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Famous Hands On Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Lawson, Henry
...h his sledge; 
The butcher with cleaver and pistols, and the notary with his pike. 
And the clerk with what he laid hands on; but all were ready to strike. 
And – Tennyson notwithstanding – when the hour of danger was come, 
The shopman has struck full often with his "cheating yard-wand" home! 

This is a song of brave men, ever, the wide world o'er – 
Starved and crippled and murdered by the land they are fighting for. 
Left to freeze in the trenches, sent to dro...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
The Ogre cannot master Speech:
About a subjugated plain,
Among its desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips. ...Read More

by Mayakovsky, Vladimir
won’t have a rib intact.
And its soul will be pulled out.
And trampled down
only for someone,
to lay 
their hands on
Why does
a boot 
crush the Earth — fissured and rough?
What is above the battles’ sky -
When will you stand to your full height,
giving them your life?
When will you hurl a question to their faces:
Why are we fighting?

Translated: by Lika Galkina with Jasper Goss, 2005....Read More

by Bosselaar, Laure-Anne
...heads of sorrel. Clouds bruise in, clog the sky, 

 the first fat drops pock-mark the dust. 
The man wipes his hands on his chest, 

 opens the sack, pulls out top halves 
of broken bottles, and plants them, firmly, 

 over each head of sorrel — tilting the necks
toward the rain. His back is drenched, so am I,

 his careful gestures clench my throat, 
wrench a hunger out of me I don't understand, 

 can't turn away from. The last plant
sheltered, the man stra...Read More

by Milton, John
Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That opes the palace of eternity.
To Such my errand is; and, but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.
 But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway
Of every salt flood and each ebbing stream,
Took in by lot, 'twixt high and nether Jove,
Imperial rule of all the s...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...Under the arm a trusty dagger rests, 
 Each spiked knee-piece its murderous power attests. 
 Feet press the stirrups—hands on bridle shown 
 Proclaim all ready, with the visors down, 
 And yet they stir not, nor is audible 
 A sound to make the sight less terrible. 
 Each monstrous horse a frontal horn doth bear, 
 If e'er the Prince of Darkness herdsman were, 
 These cattle black were his by surest right, 
 Like things but seen in horrid dreams of night. 
 The ...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...Her ivory hands on the ivory keys
Strayed in a fitful fantasy,
Like the silver gleam when the poplar trees
Rustle their pale-leaves listlessly,
Or the drifting foam of a restless sea
When the waves show their teeth in the flying breeze.

Her gold hair fell on the wall of gold
Like the delicate gossamer tangles spun
On the burnished disk of the marigold,
Or the sun...Read More

by Frost, Robert the meals we’ve had. I wish
The meals we haven’t had were, anyway.
What have you you know where to lay your hands on?”

“The bread we bought in passing at the store.
There’s butter somewhere, too.”

“Let’s rend the bread.
I’ll light the fire for company for you;
You’ll not have any other company
Till Ed begins to get out on a Sunday
To look us over and give us his idea
Of what wants pruning, shingling, breaking up.
He’ll know what he would do if he...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...ks -- ticks again. The sound knocks upon her 
with the echoing shudder of hollow vases. She places 
her hands on her ears,
but the minutes pass, knocking. Tears in Malmaison. And 
years to come
each knocking by, minute after minute. Years, many years, 
and tears,
and cold pouring rain.
"I feel as though I had died, and the only sensation 
I have
is that I am no more."
Rain! Heavy, thudding rain!

The roses bloom at Malmaison. And not ...Read More

by Collins, Billy
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
"Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why w...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...eshly and gently and safely,
 day or
 by night; 
He has the pass-key of hearts—to him the response of the prying of hands on the

His welcome is universal—the flow of beauty is not more welcome or universal than he
The person he favors by day, or sleeps with at night, is blessed.

Every existence has its idiom—everything has an idiom and tongue; 
He resolves all tongues into his own, and bestows it upon men, and any man translates, and
 ...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
 or twist off.

 or squirm off

 or break my leader

 or flop off

 or **** off.

 I have never even gotten my hands on a trout.

 For all its frustration,

 I believe it was an interesting experiment

 in total loss

 but next year somebody else

 will have to go trout fishing.

 Somebody else will have to go

 out there."


We came down the road from Lake Josephus and down the

road from Seafoam. We stopped along the way to g...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...r shirt tied in a knot just below her breasts.
Nor is it the one in the admiral's cap, bending
forward, resting her hands on a wharf piling,
glancing over the tiny anchors on her shoulders.
No, this is March, the month of great winds,
so appropriately it is the one walking her dog
along a city sidewalk on a very blustery day.
One hand is busy keeping her hat down on her head
and the other is grasping the little dog's leash,
so of course there is no hand left to pu...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
please master order me down on the floor,
please master tell me to lick your thick shaft
please master put your rough hands on my bald hairy skull
please master press my mouth to your prick-heart
please master press my face into your belly, pull me slowly strong thumbed
till your dumb hardness fills my throat to the base
till I swallow and taste your delicate flesh-hot prick barrel veined Please
Mater push my shoulders away and stare in my eyes, & make me bend over 
 the ta...Read More

by Nemerov, Howard

My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.

Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone:
Learning the alphabet, the integers,
T...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
...ntain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and fa...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...— Allah Hu! 
Up to the skies with that wild halloo! 

"There the breach lies for passage, the ladder to scale 
And your hands on your sabres, and how should ye fail? 
He who first downs with the red cross may crave 
His heart's dearest wish; let him ask it, and have!" 
Thus utter'd Coumourgi, the dauntless vizier; 
The reply was the brandish of sabre and spear, 
And the shout of fierce thousands in joyous ire: — 
Silence — hark to the signal — fire! 


As the wolv...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...lazy sway . . .
 He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
 O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
 Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
 O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that ***** sing, that old piano moan--
 "Ain't got nobody in all this wor...Read More

by Bell, Marvin
...someone has planted a gingko
because it has leaves like fans like hands,
hand-leaves, and sex. Those lovely
Chinese hands on the sidewalks
so far from delicacy
or even, perhaps, another gender of gingko--
do we see them?
No one ever treated us so gently
as these green-going-to-yellow hands
fanned out where we walk.
No one ever fell down so quietly
and lay where we would look
when we were tired or embarrassed,
or so bowed down by humanity
that we had to watch out lest ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...old tenacity.
I am breaking apart like the world. There is this blackness,
This ram of blackness. I fold my hands on a mountain.
The air is thick. It is thick with this working.
I am used. I am drummed into use.
My eyes are squeezed by this blackness.
I see nothing.

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...Read More

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