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Famous Out Of Reach Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...e a word to thee.

It was for this then, that thy speech
Was blown about the world in flame
And men's souls shot up out of reach
Of fear or lust or thwarting shame -
That thy faith over souls should pass
As sea-winds burning the grey grass?

It was for this, that prayers like these
Should spend themselves about thy feet,
And with hard overlaboured knees
Kneeling, these slaves of men should beat
Bosoms too lean to suckle sons
And fruitless as their orisons?

It was for thi...Read More

by Hecht, Anthony
...f years
Casts up to view more sorrowful things than joyful;
And as for pleasures, once beyond our prime,
They all drift out of reach, they are washed away.
And the same gaunt bailiff calls upon us all.
Summoning into Darkness, to those wards
Where is no music, dance, or marriage hymn
That soothes or gladdens. To the tenements of Death.

Not to be born is, past all yearning, best.
And second best is, having seen the light.
To return at once to deep obli...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...ait it with the balsam,
Seek it with the saw,
Baffle, if it cost you
Everything you are.

Then, if it have burrowed
Out of reach of skill --
Wring the tree and leave it,
'Tis the vermin's will....Read More

by Yeats, William Butler

Ille. And did he find himself
Or was the hunger that had made it hollow
A hunger for the apple on the bough
Most out of reach? and is that spectral image
The man that Lapo and that Guido knew?
I think he fashioned from his opposite
An image that might have been a stony face
Staring upon a Bedouin's horse-hair roof
From doored and windowed cliff, or half upturned
Among the coarse grass and the camel-dung.
He set his chisel to the hardest stone.
Being mocked by G...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...ry ev'ry eye, 
Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die. 

Pleasures the sex, as children Birds, pursue, 
Still out of reach, yet never out of view; 
Sure, if they catch, to spoil the Toy at most, 
To covet flying, and regret when lost: 
At last, to follies Youth could scarce defend, 
It grows their Age's prudence to pretend; 
Asham'd to own they gave delight before, 
Reduc'd to feign it, when they give no more: 
As Hags hold Sabbaths, less for joy than spite, 
So the...Read More

by Harcombe, Dale
...w them all.
  Fourteen going on ninety.
  Knowledge gleamed in his eyes.
  Though he has since been
  swept out of reach,
  particles of sand cling and
  memories are water-cold companions.

*first published Westerly Autumn 1995...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
When the veils of the shining air first wrapt her jubilant head?
When her eyes new-born of the night saw yet no star out of reach;
When her maiden mouth was alight with the flame of musical speech;
When her virgin feet were set on the terrible heavenly way,
And her virginal lids were wet with the dew of the birth of the day:
Eyes that had looked not on time, and ears that had heard not of death;
Lips that had learnt not the rhyme of change and passionate breath,
The rhythm...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ave the stove,
Whatever else we want for. And a light.
Have we a piece of candle if the lamp
And oil are buried out of reach?”
The house was full of tramping, and the dark,
Door-filling men burst in and seized the stove.
A cannon-mouth-like hole was in the wall,
To which they set it true by eye; and then
Came up the jointed stovepipe in their hands,
So much too light and airy for their strength
It almost seemed to come ballooning up,
Slipping from clumsy clu...Read More

by Rossetti, Christina
...ffs, along one certain beach, 
And turn the topmost edge of waves to spray: 
Ah pleasant pebbly strand so far away, 
So out of reach while quite within my reach, 
As out of reach as India or Cathay! 
I am sick of where I am and where I am not, 
I am sick of foresight and of memory, 
I am sick of all I have and all I see, 
I am sick of self, and there is nothing new; 
Oh weary impatient patience of my lot! 
Thus with myself: how fares it, Friends, with you?...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...nate of lead,
And so not good for anything but cider.
Her unpruned grapes are flung like lariats
Far up the birches out of reach of man.

