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Famous Living Dead Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Robinson, Edwin Arlington at your service, 
Always, yet with a special reservation 
That you may deem eccentric. All the same 
Unless your living dead man comes to life, 
Or is less indiscriminately dead,
I shall go home.” 

“No, you will not go home,” 
Said Avon; “or I beg that you will not.” 
So saying, he went slowly to the door 
And turned the key. “Forgive me and my manners,
But I would be alone with you this evening. 
The key, as you observe, is in the lock; 
And you may s...Read More

by Hughes, Ted
...Crow, feeling his brain slip, 
Finds his every feather the fossil of a murder. 

Who murdered all these? 
These living dead, that root in his nerves and his blood 
Till he is visibly black? 

How can he fly from his feathers? 
And why have they homed on him? 

Is he the archive of their accusations? 
Or their ghostly purpose, their pining vengeance? 
Or their unforgiven prisoner? 

He cannot be forgiven. 

His prison is the earth. Clothed in his conviction, 
T...Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore
...nd hope must be 
And then the great blue bell of silence is deafened, dumbed,
 and has become the tomb of the living dead....Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...gentle youth beloved, and where I learn'd
My art, be there remember'd for my song. 

Who takes the census of the living dead,
Ere the day come when memory shall o'ercrowd
The kingdom of their fame, and for that proud
And airy people find no room nor stead?
Ere hoarding Time, that ever thrusteth back
The fairest treasures of his ancient store,
Better with best confound, so he may pack
His greedy gatherings closer, more and more? 
Let the true Muse rewrite her sullied pa...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...Since I have come to years sedate
I see with more and more acumen
The bitter irony of Fate,
The vanity of all things human.
Why, just to-day some fellow said,
As I surveyed Fame's outer portal:
"By gad! I thought that you were dead."
Poor me, who dreamed to be immortal!

But that's the way with many men
Whose name one fancied time-defying;
We thoug...Read More

by Doolittle, Hilda
...The mysteries remain,
I keep the same
cycle of seed-time
and of sun and rain;
Demeter in the grass,
I multiply,
renew and bless
Bacchus in the vine;
I hold the law,
I keep the mysteries true,
the first of these
to name the living, dead;
I am the wine and bread.
I keep the law,
I hold the mysteries true,
I am the vine,
the branches, you
and you....Read More

by Rossetti, Christina

"Sweet, thou art pale."
"More pale to see,
Christ hung upon the cruel tree
And bore His Father's wrath for me."

"Sweet, thou art sad."
"Beneath a rod
More heavy, Christ for my sake trod
The winepress of the wrath of God."

"Sweet, thou art weary."
"Not so Christ:
Whose mighty love of me suffic'd
For Strength, Salvation, Euch...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...t beyond the day,
Far looking to the hours forever dead,
Send you a tender offering to lay
Upon the grave of us, the living dead?
Or does some brighter spirit, unforlorn,
Send you, my little sister of the wood,
To say to some one on a cloudful morn,
"Life lives through death, my brother, all is good?"
With meditative hearts the others go
The memory of their dead to dress anew.
But, sister mine, bide here that I may know,
Life grows, through death, as beautiful as y...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead
Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread
Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
No crown is simpler than the simple hair. 

Now, of the music summoned by the birth
That...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H. about life.
But giving life is not so easy.
It doesn't mean handing it out to some mean fool, or letting the living dead eat you up.
It means kindling the life-quality where it was not,
even if it's only in the whiteness of a washed pocket-handkerchief....Read More

by Graves, Robert
...When I’m killed, don’t think of me
Buried there in Cambrin Wood,
Nor as in Zion think of me
With the Intolerable Good.
And there’s one thing that I know well,
I’m damned if I’ll be damned to Hell!

So when I’m killed, don’t wait for me,
Walking the dim corridor;
In Heaven or Hell, don’t wait for me,
Or you must wait for evermore.
You’ll find me bur...Read More

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