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Famous Skulls Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Tebb, Barry the brightest

Children - Sheila Pritchard my genius child-poet with

Her roguish eye and high bright voice, drawing skulls

In Avernus and burning white chrysanthemums, teasing me

With her long legs and gold salmon-flecked eyes.

It was a surprise when I made it into Penguin Books;

Michael Horovitz busy then as now and madly idealistic

As me; getting ready for the Albert Hall jamboree,

The rainbow bomb of peace and poetry....Read More

by Atwood, Margaret

and you leave behind you a heroic 
trail of desolation: 
beer bottles 
slaughtered by the side 
of the road, bird-
skulls bleaching in the sunset.

I ought to be watching
from behind a cliff or a cardboard storefront 
when the shooting starts, hands clasped 
in admiration, 

but I am elsewhere.
Then what about me

what about the I 
confronting you on that border 
you are always trying to cross? 

I am the horizon
you ride towards, the thing you can never lass...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...ted aside.

Where are the banked

Stones of the dead?

Behind screens they raised

Their bones and counted

Their skulls and moved

Them in barrows.

The railway’s banks

Are buttressed with the

Moved memorial stones

The diggers wore sacking

Over their faces and

Burned their shovels.


Every garden and park

Is a hypothesis for God

When I hear a distant buzz

I cannot tell if it is

A bee or saw.

That is what we must

Decide, patterned being

O...Read More

by Bly, Robert
...Let's count the bodies over again.

If we could only make the bodies smaller 
The size of skulls 
We could make a whole plain white with skulls in the moonlight!

If we could only make the bodies smaller 
Maybe we could get
A whole year's kill in front of us on a desk!

If we could only make the bodies smaller 
We could fit
A body into a finger-ring for a keepsake forever....Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
The jungle rooted in his shatter'd hearth,
The serpent coil'd about his broken shaft,
The scorpion crawling over naked skulls; --
I saw the tiger in the ruin'd fane
Spring from his fallen God, but trace of thee
I saw not; and far on, and, following out
A league of labyrinthine darkness, came
On three gray heads beneath a gleaming rift.
"Where"? and I heard one voice from all the three
"We know not, for we spin the lives of men,
And not of Gods, and know not why we spin!
...Read More

by Blake, William
...w passages
Walking, feeling the cold walls with her hands.

Fancy returns, and now she thinks of bones
And grinning skulls, and corruptible death
Wrapp'd in his shroud; and now fancies she hears
Deep sighs, and sees pale sickly ghosts gliding.

At length, no fancy but reality
Distracts her. A rushing sound, and the feet
Of one that fled, approaches--Ellen stood
Like a dumb statue, froze to stone with fear.

The wretch approaches, crying: `The deed is done;
Tak...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
Enormous turtles, helpless and mild,
die and leave their barnacled shells on the beaches,
and their large white skulls with round eye-sockets
twice the size of a man's.
The palm trees clatter in the stiff breeze
like the bills of the pelicans. The tropical rain comes down
to freshen the tide-looped strings of fading shells:
Job's Tear, the Chinese Alphabet, the scarce Junonia, 
parti-colored pectins and Ladies' Ears,
arranged as on a gray rag of rotted calico,...Read More

by Lowell, Robert
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter's moon ascends--
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull's no-nose--
O there's a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver sa...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...of their own bodies good to eat a thousand 


What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open 
 their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi- 
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob 
 tainable dollars! Children screaming under the 
 stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men 
 weeping in the parks! 
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the 
 loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy 
 judger of men! 
Moloch the incomprehensibl...Read More

by Smart, Christopher> 

Let Hachaliah rejoice with Muscus Arboreus. 

Let Sanballat rejoice with Ground Moss found sometimes on human skulls. 

Let Col-hozeh rejoice with Myrobalans, Bellerica, Chebula, Citrina, Emblica and Indica. 

Let Meah rejoice with Varias, a kind of streaked panther. April 8th praise the name of the Lord. 

Let Eliashib rejoice with Shepherd's Purse. 

Let Azbuk rejoice with Valerianella Corn Sallet. 

Let Geshem (which is Rain) rejoice with ...Read More

by Trumbull, John vile Pole, devote to freedom,
Save like the Jewish pole in Edom;
Or like the brazen snake of Moses,
Cure your crackt skulls and batter'd noses?

