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Famous Flea Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...a random pouse,
Is that enough for you to souse
 Your servant sae?
Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse,
 An’ jag-the-flea!

King David, o’ poetic brief,
Wrocht ’mang the lasses sic mischief
As filled his after-life wi’ grief,
 An’ bluidy rants,
An’ yet he’s rank’d amang the chief
 O’ lang-syne saunts.

And maybe, Tam, for a’ my cants,
My wicked rhymes, an’ drucken rants,
I’ll gie auld cloven’s Clootie’s haunts
 An unco slip yet,
An’ snugly sit amang the saunts,
 At D...Read More

by Sexton, Anne doorstep,
the worms that lived under the cat's ear
and the thin-lipped preacher
who refused to call
except once on a flea-ridden day
when he came scuffing in through the yard
looking for a scapegoat.
I hid in the kitchen under the ragbag.

I refuse to remember the dead.
And the dead are bored with the whole thing.
But you -- you go ahead,
go on, go on back down
into the graveyard,
lie down where you think their faces are;
talk back to your old bad dreams.Read More

by Bradley, George
...the people are very small and shrink,
dwarves on the way to netsuke hell
bound for a flea circus in full
retreat toward sub-atomic particles--
 difficult to keep in focus, the figures
at that end are nearly indistinguishable,
generals at the heads of minute armies
differing little from fishwives,
emperors the same as eskimos
huddled under improvisations of snow--
 eskimos, though, now have the advantage,
for it seems to be freezing there, a ...Read More

by Sitwell, Dame Edith
...CAME the great Popinjay 
Smelling his nosegay: 
In cages like grots 
The birds sang gavottes. 
'Herodiade's flea 
Was named sweet Amanda, 
She danced like a lady 
From here to Uganda. 
Oh, what a dance was there! 
Long-haired, the candle 
Salome-like tossed her hair 
To a dance tune by Handel.' . . . 
Dance they still? Then came 
Courtier Death, 
Blew out the candle flame 
With civet breath....Read More

by Smart, Christopher
...the Lord, and the fierceness, of his wrath against the foes of the King and of Israel. 

Let Ethan praise with the Flea, his coat of mail, his piercer, and his vigour, which wisdom and providence have contrived to attract observation and to escape it. 

Let Heman bless with the Spider, his warp and his woof, his subtlety and industry, which are good. 

Let Chalcol praise with the Beetle, whose life is precious in the sight of God, tho his appearance is against hi...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...all our hopes now on frail chain depend: 
(Engine so slight to guard us from the sea, 
It fitter seemed to captivate a flea). 
A skipper rude shocks it without respect, 
Filling his sails more force to re-collect. 
Th' English from shore the iron deaf invoke 
For its last aid: `Hold chain, or we are broke.' 
But with her sailing weight, the Holland keel, 
Snapping the brittle links, does thorough reel, 
And to the rest the opened passage show; 
Monck from the ban...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
 Look how the Gods have afflicted me!


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
 Anything more than a harmless flea?. . .
The burning plague has taken my household.
 Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith and kin are deceased,
 Though they were as good as good could be,
I will out and batter the family priest,
 Because my Gods have afflicted me!


My privy and well drain into each other
 After the custom of Christendie. . ....Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
...a miracle.

ah christ, writers are the most sickening
of all the louts!
yellow-toothed, slump-shouldered,
gutless, flea-bitten and
obvious . . . in tinker-toy rooms
with their flabby hearts
they tell us
what's wrong with the world-
as if we didn't know that a cop's club
can crack the head
and that war is a dirtier game than
marriage . . .
or down in a basement bar
hiding from a wife who doesn't appreciate him
and children he doesn't
he tells ...Read More

by Silverstein, Shel
...p of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink up...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...autumn wind upon

them, they had decided that the future held only two directions:

They were either going to open up a flea circus or commit

themselves to an insane asylum.

 So they talked about it while they drank wine.

 They talked about how to make little clothes for fleas by

pasting pieces of colored paper on their backs.

 They said the way that you trained fleas was to make them

dependent upon you for their food. This was done by letting them

feed...Read More

by Moore, Marianne
...orse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
 a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
 feels a
 flea, the base-
 ball fan, the statistician--
 nor is it valid
 to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books'; all these phenomena are important. One must
 make a distinction
 however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
 result is not poetry,
 nor till the poets among us can be
 'literalists of 
 the imagination'--above
 ins...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...has a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he's keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the station;
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he speaks to the police
If there's anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Gallowgate there you do...Read More

by Service, Robert William
And he set his sporran swinging, and he gave his kilts a whirl.
And President MacConnachie was jumping like a flea,
And there was joy and rapture in the Scottish Commy-tee.
"Jist let them have their saxophones wi' constipated squall;
We're having Heaven's music now," said Treasurer MacCall.
But the dancers waxed impatient, and they rather seemed to fret
For Maloney and the jazz of his Hibernian Quartette.
Yet little recked the Piper, as he swung with hea...Read More

by Donne, John
...Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame nor loss of maidenhead,
  Yet this enjoys before it woo,
  And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
  And this, alas, is more than we would ...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...ived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me....Read More

by Service, Robert William
 The Bard would sit;
Reciting there with pawky glee
"The Lass that Made the Bed for Me;"
Or whiles a rhyme about the flea
 That ne'er was writ.

Then I would seek the Poet's chair
And plant my kilted buttocks there,
And read with joy the Bard of Ayr
 In my own tongue;
The Diel, the Daisy and the Louse
The Hare, the Haggis and the Mouse,
(What fornication and carouse!)
 When I was young.

Though Kipling, Hardy, Stevenson
Have each my admiration won,
Today, my rhyme-...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...Promises, and Sick Man's Pray'rs,
The Smiles of Harlots, and the Tears of Heirs, 
Cages for Gnats, and Chains to Yoak a Flea;
Dry'd Butterflies, and Tomes of Casuistry.

But trust the Muse---she saw it upward rise,
Tho' mark'd by none but quick Poetic Eyes:
(So Rome's great Founder to the Heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confess'd in view.)
A sudden Star, it shot thro' liquid Air,
And drew behind a radiant Trail of Hair.
Not Berenice's Locks first rose so brigh...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...romises, and sick man's prayers,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.

But trust the Muse--she saw it upward rise,
Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes:
(So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confess'd in view)
A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first ros...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...thinness, to come, later,

Into our bad dreams, their menace
Not guns, not abuses,

But a thin silence.
Wrapped in flea-ridded donkey skins,

Empty of complaint, forever
Drinking vinegar from tin cups: they wore

The insufferable nimbus of the lot-drawn
Scapegoat. But so thin,

So weedy a race could not remain in dreams,
Could not remain outlandish victims

In the contracted country of the head
Any more than the old woman in her mud hut could

Keep from cutting fat m...Read More

by Simic, Charles
Who stole my blue thread, the one

I tied around my pinky to remember?
One has to manage as best as one can.

The flea I was standing on, jumped.
One has to manage as best as one can.

I think my head went out for a walk.
One has to manage as best as one can.

This is breath, only breath,
Think it over midnight!

A fly weighs twice as much.
The struck match nods as it passes,

But when I shout,
Its true name sticks in my throat.

It has to be c...Read More

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