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Famous Slates Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Thomas, Dylan
Ships, hold you poison or grapes?

Hands grumble on the door,
Ships anchor off the bay,
Rain beats the sand and slates.
Shall I let in the stranger,
Shall I welcome the sailor,
Or stay till the day I die?

Hands of the stranger and holds of the ships,
Hold you poison or grapes?...Read More

by Breton, Andre
...with the eyelashes of strokes of a child's writing
With brows of the edge of a swallow's nest
My wife with the brow of slates of a hothouse roof
And of steam on the panes
My wife with shoulders of champagne
And of a fountain with dolphin-heads beneath the ice
My wife with wrists of matches
My wife with fingers of luck and ace of hearts
With fingers of mown hay
My wife with armpits of marten and of beechnut
And of Midsummer Night
Of privet and of an angelfish nest
With arms o...Read More

by Tebb, Barry, unmistakable

Gravel and honey, a raw celebration of rain

Like a tattered lacework window;

Black glisten on roof slates,

Tarmac turned to shining ice,

Blusters of naked wind whipping

The wavelets of shifting water

To imaginary floating islets

On the turbulent river

Glumly he asked, "Where are the mills?"

Knowing their goneness in his lonely heart.

"Where are the mines with their turning spokes,

Lurking slag heaps, bolts of coal split with

Shimmering fools...Read More

by Betjeman, John
Graves of spinster, rake and lover,
Whose fantastic mausoleum,
Sings its own seablown Te Deum,
In and out the slipping slates....Read More

by Lowell, Amy
How the slates of the roof sparkle in the sun, 
over there, over there,
beyond the high wall! How quietly the Seine runs in loops 
and windings,
over there, over there, sliding through the green countryside! Like 
of the line, stately with canvas, the tall clouds pass along the 
over the glittering roof, over the trees, over the looped and curving 
river....Read More

by Verhaeren, Emile
...he horizon that shifts and quivers,
And to be flying in gleams of fire
Far o'er the lakes and the swampy rivers.
Its slates, like wings
Of sparks and spangles, afar it flings.
They fly toward the forests across the night:
And in their passage the fires exhume
The hovels and huts from their folds of gloom,
Setting them suddenly all alight.

In the crashing fall of the steeple's crown
The cross to the brazier's depth drops down,
Where, twisted and torn in the fier...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...tes drew
To fractions. Then the west wind blew
The sound of a bell,
On a gusty swell.
It came skipping over the slates of the roof,
And the bright bell-notes seemed a reproof
To grief, in the eye of so fair a day.
The Abbess, comforted, ceased to pray.
And the sun lit the flowers
In Clotilde's Book of Hours.
It glistened the green of the Virgin's dress
And made the red spots, in a flushed excess,
Pulse and start; and the violet wings
Of the angel were colo...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...klustre in an unmade bed

A Sunday in December while all Leeds lies in around me 

In the silent streets, frost on roof slates, gas fires

And kettles whistle as I read Bonnefoy on the eternal.

Too tired to fantasize, unsummoned images float by,

Feebly I snatch at them to comply with the muse’s dictum: write.

The streets of fifties summers, kali from the corner shop,

Sherbet lemons and ice pops, the voice of Margaret at ten,

What times will have done to you, what...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...oor, the window-panes opaque with dirt, sills choked with 


A rusted letter-box, cracked lintel, lichened roof-slates caving in,

A ‘Sold’ board hammered firmly into place.


There was no solace in the parsonage, no solace there at all,

The staff found it odd, my wanting to park my heavy bag and trudge

From room to room. The couch Emily died on, so shabby and so faded,

Patrick’s hat and sticks like stage props, Mrs. Gaskell’s escritoire

So thoroug...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
Which made the inhabitants shake with fear and wonder
If their dwellings would be blown to the ground,
While the slates and chimney-cans were falling all around. 

Early on the 18th a disaster occurred on the Tay :
The wreck of the steamer "Union,"- Oh! horror and dismay!
Whereby four lives have been taken away,
Which will make their friends mourn for many a day. 

The steamer left Newburgh for Dundee with a cargo of sand,
And the crew expected they would safel...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...I, the poet William Yeats,
With old mill boards and sea-green slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George;
And may these characters remain
When all is ruin once again....Read More

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