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Famous Shapes Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander
...on those of State,
And publick Faction doubles private Hate.
Pride, Malice, Folly, against Dryden rose,
In various Shapes of Parsons, Criticks, Beaus;
But Sense surviv'd, when merry Jests were past;
For rising Merit will buoy up at last.
Might he return, and bless once more our Eyes,
New Blackmores and new Milbourns must arise;
Nay shou'd great Homer lift his awful Head,
Zoilus again would start up from the Dead.
Envy will Merit as its Shade pursue,
But like a Sh...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...eak, but findeth no language;
All his thoughts were congealed into lines on his face, as the vapors
Freeze in fantastic shapes on the window-panes in the winter.

Then Evangeline lighted the brazen lamp on the table,
Filled, till it overflowed, the pewter tankard with home-brewed
Nut-brown ale, that was famed for its strength in the village of Grand-Pre;
While from his pocket the notary drew his papers and inkhorn,
Wrote with a steady hand the date and the age of the part...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...he clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the...Read More

by Keats, John
...And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft,
I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence;
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be,
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Manifestations of that beauteous life
Diffus'd unseen throughout eternal space:
Of these new-form'd art thou, O brightest child!
Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses!
There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion
Of son against his sire. I saw him fall,
I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne!
To...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) 
That haunts the tigress in her whelpless ire; 
But left to waste her weary moments there, 
She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air, 
Such as the busy brain of Sorrow paints, 
And woos to listen to her fond complaints; 
And she would sit beneath the very tree, 
Where lay his drooping head upon her knee; 
And in that posture where she saw him fall, 
His words, his looks, his dying grasp recall; 
And she had shorn, but saved her raven hair, 
And oft would snatch it from her b...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...t, or demon—only a man: 
A man whose occupation is the need 
Of those who would not feel it if it bit them;
And one who shapes an age while he endures 
The pin pricks of inferiorities; 
A cautious man, because he is but one; 
A lonely man, because he is a thousand. 
No marvel you are slow to find in him
The genius that is one spark or is nothing: 
His genius is a flame that he must hold 
So far above the common heads of men 
That they may view him only through the mist 
O...Read More

by Milton, John 
Her office holds; of all external things 
Which the five watchful senses represent, 
She forms imaginations, aery shapes, 
Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames 
All what we affirm or what deny, and call 
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires 
Into her private cell, when nature rests. 
Oft in her absence mimick Fancy wakes 
To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes, 
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams; 
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late....Read More

by Milton, John
...--How shall I behold the face 
Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy 
And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes 
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze 
Insufferably bright. O! might I here 
In solitude live savage; in some glade 
Obscured, where highest woods, impenetrable 
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad 
And brown as evening: Cover me, ye Pines! 
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs 
Hide me, where I may never see them more!-- 
But ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...echoes reverberate through the grandest scenery in the world; 
I cross the Laramie plains—I note the rocks in grotesque shapes—the buttes; 
I see the plentiful larkspur and wild onions—the barren, colorless, sage-deserts;
I see in glimpses afar, or towering immediately above me, the great mountains—I see
 Wind River and the Wahsatch mountains; 
I see the Monument mountain and the Eagle’s Nest—I pass the Promontory—I
 the Nevadas; 
I scan the noble Elk mountain, a...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
In vain the mastodon retreats beneath its own powder’d bones; 
In vain objects stand leagues off, and assume manifold shapes;
In vain the ocean settling in hollows, and the great monsters lying low; 
In vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky; 
In vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs; 
In vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods; 
In vain the razor-bill’d auk sails far north to Labrador;
I follow quickly, I ascend to the nest in the fiss...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...he sun's last smile.

His harp was carved and cunning,
As the Celtic craftsman makes,
Graven all over with twisting shapes
Like many headless snakes.

His harp was carved and cunning,
His sword prompt and sharp,
And he was gay when he held the sword,
Sad when he held the harp.

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

He kept the Roman order,
He made the Christian sign;
But his ey...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...>  Beside a 'brook in mossy forest-dell  By sun or moonlight, to the influxes  Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements  Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song  And of his fame forgetful! so his fame  Should share in nature's immortality,  A venerable thing! and so his song  Should make all nature lovelier, and itself  Be lov'd, like nature!—But 'twi...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...I swooned away-- 
O, yet methought I saw the Holy Grail, 
All palled in crimson samite, and around 
Great angels, awful shapes, and wings and eyes. 
And but for all my madness and my sin, 
And then my swooning, I had sworn I saw 
That which I saw; but what I saw was veiled 
And covered; and this Quest was not for me." 

`So speaking, and here ceasing, Lancelot left 
The hall long silent, till Sir Gawain--nay, 
Brother, I need not tell thee foolish words,-- 
A reckless...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
 "They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
 But we've got our brave Captain to thank
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best--
 A perfect and absolute blank!"

This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
 That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
 And that was to tingle his bell.

He was th...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...lse, mine eyeballs dim,
     My soul with harrowing anguish torn,
     This for my Chieftain have I borne!—
     The shapes that sought my fearful couch
     A human tongue may ne'er avouch;
     No mortal man—save he, who, bred
     Between the living and the dead,
     Is gifted beyond nature's law
     Had e'er survived to say he saw.
     At length the fateful answer came
     In characters of living flame!
     Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll,
     Bu...Read More

by Blake, William
vast spiders, crawling after their prey; which flew or rather
swum in the infinite deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals
sprung from corruption. & the air was full of them, & seemd
composed of them; these are Devils. and are called Powers of the
air, I now asked my companion which was my eternal lot? he said,
between the black & white spiders 
But now, from between the black & white spiders a cloud and
fire burst and rolled thro the deep blackning all...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...l evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...g the light; upon the chariot's beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume
The guidance of that wonder-winged team.
The Shapes which drew it in thick lightnings
Were lost: I heard alone on the air's soft stream
The music of their ever moving wings.
All the four faces of that charioteer
Had their eyes banded . . . little profit brings
Speed in the van & blindness in the rear,
Nor then avail the beams that quench the Sun
Or that his banded eyes could pierce the ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...a flame
Stirred by the air under a cavern gaunt:
Pygmies and Polyphemes, by many a name,
Centaurs and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt
Wet clefts,--and lumps neither alive nor dead,
Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.

For she was beautiful. Her beauty made
The bright world dim, and everything beside
Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade.
No thought of living spirit could abide
(Which to her looks had ever been betrayed)
On any object in the world so wid...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...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 am young as ever, it says. What is it I miss?

I am at home in the lamplight. The evenings are lengthening.
I am mending a silk slip: my husband is reading.
How beautifully the light includes these things.
There is a kind of smoke in the spr...Read More

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