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Famous Shadows Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Cisneros, Sandra
...h Nhat Hanh 

Before you became a cloud, you were an ocean, roiled and
murmuring like a mouth. You were the shadows of a cloud cross-
ing over a field of tulips. You were the tears of a man who cried
into a plaid handkerchief. You were the sky without a hat. Your
heart puffed and flowered like sheets drying on a line.

And when you were a tree, you listened to the trees and the tree
things trees told you. You were the wind in the wheels...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...fed village, the home of Acadian farmers,--
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pre.

Ye who believe in affection tha...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...houghts be clear, 
 And all thy once intent, infirmed of fear, 
 Broken, then art thou as scared beasts that shy 
 From shadows, surely that they know not why 
 Nor wherefore. . . Hearken, to confound thy fear, 
 The things which first I heard, and brought me here. 
 One came where, in the Outer Place, I dwell, 
 Suspense from hope of Heaven or fear of Hell, 
 Radiant in light that native round her clung, 
 And cast her eyes our hopeless Shades among 
 (Eyes w...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...the fated hall; 
The waving banner, and the clapping door; 
The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor; 
The long dim shadows of surrounding trees, 
The flapping bat, the night song of the breeze; 
Aught they behold or hear their thought appals 
As evening saddens o'er the dark gray walls. 


Vain thought! that hour of ne'er unravell'd gloom 
Came not again, or Lara could assume 
A seeming of forgetfulness that made 
His vassals more amazed nor less afraid — 
...Read More

by Keats, John
...ppy in thine happiness, 
That thou, light-wing¨¨d Dryad of the trees, 
In some melodious plot 
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. 10 

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been 
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delv¨¨d earth, 
Tasting of Flora and the country-green, 
Dance, and Proven?al song, and sunburnt mirth! 
O for a beaker full of the warm South! 15 
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 
With beaded bu...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...leads the people forth to deeds of war.
Weary of life, thou liest in silent sleep,
As one who marks the lengthening shadows creep,
Careless of all the hurrying hours that run,
Mourning some day of glory, for the sun
Of Freedom hath not shewn to thee his face,
And thou hast caught no flambeau in the race.

Yet wake not from thy slumbers, - rest thee well,
Amidst thy fields of amber asphodel,
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows, - rest thee there,
To mock all human greatness: wh...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...a little early, that
Today has that special, lapidary
Todayness that the sunlight reproduces
Faithfully in casting twig-shadows on blithe
Sidewalks. No previous day would have been like this.
I used to think they were all alike,
That the present always looked the same to everybody
But this confusion drains away as one
Is always cresting into one's present.
Yet the "poetic," straw-colored space
Of the long corridor that leads back to the painting,
Its darkening opp...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ore than the metaphysics of books. 

To behold the day-break! 
The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows; 
The air tastes good to my palate. 

Hefts of the moving world, at innocent gambols, silently rising, freshly
Scooting obliquely high and low. 

Something I cannot see puts upward libidinous prongs; 
Seas of bright juice suffuse heaven. 

The earth by the sky staid with—the daily close of their junction; 
The heav’d ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...s true. 


The winds are high, and Helle's tide 
Rolls darkly heaving to the main; 
And Night's descending shadows hide 
That field with blood bedew'd in vain, 
The desert of old Priam's pride; 
The tombs, sole relics of his reign, 
All — save immortal dreams that could beguile 
The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle! 


Oh! yet — for there my steps have been! 
These feet have press'd the sacred shore, 
These limbs that buoyant wave hath borne — 
Minstr...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...viol the violet and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air 
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl alas!
Along tha...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow?—What are they?
Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...ght-worm's candle, and only show'd
Such mimic flame as neither heats nor harms. 
'Twas plain to read, even by those shadows quaint,
How rude catastrophe had dim'd his day,
And blighted all his cheer with stern complaint:
To arms! to arms! what more the voice would say
Was swallow'd in the valleys, and grew faint
Upon the thin air, as he pass'd away. 

Since not the enamour'd sun with glance more fond
Kisses the foliage of his sacred tree,
Than doth my waking though...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...irred the trees,
     And the pleased lake, like maiden coy,
     Trembled but dimpled not for joy
     The mountain-shadows on her breast
     Were neither broken nor at rest;
     In bright uncertainty they lie,
     Like future joys to Fancy's eye.
     The water-lily to the light
     Her chalice reared of silver bright;
     The doe awoke, and to the lawn,
     Begemmed with dew-drops, led her fawn;
     The gray mist left the mountain-side,
     The torrent ...Read More

by Blake, William

The Eternal Female groand! it was heard over all the Earth:
Albions coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint!
Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers
and mutter across the ocean! France rend down thy dungeon; 
Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome;
Cast thy keys O Rome into the deep down falling, even to
eternity down falling, 
And weep! 
In her trembling hands she took the new, born terror howling;
On those infinite mountains of light now...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...The Prince to win her!' 
'Then follow me, the Prince,' 
I answered, 'each be hero in his turn! 
Seven and yet one, like shadows in a dream.-- 
Heroic seems our Princess as required-- 
But something made to suit with Time and place, 
A Gothic ruin and a Grecian house, 
A talk of college and of ladies' rights, 
A feudal knight in silken masquerade, 
And, yonder, shrieks and strange experiments 
For which the good Sir Ralph had burnt them all-- 
This ~were~ a medley! we shou...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.
But more with motions which each other crost
Pursued or shunned the shadows the clouds threw
Or birds within the noonday ether lost,
Upon that path where flowers never grew;
And weary with vain toil & faint for thirst
Heard not the fountains whose melodious dew
Out of their mossy cells forever burst
Nor felt the breeze which from the forest told
Of grassy paths, & wood lawns interspersed
With overarching elms & caverns cold,...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...lept both boy and beast,
Tired with the pomp of their Osirian feast.

And where within the surface of the river
The shadows of the massy temples lie,
And never are erased, but tremble ever
Like things which every cloud can doom to die,--
Through lotus-paven canals, and wheresoever
The works of man pierced that serenest sky
With tombs and towers and fanes,--'twas her delight
To wander in the shadow of the night.

With motion like the spirit of that wind
Whose soft step...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...on in the meadows. The buttercups
Swelter and melt, and the lovers
Pass by, pass by.
They are black and flat as shadows.
It is so beautiful to have no attachments!
I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss?
Shall I ever find it, whatever it is?

The swans are gone. Still the river
Remembers how white they were.
It strives after them with its lights.
It finds their shapes in a cloud.
What is that bird that cries
With such sorrow in its voice?
I ...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...ding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead, 
And hid his face amid a c...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna place, where, leaning to the windows
The tender birches make dry rustling sound,
The voices will be ringing of the shadows
And roses will in blackened wreaths be wound.

And further onward still -- the light is generous
Unbearably as though ¡®t were red hot wine..
And now the wind, all redolent and heated,
In perfect vigor has enflamed my mind.

x x x

Oh, this was a cold day
In Peter's wonderful town!
The shadow grew dense, and the sund...Read More

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