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Famous Mother Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...utside of ourselves,
Whatever appears, whatever does not appear, we are beautiful or sinful in ourselves only. 

(O mother! O sisters dear! 
If we are lost, no victor else has destroy’d us; 
It is by ourselves we go down to eternal night.) 

Have you thought there could be but a single Supreme?
There can be any number of Supremes—One does not countervail another, any more than
 eyesight countervails another, or one life countervails another. 

All is eligib...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night- 
 mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the 
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book 
 flung out of the tenement window, and the last 
 door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone 
 slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur- 
 nished room emptied down to the last piece of 
 mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted 
 on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that 
 imagi...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the sile...Read More

by Keats, John
..., dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

 It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en
Achilles by...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...>  And so I won my Genevieve,    My bright and beauteous Bride! The MAD MOTHER.   Her eyes are wild, her head is bare,  The sun has burnt her coal-black hair,  Her eye-brows have a rusty stain,  And she came far from over the main.  She has a baby on her arm,  Or else she were alone;  And underneath the hay-stack warm,Read More

by Frost, Robert
...r that it's M-A-P-L-E.
You ask her if she knows a maple tree.
Well, you were named after a maple tree.
Your mother named you. You and she just saw
Each other in passing in the room upstairs,
One coming this way into life, and one
Going the other out of life—you know?
So you can't have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard
It must have made your dimple there, and said,
'Maple.' I s...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
Being a thing abhorred
And shunned of him, although a child of his,
(Not yours, not yours; to you she owes not breath,
Mother of Song, being sown of Zeus upon a dream of Death).
Fearing to pass unvisited some place
And later learn, too late, how all the while,
With her still face,
She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile,
I sought her even to the sagging board whereat
The stout immortals sat;
But such a laughter shook the mighty hall
No one could hea...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ympathy which only the human Soul is capable of
 and emitting in steady and limitless floods. 

O the mother’s joys!
The watching—the endurance—the precious love—the anguish—the patiently
 yielded life. 

O the joy of increase, growth, recuperation; 
The joy of soothing and pacifying—the joy of concord and harmony. 

O to go back to the place where I was born! 
To hear the birds sing once more!
To ramble about the house and barn, and over the fields,...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ear—what is it?”

“What do you say it is?”

“A baby’s crying!
Frantic it sounds, though muffled and far off.”

“Its mother wouldn’t let it cry like that,
Not if she’s there.”

“What do you make of it?”

“There’s only one thing possible to make,
That is, assuming—that she has gone out.
Of course she hasn’t though.” They both sat down
Helpless. “There’s nothing we can do till morning.”

“Fred, I shan’t let you think of going out.”

“Hold on.” The...Read More

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

by Chesterton, G K
...ven their country, field and fen,
To the devils of the sea.

And he saw in a little picture,
Tiny and far away,
His mother sitting in Egbert's hall,
And a book she showed him, very small,
Where a sapphire Mary sat in stall
With a golden Christ at play.

It was wrought in the monk's slow manner,
From silver and sanguine shell,
Where the scenes are little and terrible,
Keyholes of heaven and hell.

In the river island of Athelney,
With the river running past,
In col...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...d ages: with what slow
Pains and persistence were his idols made,
Destroy'd and made, ere ever he could know
The mighty mother must be so obey'd. 
For lack of knowledge and thro' little skill
His childish mimicry outwent his aim;
His effort shaped the genius of his will;
Till thro' distinction and revolt he came,
True to his simple terms of good and ill,
Seeking the face of Beauty without blame. 

Say who be these light-bearded, sunburnt faces
In negligent and trav...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord a hermitage, 
To whom I told my phantoms, and he said: 

`"O son, thou hast not true humility, 
The highest virtue, mother of them all; 
For when the Lord of all things made Himself 
Naked of glory for His mortal change, 
`Take thou my robe,' she said, `for all is thine,' 
And all her form shone forth with sudden light 
So that the angels were amazed, and she 
Followed Him down, and like a flying star 
Led on the gray-haired wisdom of the east; 
But her thou hast not know...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...ven a howl or a groan,
As the man they called "Ho!" told his story of woe
 In an antediluvian tone.

"My father and mother were honest, though poor--"
 "Skip all that!" cried the Bellman in haste.
"If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark--
 We have hardly a minute to waste!"

"I skip forty years," said the Baker, in tears,
 "And proceed without further remark
To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
 To help you in hunting the Snark.

"A dear ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...; The world will say 'tis very idle,  Bethink you of the time of night;  There's not a mother, no not one,  But when she hears what you have done,  Oh! Betty she'll be in a fright.   But Betty's bent on her intent,  For her good neighbour, Susan Gale,  Old Susan, she who dwells alone,  Is sick, and makes a piteous moan,  As if her very life...Read More

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

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...d crimson air
And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers might
Doth, as a herald of its coming, bear
The ghost of her dead Mother, whose dim form
Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair,
So came a chariot on the silent storm
Of its own rushing splendour, and a Shape
So sate within as one whom years deform
Beneath a dusky hood & double cape
Crouching within the shadow of a tomb,
And o'er what seemed the head, a cloud like crape,
Was bent a dun & faint etherial gloom
Tempering...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...out the press 
They knew him perfectly; and one could swear 
He was his father: upon which another 
Was sure he was his mother's cousin's brother: 


Another, that he was a duke, or a knight, 
An orator, a lawyer, or a priest, 
A nabob, a man-midwife; but the wight 
Mysterious changed his countenance at least 
As oft as they their minds; though in full sight 
He stood, the puzzle only was increased; 
The man was a phantasmagoria in 
Himself — he was so volatile and th...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer came when I was forced to face
Facts. I was taken down to see the place,
The family place in Devon— and John's mother.
'Of course, you understand,' he said, 'my brother
Will have the place.' He smiled; he was so sure
The world was better for primogeniture.
And yet he loved that place, as Englishmen
Do love their native countryside, and when
The day should be as it was sure to be—
When this was home no more to him— when he
Could go there only when his brot...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna the ornate bronze-clad gate.

That the song of parting heartache
In the memory longer lives,
The dark-bodied mother autumn
Brought to me the redding leaves

And she sprinkled on her soles
Where we parted in the sun
And from where for land of shadows
You had left, my soothing one.

x x x

I have visions of hilly Pavlovsk,
Meadow circular, water dead,
With most heavy and most shady,
All of this I will never forget.

In the cast-iron gates...Read More

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