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Famous Sight Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dickinson, Emily
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheels of snow
Till I was out of sight, in sound,
The House encore me so—

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention—easy—Here—
Nor any Placard boast me—
It's full as Opera—


After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round—
Or...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...omb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf fr...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...'d Clymene among her tangled hair.
In midst of all lay Themis, at the feet
Of Ops the queen; all clouded round from sight,
No shape distinguishable, more than when
Thick night confounds the pine-tops with the clouds:
And many else whose names may not be told.
For when the Muse's wings are air-ward spread,
Who shall delay her flight? And she must chaunt
Of Saturn, and his guide, who now had climb'd
With damp and slippery footing from a depth
More horrid still. Abov...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
 There is no fear nor any hurt in Hell, 
 Except that it be powerful. God in me 
 Is gracious, that the piteous sights I see 
 I share not, nor myself can shrink to feel 
 The flame of all this burning. One there is 
 In height among the Holiest placed, and she 
 - Mercy her name - among God's mysteries 
 Dwells in the midst, and hath the power to see 
 His judgments, and to break them. This sharp 
 I tell thee, when she saw, she called, that so 
 Leaned Lucia...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...smiles, nor more his forehead lours 
Than these were wont; and if the coming night 
Appear'd less welcome now to Lara's sight, 
He to his marvelling vassals shew'd it not, 
Whose shuddering proved /their/ fear was less forgot. 
In trembling pairs (alone they dared not) crawl 
The astonish'd slaves, and shun the fated hall; 
The waving banner, and the clapping door; 
The rustling tapestry, and the echoing floor; 
The long dim shadows of surrounding trees, 
The flapping bat...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...endish faces one, two, three,  Hung at my breasts, and pulled at me.  But then there came a sight of joy;  It came at once to do me good;  I waked, and saw my little boy,  My little boy of flesh and blood;  Oh joy for me that sight to see!  For he was here, and only he.   Suck, little babe, oh suck again!  It cools my blood; it cools my brain;Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt 

O the fireman’s joys! 
I hear the alarm at dead of night,
I hear bells—shouts!—I pass the crowd—I run! 
The sight of the flames maddens me with pleasure. 

O the joy of the strong-brawn’d fighter, towering in the arena, in perfect condition,
 conscious of power, thirsting to meet his opponent. 

O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the human Soul is capable of
 and emitting in steady and limitless floods. 

O the mother’s ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me; 
We must have a turn together—I undress—hurry me out of sight of the
Cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse; 
Dash me with amorous wet—I can repay you. 

Sea of stretch’d ground-swells! 
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths! 
Sea of the brine of life! sea of unshovell’d yet always-ready graves!
Howler and scooper of storms! capricious and dainty sea! 
I am integral with you—I too am ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...rtainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things; 
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the Soul. 

Now I reëxamine philosophies and religions, 
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds, and
 landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization; 
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him; 
The past, the future, majesty, love—i...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K limbs gone to chaos,
A great face turned to night--
Why bend above a shapeless shroud
Seeking in such archaic cloud
Sight of strong lords and light?

Where seven sunken Englands
Lie buried one by one,
Why should one idle spade, I wonder,
Shake up the dust of thanes like thunder
To smoke and choke the sun?

In cloud of clay so cast to heaven
What shape shall man discern?
These lords may light the mystery
Of mastery or victory,
And these ride high in history,
But these shal...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord) no breath, no being, but in hers:
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
Which coloured all his objects;—he had ceased
To live within himself: she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all; upon a tone,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
And his cheek change tempestuously—his heart
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
But she in thes...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...heart of light, which everything
Wrestled in rivalry to hold enshrined. 
Ah! since thou'rt fled, and I in each fair sight
The sweet occasion of my joy deplore,
Where shall I seek thee best, or whom invite
Within thy sacred temples and adore?
Who shall fill thought and truth with old delight,
And lead my soul in life as heretofore? 

The work is done, and from the fingers fall
The bloodwarm tools that brought the labour thro':
The tasking eye that overrunneth all
Rests,...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...el due West!

But the danger was past--they had landed at last,
 With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
 Which consisted to chasms and crags.

The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low,
 And repeated in musical tone
Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe--
 But the crew would do nothing but groan.

He served out some grog with a liberal hand,
 And bade them sit down on the beach:
And they could...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...nds to Betty's heart!  He's at the guide-post—he turns right,  She watches till he's out of sight,  And Betty will not then depart.   Burr, burr—now Johnny's lips they burr,  As loud as any mill, or near it,  Meek as a lamb the pony moves,  And Johnny makes the noise he loves,  And Betty listens, glad to hear it.   Away she hies to Susan ...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...e unpitying sun
Smiled grimly on the solemn fun,
"Alack," he sighed, "what HAVE I done?" 

But saddest, darkest was the sight,
When the cold grasp of leaden Night
Dashed him to earth, and held him tight. 

Tortured, unaided, and alone,
Thunders were silence to his groan,
Bagpipes sweet music to its tone: 

"What? Ever thus, in dismal round,
Shall Pain and Mystery profound
Pursue me like a sleepless hound, 

"With crimson-dashed and eager jaws,
Me, still in ignorance of th...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...the fierce wolf from which they fled amazed
"Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore
Until the second bursts--so on my sight
Burst a new Vision never seen before.--
"And the fair shape waned in the coming light
As veil by veil the silent splendour drops
From Lucifer, amid the chrysolite
"Of sunrise ere it strike the mountain tops--
And as the presence of that fairest planet
Although unseen is felt by one who hopes
"That his day's path may end as he began it
In that star'...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...serve, that no doctrinal tenets are insisted upon or discussed; that the person of the Deity is carefully withheld from sight, which is more than can be said for the Laureate, who hath thought proper to make him talk, not 'like a school-divine,' but like the unscholarlike Mr. Southey. The whole action passes on the outside of heaven; and Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath,' Pulci's 'Morgante Maggiore,' Swift's 'Tale of a Tub,' and the other
works above referred to, are cases in ...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...r. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants 
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
 At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the viole...Read more of this...

by Angelou, Maya
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and...Read more of this...

by Akhmatova, Anna
Like not one woman has sung glory yet.
And that dear girlfriend you remember
In heaven you created for her sight,
I'm trading product that is very rare -
I sell your tenderness and loving light.

Song about Song

So many stones have been thrown at me
That I don't fear them any longer
Like elegant tower the westerner stands free
Among tall towers, the taller.
I'm grateful to their builders -- so be gone
Their sadness and their worry, go aw...Read more of this...

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