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Famous Sewers Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Celan, Paul
...nd hideous wenches;
I counted two and seventy stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks!
Ye Nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
 But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
 Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?...Read More

by Berryman, John
...d. The Temple burned.
Lurch with me! phantoms of Varshava. Slop!
When I used to be,
who haunted, stumbling, sewers, my sacked shop,
roofs, a dis-world ai! Death was a German
home-country....Read More

by Sandburg, Carl who killed.
There was a driving wind of city dust and horse dung blowing and he stood at an intersection of five sewers and there pumped the bullets of an automatic pistol into another man, a fellow citizen.
Therefore, the prosecuting attorneys, fellow citizens, and a jury of his peers, also fellow citizens, listened to the testimony of other fellow citizens, policemen, doctors, and after a verdict of guilty, the judge, a fellow citizen, said: I sentence you to be ...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...k if Oom Paul -- as old as he is -- were to walk down the Strand with his gun, 
A lot of these heroes would hide in the sewers or take to their heels and run! 
For Paul he has fought like a man in his day, but now that he's feeble and weak 
And tired, and lonely, and old and grey, of course it's quite safe to shriek!) 

And next let us join in the bloodthirsty shriek, Hooray for Lord Kitchener's "bag"! 
For the fireman's torch and the hangman's cord -- they are hung on the En...Read More

by Milton, John
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights 
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast 
Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; 
The skill of artifice or office mean, 
Not that which justly gives heroick name 
To person, or to poem. Me, of these 
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument 
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise 
That name, unless an age too late, or cold 
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 
Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine, ...Read More

by Lehman, David
...of pleasures
designed to hide the ugliness or sweep it away
the way the violent overflow of rain over cliffs
cleans the sewers and drains of Ithaca
whose waterfalls head my list, followed by
crudites of carrots and beets, roots and all,
with rained-on radishes, too beautiful to eat,
and the pure pleasure of talking, talking and not knowing
where the talk will lead, but willing to take my chances.
Furthermore I shall enumerate some varieties of tulips
(Bacchus, Tantalus, D...Read More

by Hopkins, Gerard Manley
...Brave all, and take what comes—as here this rabble is come,
Whose bloods I reck no more of, no more rank with hers
Than sewers with sacred oils. Mankind, that mobs, comes. Come! 

Enter a crowd, among them Teryth, Gwenlo, Beuno.
. . . . . . . .

After Winefred’s raising from the dead and the breaking out of the fountain.

BEUNO. O now while skies are blue, now while seas are salt,
While rushy rains shall fall or brooks shall...Read More

by Matthew, John
...astic bags, umbrellas, Tiffin
The rack is full and the seats overflow
What is that smell Peter Griffin?
Is it the Sewri sewers overflowing?

Beware of pickers of pockets
Who surround and slash with knife
Careful of your arm’s sockets
Lest they dislocate and misery make life.

Welcome to Bombay’s bustling trains
Hold on fast as if you are insane!...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...nd grows as 'twere a King of Spades.
But for less envy some Joynt States endures,
Who look like a Commission of the Sewers.
For these Half-anders, half wet, and half dry,
Nor bear strict service, nor pure Liberty.
'Tis probable Religion after this
Came next in order; which they could not miss.
How could the Dutch but be converted, when
Th' Apostles were so many Fishermen?
Besides the Waters of themselves did rise,
And, as their Land, so them did re-baptise.Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...n caves. Fantastic grow the evening gowns;Agents of the Fisc pursueAbsconding tax-defaulters throughThe sewers of provincial towns. Private rites of magic sendThe temple prostitutes to sleep;All the literati keepAn imaginary friend. Cerebrotonic Cato mayExtol the Ancient Disciplines,But the muscle-bound MarinesMutiny for food and pay. Caesar's double-bed is warmAs an unimportant clerkWrites I DO NOT LIKE MY WORKRead More

by Masters, Edgar Lee
...sold, or for two years
As in the past two years, this town be dry
Matters but little -- Oh yes, revenue
For sidewalks, sewers; that is well enough!
I wish to God this fight were now inspired
By other passion than to salve the pride
Of John Cabanis or his daughter. Why
Can never contests of great moment spring
From worthy things, not little? Still, if men
Must always act so, and if rum must be
The symbol and the medium to release
From life's denial and from slavery,
Then ...Read More

by Larkin, Philip
...o recognise: I await the E,
Watch it approach and pass. By now
We have ceased walking and travel
Like water through sewers, steeply, despite
The tread that goes on ringing like an anvil
Under the striding A. I crook
My arm to shield my face, for we must pass
Beneath the huge, decapitated cross,
White on the wall, the T, and I cannot halt
The tread, the beat of it, it is my own heart,
The walls of my room rise, it is still night,
I have woken again before the word was ...Read More

by Piercy, Marge 
bleeds the future that's come 
in Chicago, in flat America, 
where the poor still bleed from the teeth, 
housed in sewers and filing cabinets, 
where prophets may spit into the wind 
till anger sleets their eyes shut, 
where this house that dances the seasons 
and the braid of all living 
and the joy of a man making his new good thing 
is strange, irrelevant as a meteor, 
in Chicago, in flat America 
in this year of our burning....Read More

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