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Famous On And Off Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Aiken, Conrad
...ll as from without: this liquid ‘I':
how many guises, and disguises, this
nimblest of actors takes, how many names
puts on and off, the costumes worn but once,
the player queen, the lover, or the dunce,
hero or poet, father or friend,
suiting the eloquence to the moment's end;
childlike, or bestial; the language of the kiss
sensual or simple; and the gestures, too,
as slight as that with which an empire falls,
or a great love's abjured; these feignings, sleights,
savants, or ...Read More



by Browning, Robert
...fe, 
Halfway into the next, which having reached, 
It shoots with corresponding foolery 


Halfway into the next still, on and off! 
As when a traveller, bound from North to South, 
Scouts fur in Russia: what's its use in France? 
In France spurns flannel: where's its need in Spain? 
In Spain drops cloth, too cumbrous for Algiers! 
Linen goes next, and last the skin itself, 
A superfluity at Timbuctoo. 
When, through his journey, was the fool at ease? 
I'm at ease now, fr...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...final trek 
over hopeless mountain roads, 
defeat, surrender, the vows 
to live on. I slept until 
the lights came on and off. 
A girl was prodding my arm, 
for the place was closing. 
A slender Indonesian girl 
in sweater and American jeans, 
her black hair falling 
almost to my eyes, she told 
me in perfect English 
that I could come back, 
and she swept up into a folder 
the yellowing newspaper stories 
and photos spilled out before 
me on the desk, the little...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...Viciousness in the kitchen!
The potatoes hiss.
It is all Hollywood, windowless,
The fluorescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine,
Coy paper strips for doors --
Stage curtains, a widow's frizz.
And I, love, am a pathological liar,
And my child -- look at her, face down on the floor,
Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear --
Why she is schizophrenic,
Her face is red and white, a panic,
You have stuck her kittens outside your window
In a sort...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...ld,
and we three will color the stars black
in memory of his mother
who kept him chained to the food tree
or turned him on and off like a water faucet
and made women through all these hazy years
the enemy with a heart of lies.
Tonight all the red dogs lie down in fear
and the wife and daughter knit into each other
until they are killed....Read More



by Graham, Jorie
...er
perimeter to find
where the medieval walls break open
in an eighteenth century
arch. The yellow valley flickered on and off
through cracks and the gaps
for guns. Bruna is teaching me
to cut a pattern.
Saturdays we buy the cloth.
She takes it in her hands
like a good idea, feeling
for texture, grain, the built-in 
limits. It's only as an afterthought she asks
and do you think it's beautiful?
Her measuring tapes hang down, corn-blond and endless,
from her...Read More

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