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Famous Herring Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...ling and rising; 
Southern fishermen fishing—the sounds and inlets of North Carolina’s
 coast—the
 shad-fishery and the herring-fishery—the large sweep-seines—the windlasses on
 shore
 work’d by horses—the clearing, curing, and packing-houses; 
Deep in the forest, in piney woods, turpentine dropping from the incisions in the
 trees—There
 are the turpentine works,
There are the ******* at work, in good health—the ground in all directions is
 cover’d
 with
 pine straw: 
—In Te...Read more of this...



by Bishop, Elizabeth
...emerald moss
growing on their shoreward walls.
The big fish tubs are completely lined 
with layers of beautiful herring scales
and the wheelbarrows are similarly plastered 
with creamy iridescent coats of mail,
with small iridescent flies crawling on them.
Up on the little slope behind the houses,
set in the sparse bright sprinkle of grass,
is an ancient wooden capstan,
cracked, with two long bleached handles
and some melancholy stains, like dried blood,
...Read more of this...

by Milligan, Spike
...contagious too.
Be careful tiny tots.
They don't give you a temperature
But lots and lots - of spots.

The Herring is a lucky fish
From all disease inured.
Should he be ill when caught at sea;
Immediately - he's cured!...Read more of this...

by Field, Eugene
...f dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sung a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherev...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...w fish crier down on Maxwell Street with a
voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble
in January.
He dangles herring before prospective customers evincing
a joy identical with that of Pavlowa dancing.
His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish,
terribly glad that God made fish, and customers to
whom he may call his wares, from a pushcart....Read more of this...



by McHugh, Heather
...s.
We dig, lay lines, book arguably
perfect passages. But earth remains untranslated,

unplumbed. A million herring run where we
catch here a freckle, there a pock; the depths to which things live
words only glint at. Terns in flight work up
what fond minds might

call syntax. As for that
semantic antic in the distance, is it
whiskered fish, finned cat? Don't settle
just for two. Some bottomographies are

brooded over, and some skies swum through. ...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...eads of wampum, 
Saw the yellow perch, the Sahwa, 
Like a sunbeam in the water, 
Saw the pike, the Maskenozha, 
And the herring, Okahahwis, 
And the Shawgashee, the crawfish!
"Master of Life!" he cried, desponding, 
"Must our lives depend on these things?"
On the fourth day of his fasting 
In his lodge he lay exhausted; 
From his couch of leaves and branches 
Gazing with half-open eyelids, 
Full of shadowy dreams and visions, 
On the dizzy, swimming landscape, 
On the gleamin...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...window glass.
The two Swede boys go downstairs with a big blur of guns, men, and hills in their heads. They eat herring and potatoes and tell the family war is a wonder and soldiers are a wonder.
One breaks out with a cry at supper: I wish we had a war now and I could be a soldier....Read more of this...

by Smart, Christopher
...h Leiostreum a smooth oyster. God give grace to the black trumpeter and have mercy on the soul of Scipio. 

Let Herring, house of Herring rejoice with Iberica a kind of herb. Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus for Miss Herring. 

Let Dolben, house of Dolben rejoice with Irio Winter Cresses, Rock Gentle or Rock Gallant. 

Let Oakley, house of Oakley rejoice with the Skink a little amphibious creature found upon Nile. 

Let Owen, house of Owen rejoice...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...d corrupt to worst:
So man supreme in earthly station,
And mighty lord of this creation,
When once his corse is dead as herring,
Becomes the most offensive carrion,
And sooner breeds the plague, 'tis found,
Than all beasts rotting on the ground.
Yet with republics to dismay us,
You've call'd up Anarchy from chaos,
With all the followers of her school,
Uproar and Rage and wild Misrule:
For whom this rout of Whigs distracted,
And ravings dire of every crack'd head;
These ne...Read more of this...

by Stone, Ruth
...
Then the flycatchers on the clothesline,
like seiners leaning from Flemish boats
when the seas were roiled with herring.
This long letter in my mind,
calligraphy, feathery asparagus. ...Read more of this...

by Schwartz, Delmore
...thank his parents that he exists
To celebrate his birthday of manhood, his chocolate 
Bar Mitzvah, his yum-yum kippered herring, his Russian
 Corona....Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
..., no less, tomorrow 
Show an immortal reason why today 
Men see no more. And what’s a mortal eye
More than a mortal herring, who has eyes 
As well as you? Why not paint herrings, Rembrandt? 
Or if not herrings, why not a split beef? 
Perceive it only in its unalloyed 
Integrity, and you may find in it
A beautified accomplishment no less 
Indigenous than one that appertains 
To gentlemen and ladies eating it. 
The same God planned and made you, beef and human; 
And one...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...s and the Sea-Nymphs saw
Whole sholes of Dutch serv'd up for Cabillan;
Or as they over the new Level rang'd
For pickled Herring, pickled Heeren chang'd.
Nature, it seem'd, asham'd of her mistake,
Would throw their land away at Duck and Drake.
Therefore Necessity, that first made Kings,
Something like Government among them brings.
For as with Pygmees who best kills the Crane,
Among the hungry he that treasures Grain,
Among the blind the one-ey'd blinkard reigns,
So...Read more of this...

by Larkin, Philip
..., we were in touch 

Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint 
Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable, 
The herring-hawker's cry, dwindling, went 
To prove me separate, not unworkable. 

Living in England has no such excuse: 
These are my customs and establishments 
It would be much more serious to refuse. 
Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence....Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...In Lowestoft a boat was laid,
 Mark well what I do say!
And she was built for the herring-trade,
 But she has gone a-rovin', a-rovin', a-rovin',
 The Lord knows where!

They gave her Government coal to burn,
And a Q.F. gun at bow and stern,
And sent her out a-rovin', etc.

Her skipper was mate of a bucko ship
Which always killed one man per trip,
So he is used to rovin', etc.

Her mate was skipper of a chapel in Wales,
And...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...nes that were warmer than these are, the waves were more gay,
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

The herring are not in the tides as they were of old;
My sorrow! for many a creak gave the creel in the-cart
That carried the take to Sligo town to be sold,
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

And ah, you proud maiden, you are not so fair when his oar
Is heard on the water, as they were, the proud and apart,
Who paced in the eve by the nets on ...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...ss will not let it go.

There is a fish in me … I know I came from saltblue water-gates … I scurried with shoals of herring … I blew waterspouts with porpoises … before land was … before the water went down … before Noah … before the first chapter of Genesis.

There is a baboon in me … clambering-clawed … dog-faced … yawping a galoot’s hunger … hairy under the armpits … here are the hawk-eyed hankering men … here are the blond and blue-eyed women … here they hide curl...Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker
...needless pain.

And if Dan’s heavy oars should cause
 One little fish to die,
I’d never, never dare to look
 Smoked herring in the eye!...Read more of this...

by Field, Eugene
...f dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherev...Read more of this...

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