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Famous Signals Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Stafford, William
...he dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep....Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
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 through the purple calms 
Gazes at far Hawaii crowned with palms 
Where East and West are met, -- 
A rich seal on the ocean's bosom set 
To say that East and West are twain, 
With different loss and gain: 
The Lord hath s...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ever let the lantern drop.
 And some exclaimed who saw afar
The figures he described with it,
 ”I wonder what those signals are

Brown makes at such an hour of night!
 He’s celebrating something strange.
I wonder if he’s sold his farm,
 Or been made Master of the Grange.”

He reeled, he lurched, he bobbed, he checked;
 He fell and made the lantern rattle
(But saved the light from going out.)
 So half-way down he fought the battle

Incredulous of his own bad lu...Read More

by Machado, Antonio is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
Not asleep, not dreaming—
its eyes are opened wide
watching distant signals, listening
on the rim of vast silence....Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
I desire only to ease
back in, the mail, a drink,
but tonight the body-hungers have sent out
their long-range signals
or love itself has risen
from its squalor of neglect.
Everytime the kids turn their backs
I touch my wife's breasts
and when she checks the dinner
the unfriendly cat on the dishwasher
wants to rub heads, starts to speak
with his little motor and violin--
everything, everyone is intelligible
in the language of touch,
and we sit down to dinner inar...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne choose words that even you
would have to be changed by

Take the word
of my pulse, loving and ordinary
Send out your signals, hoist
your dark scribbled flags
but take
my hand

All wars are useless to the dead

My hands are knotted in the rope
and I cannot sound the bell

My hands are frozen to the switch
and I cannot throw it

The foot is in the wheel

When it's finished and we're lying
in a stubble of blistered flowers
eyes gaping, mouths staring
dusted with crushed arter...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...eading on the thousands of the army of the rear! 
We shall know the second advent 
By the lower skies aflame 

With the signals of his coming, for he comes not as he came – 
Not humble, meek, and lowly, as he came in days of old, 
But with hatred, retribution for the worshippers of gold! 
And the roll of battle music and the steady tramp of feet 
Sound for ever in the thunder and the rattle of the street!...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...udden signal rise, 
 And further, like a small and distant star, 
 A beacon answered. 
 "What before us lies? 
 Who signals our approach, and who replies?" 
 I asked, and answered he who all things knew, 
 "Already, if the swamp's dank fumes permit, 
 The outcome of their beacon shows in view, 
 Severing the liquid filth." 
 No shaft can slit 
 Impalpable air, from any corded bow, 
 As came that craft towards us, cleaving so, 
 And with incredible speed, the miry wave...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo, in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames;
Its arms turning like a drowning man's.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes
That wave like the sea, or the beach by a lighthouse.
You keep only darkness my distant female;
>From your regard sometimes, the coast of dread emerges.

Leaning into the afternoons,
I fling my sad nets to that sea that is thrashed
By your oceanic eyes.
The birds of night peck at the first stars
That flash like my ...Read More

by Hope, Alec Derwent (A D)
...ere we are going. 
There are rumours the driver is mad - we are all being trucked 
To the abattoirs somewhere - the signals are jammed and unknowing 
We aim through the night full speed at a wrecked viaduct. 

But I do not believe them. The future is rumour and drivel; 
Only the past is assured. From the observation car 
I stand looking back and watching the landscape shrivel, 
Wondering where we are going and just where the hell we are, 

Remembering how I pl...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
pouring in from Taurus

I am bombarded yet I stand
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind....Read More

by Stojanovic, Dejan
...Lie on the ground and listen to the grass, 
Hear the silent signals from outer space, 
Dream by making and make by dreaming, 
Feel what the trees bathed in sunlight feel, 
Gaze far to see the sea-gull emerging from the sea, 
Imagine that today is the birth of the world and greet it, 
Greet the old bird. 
...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...eed preserv’d.) 

Flaunt out O Sea, your separate flags of nations!
Flaunt out, visible as ever, the various ship-signals! 
But do you reserve especially for yourself, and for the soul of man, one flag above all
A spiritual woven Signal, for all nations, emblem of man elate above death, 
Token of all brave captains, and all intrepid sailors and mates, 
And all that went down doing their duty;
Reminiscent of them—twined from all intrepid captains, young or o...Read More

by Voznesensky, Andrei
...d I would sooner 
 believe than doubt the man's word... 
 My green-eyed kitty, like a tuner, 
 receives the signals of the world. 

© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
With her foot upon the sands, 
Decked with flags and streamers gay, 
In honor of her marriage day, 
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending, 
Round her like a veil descending, 
Ready to be 
The bride of the gray old sea. 
On the deck another bride 
Is standing by her lover's side. 
Shadows from the flags and shrouds, 
Like the shadows cast by clouds, 
Broken by many a sunny fleck, 
Fall around them on the deck. 
The prayer is said, 
The service read, 
The...Read More

by Murray, Les
ancient Bengal bloomers or moth-eaten hot pants
worn with a former shirt,
feet, beach sand, hair
and a paucity of signals. 

Scunge, which is real negligee
housework in a swimsuit, pyjamas worn all day,
is holiday, is freedom from ambition.
Scunge makes you invisible
to the world and yourself. 

The entropy of costume,
scunge can get you conquered by more vigorous cultures
and help you notice it less. 

To be or to become
is a serious question posed by a...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...erbolt had split the pine,—
     All augured ill to Alpine's line.
     He girt his loins, and came to show
     The signals of impending woe,
     And now stood prompt to bless or ban,
     As bade the Chieftain of his clan.

     'T was all prepared;—and from the rock
     A goat, the patriarch of the flock,
     Before the kindling pile was laid,
     And pierced by Roderick's ready blade.
     Patient the sickening victim eyed
     The life-blood e...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...brig that rode off Finisterre.
There were canvas blinds to his bow-gun ports to screen the weight he bore,
And the signals ran for a merchantman from Sandy Hook to the Nore.
He would not fly the Rovers' flag -- the bloody or the black,
But now he floated the Gridiron and now he flaunted the Jack.
He spoke of the Law as he crimped my crew -- he swore it was only a loan;
But when I would ask for my own again, he swore it was none of my own.
He has taken my litt...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly, sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart--
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away
And I saw a boat appear.

The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them ...Read More

by Masefield, John
But altogether ruined she was still a queen. 

"Put back with all her sails gone," went the word; 
Then, from her signals flying, rumor ran, 
"The sea that stove her boats in killed her third; 
She has been gutted and has lost a man." 

So, as though stepping to a funeral march, 
She passed defeated homewards whence she came, 
Ragged with tattered canvas white as starch, 
A wild bird that misfortune had made tame. 

She was refitted soon: another took 
The dead ...Read More

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