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Famous Highway Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...here unite
Beneath Time's flowing tide,
Like footprints hidden by a brook,
But seen on either side.

Here runs the highway to the town;
There the green lane descends,
Through which I walked to church with thee,
O gentlest of my friends!

The shadow of the linden-trees
Lay moving on the grass;
Between them and the moving boughs,
A shadow, thou didst pass.

Thy dress was like the lilies,
And thy heart as pure as they:
One of God's holy messengers
Did walk with me that ...Read More



by Piercy, Marge
...high grass. 

Yellow as a goat's wise and wicked eyes, 
yellow as a hill of daffodils, 
yellow as dandelions by the highway, 
yellow as butter and egg yolks, 
yellow as a school bus stopping you, 
yellow as a slicker in a downpour. 

Here is my bouquet, here is a sing 
song of all the things you make 
me think of, here is oblique 
praise for the height and depth 
of you and the width too. 
Here is my box of new crayons at your feet. 

Green as mint jelly, gree...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...ng link in this invisible picnic whose leverage
Shrouds our sense of it. Therefore bivouac we 
On this great, blond highway, unimpeded by
Veiled scruples, worn conundrums. Morning is
Impermanent. Grab sex things, swing up
Over the horizon like a boy
On a fishing expedition. No one really knows
Or cares whether this is the whole of which parts
Were vouchsafed--once--but to be ambling on's
The tradition more than the safekeeping of it. This mulch for
Play ke...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...prayer. 

So now that the shadow of mischance appear'd
No graver than as when some little cloud
Cuts off the fiery highway of the sun,
And isles a light in the offing: yet the wife--
When he was gone--the children--what to do?
Then Enoch lay long-pondering on his plans;
To sell the boat--and yet he loved her well--
How many a rough sea had he weather'd in her!
He knew her, as a horseman knows his horse--
And yet to sell her--then with what she brought
Buy goods and store...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...path could be seen but the track of wheels in the greensward,
Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed on the highway.
Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor were silenced.
Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy groups at the house-doors
Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped together.
Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed and feasted;
For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together,
All things wer...Read More



by Ginsberg, Allen
...oaning into the bloody toilet, moans 
 in their ears and the blast of colossal steam 
 whistles, 
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying 
 to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude 
 watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation, 
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out 
 if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had 
 a vision to find out Eternity, 
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who 
 came back to Denver & waited in vain, who 
 watched ...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...forward, red. 
Getting ready to load my last bus.-Farewell, Walnut 
 Creek Richmond Vallejo Portland Pacific 
 Highway 
Fleet-footed Quicksilver, God of transience. 
One last package sits lone at midnight sticking up out 
 of the Coast rack high as the dusty fluorescent 
 light. 

The wage they pay us is too low to live on. Tragedy 
 reduced to numbers. 
This for the poor shepherds. I am a communist. 
Farewell ye Greyhound where I suffered so ...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...e snow remains, gray 
and damp, in the deep shadows of the firs. 
I wonder if the bike is safe hidden 
just off the highway. Up ahead 
the road, black and winding, falls 
away, and there is the valley where 
I lived half of my life, spectral 
and calm. I sigh with gratitude, 
and then I feel an odd pain rising 
through the back of my head, 
and my eyes go dark. I bend forward 
and place my palms on something rough, 
the black asphalt or a field of stubble, 
an...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...e way they look now.

 You hardly see those cars any more. They are the old

cars. They have to get off the highway because they can't

keep up.

 That flat white rock off by itself from the other rocks

reminded me of that dead cat come to lie there in the creek,

among 12, 845 telephone booths.

 I threw out a salmon egg and let it drift down over that

rock and WHAM! a good hit! and I had the fish on and it ran

hard downstream, cutting at an angle and ...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...rout Fishing in America said.








IN THE CALIFORNIA BUSH





I've come home from Trout Fishing in America, the highway

bent its long smooth anchor about my neck and then stopped.

Now I live in this place. It took my whole life to get here, to

get to this strange cabin above Mill Valley.

 We're staying with Pard and his girlfriend. They have

rented a cabin for three months, June 15th to September 15th,

for a hundred dollars. We are a funny bu...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road—the gay fresh sentiment of the road. 

