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Famous Free Verse Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Cummings, Edward Estlin (E E)
...a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me-- 

who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was 

-but now that fiend and i are such
a total stranger one black day...Read More



by Swift, Jonathan
...Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your still-born poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair,
Then let them well be dried;
And Curll must have a special care
To leave th...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...In youth when oft my muse was dumb,
 My fancy nighly dead,
To make my inspiration come
 I stood upon my head;
And thus I let the blood down flow
 Into my cerebellum,
And published every Spring or so
 Slim tomes in vellum.

Alas! I am rheumatic now,
 Grey is my crown;
I can no more with brooding brow
 Stand upside-down.
I fear I might in such a pose...Read More

by Parker, Dorothy
...Unto seventy years and seven,
Hide your double birthright well-
You, that are the brat of Heaven
And the pampered heir to Hell.

Let your rhymes be tinsel treasures,
Strung and seen and thrown aside.
Drill your apt and docile measures
Sternly as you drill your pride.

Show your quick, alarming skill in
Tidy mockeries of art;
Never, never dip yo...Read More

by Graves, Robert
...I now delight 
In spite 
Of the might 
And the right 
Of classic tradition, 
In writing 
And reciting 
Straight ahead, 
Without let or omission, 
Just any little rhyme
In any little time 
That runs in my head; 
Because, I’ve said, 
My rhymes no longer shall stand arrayed
Like Prussian soldiers on parade
That march, 
Stiff as starch, 
Foot to foot, 
Boot to...Read More



by Tagore, Rabindranath
...Art thou abroad on this stormy night 
on thy journey of love, my friend? 
The sky groans like one in despair. 

I have no sleep tonight. 
Ever and again I open my door and look out on 
the darkness, my friend! 

I can see nothing before me. 
I wonder where lies thy path! 

By what dim shore of the ink-black river, 
by what far edge of the frown...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...For 
 Carl Solomon 


 I 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by 
 madness, starving hysterical naked, 
dragging themselves through the ***** streets at dawn 
 looking for an angry fix, 
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly 
 connection to the starry dynamo in the machin- 
 ery of night, 
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eye...Read More

by Ali, Muhammad
...I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee...Read More

by Kaur, Rupi
...god must have kneaded you and i
from the same dough
rolled us out as one on the baking sheet
must have suddenly realized
how unfair it was
to put that much magic in one person
and sadly split that dough in two
how else is it that
when i look in the mirror
i am looking at you
when you breathe
my own lungs fill with air
that we just met but we
ha...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...1
I CELEBRATE myself; 
And what I assume you shall assume; 
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my Soul; 
I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass.

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes—the shelves are crowded with
 perfumes; 
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and l...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...1
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me, 
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose. 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune; 
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road. 

The earth—that is sufficient; 
...Read More

by Milligan, Spike
...'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet 
Was heard a loud "Tut-Tut!"

Said A to B, "I don't like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!"

"I disagree," said D to B,
"I've never found C so.
From where I stand he seems to be
An uncompleted O."

C was vexed, "I'm...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Children.
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live....Read More

by Blake, William
...The Argument.


Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along 
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow.
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river, and a spring
On eve...Read More

by Shakur, Tupac
...Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared. ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...The Waste Land
by T. S. Eliot

"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo."

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
 April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring...Read More

by Larkin, Philip
...They **** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a ...Read More

by Kavanaugh, James
...To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It i...Read More

by Parker, Dorothy
...Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
(For Heaven's sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
You look about, and all you see is fair;
This mighty globe was made for you alone.
Of all the thunderous ages, you're the heir.
(Get off the pillow with that dirty bon...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...Verse-making was least of my virtues: I viewed with despair 
Wealth that never yet was but might be--all that verse-making were 
If the life would but lengthen to wish, let the mind be laid bare. 
So I said, "To do little is bad, to do nothing is worse"-- 
And made verse. 

Love-making,--how simple a matter! No depths to explore, 
No heights in a l...Read More

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