A state producing precious metals, stones,
And—writing; none of these except perhaps
The precious literature in quantity
Or quality to worry the producer
About disposing of it. Do you know,
Considering the market, there are more
Poems produced than any other thing?
No wonder poets sometimes have to seem
So much more businesslike...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington>” And he made a face 
That showed again how much of him was dead,
And how much was alive and out of place. 

And out of reach. He knew as well as I 
That all the words of wise men who are skilled 
In using them are not much to defy 
What comes when memory meets the unfulfilled.

What evil and infirm perversity 
Had been at work with him to bring him back? 
Never among the ghosts, assuredly, 
Would he originate a new attack; 

Never among the ghosts, or anywhere...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett

While you ask me to ponder and say
What a father and mother can do, 
With the bright fellow-locks put away
Out of reach, beyond kiss, in the clay
Where the violets press nearer than you. 

Shall I speak like a poet, or run
Into weak woman's tears for relief ? 
Oh, children ! -- I never lost one, --
Yet my arm 's round my own little son, 
And Love knows the secret of Grief. 

And I feel what it must be and is, 
When God draws a new angel...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...clicking pails
Who see so little they tell no tales.

He tossed his pipes, too hard to teach
A new-world song, far out of reach,
For sylvan sign that the blue jay's screech
And the whimper of hawks beside the sun
Were music enough for him, for one.

Times were changed from what they were:
Such pipes kept less of power to stir
The fruited bough of the juniper
And the fragile bluets clustered there
Than the merest aimless breath of air.

They were pipes of pagan mi...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, forever teaching thrift, thrift;) 
O you up there! O pennant! where you undulate like a snake, hissing so curious,
Out of reach—an idea only—yet furiously fought for, risking bloody
 by me!

So loved! O you banner leading the day, with stars brought from the night! 
Valueless, object of eyes, over all and demanding all—(absolute owner of ALL)—O
 banner and
I too leave the rest—great as it is, it is nothing—houses, machines are
 nothing—I see
 them...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...n, whose business prospers so,
Is just the sort of man to know!

"It's hardly safe, though, talking here -
I'd best get out of reach:
For such a weight as yours, I fear,
Must shortly sink the beach!" -
Insult me thus because I'm stout!
I vow I'll go and call him out!...Read More

by Desnos, Robert
...n the contrary I do know.
But who, here in my dreams, demands to be felt without ever appearing.
You who remain out of reach in reality and in dream.
You who belong to me through my will to possess your illusion
but who brings your face near mine only if my eyes are closed in dream as well as
in reality.
You who in spite of an easy rhetoric where the waves die on the beach
where crows fly into ruined factories, where the wood rots
crackling under a lead sun.Read More

by Kees, Weldon,
Joseph Samuels, former clerk
in four large cities, out of work,
waits in the darkened underpass.

In sanctuary, out of reach,
he stares at the fading light outside:
the rain beginning: hears the tide
that drums along the empty beach.

When drops first fell at six o'clock,
the bathers left. The last car's gone.
Sun's final rays reflect upon
the streaking rain, the rambling dock.

He takes an object from his coat
and holds it tightly in his hand
(eyes on...Read More

by Graves, Robert
...The cruel Moon hangs out of reach 
Up above the shadowy beech. 
Her face is stupid, but her eye 
Is small and sharp and very sly. 
Nurse says the Moon can drive you mad? 
No, that’s a silly story, lad! 
Though she be angry, though she would 
Destroy all England if she could, 
Yet think, what damage can she do 
Hanging there so far from you?
Don’t heed what frightened nur...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...ts than the streets where men gather
Inland, among dust, under trees -- inland where the slayer may slay him --
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed -- at the last that shall never betray him:
 His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwise -- hillmen desire their Hills....Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
...ees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
And he who walks calmly across the street,
Is he not out of reach of his friends
In trouble?

It is true: I earn my living
But, believe me, it is only an accident.
Nothing that I do entitles me to eat my fill.
By chance I was spared. (If my luck leaves me
I am lost.)

They tell me: eat and drink. Be glad you have it!
But how can I eat and drink
When my food is snatched from the hungry
And m...Read More

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