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Famous Spoken Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Thomas, Dylan
...s looked out On the Feast of Stephen ... And then a small,
dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry,
eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped
running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely; balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-
gulping gas; everything was good again and shone over the town.
"Perhaps it was ...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
..., I knew, 
Had driven the wheels too fast, and not for gold. 

“If you had given him then your hand,” I said, 
“And spoken, though it strangled you, the truth, 
I should not have the melancholy honor
Of sitting here alone with you this evening. 
If only you had shaken hands with him, 
And said the truth, he would have gone his way. 
And you your way. He might have wished you dead, 
But he would not have made you miserable.
At least,” I added, indefensibly,...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...bore me, 
And I sighed to him before me, 
Thinking him dead D'Elormie, 
"Oh, I am happy now!" 

And thus the words were spoken, 
And this the plighted vow, 
And, though my faith be broken, 
And, though my heart be broken, 
Here is a ring, as token 
That I am happy now! 

Would God I could awaken! 
For I dream I know not how! 
And my soul is sorely shaken 
Lest an evil step be taken,- 
Lest the dead who is forsaken 
May not be happy now....Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...even gods affect! O come, Love, come,
Still we have time to reach the cavern of thine azure home.'

Scarce had she spoken when the shuddering trees
Shook, and the leaves divided, and the air
Grew conscious of a god, and the grey seas
Crawled backward, and a long and dismal blare
Blew from some tasselled horn, a sleuth-hound bayed,
And like a flame a barbed reed flew whizzing down the glade.

And where the little flowers of her breast
Just brake into their milky bloss...Read More

by Tate, James
from decaying matter, subtle but everpresent.
They walk around erect like champions.
They are smooth-spoken and witty.
When alone, rare occasion, they stare
into the mirror for hours, bewildered.
There was something they meant to say, but didn't: 
"And if we put the statue of the rhinoceros
next to the tweezers, and walk around the room three times,
learn to yodel, shave our heads, call 
our ancestors back from the dead--" 
poetrywise it's still a b...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...As apart by the window she stood, with her hand in her lover's,
Blushing Evangeline heard the words that her father had spoken,
And, as they died on his lips, the worthy notary entered.


Bent like a laboring oar, that toils in the surf of the ocean,
Bent, but not broken, by age was the form of the notary public;
Shocks of yellow hair, like the silken floss of the maize, hung
Over his shoulders; his forehead was high; and glasses with horn bows
Sat astride on his no...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...ith Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same:. 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings, 
And never breathe a word about your loss: 
If you can force...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...hers gathering, patient as the last, 
 Not conscious of their nearing doom. 

 "My son," 
 - Replied my guide the unspoken thought - "is none 
 Beneath God's wrath who dies in field or town, 
 Or earth's wide space, or whom the waters drown, 
 But here he cometh at last, and that so spurred 
 By Justice, that his fear, as those ye heard, 
 Impels him forward like desire. Is not 
 One spirit of all to reach the fatal spot 
 That God's love holdeth, and hence, if Char 
...Read More

by Frost, Robert the educational
Advantages of growing almost wild
Under the watchful eye of hawk and eagle 
Dorkings because they're spoken of by Chaucer,
Sussex because they're spoken of by Herrick.

She has a touch of gold. New Hampshire gold—
You may have heard of it. I had a farm
Offered me not long since up Berlin way
With a mine on it that was worked for gold;
But not gold in commercial quantities,
Just enough gold to make the engagement rings
And marriage rings of those...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
so daft within a year or two.
The daisies have come
for the last time.
And I who have,
each year of my life,
spoken to the tooth fairy,
believing in her,
even when I was her,
am helpless to stop your daisies from dying,
although your voice cries into the telephone:
Marry me! Marry me!
and my voice speaks onto these keys tonight:
The love is in dark trouble!
The love is starting to die,
right now--
we are in the process of it.
The empty process of it.

I see...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...ost melancholy." This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description: it is spoken in the character of the melancholy Man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The Author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except perhaps that of having ridiculed his Bible.]   When he had bette...Read More

by Browning, Robert
And Jacynth rejoiced to admit any one,
For since last night, by the same token,
Not a single word had the lady spoken:
They went in both to the presence together,
While I in the balcony watched the weather.


And now, what took place at the very first of all,
I cannot tell, as I never could learn it:
Jacynth constantly wished a curse to fall
On that little head of hers and burn it
If she knew how she came to drop so soundly
Asleep of a sudden and there co...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...hat most of us would follow wandering fires, 
Came like a driving gloom across my mind. 
Then every evil word I had spoken once, 
And every evil thought I had thought of old, 
And every evil deed I ever did, 
Awoke and cried, "This Quest is not for thee." 
And lifting up mine eyes, I found myself 
Alone, and in a land of sand and thorns, 
And I was thirsty even unto death; 
And I, too, cried, "This Quest is not for thee." 

`And on I rode, and when I thought my th...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis

Fit the fourth.


The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow.
 "If only you'd spoken before!
It's excessively awkward to mention it now,
 With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!

"We should all of us grieve, as you well may believe,
 If you never were met with again--
But surely, my man, when the voyage began,
 You might have suggested it then?

"It's excessively awkward to mention it now--
 As I think I've already remarked."
An...Read More

by Blake, William
...eaking these 
ten commandments: Jesus was all virtue and acted from im[PL 24]pulse: 
not from rules.
When he had so spoken: I beheld the Angel who stretched out
his arms embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose
as Elijah.

Note. This Angel, who is now become a Devil, is my
particular friend: we often read the Bible together in its
infernal or diabolical sense which the world shall have if they
behave well 
I have also: The Bible of Hell: which the w...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...s whole life
Will scarcely find for him a broken crust
Of all those truths that are your daily bread;
And when you have spoken take the roads again?

Robartes. He wrote of me in that extravagant style
He had learnt from pater, and to round his tale
Said I was dead; and dead I choose to be.

Aherne. Sing me the changes of the moon once more;
True song, though speech: "mine author sung it me.'

Robartes. Twenty-and-eight the phases of the moon,
The full and ...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...ever dared to dream before; 
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" 
Merely this and nothing more. 30 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; 
Let me see, th...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...aggression upon France, — like all other exaggeration, necessarily begets opposition. In whatever manner he may be spoken of in this new 'Vision,' his public career will not be more favourably transmitted by history. Of his private virtues (although a little expense to the nation) there can be no doubt. 

With regard to the supernatural personages treated of, I can only say that I know as much about them, and (as an honest man) have a better right to talk of them...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
Morals and arts ye sent forth, e'en to the ocean's far isles.
'Twas at these friendly gates that the law was spoken by sages;
In their Penates' defence, heroes rushed out to the fray.
On the high walls appeared the mothers, embracing their infants,
Looking after the march, till the distance 'twas lost.
Then in prayer they threw themselves down at the deities' altars,
Praying for triumph and fame, praying for your safe return.
Honor and triumph were your...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer, by that heartbreaking sigh at my door. 

Bad news is not broken, 
 By kind tactful word; 
The message is spoken 
 Ere the word can be heard. 
The eye and the bearing, 
 The breath make it clear, 
And the heart is despairing 
 Before the ears hear. 
I do not remember 
 The words that they said: 
 I knew John was dead. 
All done and over—
 That day long ago—
The while cliffs of Dover— 
 Little did I know. 

As I grow ...Read More

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