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Famous Simple Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William hand,
Sweetly supposed them mistress of his heart.
My woeful self, that did in freedom stand,
And was my own fee-simple, not in part,
What with his art in youth, and youth in art,
Threw my affections in his charmed power,
Reserved the stalk and gave him all my flower.

'Yet did I not, as some my equals did,
Demand of him, nor being desired yielded;
Finding myself in honour so forbid,
With safest distance I mine honour shielded:
Experience for me many bulwarks build...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...nd muscle, 
The haughty defiance of the Year 1—war, peace, the formation of the Constitution, 
The separate States, the simple, elastic scheme, the immigrants, 
The Union, always swarming with blatherers, and always sure and impregnable, 
The unsurvey’d interior, log-houses, clearings, wild animals, hunters, trappers;
Surrounding the multiform agriculture, mines, temperature, the gestation of new States, 
Congress convening every Twelfth-month, the members duly coming up from...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
First—Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go—


This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me—
The simple News that Nature told—
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see—
For love of Her—Sweet—countrymen—
Judge tenderly—of Me.


This was a Poet—It is That
Distills amazing sense
From ordinary Meanings—
And Attar so immense

From the familiar species
That perished by the Door—
We wonder it was not Ourselve...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...cense ascending,
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,--
Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundan...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same: 'tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same: 'tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its s...Read More

by Keats, John
With hectic lips, and eyes up-looking mild,
Thus wording timidly among the fierce:
"O Father! I am here the simplest voice,
And all my knowledge is that joy is gone,
And this thing woe crept in among our hearts,
There to remain for ever, as I fear:
I would not bode of evil, if I thought
So weak a creature could turn off the help
Which by just right should come of mighty Gods;
Yet let me tell my sorrow, let me tell
Of what I heard, and how it made me weep,
And know...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...his way 
 Dry-shod across the water. 
 left hand 
 He waved before him, and the stagnant air 
 Retreated. Simple it were to understand 
 A Messenger of Heaven he came. My guide 
 Signed me to silence, and to reverence due, 
 While to one stroke of his indignant wand 
 The gate swung open. "Outcast spawn!" he cried, 
 His voice heard vibrant through the aperture grim, 
 "Why spurn ye at the Will that, once defied, 
 Here cast ye grovelling? Have ye felt f...Read More

by Lewis, C S
...Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence 
Behold the Forms of nature. They discern 
Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities 
Which mortals lack or indirectly learn. 
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying, 
Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear, 
High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal 
Huge Principles appear.

The Tree-ness of the tree the...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...woke, and went the next,
The Sabbath, pious variers from the church,
To chapel; where a heated pulpiteer,
Not preaching simple Christ to simple men,
Announced the coming doom, and fulminated
Against the scarlet woman and her creed:
For sideways up he swung his arms, and shriek'd
`Thus, thus with violence,' ev'n as if he held
The Apocalyptic millstone, and himself
Were that great Angel; `Thus with violence
Shall Babylon be cast into the sea;
Then comes the close.' The gent...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
Keyholes of heaven and hell.

In the river island of Athelney,
With the river running past,
In colours of such simple creed
All things sprang at him, sun and weed,
Till the grass grew to be grass indeed
And the tree was a tree at last.

Fearfully plain the flowers grew,
Like the child's book to read,
Or like a friend's face seen in a glass;
He looked; and there Our Lady was,
She stood and stroked the tall live grass
As a man strokes his steed.

Her face was l...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) both. 
Yes, fondly, wisely hast thou done; 
That vow hath saved more heads than one: 
But blench not thou — thy simplest tress 
Claims more from me than tenderness; 
I would not wrong the slenderest hair 
That clusters round thy forehead fair, 
For all the treasures buried far 
Within the caves of Istakar. [19] 
This morning clouds upon me lower'd, 
Reproaches on my head were shower'd, 
And Giaffir almost call'd me coward! 
Now I have motive to be brave; 
The son ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...jagged coast;
Seeing they hold the manlier praise to be
Strong hand and will, and the heart best when most
'Tis sober, simple, true, and fancy-free. 

How could I quarrel or blame you, most dear,
Who all thy virtues gavest and kept back none;
Kindness and gentleness, truth without peer,
And beauty that my fancy fed upon?
Now not my life's contrition for my fault
Can blot that day, nor work me recompence,
Tho' I might worthily thy worth exalt,
Making thee long amends f...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...e strong in that old magic which can trace 
The wandering of the stars, and scoffed at him 
And this high Quest as at a simple thing: 
Told him he followed--almost Arthur's words-- 
A mocking fire: "what other fire than he, 
Whereby the blood beats, and the blossom blows, 
And the sea rolls, and all the world is warmed?" 
And when his answer chafed them, the rough crowd, 
Hearing he had a difference with their priests, 
Seized him, and bound and plunged him into a cell 
Of gr...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...intent to ask
 The tale he loves to tell.

Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
 Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem, if you list, such hours a waste of life,
 Empty of all delight!

Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy
 Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
 The heart-love of a child!

Away, fond thoughts, and vex my soul no more!
 Work claims my wakeful nights, my busy days--
Albeit bright memor...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...the elder lady's mien
     That courts and cities she had seen;
     Ellen, though more her looks displayed
     The simple grace of sylvan maid,
     In speech and gesture, form and face,
     Showed she was come of gentle race.
     'T were strange in ruder rank to find
     Such looks, such manners, and such mind.
     Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave,
     Dame Margaret heard with silence grave;
     Or Ellen, innocently gay,
     Turned all inquiry light ...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town...Read More

by Thomson, James
Pensive, and wet. Mean while, the Cottage-Swain
Hangs o'er th'enlivening Blaze, and, taleful, there,
Recounts his simple Frolic: Much he talks, 
And much he laughs, nor recks the Storm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble Roof.

AT last, the muddy Deluge pours along,
Resistless, roaring; dreadful down it comes
From the chapt Mountain, and the mossy Wild, 
Tumbling thro' Rocks abrupt, and sounding far:
Then o'er the sanded Valley, floating, spreads,
Calm, sl...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...t presently, together,
We were travelling back again.

The English love their country with a love 
Steady, and simple, wordless, dignified;
I think it sets their patriotism above 
All others. We Americans have pride— 
We glory in our country's short romance. 
We boast of it and love it. Frenchmen when 
The ultimate menace comes, will die for France 
Logically as they lived. But Englishmen 
Will serve day after day, obey the law, 
And do dull tasks tha...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
... I am reassured.
These are the clear bright colors of the nursery,
The talking ducks, the happy lambs.
I am simple again. I believe in miracles.
I do not believe in those terrible children
Who injure my sleep with their white eyes, their fingerless hands.
They are not mine. They do not belong to me.

I shall meditate upon normality.
I shall meditate upon my little son.
He does not walk. He does not speak a word.
He is still swad...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
And brief meetings' hour.

x x x

Somewhere is light and happy, in elation,
Transparent, warm and simple life there is.
A man across the fence has conversation
With girl before the evening, and the bees
Hear only the tenderest of conversation.

And we are living pompously and hard
And follow bitter rituals like sun
When, flight past us, the unreasoned wind
Interrupts speech that's barely begun.

But not for anything will we change t...Read More

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