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Famous Speaker Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Estep, Maggie

The strobe light is illuminating my pubic unicorn. Madonna's song Borderline
is pumping through the club's speaker system for the 5th time tonight:
And suddenly, I start to wonder: What does that mean anyway? 



Screw me so much my eyes pop out, I go blind, end up walking down 2nd Avenue
crazy, horny, naked and blind? What?

There's a glitch in the tape and ...Read more of this...

by Rich, Adrienne

A conversation begins
with a lie. and each 

speaker of the so-called common language feels
the ice-floe split, the drift apart 

as if powerless, as if up against
a force of nature 

A poem can being
with a lie. And be torn up. 

A conversation has other laws
recharges itself with its own 

false energy, Cannot be torn
up. Infiltrates our blood. Repeats itself. 

Inscribes with its...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their enclosures;
So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker.
Silent a moment they stood in speechless wonder, and then rose
Louder and ever louder a wail of sorrow and anger,
And, by one impulse moved, they madly rushed to the door-way.
Vain was the hope of escape; and cries and fierce imprecations
Rang through the house of prayer; and high o'er the heads of the others
Rose, with his arms uplifted, th...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
 "Big Joss and little Zeno, pray come here; 
 Look now—how dreadful! can I help but fear!" 
 Madame Mahaud was speaker. Moonlight there 
 Caressingly enhanced her beauty rare, 
 Making it shine and tremble, as if she 
 So soft and gentle were of things that be 
 Of air created, and are brought and ta'en 
 By heavenly flashes. Now, she spoke again 
 "Certes, 'tis heavy purchase of a throne, 
 To pass the night here utterly alone. 
 Had you not slyly come to gu...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...this suit) 
By the Alibi which has been proved. 

"My poor client's fate now depends on your votes." 
Here the speaker sat down in his place, 
And directed the Judge to refer to his notes
And briefly to sum up the case. 

But the Judge said he never had summed up before; 
So the Snark undertook it instead, 
And summed it so well that it came to far more
Than the Witnesses ever had said! 

When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined, 
As the word was so puz...Read more of this...

by Lux, Thomas
...Senator, statesman, speaker of the House,
exceptional dancer, slim,
graceful, ugly. Proclaimed, before most, slavery
an evil, broker
of elections (burned Jackson
for Adams), took a pistol ball in the thigh
in a duel, delayed, by forty years,
with his compromises, the Civil War,
gambler ("I have always
paid peculiar homage to the fickle goddess"),
boozehound, ladies' man -- ...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then....Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker make out why.
Guess his humor ain’t refined.
Quite enough to suit my mind.
Mark’s all right—right clever speaker—
But he can’t touch Jabed Meeker;
And one thing that makes it *****
Is that Jabed lives right here.

You ain’t met him? Son, you’ve missed
The most funniest humorist
I’ve met with in my born days—
Funniest talker, anyways,
When it comes to repartee—
That’s the humor catches me!

Like a specimen? Huh! Well,
Take, for instance, his umbrell;
Wouldn’...Read more of this...

by Masters, Edgar Lee>
Meanwhile friend of the great, and lover of letters,
And host to Matthew Arnold and to Emerson.
An after dinner speaker, writing essays
For local clubs. At last brought here—
My boyhood home, you know—
Not even a little tablet in Chicago
To keep my name alive.
How great it is to write the single line:
“Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll!”...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...rude Dutch upbraid, 
Who in the time of treaty durst invade. 

Thick was the morning, and the House was thin, 
The Speaker early, when they all fell in. 
Propitious heavens, had not you them crossed, 
Excise had got the day, and all been lost. 
For the other side all in loose quarters lay, 
Without intelligence, command, or pay: 
A scattered body, which the foe ne'er tried, 
But oftener did among themselves divide. 
And some ran o'er each night, while others ...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...he Tories' anger
Could now restrain itself no longer;
Who tried before by many a freak, or
Insulting noise, to stop the speaker;
Swung th' un-oil'd hinge of each pew-door,
Their feet kept shuffling on the floor;
Made their disapprobation known
By many a murmur, hum and groan,
That to his speech supplied the place
Of counterpart in thorough bass.
Thus bagpipes, while the tune they breathe,
Still drone and grumble underneath;
And thus the famed Demosthenes
Harangued the rum...Read more of this...

by Francis, Robert
...The first speaker said
Fear fire. Fear furnaces
Incinerators, the city dump
The faint scratch of a match. 

