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Famous Moth Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by de la Mare, Walter
...nce of beauty fell:
I am alone:
It is winter.

My candle a silent fire doth shed,
Starry Orion hunts o'erhead;
Come moth, come shadow, the world is dead:
Alas, my loved one is gone,
I am alone;
It is winter....Read more of this...

by Larkin, Philip
...le, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear -- no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the ...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...e who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert the straight-up rock;
And a path is kept 'twixt the gorge and it
By boulder-stones where lichens mock
The marks on a moth, and small ferns fit
Their teeth to the polished block.


Oh the sense of the yellow mountain-flowers,
And thorny balls, each three in one,
The chestnuts throw on our path in showers!
For the drop of the woodland fruit's begun,
These early November hours,


That crimson the creeper's leaf across
Like a splash of blood, intense, abru...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...e pale moons had breathed their orisons
To the chaste stars their confessors, or told
Their dearest secret to the downy moth
That will not fly at noonday, through the foam and surging froth

Came a great owl with yellow sulphurous eyes
And lit upon the ship, whose timbers creaked
As though the lading of three argosies
Were in the hold, and flapped its wings and shrieked,
And darkness straightway stole across the deep,
Sheathed was Orion's sword, dread Mars himself fled down t...Read more of this...

by Aldington, Richard
...cared my childhood. 


I've seen people put 
A chrysalis in a match-box, 
"To see," they told me, "what sort of moth would come." 
But when it broke its shell 
It slipped and stumbled and fell about its prison 
And tried to climb to the light 
For space to dry its wings. 

That's how I was. 
Somebody found my chrysalis 
And shut it in a match-box. 
My shrivelled wings were beaten, 
Shed their colours in dusty scales 
Before the box was opened 
For the ...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...ster his private parts were undersize.

I thought of his Pa, that muscly old laugh he had
and the boy was thin as a moth, but never once bad,

as smart as a rooster! To hear some neighbors tell,
Your kid! He'll go far. He'll marry well.

So when he talked of taking the cloth, I thought
I'd talk him out of it. You're all I got,

I told him. For six years he studied up. I prayed
against God Himself for my boy. But he stayed.

Christ was a hornet ...Read more of this...

by Hughes, Langston
...The gold moth did not love him
So, gorgeous, she flew away.
But the gray moth circled the flame
 Until the break of day.
And then, with wings like a dead desire,
She fell, fire-caught, into the flame....Read more of this...

by the Magnificent, Suleiman
...dread and terror,
That rival who Iblis in spite resembles.
Around the taper bright, thy cheek, Muhibbi
Turns and the moth in his sad plight resembles....Read more of this...

by Collins, Billy
...on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It's the one about the one-ton temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it at the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in...Read more of this...

by Smart, Christopher
...take heed to his way. 

Let Jakim with the Satyr bless God in the dance. -- 

Let Iddo praise the Lord with the Moth -- the writings of man perish as the garment, but the Book of God endureth for ever. 

Let Nebuchadnezzar bless with the Grashopper -- the pomp and vanities of the world are as the herb of the field, but the glory of the Lord increaseth for ever. 

Let Naboth bless with the Canker-worm -- envy is cruel and killeth and preyeth upon that which God...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The ...Read more of this...

by Keats, John 
By nightshade ruby grape of Proserpine; 
Make not your rosary of yew-berries 5 
Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be 
Your mournful Psyche nor the downy owl 
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries; 
For shade to shade will come too drowsily  
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. 10 

But when the melancholy fit shall fall 
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud  
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all  
And hides the green hill in an April shro...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people, and from women, and from offspring taken soon
 out of their mothers’ laps; 
And here you are the mothers’ laps. 

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers; 
Darker than the colorless beards of old men; 
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues! 
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.<...Read more of this...

by Murray, Les
...sp golfing style
of our youngest male National Costume. 

Most loosely, they are Scunge,
ancient Bengal bloomers or moth-eaten hot pants
worn with a former shirt,
feet, beach sand, hair
and a paucity of signals. 

Scunge, which is real negligee
housework in a swimsuit, pyjamas worn all day,
is holiday, is freedom from ambition.
Scunge makes you invisible
to the world and yourself. 

The entropy of costume,
scunge can get you conquered by more vigorous cultures...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...nor this calendar nor the pulse we pare and cover.

For all these present,
before that wandering ghost,
that yellow moth of my summer bed,
I say: this small event
is not. So I prepare, am dosed
in ether and will not cry what stays unsaid.

I was brown with August,
the clapping waves at my thighs
and a storm riding into the cove. We swam
while the others beached and burst
for their boarded huts, their hale cries
shouting back to us and the hollow slam
of the do...Read more of this...

by Hood, Thomas
And marched in search of their diurnal food
In undisturbed procession.

As undisturbed as the prehensile cell
Of moth or maggot, or the spider’s tissue,
For never foot upon that threshold fell,
To enter or to issue.

O’er all there hung the shadow of a fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted.

Howbeit, the door I pushed—or so I dreamed--
Which slowly, slowly gaped, the hinges creaking
With such...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ely port
     Had well become a princely court,
     To whom, though more than kindred knew,
     Young Ellen gave a mother's due.
     Meet welcome to her guest she made,
     And every courteous rite was paid
     That hospitality could claim,
     Though all unasked his birth and name.
     Such then the reverence to a guest,
     That fellest foe might join the feast,
     And from his deadliest foeman's door
     Unquestioned turn the banquet o'er
     At len...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...ons, the manifestations, the startled faces.
I am the center of an atrocity.
What pains, what sorrows must I be mothering?

Can such innocence kill and kill? It milks my life.
The trees wither in the street. The rain is corrosive.
I taste it on my tongue, and the workable horrors,
The horrors that stand and idle, the slighted godmothers
With their hearts that tick and tick, with their satchels of instruments.
I shall be a wall and a roof, protecting.Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...cenes of evil he unravels
In satires, libels, lying travels!
Not sparing his own clergy-cloth,
But eats into it, like a moth!"

"His vein, ironically grave,
Exposed the fool and lashed the knave.
To steal a hint was never known,
But what he writ was all his own.
He never thought an honour done him
Because a duke was proud to own him;
Would rather slip aside and choose
To talk with wits in dirty shoes;
Despised the fools with stars and garters,
So often seen caressing ...Read more of this...

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