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Famous Sixties Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Tebb, Barry
...There was a hope for poetry in the sixties

And for education and society, teachers free

To do as they wanted: I could and did teach

Poetry and art all day and little else -

That was my way.

I threw rainbows against the classroom walls,

Gold and silver dragons in the corridors and

Halls; the children’s eyes were full of stars;

I taught the alphabet in Greek and spoke of

Peace an...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...silver chain, and the portrait of Cameron's girl. 

. . . . . 

It chanced in the first of the Sixties that Ally and I and McKean 
Were sinking a shaft on Mundoorin, near Fosberry's puddle-machine. 
The bucket we used was a big one, and rather a weight when 'twas full, 
Though Alister wound it up easy, for he had the strength of a bull. 
He hinted at heart-disease often, but, setting his fancy apart, 
I always believed there was nothing the ma...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...he Plain of Jars

It started in secret they were fighting yesterday
Clandestine secret army of the CIA

All through the Sixties the Dope flew free
Thru Tan Son Nhut Saigon to Marshal Ky
Air America followed through
Transporting confiture for President Thieu

All these Dealers were decades and yesterday
The Indochinese mob of the U.S. CIA

Operation Haylift Offisir Wm. Colby
Saw Marshal Ky fly opium Mr. Mustard told me
Indochina desk he was Chief of Dirty Trick...Read More

by Merwin, W S
...reat War and afterward and he had come
to what he took to be a kind of earthly
 model of it as he wandered south in his sixties
by that time speaking the language well enough
 for them to make him out he took the smallest roads
into a world he thought was a thing of the past
 with wildflowers he scarcely remembered and neighbors
working together scything the morning meadows
 turning the hay before the noon meal bringing it in
by milking time husbandry and abundance
 all the v...Read More

by Chin, Staceyann
...the one to watch that old lady drool
all over her soft boiled eggs
as she tells me how she was a raving beauty in the sixties
how she could have had any man she wanted
but she chose the one least likely to succeed
and that’s why when the son of a ***** died
she had to move into this place
because it was government subsidized

Will I tell my young attendant
how slender I was then
and paint for her pictures
of the young me more beautiful than I ever was
if only to ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...mory veers backwards this temperate Boxing Day-

Westerns and war films and a blurred Maigret,

Coupled with a worn-out sixties Penguin Mallarm?-

How about that mix for a character trait?

Try as I may I can’t get my head round the manifold virtues

Of Geraldine Monk or either Riley

Poetry has to have a meaning, not just patterns on a page,

Vertical words and snips of scores just make me rage.

Is Thom Gunn really the age-old sleaze-weasel Andrew Duncan says?

Is Tim A...Read More

by Tebb, Barry for several thousand books,

The smoke from my pipe stuffed with aromatic Balkan Sobranie, 

A leftover from the Sixties, frequent brief absences to fulfil

My duties as a carer, unending phone calls

And the unenviable reputation as England’s worst or best complainer,

"Treading on toes or keeping people on their toes"

Also a warm and welcoming vagina, an insatiable need

For ******** and cunnilingus, a bed with clean sheets

I can retire to by five with a hot water ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry


And all his descendants

With their particular vilenesses -

I met one in the sixties

Who had all the coldness of Himmler

So svelte and adored by the cognoscenti.

I want a history responsive

To the needs of the working-class

One that will minute the back-to-backs

Spread over the city like a seamless robe



I want a history of the culture

Of the work...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...a lifetime’s hard-won ken of poetry’s obscurest corners.

I salute David Wright, that ‘difficult deaf son’

Of the sixties, acknowledged my own youthful spasm of enthusiasm

But Simon you must share the honour with Jimmy Keery,

Of whom I will admit I’m somewhat leery,

His critical acuity so absolute and steely.

I ask you all to stay with me

Through time into infinity

Not even death can undo

The love I have for you....Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...aths and a Social Hall,
And pipes for closets all over, and cutting the frames too light,
But M'Cullough he died in the Sixties, and ---- Well, I'm dying to-night...
I knew -- I knew what was coming, when we bid on the Byfleet's keel --
They piddled and piffled with iron, I'd given my orders for steel!
Steel and the first expansions. It paid, I tell you, it paid,
When we came with our nine-knot freighters and collared the long-run trade!
And they asked me how ...Read More

by Kay, Jackie man said to me
Well there's always adoption
(we didn't have test tubes and the rest
then) and well even in the early sixties there was something
Scandalous about adopting
Telling the world your secret failure
Bringing up an alien child
Who knew what it would turn out to be?

But I wanted a baby badly
Didn't need to come from my womb
Or his seed for me to love it
And I had sisters who looked just like me
Didn't need carbon copy features
Blueprints for generations
It was my ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry the experience it was-

How could anything be more banal than a visit to Oakes?

Twenty two Georgian semis from the sixties, brass coach-lamps

By glass front doors, irreproachable gardens,

The estate lodge’s great oak doors opening to vistas

Of street on street, the fields and cows gone.

We peered through the polished windows at the hearth

We’d sat around, our hearts numb, all hope gone; but then

A quiet came we had not felt for years, a lens of silence

Enclose...Read More

by Tebb, Barry

Where I wander in search of oil pastels

Irish folk and cheap socks.

The TLS mocks our magazine

With its sixties Cadillac pink

Psychedelic cover and every page crimson

Orange or mauve, revolutionary sonnets 

By Brenda Williams from her epic ‘Pain Clinic’

And my lacerating attacks on boring Bloodaxe

Neil Ghastly and Anvil’s preciosity and all the

Stuck-up ****-holes in their cubby-holes sending out

Rejection slip by rote – LPW...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...startled by the arching spumes

Or white water fountains and the steel barricades of Novotel

Rise from the ruins of a sixties office block.

I hurry past and join Boar Lane’s Friday crew

From Keighley and Dewsbury’s mills, hesitating

At the thought of being told I’m past my 

Sell-by-date and turned away by the West Indian

Bouncers, black-suited and city-council badged

Who checked my bag but smiled at ‘The Lights of 

Leeds’ and ‘Poets of Our Time’ tucked away as ca...Read More

by Lowell, Robert>
(This is the house for the "mentally ill.")

What use is my sense of humour?
I grin at Stanley, now sunk in his sixties,
once a Harvard all-American fullback,
(if such were possible!)
still hoarding the build of a boy in his twenties,
as he soaks, a ramrod
with a muscle of a seal
in his long tub,
vaguely urinous from the Victorian plumbing.
A kingly granite profile in a crimson gold-cap,
worn all day, all night, 
he thinks only of his figure,
of slimming on sherbe...Read More

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