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Famous Shot Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brown, Fleda this poem 
and offer anything more than "Isn't that sweet!" 
Right now bombs are exploding in Kosovo, students 

shot in Colorado, and my mother is wearing a root beer 
mustache. Her eyes are unfocused, everything's root beer. 
I write root beer, root beer, to make her happy.

from Breathing In, Breathing Out, Anhinga Press, 2002
© 2000, Fleda Brown
(first published in The Southern Review, 36 [2000])
...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
A night of beauty mock'd such breast as his. 


He turn'd within his solitary hall, 
And his high shadow shot along the wall; 
There were the painted forms of other times, 
'Twas all they left of virtues or of crimes, 
Save vague tradition; and the gloomy vaults 
That hid their dust, their foibles, and their faults; 
And half a column of the pompous page, 
That speeds the specious tale from age to age: 
When history's pen its praise or blame supplies, 
And lies...Read More

by Hughes, Langston of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet m...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...of strings
Darkens in double-bass to ocean's hue,
Rises in violins to noon-tide's blue,
With threads of quivering light shot through and through.
Green as the mantle that the summer flings
Around the world, the pastoral reeds in time
Embroider melodies of May and June.
Yellow as gold,
Yea, thrice-refined gold,
And purer than the treasures of the mine,
Floods of the human voice divine
Along the arch in choral song are rolled.
So bends the bow complete:
And radiant ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ew regime, and so forbidden.

If well it is with Russia, then feel free 
To say so or be stood against the wall
And shot. It's Pollyanna now or death.
This, then, is the new freedom we hear tell of;
And very sensible. No state can build
A literature that shall at once be sound
And sad on a foundation of well-being.

To show the level of intelligence
Among us: it was just a Warren farmer
Whose horse had pulled him short up in the road
By me, a stranger....Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...vered shield. 
Oh, sire of storms! whose savage ear 
The Lapland drum delights to hear, 
When frenzy with her blood-shot eye 
Implores thy dreadful deity, 
Archangel! power of desolation! 
Fast descending as thou art, 
Say, hath mortal invocation 
Spells to touch thy stony heart? 
Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer, 
And gently rule the ruined year; 
Nor chill the wanders bosom bare, 
Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear;- 
To shuddering Want's unmantled bed 
Thy horror-...Read More

by Milton, John the noise 
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear 
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see 
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage 
Among his Angels, and his throne itself 
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire, 
His own invented torments. But perhaps 
The way seems difficult, and steep to scale 
With upright wing against a higher foe! 
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench 
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, 
That in our porper motion we asc...Read More

by Milton, John
...half raised, with looks of cordial love 
Hung over her enamoured, and beheld 
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, 
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice 
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, 
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus. Awake, 
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found, 
Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight! 
Awake: The morning shines, and the fresh field 
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring 
Our tender plants, how blows the ...Read More

by Milton, John
...a place, 
Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change, 
Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise, 
Into a gulf shot under ground, till part 
Rose up a fountain by the tree of life: 
In with the river sunk, and with it rose 
Satan, involved in rising mist; then sought 
Where to lie hid; sea he had searched, and land, 
From Eden over Pontus and the pool 
Maeotis, up beyond the river Ob; 
Downward as far antarctick; and in length, 
West from Orontes to the ocean barred ...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...res magnified, 
As Surrey hills to mountains grew 
In White of Selborne's loving view, -- 
He told how teal and loon he shot, 
And how the eagle's eggs he got, 
The feats on pond and river done, 
The prodigies of rod and gun; 
Till, warming with the tales he told, 
Forgotten was the outside cold, 
The bitter wind unheeded blew, 
From ripening corn the pigeons flew, 
The partridge drummed i' the wood, the mink 
Went fishing down the river-brink. 
The woodchuck, like a herm...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...y the fence, blowing,
 cover’d with sweat; 
The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck—the murderous
 buckshot and the bullets;
All these I feel, or am. 

I am the hounded slave, I wince at the bite of the dogs, 
Hell and despair are upon me, crack and again crack the marksmen; 
I clutch the rails of the fence, my gore dribs, thinn’d with the ooze of my
I fall on the weeds and stones;
The riders spur their unwilling horses, haul close, 
Taun...Read More

by Chesterton, G K a cliff.

