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Famous Last Minute Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Marvell, Andrew
...emselves imploy'd;
But those that sadly his departure griev'd,
Yet joy'd remembring what he once atcheiv'd.
And the last minute his victorious Ghost
Gave chase to Ligny on the Belgick Coast.
Here ended all his mortal toyles: He lay'd
And slept in Peace under the Lawrel Shade.
O Cromwell, Heavens Favourite! To none
Have such high honours from above been shown:
For whom the Elements we Mourners see,
And Heav'n it self would the great Herald be;
Which with more Care ...Read More

by Reeser, Jennifer
...verywhere, the audience defies
convention and conformity, some dressed
as though they had been made to improvise
at the last minute, some in black-tie best.

You’re happy, in new satin, having run
your fingers countless times from hip to hem –
Anastasia, whereas I am anyone
in tan, beside a jade and garnet gem.

With clarity and ease like these a-stage,
comparison with any else in life
seems but the smart annoyance of an age,
scissors beside a blunted paperknife.
...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...w will it end? That geranium glow
Over Anaheim's had the riot act read to it by the
Etna-size firecracker that exploded last minute into
A carte du Tendre in whose lower right-hand corner
(Hard by the jock-itch sand-trap that skirts
The asparagus patch of algolagnic nuits blanches) Amadis
Is cozening the Princesse de Cleves into a midnight 
micturition spree
On the Tamigi with the Wallets (Walt, Blossom, and little
Sleezix) on a lamé barge "borrowed" from Ollie
Of the Movies'...Read More

by Levertov, Denise catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute....Read More

by Olds, Sharon
ants walked on me. When I woke,
my cheek was crumbly, yellowish 
with a mustard plaster of earth. Only
at the last minute did I think of his body
actually under me, the can of 
bone, ash, soft as a goosedown
pillow that bursts in bed with the lovers.
When I kissed his stone it was not enough,
when I licked it my tongue went dry a moment, I 
ate his dust, I tasted my dirt host....Read More

by Ashbery, John known. The singer thinks
Constructively, builds up his chant in progressive stages
Like a skyscraper, but at the last minute turns away.
The song is engulfed in an instant in blackness
Which must in turn flood the whole continent
With blackness, for it cannot see. The singer
Must then pass out of sight, not even relieved
Of the evil burthen of the words. Stellification
Is for the few, and comes about much later
When all record of these people and their live...Read More

by Merwin, W S
...At the last minute a word is waiting
not heard that way before and not to be
repeated or ever be remembered
one that always had been a household word
used in speaking of the ordinary
everyday recurrences of living
not newly chosen or long considered
or a matter for comment afterward
who would ever have thought it was the one
saying itself from the beginning through...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...elves employed; 
But those that sadly his departure grieved, 
Yet joyed, remebering what he once achieved. 
And the last minute his victorious ghost 
Gave chase to Ligny on the Belgic coast. 
Here ended all his mortal toils: he laid 
And slept in place under the laurel shade. 

O Cromwell, Heaven's Favourite! To none 
Have such high honours from above been shown: 
For whom the elements we mourners see, 
And heaven itself would the great herald be, 
Which with more...Read More

by Tebb, Barry

Paced the front, deep in symphonic thought:

Isaiah slept: I waited and watched - an undiagnosed breech

The doctor’s last minute discovery - made us rush

And scatter to have you admitted.

I fell asleep in the silent house and woke to a chaos

Of blood and towels and discarded dressings and a bemused five year old.

We brought you armsful of daffodils, Easter’s remainders.

“Happy Easter, are the father?” Staff beamed

As we sat by the bedside, Bob, myself a...Read More

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