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Famous Select Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Spenser, Edmund
...t it of loving eyes be viewed never?

But, in your choice of loves, this well advise,
That likest to yourselves ye them select,
The which your forms' first source may sympathize,
And with like beauty's parts be inly deckt;
For, if you loosely love without respect,
It is no love, but a discordant war,
Whose unlike parts amongst themselves do jar.

For love is a celestial harmony
Of likely hearts compos'd of stars' concent,
Which join together in sweet sympathy,
To work eac...Read More



by Szymborska, Wislawa
...moriar—a premature worry.
Yet am I fully alive, and is that enough?
It never has been, and even less so now.
I select by rejecting, for there's no other way,
but what I reject, is more numerous,
more dense, more intrusive than ever.
At the cost of untold losses—a poem, a sigh.
I reply with a whisper to a thunderous calling.
How much I am silent about I can't say.
A mouse at the foot of mother mountain.
Life lasts as long as a few lines of claws in...Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
...t it of loving eyes be viewed never?

But, in your choice of loves, this well advise,
That likest to yourselves ye them select,
The which your forms' first source may sympathize,
And with like beauty's parts be inly deckt;
For, if you loosely love without respect,
It is no love, but a discordant war,
Whose unlike parts amongst themselves do jar.

For love is a celestial harmony
Of likely hearts compos'd of stars' concent,
Which join together in sweet sympathy,
To work eac...Read More

by Edgar, Marriott
...he'd best take home a present 
And square up the matter that way.

' Twere a bit ofa job to decide on 
What best to select for this 'ere,
So he started to look in shop winders 
In hopes as he'd get some idea.

He saw some strange stuff in a fruit shop 
Like leeks with their nobby ends gone,
It were done up in bundles like firewood- 
Said Pa to the Shopman, "What's yon?"

"That's Ass-paragus-what the Toffs eat" 
Were the answer; said Pa "That 'll suit,
I'd best take a ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...war, nor glory. 

Yet lingering, yearning, joining soul with thine,
If not thy past we chant, we chant the future, 
Select, adorn the future. 

2
Lo, Soul, the graves of heroes! 
The pride of lands—the gratitudes of men, 
The statues of the manifold famous dead, Old World and New,
The kings, inventors, generals, poets, (stretch wide thy vision, Soul,) 
The excellent rulers of the races, great discoverers, sailors, 
Marble and brass select from them, with pictures, sce...Read More



by Milosz, Czeslaw
...ogical than the truth itself
So the weary travelers may find repose in the lie.

After the Day of the Lie gather in select circles
Shaking with laughter when our real deeds are mentioned.

Dispensing flattery called: perspicacious thinking.
Dispensing flattery called: a great talent.

We, the last who can still draw joy from cynicism.
We, whose cunning is not unlike despair.

A new, humorless generation is now arising
It takes in deadly earnest all we ...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...ge eloquent,
Thyself thy monument.

As poets should,
Thou hast built up thy hardihood
With universal food,
Drawn in select proportion fair
From honest mould and vagabond air;
From darkness of the dreadful night,
And joyful light;
From antique ashes, whose departed flame
In thee has finer life and longer fame;
From wounds and balms,
From storms and calms,
From potsherds and dry bones
And ruin-stones.
Into thy vigorous substance thou hast wrought
Whate'er the hand of Ci...Read More

by Bierce, Ambrose
...o expensive to have more.

No images nor idols make
For Roger Ingersoll to break.

Take not God's name in vain: select
A time when it will have effect.

Work not on Sabbath days at all,
But go to see the teams play ball.

Honor thy parents. That creates
For life insurance lower rates.

Kill not, abet not those who kill;
Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's bill.

Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
Thine own thy neighbor doth caress.

Don't steal;...Read More

by Housman, A E
...y disagree with her.
But yet, howe'er nutritious, such repasts
I do not hanker after:
Never may Cypris for her seat select
My dappled liver!
Why should I mention Io? Why indeed?
I have no notion why.

