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Famous Sierras Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Service, Robert William
...ancing days are nearly done.

I've played you from the palm-belt to the suburbs of the Pole;
From the silver-tipped sierras to the sea.
The gay and gilded cabin and the grimy glory-hole
Have echoed to your impish melody.
I've hushed you in the dug-out when the trench was stiff with dead;
I've lulled you by the coral-laced lagoon;
I've packed you on a camel from the dung-fire on the bled,
To the hell-for-breakfast Mountains of the Moon.

I've ground you to the ...Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
Dim rites unto the thunder and the sun; 
Nor shall the primal gods lack sacrifice 
More splendid, when the white Sierras call 
Unto the Rockies straightway to arise 
And dance before the unveiled ark of the year, 
Sounding their windy cedars as for shawms, 
Unrolling rivers clear 
For flutter of broad phylacteries; 
While Shasta signals to Alaskan seas 
That watch old sluggish glaciers downward creep 
To fling their icebergs thundering from the steep, 
And Mariposa thr...Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson
...Beyond the great valley an odd instinctive rising
Begins to possess the ground, the flatness gathers 
 to little humps and
barrows, low aimless ridges,
A sudden violence of rock crowns them. The crowded 
 orchards end, they
have come to a stone knife;
The farms are finished; the sudden foot of the 
 slerra. Hill over hill,
snow-ridge beyond mountai...Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson
...e water and strain the rock; the stage is 
 here, the play is conceived; the players are 
 not found.

I saw on the Sierras, up the Kaweah valley above the 
 Moro rock, the mountain redwoods
Like red towers on the slopes of snow; about their 
 bases grew a bushery of Christmas green,
Firs and pines to be monuments for pilgrimage
In Europe; I remembered the Swiss forests, the dark 
 robes of Pilatus, no trunk like these there;
But these are underwood; they are only a shrub...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...ourse's Chinese 
 dragonflames licking green flats north-hazed
 State Capitol metallic rubble, dry checkered fields
 to Sierras- past Reno, Pyramid Lake's 
 blue Altar, pure water in Nevada sands' 
 brown wasteland scratched by tires

 Jerry Rubin arrested! Beaten, jailed,
 coccyx broken--
Leary out of action--"a public menace...
 persons of tender years...immature
 judgement...pyschiatric examination..."
i.e. Shut up or...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...the petals
of the blown rose in late summer.
Yes, it is late summer in the West.
Even the grasses climbing the Sierras
reach for the next outcropping of rock
with tough, burned fingers. The thistle
sheds its royal robes and quivers
awake in the hot winds off the sun.
A cloudless sky fills my room, the room
I was born in and where my father sleeps
his long dark sleep guarding the name
he shared with me. I can follow the day
to the black rags and corners it...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
the steaming ear beside the sea
of distant song and deepest waltz.
To boil you
as your aroma
spreads through
blue sierras.

But is there
no end
to your treasure?

In chalky, barren lands
by the sea, along
the rocky Chilean coast,
at times
only your radiance
reaches the empty
table of the miner.

Your light, your cornmeal, your hope
pervades America's solitudes,
and to hunger
your lances
are enemy legions.

Within your husks,
like gentle kernels,
our...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...we the virgin soil upheaving, Pioneers! O pioneers! 

 Colorado men are we, 
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus, 
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come, Pioneers! O pioneers! 

 From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental blood intervein’d; 
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern, Pioneers! O

 O resistless, restle...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl to the Burlington railway main line.
Terrible midnight limiteds roar through
Hauling sleepers to the Rockies and Sierras.
The earth is slightly shaken
And Neponset trembles slightly in its sleep....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and near to the inhabitants of them, as my land is to me.

I see plenteous waters; 
I see mountain peaks—I see the sierras of Andes and Alleghanies, where they range; 
I see plainly the Himalayas, Chian Shahs, Altays, Ghauts; 
I see the giant pinnacles of Elbruz, Kazbek, Bazardjusi, 
I see the Rocky Mountains, and the Peak of Winds;
I see the Styrian Alps, and the Karnac Alps; 
I see the Pyrenees, Balks, Carpathians—and to the north the Dofrafields, and off at sea
 Mount...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...s of the morning. 

My ties and ballasts leave me—I travel—I sail—my elbows rest in
 the sea-gaps; 
I skirt the sierras—my palms cover continents; 
I am afoot with my vision. 

By the city’s quadrangular houses—in log huts—camping with
Along the ruts of the turnpike—along the dry gulch and rivulet bed; 
Weeding my onion-patch, or hoeing rows of carrots and parsnips—crossing
 savannas—trailing in forests; 
Prospecting—gold-digging—girdling the t...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
Land of the Old Thirteen! Massachusetts land! Land of Vermont and Connecticut! 
Land of the ocean shores! Land of sierras and peaks!
Land of boatmen and sailors! Fishermen’s land! 
Inextricable lands! the clutch’d together! the passionate ones! 
The side by side! the elder and younger brothers! the bony-limb’d! 
The great women’s land! the feminine! the experienced sisters and the
 inexperienced sisters! 
Far breath’d land! Arctic braced! Mexican breez’d! the diverse! t...Read More

by Service, Robert William
..., with my whips that flail the night,
They will burgeon into beauty, they will foliate in gold.
Let me star the dim sierras, stab with light the inland seas;
Roaming wind and roaring darkness! seek no mercy at my hands;
I will mock the marly heavens, lamp the purple prairies,
I will flaunt my deathless banners down the far, unhouseled lands.
In the vast and vaulted pine-gloom where the pillared forests frown,
By the sullen, bestial rivers running where God only knows,...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...Seven years ago I went into 
the High Sierras stunned by the desire 
to die. For hours I stared into a clear 
mountain stream that fell down 
over speckled rocks, and then I 
closed my eyes and prayed that when 
I opened them I would be gone 
and somewhere a purple and golden 
thistle would overflow with light. 
I had not prayed since I was a child 
and at first I felt foolish saying 
th...Read More

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