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Famous Shark Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...d the stair was dark,
Damp, jaggèd, like an old man's mouth drivelling, beyond
Or the toothed gullet of an agèd shark.

At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs's fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, ...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...kind of prison.
It's not the prince at all,
but my father
drunkeningly bends over my bed,
circling the abyss like a shark,
my father thick upon me
like some sleeping jellyfish.
What voyage is this, little girl?
This coming out of prison?
God help --
this life after death?...Read more of this...

by Corso, Gregory
 a man pursuing the big lies of gold
 or a poet roaming in bright ashes
 or that which I imagine myself to be 
 a shark-toothed sleep a man-eater of dreams
 I need not then be all-smart about bombs
 Happily so for if I felt bombs were caterpillars
 I'd doubt not they'd become butterflies
 There is a hell for bombs
 They're there I see them there
 They sit in bits and sing songs
  mostly German songs
 And two very long American songs
 and they wish there were more songs
...Read more of this...

by Graves, Robert
...and the boats split asunder…. 
I wonder what it feels like to be drowned?

The thin soap slips
And slithers like a shark under the ships. 
My toes are on the soap-dish—that’s the effect 
Of my huge storms; an iron steamer’s wrecked. 
The soap slides round and round; 
He’s biting the old sailors, I expect….
I wonder what it feels like to be drowned?...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...h-ored driftings of the flood.

For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,
And went all naked to the hungry shark;
For them his ears gush'd blood; for them in death
The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark
Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe
A thousand men in troubles wide and dark:
Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,
That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.

Why were they proud? Because their marble founts
Gush'd with more pr...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...eets billow, there soft be thy pillow;
 Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
 Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas....Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...or all
 Our horror here below?
He made the hero and the saint,
 But did He also make
The cannibal in battle paint,
 The shark and rattlesnake?

If I believe in God I should
 Believe in Satan too;
The one the source of all our good,
 The other of our rue . . .
Oh could I second childhood gain!
 For then it might be, I
Once more would see that vision plain,--
 Fond Father in the sky....Read more of this...

by Southey, Robert
...ur plain
Must the gorged vulture clog his beak with blood?
For ever must your Nigers tainted flood
Roll to the ravenous shark his banquet slain?
Hold your mad hands! what daemon prompts to rear
The arm of Slaughter? on your savage shore
Can hell-sprung Glory claim the feast of gore,
With laurels water'd by the widow's tear
Wreathing his helmet crown? lift high the spear!
And like the desolating whirlwinds sweep,
Plunge ye yon bark of anguish in the deep;
For the pale fiend, c...Read more of this...

by Nash, Ogden
...he vigor of vikings and whalers
In the days of the vikings and whale.
 They sport on the brink
 Of the shad and the shark;
 If it’s windy, they sink;
 If it isn’t, they park.
It is pleasant to gaze at the sailors,
To gaze without having to sail.

How pleasant the salt anesthetic
Of the air and the sand and the sun;
Leave the earth to the strong and athletic,
And the sea to adventure upon.
 But the sun and the sand
 No contractor can copy;
 We lie in the land
 ...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...Give me a cabin in the woods
Where not a human soul intrudes;
Where I can sit beside a stream
Beneath a balsam bough and deam,
And every morning see arise
The sun like bird of paradise;
Then go down to the creek and fish
A speckled trout for breakfast dish,
And fry it in an ember fire -
Ah! there's the life of my desire.

Alas! I'm tied to Wall Street ...Read more of this...

by Ammons, A R
..., gazelle ****,

magpie **** (total protein), tiger **** (too acid
to contemplate), moral eel and manta ray ****, eerie
shark ****, earthworm **** (a soilure), crab ****,

wolf **** upon the germicidal ice, snake ****, giraffe
**** that accelerates, secretary bird ****, turtle
**** suspension invites, remora **** slightly in

advance of the shark ****, hornet **** (difficult to
assess), camel **** that slaps the ghastly dry
siliceous, frog ****, beetle ****, bat **** (the

ma...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...calf, and never forsakes it; 
Where the steam-ship trails hind-ways its long pennant of smoke; 
Where the fin of the shark cuts like a black chip out of the water; 
Where the half-burn’d brig is riding on unknown currents, 
Where shells grow to her slimy deck—where the dead are corrupting below;
Where the dense-starr’d flag is borne at the head of the regiments; 
Approaching Manhattan, up by the long-stretching island; 
Under Niagara, the cataract falling like a veil ...Read more of this...