O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me? 
Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost? 
Do you say, I am already prepared—I am well-beaten and undenied—adhere to me? 

O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you—yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself; 
You shall be more to me than my ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...t least one long-after-bedtime walk.
What, son?"
"Then I should think you'd try to find
Somewhere to walk----"
"The highway as it happens--
We're stopping for the fortnight down at Dean's."
"But if that's all--Joel--you realize--
You won't think anything. You understand?
You understand that we have to be careful.
This is a very, very lonely place.
Joel!" She spoke as if she couldn't turn.
The swinging lantern lengthened to the ground,
It touched, it st...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...k,
And even my passion falters in my rhyme. 

37
At times with hurried hoofs and scattering dust
I race by field or highway, and my horse
Spare not, but urge direct in headlong course
Unto some fair far hill that gain I must:
But near arrived the vision soon mistrust,
Rein in, and stand as one who sees the source
Of strong illusion, shaming thought to force
From off his mind the soil of passion's gust. 

My brow I bare then, and with slacken'd speed
Can view the count...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ving thro' a mirror clear 
That hangs before her all the year, 
Shadows of the world appear. 
There she sees the highway near 
Winding down to Camelot: 50 
There the river eddy whirls, 
And there the surly village-churls, 
And the red cloaks of market girls, 
Pass onward from Shalott. 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, 55 
An abbot on an ambling pad, 
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad, 
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad, 
Goes by to tower'd Camelot; 
A...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...to show your wit-- 
And whether he were King by courtesy, 
Or King by right--and so went harping down 
The black king's highway, got so far, and grew 
So witty that ye played at ducks and drakes 
With Arthur's vows on the great lake of fire. 
Tuwhoo! do ye see it? do ye see the star?' 

`Nay, fool,' said Tristram, `not in open day.' 
And Dagonet, `Nay, nor will: I see it and hear. 
It makes a silent music up in heaven, 
And I, and Arthur and the angels hear, 
And ...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...re primitive, and all arrayed for doom, 
He may have proved a world a sorry thing
In his imagining, 
And life a lighted highway to the tomb. 

Or, mounting with infirm unsearching tread, 
His hopes to chaos led, 
He may have stumbled up there from the past, 
And with an aching strangeness viewed the last 
Abysmal conflagration of his dreams,— 
A flame where nothing seems 
To burn but flame itself, by nothing fed; 
And while it all went out,
Not even the faint anodyne of d...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...easured pastures are traversed
(Now swallowed up in the wood, now climbing up to the hills)
By a glimmering streak, the highway that knits lands together;
Over the smooth-flowing stream, quietly glide on the rafts.

Ofttimes resound the bells of the flocks in the fields that seem living,
And the shepherd's lone song wakens the echo again.
Joyous villages crown the stream, in the copse others vanish,
While from the back of the mount, others plunge wildly below.
Man...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...nt grief, and made the rhymes,
That miss'd his living welcome, seem
Like would-be guests an hour too late,
Who down the highway moving on
With easy laughter find the gate
Is bolted, and the master gone.
Gone onto darkness, that full light
Of friendship! past, in sleep, away
By night, into the deeper night!
The deeper night? A clearer day
Than our poor twilight dawn on earth‹
If night, what barren toil to be!
What life, so maim'd by night, were worth
Our living out? Not mi...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...

 4/17 OF A HAIKU





 Many rivers had flowed past those seventeen years, and

thousands of trout, and now beside the highway and the sheriff's

notice flowed yet another river, the Klamath, and I was

trying to get thirty-five miles downstream to Steelhead,

the place where I was staying.

 It was all very simple. No one would stop and pick me up

even though I was carrying fishing tackle. People usually

stop and pick up a fisherman. I had to wait three ho...Read More

by Cohen, Leonard
...e waiting 
for the miracle, for the miracle to come. 
Nothing left to do ... 
When you've fallen on the highway 
and you're lying in the rain, 
and they ask you how you're doing 
of course you'll say you can't complain -- 
If you're squeezed for information, 
that's when you've got to play it dumb: 
You just say you're out there waiting 
for the miracle, for the miracle to come....Read More

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