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Famous Stale Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
..., nor confine,
For thou art all, and all things else are thine.

''When thou impressest, what are precepts worth
Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame,
How coldly those impediments stand forth
Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame!
Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense,
'gainst shame,
And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.

''Now all these hearts that do on mine depend,
Feeling it break, with ...Read More

by Nash, Ogden
...t was cheap cigars like lurid scars
That glowed in the rancid gloom,
The murk was a-boil with fusel oil
And the reek of stale perfume.
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.
(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cain who each has slain
And...Read More

by Dryden, John
...pass thy days
Like one of virtue's fools that feeds on praise;
Till thy fresh glories, which now shine so bright,
Grow stale and tarnish with our daily sight.
Believe me, royal youth, thy fruit must be,
Or gather'd ripe, or rot upon the tree.
Heav'n has to all allotted, soon or late,
Some lucky revolution of their fate:
Whose motions if we watch and guide with skill,
(For human good depends on human will,)
Our fortune rolls, as from a smooth descent,
And, from the fi...Read More

by Kavanagh, Patrick
...f a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.

And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.

O after Christmas we'll have no need to go s...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...nce a Judgment of their own,
But catch the spreading Notion of the Town;
They reason and conclude by Precedent,
And own stale Nonsense which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of Authors' Names, not Works, and then
Nor praise nor blame the Writings, but the Men.
Of all this Servile Herd the worst is He
That in proud Dulness joins with Quality,
A constant Critick at the Great-man's Board,
To fetch and carry Nonsense for my Lord.
What woful stuff this Madrigal wou'd be,
...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip

Alas, haue I not pain enough, my friend,
Vpon whose breast a fiecer Gripe doth tire
Than did on him who first stale down the fire,
While Loue on me doth all his quiuer spend,
But with your rhubarbe words ye must contend
To grieue me worse, in saying that Desire
Doth plunge my wel-form'd soul euen in the mire
Of sinfull thoughts, which do in ruin end?
If that be sinne which doth the manners frame,
Well staid with truth in word and faith of deede,
Ready of wit...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
He stiyghtlez stif in stalle,
Ful yghep in that Nw Yghere
Much mirthe he mas withalle.
Thus ther stondes in stale the stif kyng hisseluen,
Talkkande bifore the hyyghe table of trifles ful hende.
There gode Gawan watz graythed Gwenore bisyde,
And Agrauayn a la dure mayn on that other syde sittes,
Bothe the kynges sistersunes and ful siker kniyghtes;
Bischop Bawdewyn abof biginez the table,
And Ywan, Vryn son, ette with hymseluen.
Thise were diyght on...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 in the drear light of Zoo, 
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's 
 floated out and sat through the stale beer after 
 noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack 
 of doom on the hydrogen jukebox, 
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to 
 pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook- 
 lyn Bridge, 
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping 
 down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills 
 off Empire State out of the moon...Read More

by Ashbery, John this unlikely
Challenger pounding on the gates of an amazed
Castle. Your argument, Francesco,
Had begun to grow stale as no answer
Or answers were forthcoming. If it dissolves now
Into dust, that only means its time had come
Some time ago, but look now, and listen:
It may be that another life is stocked there
In recesses no one knew of; that it,
Not we, are the change; that we are in fact it
If we could get back to it, relive some of the way
It looked, turn our fa...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...It’s no night to be out.”

“He may be small,
He may be good, but one thing’s sure, he’s tough.”

“And strong of stale tobacco.”

“He’ll pull through.’
“You only say so. Not another house
Or shelter to put into from this place
To theirs. I’m going to call his wife again.”

“Wait and he may. Let’s see what he will do.
Let’s see if he will think of her again.
But then I doubt he’s thinking of himself
He doesn’t look on it as anything.”...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...s that have shed tears;
For me children, and the begetters of children. 

Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale, nor discarded; 
I see through the broadcloth and gingham, whether or no; 
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away. 

