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Famous Sonnet Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Poe, Edgar Allan
..."Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce, 
"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet. 
Through all the flimsy things we see at once 
As easily as through a Naples bonnet- 
Trash of all trash!- how can a lady don it? 
Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff- 
Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff 
Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it." 
And, veritably, Sol is right enough. 
The general tuckermanities are arra...Read More



by Sidney, Sir Philip
...preuaile,
That in my woes for thee thou art my ioy,
And in my ioyes for thee my onely annoy. 
The following two sonnets were added by Grosart as having been intended for the sonnet cycle, though they did not appear here in the early editions: 

CIX 

Thou blind mans marke, thou fooles selfe-chosen snare,
Fond fancies scum, and dregs of scatter'd thought:
Band of all euils, cradle of causelesse care;
Thou web of will, whose end is neuer wrought:
Desire! Desire!...Read More

by Keats, John
...BRIGHT Star! would I were steadfast as thou art¡ª 
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night  
And watching with eternal lids apart  
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite  
The moving waters at their priest-like task 5 
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores  
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors¡ª ...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
...I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from ...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
...Naked you are simple as one of your hands;
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round.
You've moon-lines, apple pathways
Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba;
You've vines and stars in your hair.
Naked you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.

Naked you are tiny as one of yo...Read More



by Shakespeare, William
...My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...nd the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly b...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...oard, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest. 

Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life's buried here,
Heap earth upon it. 



AVIGNON...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart 
Vulture whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise 
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies 
Albeit he soared with an undaunted w...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contènts
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memo...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, i...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argume...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
Nor...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...1
They that in play can do the thing they would,
Having an instinct throned in reason's place,
--And every perfect action hath the grace
Of indolence or thoughtless hardihood--
These are the best: yet be there workmen good
Who lose in earnestness control of face,
Or reckon means, and rapt in effort base
Reach to their end by steps well understood. 
Me ...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...THE TRIUMPH OF DEATH. PART I. Questa leggiadra e gloriosa Donna.  The glorious Maid, whose soul to heaven is goneAnd left the rest cold earth, she who was grownA pillar of true valour, an...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...[Pg 400] THE TRIUMPH OF ETERNITY. Da poi che sotto 'l ciel cosa non vidi.  When all beneath the ample cope of heavenI saw, like clouds before the tempest drive...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...THE TRIUMPH OF FAME. PART I. Da poi che Morte trionfò nel volto.  When cruel Death his paly ensign spreadOver that face, which oft in triumph ledMy subject thoughts; and beauty's sovereig...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...
429. V. Pervigilium Veneris. Cf. Philomela
in Parts II and III.

430. V. Gerard de Nerval, Sonnet El Desdichado.
432. V. Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.
434. Shantih. Repeated as here, a formal ending to an
Upanishad.
'The Peace which passeth understanding' is a feeble translation
of the content of this word.      ...Read More

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