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Famous Stanza Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
...t boarding-school flavor of which we're afraid,
There is "lush"is a good one, and "swirl" is another,--
Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.

With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes
You can cheat us of smiles when you've nothing to tell
You hand us a nosegay of milliner's roses, 
And we cry with delight, "Oh, how sweet they do smell!"

Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions
For winning the laurels to which you aspire,
By docking the tails of the two pre...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...e happy Lines,
How the Wit brightens! How the Style refines!
Before his sacred Name flies ev'ry Fault,
And each exalted Stanza teems with Thought!

The Vulgar thus through Imitation err;
As oft the Learn'd by being Singular;
So much they scorn the Crowd, that if the Throng
By Chance go right, they purposely go wrong;
So Schismatics the plain Believers quit,
And are but damn'd for having too much Wit.

Some praise at Morning what they blame at Night;
But always think the l...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...e --
This -- was different -- 'Twas Translation --
Of all tunes I knew -- and more --

'Twasn't contained -- like other stanza --
No one could play it -- the second time --
But the Composer -- perfect Mozart --
Perish with him -- that Keyless Rhyme!

So -- Children -- told how Brooks in Eden --
Bubbled a better -- Melody --
Quaintly infer -- Eve's great surrender --
Urging the feet -- that would -- not -- fly --

Children -- matured -- are wiser -- mostly --
Eden -- a legend ...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...e bella. IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED CRUSADE AGAINST THE INFIDELS.  O spirit wish'd and waited for in heaven,That wearest gracefully our human clay,Not as with loading sin and earthly stain,Who lov'st our Lord's high bidding to obey,—Henceforth to thee the way is plain and eve...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
.../H2> Vergine bella che di sol vestita. TO THE VIRGIN MARY.  Beautiful Virgin! clothed with the sun,Crown'd with the stars, who so the Eternal SunWell pleasedst that in thine his light he hid;Love pricks me on to utter speech of thee,And—feeble to commence without thy a...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...on, much bemus'd in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause:
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit...Read more of this...

by Graves, Robert pleats, 
Sheet it with sheets 
Of empty conceits, 
And chop and chew, 
And hack and hew, 
And weld it into a uniform stanza,
And evolve a neat, 
Complacent, complete, 
Academic extravaganza!...Read more of this...

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...we ourselves,
Those who lie wounded, those who in prison cast
Strive to recall, to ease them, some great ode, and every stanza save the last.

Recall—oh, in the dark, restore them
The unremembered lines; make bright the page before them!
Page after page present to these,
In prison concentrated, watched by barbs of bayonet and wire,
Give ye to them their hearts' intense desire—
The words of Shelley, Virgil, Sophocles.

And thou, O lovely and not sad,
Euterpe, be thou i...Read more of this...

by Collins, Billy
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation poin...Read more of this...

by Kinnell, Galway
...on scraps of paper, which he then stuck in his 
but when he got home he couldn't figure out the order of the stanzas, 
 and he and a friend spread the papers on a table, and they 
 made some sense of them, but he isn't sure to this day if 
 they got it right. 
An entire stanza may have slipped into the lining of his jacket 
 through a hole in his pocket.
He still wonders about the occasional sense of drift between stanzas, 
 and the way here and there a lin...Read more of this...

by Cocteau, Jean
...the other
on the page

Isles sobs of Ariadne

 dragging along
 Aridnes seals

for I betray you my fair stanzas
run and awaken

I plan no architecture

like you Beethoven

like you
numberless old man

born everywhere

I elaborate
in the prairies of inner

and the work of the mission
and the poem of the work
and the stanza of the poem
and the group of the stanza
and the words of the group
and the letters of the word...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco> HE ENDEAVOURS TO FIND PEACE IN THE THOUGHT THAT SHE IS IN HEAVEN.  Mine eyes! our glorious sun is veil'd in night,Or set to us, to rise 'mid realms of love;There we may hail it still, and haply proveIt mourn'd that we delay'd our heavenward flight.Mine ears! the music of her ...Read more of this...

by Brontë, Emily
...Often rebuked, yet always back returning
To those first feelings that were born with me,
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
For idle dreams of things which cannot be:

Today, I will seek not the shadowy region;
Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear;
And visions rising, legion after legion,
Bring the unreal world too strangely near.

I'll wal...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...their position in the air, they make a rustling and a crackling noise. This circumstance is alluded to in the first stanza of the following poem.] THE COMPLAINT, etc.   Before I see another day,  Oh let my body die away!  In sleep I heard the northern gleams;  The stars they were among my dreams;  In sleep did I behold the skies,  I saw the crackling flashes drive;Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...itten,I believe, of the poems which were published during his life-time.This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.]...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...TRIUMPH OF CHASTITY. Quando ad un giogo ed in Un tempo quivi.  When to one yoke at once I saw the heightOf gods and men subdued by Cupid's might,I took example from their cruel fate,And by their sufferings eased my own hard state;Since Phœbus and Leander felt like pain,Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...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, and had gain'dMuch honour by her victory, and chain'dThat god which doth the world with te...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...E 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 driven,In sad vicissitude's eternal round,Awhile I stood in holy horror bound;And thus at last with self-exploring mind,Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...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 sovereign light,Retiring, left the world immersed in night;The Phantom, with a frown that chill'...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...a?rial ship it tack'd, and steer'd, 
Or was steer'd (I am doubtful of the grammar 
Of the last phrase, which makes the stanza stammer; — 


But take your choice): and then it grew a cloud; 
And so it was — a cloud of witnesses. 
But such a cloud! No land e'er saw a crowd 
Of locusts numerous as the heavens saw these; 
They shadow'd with their myriads space; their loud 
And varied cries were like those of wild geese 
(If nations may be liken'd to a goose), 
And rea...Read more of this...

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