Epode

But now does my boding heart,
Unhired, unaccompanied, sing
A strain not meet for the dance.
Yes even the palace appears
To my yoke of circular eyes
(The right, nor omit I the left)
Like a slaughterhouse, so to speak,
Garnished with woolly deaths
And many sphip...Read More

by Lindley, John
...ies
coating each cough,
he will tickle them awake;
will hold like primitive headphones
the tinkling shells to each ear,
select and apply unfailingly
the right tool to the right cog
and with movements 
as unpredictable as the pram’s
will wind and counter-wind
the scrap to metronomic life.

And at the pub, 
at the Grey Horse or Houldsworth,
furtive as unpaid tax,
Rolex and Timex 
and brands beneath naming
will change hands for the price of a bevy,
a fish supper
or a down pa...Read More

by Taylor, Jane
...s,
And saunter'd to the pastry-cook's. 

And there he cast his greedy eyes
Round on the jellies and the pies,
So to select, with anxious care,
The very nicest that was there. 

At last the point was thus decided:
As his opinion was divided
'Twixt pie and jelly, being loth
Either to leave, he took them both. 

Now Richard never could be pleased
To stop when hunger was appeased,
But would go on to eat still more
When he had had an ample store. 

"No, not another...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
..." 
 "All
 these," he said, 
 "Were named so glorious in thy earth above 
 That Heaven allows their larger claim to be 
 Select, as thus ye see them." 
 While
 he spake 
 A voice rose near us: "Hail!" it cried, "for he 
 Returns, who was departed." 
 Scarce
 it ceased 
 When four great spirits approached. They did not show 
 Sadness nor joy, but tranquil-eyed as though 
 Content in their dominion moved. My guide 
 Before I questioned told, "That first ye see, 
...Read More

by Smart, Christopher
...tors. 

For the Poorman's nosegay is an introduction to a Prince. 

For it were better for the SERVICE, if only select psalms were read. 

For the Lamentations of Jeremiah, Songs from other scriptures, and parts of Esdras might be taken to supply the quantity. 

For A is the beginning of learning and the door of heaven. 

For B is a creature busy and bustling. 

For C is a sense quick and penetrating. 

For D is depth. 

For E is eternity -- su...Read More

by Milton, John
...the foaming steed, 
Single or in array of battle ranged 
Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood; 
One way a band select from forage drives 
A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine, 
From a fat meadow ground; or fleecy flock, 
Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain, 
Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly, 
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray; 
With cruel tournament the squadrons join; 
Where cattle pastured late, now scattered lies 
With carcass...Read More

by Milton, John
...avert 
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth 
To leave them to their own polluted ways; 
And one peculiar nation to select 
From all the rest, of whom to be invoked, 
A nation from one faithful man to spring: 
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, 
Bred up in idol-worship: O, that men 
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown, 
While yet the patriarch lived, who 'scaped the flood, 
As to forsake the living God, and fall 
To worship their own work in wood and sto...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...e I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new:
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armour to indue.

Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby;
Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold:
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame:
Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.

For note, when evening shuts,
A certain moment cuts
The deed off, calls the glory from the grey:
A whisper from th...Read More

by Milton, John
...draw a Scorpions tail behind? 
For this did the Angel twice descend? for this
Ordain'd thy nurture holy, as of a Plant;
Select, and Sacred, Glorious for a while,
The miracle of men: then in an hour
Ensnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound,
Thy Foes derision, Captive, Poor, and Blind
Into a Dungeon thrust, to work with Slaves?
Alas methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
He should not so o'rewhelm, and as a thrall 
Subject him to so fo...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...That sacred Closet when you sweep --
Entitled "Memory" --
Select a reverential Broom --
And do it silently.

'Twill be a Labor of surprise --
Besides Identity
Of other Interlocutors
A probability --

August the Dust of that Domain --
Unchallenged -- let it lie --
You cannot supersede itself
But it can silence you --...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...for a House --
Itself is not in vain --

About the price -- 'tis small --
I only ask a Tune
At Midnight -- Let the Owl select
His favorite Refrain....Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ss and strength its limbs were decked;
The bosom lightly swelled with its full youth;
The countenance was such as might select
Some artist that his skill should never die,
lmaging forth such perfect purity.

From its smooth shoulders hung two rapid wings
Fit to have borne it to the seventh sphere,
Tipped with the speed of liquid lightenings,
Dyed in the ardours of the atmosphere.
She led her creature to the boiling springs
Where the light boat was moored, and said "Si...Read More

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