"And when we come to the end of the world
For me, I count it fit
To take the leap like a good river,
Shot shrieking over it.

"But whatso hap at the end of the world,
Where Nothing is struck and sounds,
It is not, by Thor, these monkish men
These humbled Wessex hounds--

"Not this pale line of Christian hinds,
This one white string of men,
Shall keep us back from the end of the world,
And the things that happen then.

"It is not Alfred's dwarfish sw...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...he land! 
They come — 'tis but to add to slaughter — 
His heart's best blood is on the water! 


Escaped from shot, unharm'd by steel, 
Or scarcely grazed its force to feel, 
Had Selim won, betray'd, beset, 
To where the strand and billows met: 
There as his last step left the land, 
And the last death-blow dealt his hand — 
Ah! wherefore did he turn to look 
For her his eye but sought in vain? 
That pause, that fatal gaze he took, 
Hath doom'd his death, or fix'd h...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...s devising,
Is, that, on looking round sharply, behold you,
There was a novelty quick as surprising:
For first, she had shot up a full head in stature,
And her step kept pace with mine nor faltered,
As if age had foregone its usurpature,
And the ignoble mien was wholly altered,
And the face looked quite of another nature,
And the change reached too, whatever the change meant,
Her shaggy wolf-skin cloak's arrangement:
For where its tatters hung loose like sedges,
Gold coins we...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...that was in her earlier maidenhood, 
With such a fervent flame of human love, 
Which being rudely blunted, glanced and shot 
Only to holy things; to prayer and praise 
She gave herself, to fast and alms. And yet, 
Nun as she was, the scandal of the Court, 
Sin against Arthur and the Table Round, 
And the strange sound of an adulterous race, 
Across the iron grating of her cell 
Beat, and she prayed and fasted all the more. 

`And he to whom she told her sins, or what...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...m underneath an aged oak
     That slanted from the islet rock,
     A damsel guider of its way,
     A little skiff shot to the bay,
     That round the promontory steep
     Led its deep line in graceful sweep,
     Eddying, in almost viewless wave,
     The weeping willow twig to rave,
     And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
     The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
      The boat had touched this silver strand
     Just as the Hunter left his stand,
   ...Read More

by Blake, William
wine; O African! black African! (go. winged thought widen his
The fiery limbs, the flaming hair, shot like the sinking sun
into the western sea.
Wak'd from his eternal sleep, the hoary, element roaring
fled away:
Down rushd beating his wings in vain the jealous king: his
grey brow'd councellors, thunderous warriors, curl'd veterans,
among helms, and shields, and chariots horses, elephants:
banners, castles, slings and rocks,
Falling, rushing, ruinin...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...the ache of his devotion.
His days passed in a strain of toil,
His nights burnt up in a seething coil.
Seasons shot by, uncognisant
He worked. The Shadow came to haunt
Even his days. Sometimes quite plain
He saw on the wall the blackberry stain
Of his lady's picture. No sun was bright
Enough to dazzle that from his sight.

There were moments when he groaned to see
His life spilled out so uselessly,
Begging for boons the Shade refused,
His finest workm...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...len moaning wave,
Lost in the echoes of the cave. 

He answered her he knew not what:
Like shaft from bow at random shot,
He spoke, but she regarded not. 

She waited not for his reply,
But with a downward leaden eye
Went on as if he were not by 

Sound argument and grave defence,
Strange questions raised on "Why?" and "Whence?"
And wildly tangled evidence. 

When he, with racked and whirling brain,
Feebly implored her to explain,
She simply said it all again....Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna songs, Madeira drank,
To the far-off Anatolia
You have driven your mine tank.

On the Malahov's kurgan
They shot an officer with a gun.
Less than a week for 20 years
He saw God's light with eyes so dear.


Give me bitter years in malady
Breathlessness, sleeplessness, fever,
Both a friend and a child and mysterious
Gift take away forever --
Thus I pray after your liturgy
After many exhausting days,
That the cloud over dark Russia
B...Read More

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