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Famous Slab Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Schwartz, Delmore
...window to lighted
When the squares and checks of faintly yellow light
Shine at night, upon a huge dim board and slab-like tombs,
Hiding many lives. It is the city consciousness
Which sees and says: more: more and more: always more....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...solitude in vain?


A turn, and we stand in the heart of things:
The woods are round us, heaped and dim;
From slab to slab how it slips and springs,
The thread of water single and slim,
Through the ravage some torrent brings!


Does it feed the little lake below?
That speck of white just on its marge
Is Pella; see, in the evening-glow,
How sharp the silver spear-heads charge
When Alp meets heaven in snow!


On our other side is the straight-up rock;
A...Read More

by Keats, John
To margin sallows, were the leaves he spied,
And flowers, and wreaths, and ready myrtle crowns
Up heaping through the slab: refreshment drowns
Itself, and strives its own delights to hide--
Nor in one spot alone; the floral pride
In a long whispering birth enchanted grew
Before his footsteps; as when heav'd anew
Old ocean rolls a lengthened wave to the shore,
Down whose green back the short-liv'd foam, all hoar,
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolence.

 Increasing sti...Read More

by Slessor, Kenneth

Then I saw the road, I heard the thunder 
Tumble, and felt the talons of the rain 
The night we came to Moorebank in slab-dark, 
So dark you bore no body, had no face, 
But a sheer voice that rattled out of air 
(As now you'd cry if I could break the glass), 
A voice that spoke beside me in the bush, 
Loud for a breath or bitten off by wind, 
Of Milton, melons, and the Rights of Man, 
And blowing flutes, and how Tahitian girls 
Are brown and angry-tongued, and Sydney girls...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...nd, which the Lady Lyonors 
Had sent her coming champion, waited him. 

Anon they past a narrow comb wherein 
Where slabs of rock with figures, knights on horse 
Sculptured, and deckt in slowly-waning hues. 
'Sir Knave, my knight, a hermit once was here, 
Whose holy hand hath fashioned on the rock 
The war of Time against the soul of man. 
And yon four fools have sucked their allegory 
From these damp walls, and taken but the form. 
Know ye not these?' and Gar...Read More

by Atwood, Margaret
And I can't, because I'm after all
a foreigner to them.
The speech here is all warty gutturals,
obvious as a slab of ham,
but I come from the province of the gods
where meanings are lilting and oblique.
I don't let on to everyone,
but lean close, and I'll whisper:
My mother was raped by a holy swan.
You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. 
That's what we tell all the husbands.
There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around.

Not that an...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...nging sparks

From the flagstones, piercing the lens of winter,

Jutting like tongues of crooked rock

Lapping a mossed slab, an altar outgrown,

Dumped when the trumpeting hosannas

Had finally riven the air of the valley.

And I, myself, what did I make of it?

The voices coming into my head

Welcoming kin, alive or dead, my eyes

Jerking to the roadside magpie,

Its white tail-bar doing a hop, skip and jump....Read More

by Nash, Ogden
...Beneath this slab
John Brown is stowed.
He watched the ads
And not the road....Read More

by Graves, Robert
...old Roman days, 
Before Revivals changed our ways, 
The Virgin ’scaped the Devil’s grab, 
Printing her foot on a stone slab
With five clear toe-marks; and you’ll find 
The fiendish thumbprint close behind. 
You’ll see where Math, Mathonwy’s son, 
Spoke with the wizard Gwydion 
And bad him from South Wales set out
To steal that creature with the snout, 
That new-discovered grunting beast 
Divinely flavoured for the feast. 
No traveller yet has hit upon 
A wilder land ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
To want to find out if he couldn't pile
The lumber on Paul till Paul begged for mercy.
They'd sliced the first slab off a big butt log,
And the sawyer had slammed the carriage back
To slam end-on again against the saw teeth.
To judge them by the way they caught themselves
When they saw what had happened to the log,
They must have had a guilty expectation
Something was going to go with their slambanging.
Something bad left a broad black streak of grease
On the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...remulous shuddering of their
Where the cheese-cloth hangs in the kitchen—where andirons straddle the
 hearth-slab—where cobwebs fall in festoons from the rafters; 
Where trip-hammers crash—where the press is whirling its cylinders; 
Wherever the human heart beats with terrible throes under its ribs; 
Where the pear-shaped balloon is floating aloft, (floating in it myself, and
 looking composedly down;) 
Where the life-car is drawn on the slip-noose—where the h...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...ood cheechako coin
(Which the same I blowed in that very night down in the Tenderloin).
Then I painted a three-foot slab of pine: "Here lies poor Bill MacKie",
And I hung it up on my cabin wall and I waited for Bill to die.

