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Famous Sputtering Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Sandburg, Carl
...boy hearts.
Fill us again with the red love of prairies, dark nights, lonely wagons, and the crack-crack of rifles sputtering flashes into an ambush....Read more of this...



by Walcott, Derek
...leep which scythes
the stalks of lances, fells the
harvest of legions
with nothing for its knives,
that makes Caesars,

sputtering at flies,
slapping their foreheads
with the laurel's imprint,
drunkards, comedians.

All-humbling sleep, whose peace
is sweet as death,
whose silence has
all the sea's weight and volubility,

who swings this globe by a hair's trembling breath.

Shattered and wild and
palm-crowned Antony,
rusting in Egypt,
ready to lose the world,
to Actium...Read more of this...

by Hikmet, Nazim
...--
 twice this masterpiece...
Gentlemen, uniformed gentlemen..."

"C-U-U-U-T!
 Enough.
stop sputtering like a jammed machine gun!
Bailiff,
 read the verdict."


The bailiff reads the verdict:


"The laws of France
 have been violated in China
by the above-named Gioconda, daughter of one Leonardo.
Accordingly,
 we sentence the accused
 to death
 by burning.
And tomorrow night at moonrise,
a Senegalese regiment
 will execute said decision...Read more of this...

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...maining, for the dark, 
Bleak shadows of the grave engulf the end.

To those who burn the candle to the stick, 
The sputtering socket yields but little light.
Long life is sadder than early death.
We cannot count on raveled threads of age
Whereof to weave a fabric. We must use
The warp and woof the ready present yields
And toils while daylight lasts. When I bethink
How brief the past, the future still more brief, 
Calls on to action, action! Not for me
Is ...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...evil beast
Hath drawn his claws athwart thy face? or fiend?
Man was it who marr'd heaven's image in thee thus?"

Then, sputtering thro' the hedge of splinter'd teeth,
Yet strangers to the tongue, and with blunt stump
Pitch-blacken'd sawing the air, said the maim'd churl,

"He took them and he drave them to his tower--
Some hold he was a table-knight of thine--
A hundred goodly ones--the Red Knight, he--
Lord, I was tending swine, and the Red Knight
Brake in upon me and drave...Read more of this...



by Lowell, Amy
...e gas-lamp in front of the house flared up,
And the keyhole was as big as a barn door;
The gas-lamp flickered away to a sputtering blue star,
And the keyhole went out with it.
Such a stabbing, and jabbing,
And sticking, and picking,
And poking, and pushing, and prying
With that key;
And there is no denying that Mr. Spruggins rapped out an oath or 
two,
Rub-a-dub-dubbing them out to a real snare-drum roll.
But the door opened at last,
And Mr. Spruggins blew thr...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...nd makes a long 
nose with his fingers.
He will fight for smooth, white sheets of paper, and uncurdled ink.
The sputtering sword cannot make him blink, and his thoughts are
wet and rippling. They cool his heart.
He will tear the eagle out of the sky and give 
the earth tranquillity,
and loveliness printed on white paper.

The eye of the serpent is an owner of mills.
He looks at the glaring sword which has snapped 
his machinery
and struck away his men....Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...ce of frost-bright 
nights,
In little lights,
Like will-o'-the-wisps flickering, fluttering,
Here -- there --
Spurting, sputtering,
Fading and lighting,
Together, asunder --
Till Lotta sat up in bed with wonder,
And the faint grey patch of the window shone
Upon her sitting there, alone.
For Theodore slept.
The twenty-eighth was last rehearsal day,
'Twas called for noon, so early morning meant
Herr Altgelt's only time in which to play
His part alone. Drawn like a m...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...il beast 
Hath drawn his claws athwart thy face? or fiend? 
Man was it who marred heaven's image in thee thus?' 

Then, sputtering through the hedge of splintered teeth, 
Yet strangers to the tongue, and with blunt stump 
Pitch-blackened sawing the air, said the maimed churl, 

`He took them and he drave them to his tower-- 
Some hold he was a table-knight of thine-- 
A hundred goodly ones--the Red Knight, he-- 
Lord, I was tending swine, and the Red Knight 
Brake in upon me ...Read more of this...

by Kunitz, Stanley
...dirt keeps sifting in,
staining the water yellow,
why should I be blamed?
Never try to explain.
That single Model A
sputtering up the grade
unfurled a highway behind
where the tanks maneuver,
revolving their turrets.
In a murderous time
the heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
through dark and deeper dark
and not to turn.
I am looking for the trail.
Where is my testing-tree?
Give me back my stones!...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...uld be no harsh friend.
 When night had deepened,
I groped my way from beech to hazel wood,
Found that old house, a sputtering torch within,
And stretched out sleeping on a pile of skins
Ardan, and though I called to him and tried
To Shake him out of sleep, I could not rouse him.
I waited till the night was on the turn,
Then fearing that some labourer, on his way
To plough or pasture-land, might see me there,
Went out.
 Among the ivy-covered rocks,
As on the blue ...Read more of this...

by Simic, Charles
...ay,
And all of eternity spread around you.

Doesn't it give you the creeps
To hear them begging you on their knees,
Sputtering endearments,
As if you were an inflatable, life-size doll?
Tell them to button up and go to bed.
Stop pretending you're too busy to take notice.

Your hands are empty and so are your eyes.
There's nothing to put your signature to,
Even if you knew your own name,
Or believed the ones I keep inventing,
As I scribble this note to you in t...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...away burns with a blue smoke.

The love of a young man whose sweetheart married an older man for money burns with a sputtering uncertain flame.

And there is a love … one in a thousand … burns clean and is gone leaving a white ash.…

And this is a thought she never explains to the parrot and goldfish and two white mice....Read more of this...

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Book: Shattered Sighs