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Famous Prison Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
 1
I CELEBRATE myself; 
And what I assume you shall assume; 
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my Soul; 
I lean...Read More



by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
 The Waste Land
by T. S. Eliot

"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo."

I. THE BURIAL...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
 Swift as a spirit hastening to his task 
Of glory & of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, & the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.
The...Read More

by Keats, John
 BOOK I

 Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 For 
 Carl Solomon 


 I 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by 
 madness, starving hysterical naked, 
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn...Read More



by Akhmatova, Anna
Copyright Anna Akhmatova
Copyright English translation by Ilya Shambat (ilya_shambat@yahoo.com)
Origin: http://www.geocities.com/ilya_shambat/akhmatova.html

 * I * 

We thought we were beggars, we thought we had nothing at all
But then when we started to...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
O TO make the most jubilant poem! 
Even to set off these, and merge with these, the carols of Death. 
O full of music! full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
 WHILOM*, as olde stories tellen us, *formerly
There was a duke that highte* Theseus. *was called 
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time such a conqueror
That greater...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
14

One Sister have I in our house,
And one, a hedge away.
There's only one recorded,
But both belong to me.

One came the road that I came—
And wore my last year's gown—
The other,...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
 1.1 Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
1.2 Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
1.3 The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
1.4 Unstable, supple, moist, and cold's...Read More

by Cisneros, Sandra
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. 
-Thich Nhat Hanh 

Before you became a cloud, you were...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
 This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
CANTO FIRST.

The Chase.

     Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
        On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's...Read More

by Adams, Sarah Fuller Flower
O Love! thou makest all things even 
In earth or heaven; 
Finding thy way through prison-bars 
Up to the stars; 
Or, true to the Almighty plan, 
That out of dust...Read More

by Masefield, John
 Thy place is biggyd above the sterrys cleer, 
Noon erthely paleys wrouhte in so statly wyse, 
Com on my freend, my brothir moost enteer, 
For the I offryd my...Read More

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