Years passed away, and at last one day came a squaw with a story strange,
Of a long-deserted line of traps 'way back of the Bighorn range;
Of a little hut by the great divide, and a white man stiff and still,
Lying there by his lonesome self, and ...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...belt, he took a lamp,
Went down cellar to the webs and damp.
There in the middle of the mouldy floor
He heaved up a slab, he found a door —
And went down to the Devil.

His lamp blew out, but his eyes burned bright.
Simon Legree stepped down all night —
Down, down to the Devil.
Simon Legree he reached the place,
He saw one half of the human race,
He saw the Devil on a wide green throne,
Gnawing the meat from a big ham-bone,
And he said to Mister Devil:

"I see...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...f Neild; 
Mix them up, and then combine 
With duplicity of Lyne, 
Alfred Deakin's gift of gab, 
Mix the gruel thick and slab. 

ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, 
Heav'n help Australia in her trouble. 

HECATE: Oh, well done, I commend your pains, 
And everyone shall share i' the gains, 
And now about the cauldron sing, 
Enchanting all that you put in. 
Round about the cauldron go, 
In the People's rights we'll throw, 
Cool it with an Employer's blood, 
Then ...Read More

by Atwood, Margaret
...cluttered by perception
and can't see through her.

She stands there, a raucous fact
blocking my way:
immutable, a slab
of what is real.

solid as bacon....Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
A man called Jones was all the go -- 
The people's friend, the poor's protector; 
A long, gaunt, six-foot slab of woe, 
He sought to charm the green elector. 

How Jones had one time been trustee 
For his small niece, and he -- the villain! -- 
Betrayed his trust most shamefully, 
And robbed the child of every shillin'. 
He used to keep accounts, they say, 
To save himself in case of trouble; 
Whatever cash he paid away 
He always used to charge it doubl...Read More

by Cullen, Countee hell, and be
Content, each new-born day, anew to see
The steaming crimson vintage of my youth
Incarnadine the altar-slab of Truth?

Or hast Thou, Lord, somewhere I cannot see,
A lamb imprisoned in a bush for me?
Not so?Then let me render one by one
Thy gifts, while still they shine; some little sun
Yet gilds these thighs; my coat, albeit worn,
Still hold its colors fast; albeit torn.
My heart will laugh a little yet, if I
May win of Thee this grace, Lord:on this high
...Read More

by Harrison, Tony

 Arthur Scargill
 Sunday Times, 10 January 1982

Next millennium you'll have to search quite hard
to find my slab behind the family dead, 
butcher, publican, and baker, now me, bard
adding poetry to their beef, beer and bread.

With Byron three graves on I'll not go short
of company, and Wordsworth's opposite.
That's two peers already, of a sort,
and we'll all be thrown together if the pit,

whose galleries once ran beneath this plot,
causes the distinguish...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...of Saint Teresa lies undecayed in tomb,
Bathed in miraculous oil, sweet odours from it come,
Healing from its lettered slab. Those self-same hands perchance
Eternalised the body of a modern saint that once
Had scooped out pharaoh's mummy. I - though heart might find relief
Did I become a Christian man and choose for my belief
What seems most welcome in the tomb - play a pre-destined part.
Homer is my example and his unchristened heart.
The lion and the honeyc...Read More

by Lowell, Robert
...ea lapped
the raw little match-stick 
mazes of a weir,
where the fish for bait were trapped.

Remember? We sat on a slab of rock.
>From this distance in time
it seems the color
of iris, rotting and turning purpler,

but it was only 
the usual gray rock
turning the usual green
when drenched by the sea.

The sea drenched the rock
at our feet all day,
and kept tearing away 
flake after flake.

One night you dreamed
you were a mermaid clinging to a wharf-pile,
and...Read More

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