The second speaker said
Fear water. Fear drenching rain
Drizzle, oceans, puddles, a damp
Day and the flush toilet. 

The third speaker said
Fear wind. And it needn't be
A hurricane. Drafts, open
Windows, electric fans. 

The fourth sp...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...pped away, 
the hand guillotined, 
dog **** thrown into the middle of a laugh, 
a hornets' nest building into the hi-fi speaker 
and leaving me in silence, 
where, without music, 
I become a cracked orphan. 

one gets out of bed 
and the planets don't always hiss 
or muck up the day, each day. 
As for the pain and its multiplying teaspoon, 
perhaps it is a medicine 
that will cure the soul 
of its greed for love 
next Thursday....Read more of this...

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
...all "Doctor," and this we call "Judge;"
It's a neat little fiction,-- of course it's all fudge.

That fellow's the "Speaker,"-- the one on the right;
"Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you to-night?
That's our "Member of Congress," we say when we chaff;
There's the "Reverend" What's his name?-- don't make me laugh.

That boy with the grave mathematical look
Made believe he had written a wonderful book,
And the ROYAL SOCIETY thought it was true!
So they chose him r...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...f this suit)
 By the Alibi which has been proved.

"My poor client's fate now depends on your votes."
 Here the speaker sat down in his place,
And directed the Judge to refer to his notes
 And briefly to sum up the case.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;
 So the Snark undertook it instead,
And summed it so well that it came to far more
 Than the Witnesses ever had said!

When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined,
 As the word was so puzzl...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
     They mourned him pent within the hold,
     'Where stout Earl William was of old.'—
     And there his word the speaker stayed,
     And finger on his lip he laid,
     Or pointed to his dagger blade.
     But jaded horsemen from the west
     At evening to the Castle pressed,
     And busy talkers said they bore
     Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore;
     At noon the deadly fray begun,
     And lasted till the set of sun.
     Thus giddy rumor shook the t...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...rth is told.

A beautiful word at the last was said:
A great deep heart like the hearts of old
Went forth; and the speaker had lost the thread,
Or all the story of earth was told.

The dust hung over the pale dry ways
Dizzily fired with the twilight’s gold,
And a bitter remembrance blew in each face
How all the story of earth was told....Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
The people push and surge and eddy 
But Brown waits calmly close at hand 
With all his apparatus ready; 
And while the speaker loudly cries, 
"Of ages all, this is the boss age!" 
Brown hits him square between the eyes, 
Exclaiming, "What's the price of sausage?" 

He aimed the victuals in his face, 
As though he thought poor Jones a glutton. 
And Jones was covered with disgrace -- 
Disgrace and shame, and beef and mutton. 
His cause was lost -- a hopeless wreck 
He ...Read more of this...

by Gluck, Louise
...Don't listen to me; my heart's been broken.
I don't see anything objectively.

I know myself; I've learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
That's when I'm least to be trusted.

It's very sad, really: all my life I've been praised
For my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight-
In the end they're wasted-

I ne...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ordinary length of it, as well as the vein of pleasantry that
runs through it, is very suitable to the character of the speaker.
The greatest part must have been of Chaucer's own invention,
though one may plainly see that he had been reading the popular
invectives against marriage and women in general; such as the
'Roman de la Rose,' 'Valerius ad Rufinum, De non Ducenda
Uxore,' ('Valerius to Rufinus, on not being ruled by one's wife')
and particularly 'Hieronymus contra J...Read more of this...

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