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Famous Shale Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Roethke, Theodore
...In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind a...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...THE SHALE and water thrown together so-so first of all,
Then a potter’s hand on the wheel and his fingers shaping the jug; out of the mud a mouth and a handle;
Slimpsy, loose and ready to fall at a touch, fire plays on it, slow fire coaxing all the water out of the shale mix.
Dipped in glaze more fire plays on it till a molasses lava runs in waves, rises and...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...d red heifers spot the green
grass circles around Omaha—the farmers
haul tanks of cream and wagon loads of cheese.

Shale hogbacks across the river at Council
Bluffs—and shanties hang by an eyelash to
the hill slants back around Omaha.

A span of steel ties up the kin of Iowa and
Nebraska across the yellow, big-hoofed Missouri River.
Omaha, the roughneck, feeds armies,
Eats and swears from a dirty face.
Omaha works to get the world a breakfast....Read More

by Ammons, A R
...or the coil of **** and in no
way winces from its storms of generosity; when you consider

that air or vacuum, snow or shale, squid or wolf, rose or lichen,
each is accepted into as much light as it will take, then
the heart moves roomier, the man stands and looks about, the

leaf does not increase itself above the grass, and the dark
work of the deepest cells is of a tune with May bushes
and fear lit by the breadth of such calmly turns to praise....Read More

by Levine, Philip
...and the woman 
 down your line, 

the woman who screamed the loudest, 
 will be quiet. 
 The rushes, the grassless shale, 

the dust, whiten like droppings. 
 One blue 
 grape hyacinth whistles 

in the thin and birdless air 
 without breath. 
 Ten minutes later 

a lost dog poked 
 for rabbits, the stones 
 slipped, a single blade 

of grass stiffened in sun; 
 where the wall 
 broke a twisted fig 

thrust its arms ahead 
 like a man 
 in full light blinded....Read More

by Lux, Thomas jaw to: tight.
His wife a cipher, shoebox tissue,
a shattered apron. As if
into her head he drove a wedge of shale.
Years later his daughter goes to jail.

Mow, mow, mow his lawn
gently down a decade's summers.
On his other side lived mine and me,
across a narrow pasture, often fallow;
a field of fly balls, the best part of childhood
and baseball, but one could not cross his line
and if it did,
as one did in 1956
and another in 1958,
it came back colesl...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...e, when 
 As from Ophir or from Memphre 
 Stretches the caravan. 
 From far the eyes, its trail 
 Along the burning shale 
 Bending its wavering tail, 
 Like a mottled serpent scan. 
 These deserts are of God! 
 His are the bounds alone, 
 Here, where no feet have trod, 
 To Him its centre known! 
 And from this smoking sea 
 Veiled in obscurity, 
 The foam one seems to see 
 In fiery ashes thrown. 
 "Shall desert change to lake?" cried out the cloud. 
 "St...Read More

by Harrison, Tony beneath this plot,
causes the distinguished dead to drop 
into the rabblement of bone and rot,
shored slack, crushed shale, smashed prop.

Wordsworth built church organs, Byron tanned
luggage cowhide in the age of steam,
and knew their place of rest before the land
caves in on the lowest worked-out seam.

This graveyard on the brink of Beeston Hill's
the place I may well rest if there's a spot
under the rose roots and the daffodils
by which dad dignified the family...Read More

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