Shoals, and satisfied himself
They weren't Red Indians but veritable
Pre-primitives of the white race, dawn people,
Like those who furnished Adam's sons with wives;
However uninnocent they may have been
In being there so early in our history.
They'd been there then a hundred years or more.
Pity he didn't ask what t...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...e alive, but nervous. I doubt if

they will ever want vanilla pudding again.



Half a block from Broadway and Columbus is Hotel Trout

Fishing in America, a cheap hotel. It is very old and run by

some Chinese. They are young and ambitious Chinese and

the lobby is filled with the smell of Lysol.

 The Lysol sits like another guest on the stuffed furniture

reading a copy of the Chronicle, the Sports S...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard


Often I return to the cover of Trout Fishing in America. I

took the baby and went down there this morning. They were

watering the cover with big revolving sprinklers. I saw some

bread lying on the grass. It had been put there to feed the


 The old Italians are always doing things like that. The

bread had been turned to paste by the water and was squashed

f...Read More

by Frost, Robert
(They treated it as his.) "You take a jackknife,
And spread the opening, and you've got a dugout
All dug to go a-fishing in." To Paul
The hollow looked too sound and clean and empty
Ever to have housed birds or beasts or bees.
There was no entrance for them to get in by.
It looked to him like some new kind of hollow
He thought he'd better take his jackknife to.
So after work that evening be came back
And let enough light into it by cutting
To see if it ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
Voracious, mad for the hook, near the surface, they seem to fill the water for miles: 
Or, another time, fishing for rock-fish, in Chesapeake Bay—I one of the brown-faced
Or, another time, trailing for blue-fish off Paumanok, I stand with braced body, 
My left foot is on the gunwale—my right arm throws the coils of slender rope,
In sight around me the quick veering and darting of fifty skiffs, my companions. 

O boating on the rivers! 
The voyage ...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...s, hale and strong, 
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along 
The low green prairies of the sea. 
We shared the fishing off Boar's Head, 
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals 
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals; 
The chowder on the sand-beach made, 
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot, 
With spoons of clam-shell from the pot. 
We heard the tales of witchcraft old, 
And dream and sign and marvel told 
To sleepy listeners as they lay 
Stretched idly on the salted ...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...Gulls dipped, and scattered, and squawked, and 
And over the marshes the Angelus pealed,
And the prows of the fishing-boats were spattered
With spray.
And away a couple of frigates were starting
To race to Java with all sails set,
Topgallants, and royals, and stunsails, and jibs,
And wide moonsails; and the shining rails
Were polished so bright they sparked in the sun.
All the sails went up with a run:
"They call me Hanging Johnny,
They call me Ha...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse 
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck
And on the king my father's death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and...Read More

by Pushkin, Alexander
Dark ceded to the sun's emergence;
Our monk had wholly disappeared -
Before a crowd of local urchins,
While fishing, found his hoary beard.

Translated by: Genia Gurarie, summer of 1995
Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator....Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...a novel by Richard Brautigan



The cover for Trout Fishing in America is a photograph taken

late in the afternoon, a photograph of the Benjamin Franklin

statue in San Francisco's Washington Square.

Born 1706--Died 1790, Benjamin Franklin stands on a

 pedestal that looks like a house containing stone furniture.

 He holds some papers in one hand and his ha...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...inbow first
she saw God's face
at the end of it.
only she didn't say which end.
one boy said he stuck
his fishing pole
out the window
and caught a little
and fed it to his
almost everybody told
a lie.
the truth was just
too awful and
embarassing to tell.
then the bell rang
and recess was 
"thank you," said Mrs.
Sorenson, "that was very
and tomorrow the grounds 
will be dry
and we will put them
to use
most...Read More

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