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...s of sponges.
There is a fence of chicken wire along the dock
where, glinting like little plowshares,
the blue-gray shark tails are hung up to dry
for the Chinese-restaurant trade.
Some of the little white boats are still piled up
against each other, or lie on their sides, stove in,
and not yet salvaged, if they ever will be, from the last bad storm,
like torn-open, unanswered letters.
The bight is littered with old correspondences.
Click. Click. Goes ...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...In a horrible mass entwined,
The rock-fish, the ray with the thorny back,
And the hammer-fish's misshapen kind,
And the shark, the hyena dread of the sea,
With his angry teeth, grinned fiercely on me."

"There hung I, by fulness of terror possessed,
Where all human aid was unknown,
Amongst phantoms, the only sensitive breast,
In that fearful solitude all alone,
Where the voice of mankind could not reach to mine ear,
'Mid the monsters foul of that wilderness drear."

"...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...e redoubtable breast of our master the mannikin,
And what was the pitch of his mother's yellowness,
How she turned as a shark to snap the spare-rib
Clean off, sailors say, from a pearl-diving Carib,
When she heard, what she called the flight of the feloness
---But it seems such child's play,
What they said and did with the lady away!
And to dance on, when we've lost the music,
Always made me---and no doubt makes you---sick.
Nay, to my mind, the world's face looked so ster...Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
A hug from him was not at all a thing you'd call a lark -- 
You see he lived on mutton-birds and dried remains of shark -- 
But still it showed his gratitude; and, as he pouched the pelf, 
"I'll haka for you, sir," he said, "in honour of yourself!" 
The haka is a striking dance -- the sort they don't allow 
In any place more civilized than Rooti-iti-au. 

He "haka'd" most effectively -- then, with an airy grace, 
Rubbed noses with the Manager, and vanished into spac...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...him blind in a rudderless boat to rot in the rocking dark,
I had towed him aft of his own craft, a bait for his brother shark;
I had lapped him round with cocoa husk, and drenched him with the oil,
And lashed him fast to his own mast to blaze above my spoil;
I had stripped his hide for my hammock-side, and tasselled his beard i' the mesh,
And spitted his crew on the live bamboo that grows through the gangrened flesh;
I had hove him down by the mangroves brown, where the mud-r...Read more of this...

by Walcott, Derek
...big quiz,
with himself as chairman investigating himself.
Well, I knew damn well who the suckers would be,
not that shark in shark skin, but his pilot fish,
khaki-pants red ****** like you or me.
What worse, I fighting with Maria Concepcion,
plates flying and thing, so I swear: "Not again!"
It was mashing up my house and my family.
I was so broke all I needed was shades and a cup
or four shades and four cups in four-cup Port of Spain;
all the silver I had was the ...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...ere's never a wave of all her waves
 But marks our English dead:
We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest,
 To the shark and the sheering gull.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
 Lord God, we ha' paid in tull!

There's never a flood goes shoreward now
 But lifts a keel we manned;
There's never an ebb goes seaward now
 But drops our dead on the sand --
But slinks our dead on the sands forlore,
 From the Ducies to the Swin.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
If ...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...her side-lights in the wildering dark, 
To glint upon mad water, while the gale 
Roared like a battle, snapping like a shark, 
And drunken seamen struggled with the sail. 

While with sick hearts her mates put out of mind 
Their little children, left astern, ashore, 
And the gale's gathering made the darkness' blind, 
Water and air one intermingled roar. 

Then we forgot her, for the fiddlers played, 
Dancing and singing held our merry crew; 
The old ship moaned a li...Read more of this...

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