The little one sleeps in its cradle;
I lift the gauze, and look a long time, and silently brush away flies with my

The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bus...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ty, self-esteem, curiosity; 
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests! 

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer. 

Allons! yet take warning! 
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance; 
None may come to the trial, till he or she bring courage and health.

Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself; 
Only those may come, who come in sweet and determin’d bodies; 
N...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
82 In poems of plums, the strict austerity 
83 Of one vast, subjugating, final tone. 
84 The drenching of stale lives no more fell down. 
85 What was this gaudy, gusty panoply? 
86 Out of what swift destruction did it spring? 
87 It was caparison of mind and cloud 
88 And something given to make whole among 
89 The ruses that were shattered by the large. 


Concerning the Thunderstorms of Yucatan 

90 In Yucatan, the Maya sonneteers 
91 O...Read More

by Aiken, Conrad
Desires like this to forget what will not pass,
The littered papers, the dust, the tarnished grass,
Grey death, stale ugliness, and sodden hours.
Deep in his heart old bells are beaten again,
Slurred bells of grief and pain,
Dull echoes of hideous times and poisonous places.
He desires to drown in a cold white peace of snow.
He desires to forget a million faces . . .

In one room breathes a woman who dies of hunger.
The clock ticks slowly a...Read More

by Eluard, Paul
Of a corpse under ground 
With nothing but darkness in mind 

As dull and deaf 
As autumn by the pond 
Covered with stale shame 

Poison, deprived of its flower 
And of its golden beasts 
out its night onto man 

IV. Patience 

You, my patient one 
My patience 
My parent 
Head held high and proudly 
Organ of the sluggish night 
Bow down 
Concealing all of heaven 
And its favor 
Prepare for vengeance 
A bed where I'll be born 

V. First march, the voice of another ...Read More

by Brooks, Gwendolyn escape and chitterling
And swaggering seeking youth and the puzzled wreckage
Of the middle passage, and urine and stale shames
And, again, the porridges of the underslung
And children children children. Heavens! That
Was a rat, surely, off there, in the shadows? Long
And long-tailed? Gray? The Ladies from the Ladies'
Betterment League agree it will be better
To achieve the outer air that rights and steadies,
To hie to a house that does not holler, to ring
Bells else...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...t; he may have had no care 
For what without himself went anywhere 
To failure or to glory, and least of all
For such a stale, flamboyant miracle; 
He may have been the prophet of an art 
Immovable to old idolatries; 
He may have been a player without a part, 
Annoyed that even the sun should have the skies
For such a flaming way to advertise; 
He may have been a painter sick at heart 
With Nature’s toiling for a new surprise; 
He may have been a cynic, who now, for all 
Of a...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...s at college was beastly -- more like a whore's than a man's;
Till you married that thin-flanked woman, as white and as stale as a bone,
An' she gave you your social nonsense; but where's that kid o' your own?
I've seen your carriages blocking the half o' the Cromwell Road,
But never the doctor's brougham to help the missus unload.
(So there isn't even a grandchild, an' the Gloster family's done. )
Not like your mother, she isn't. She carried her freight each run....Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...'d all colours — as a peacock's tail, 
Or sunset streaming through a Gothic skylight 
In some old abbey, or a trout not stale, 
Or distant lightning on the horizon by night, 
Or a fresh rainbow, or a grand review 
Of thirty regiments in red, green, and blue. 


Then he address'd himself to Satan: 'Why — 
My good old friend, for such I deem you, though 
Our different parties make us fight so shy, 
I ne'er mistake you for a personal foe; 
Our difference is political, ...Read More

by Atwood, Margaret
...and and
I'm suddenly in a bad movie,
it goes on and on and 
why am I fascinated

We waltz in slow motion
through an air stale with aphrodisms
we meet behind the endless ptted palms
you climb through the wrong windows

Other people are leaving
but I always stay till the end
I paid my money, I
want to see what happens.

In chance bathtubs I have to 
peel you off me
in the form of smoke and melted
 Have to face it I'm
finally an addict,
the smell of popcorn and wor...Read More

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