"Ye dupes to every factious rogue
And tavern-prating demagogue,
Whose tongue but rings, with sound more full,
On th' empty drumhead of his scull;
Behold you not what noisy fools
Use you, worse simpletons, for tools?
For Liberty, in your own by-sense,
Is but for crimes a patent license,
To break of law th' Egyptian yoke,
And throw...Read More

by Hayden, Robert
...we named him-- 
fetish face beneath French parasols 
of brass and orange velvet, impudent mouth 
whose cups were carven skulls of enemies: 

He'd honor us with drum and feast and conjo 
and palm-oil-glistening wenches deft in love, 
and for tin crowns that shone with paste, 
red calico and German-silver trinkets 

Would have the drums talk war and send 
his warriors to burn the sleeping villages 
and kill the sick and old and lead the young 
in coffles to our factories. 
...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions Families walk
Stunted boys big heads don't talk
Look bony skulls & silent round eyes
Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons
Standing thin legged like elderly nuns
small bodied hands to their mouths in prayer
Five months small food since they settled there

on one floor mat with small empty pot
Father lifts up his hands at their lot
Tears come to their mother's eye
Pain m...Read More

by Chesterton, G K

The King went gathering Wessex men,
As grain out of the chaff
The few that were alive to die,
Laughing, as littered skulls that lie
After lost battles turn to the sky
An everlasting laugh.

The King went gathering Christian men,
As wheat out of the husk;
Eldred, the Franklin by the sea,
And Mark, the man from Italy,
And Colan of the Sacred Tree,
From the old tribe on Usk.

The rook croaked homeward heavily,
The west was clear and warm,
The smoke of evening food an...Read More

by Graves, Robert
...” I cried, “quick, now,
Through these great oaks and see the famous bough 

”Where once a nonsense built her nest 
With skulls and flowers and all things *****, 
In an old boot, with patient breast 
Hatching three eggs; and the next year…”
S. “Foaled thirteen squamous young beneath, and rid 
Wales of drink, melancholy, and psalms, she did.” 

Said he, “Before this quaint mood fails, 
We’ll sit and weave a nonsense hymn,” 
R. “Hanging it up with monkey tails
In a d...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...ds brown—
Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown....

"When all the world was drinking blood
From the skulls of men and bulls
And all the world had swords and clubs of stone,
We drank our tea in China beneath the sacred spice-trees,
And heard the curled waves of the harbor moan.
And this gray bird, in Love's first spring,
With a bright-bronze breast and a bronze-brown wing,
Captured the world with his carolling.
Do you remember, ages after,
At last t...Read More

by Masefield, John
...erneath their noses 
The nozzles of the fire hoses. 
"I am the fire. Back, stand back, 
Or else I'll fetch your skulls a crack; 
D'you see these copper nozzles here? 
They weigh ten pounds a piece, my dear; 
I'm fire of hell come up this minute 
To burn this town and burn you clean, 
You cogwheels in a stopped machine, 
You hearts of snakes, and brains of pigeons, 
You dead devout of dead religions, 
You offspring of the hen and ass, 
By Pilate ruled, and Caiaphas.Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...m welcome to the banquet of the brave
Yea, I will bless them as they bend, and love them where they lie
When upon their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky
That hour when death is like a light, and blood is as a rose -
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I will love my foes!

Know you what you shall lose this night, what rich uncounted loans
What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones
My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at e...Read More

by Jackson, Laura Riding
...nse surmise swims round and round
And heads grow wise
With their own bigness beatified
In cosmos, and the idiot size
Of skulls spells Nature on the ground,
While ears listening the wrong way report
Echoes first and hear words before sounds
Because the mind, being quiet, seems late.
By ears words are copied into books,
By letters minds are taught self-ignorance.
From mouths spring forth vocabularies
To the assemblage of strange objects
Grown foreign to the faithful cou...Read More

by Xavier, Emanuel
...r mailbox fear

It is said when skin is cut,
and then pressed together, it seals
but what about acid-burned skulls
engraved with the word ‘******’,
a foot bone with flesh 
and other crushed body parts

It was a gay priest that read last rites
to firefighters as towers collapsed
It was a gay pilot that crashed a plane
into Pennsylvania fields
It was a gay couple that was responsible
for the tribute of light 
in memory of the fallen
Taliban leade...Read More

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