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Famous Starfish Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Thomas, Dylan
...a breakneck of rocks
Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
Froth, flute, fin, and quill
At a wood's dancing hoof,
By scummed, starfish sands
With their fishwife cross
Gulls, pipers, cockles, and snails,
Out there, crow black, men
Tackled with clouds, who kneel
To the sunset nets,
Geese nearly in heaven, boys
Stabbing, and herons, and shells
That speak seven seas,
Eternal waters away
From the cities of nine
Days' night whose towers will catch
In the religious wind
Like stalks of tal...Read more of this...

by Milosz, Czeslaw tongue
To be left for mankind,
Mankind who live on.

Already they were back at their wine
Or peddled their white starfish,
Baskets of olives and lemons
They had shouldered to the fair,
And he already distanced
As if centuries had passed
While they paused just a moment
For his flying in the fire.

Those dying here, the lonely
Forgotten by the world,
Our tongue becomes for them
The language of an ancient planet.
Until, when all is legend
And many years have passe...Read more of this...

by Spicer, Jack
...A dead starfish on a beach
He has five branches
Representing the five senses
Representing the jokes we did not tell each other
Call the earth flat
Call other people human 
But let this creature lie
Flat upon our senses
Like a love
Prefigured in the sea
That died.
And went to water
All the oceans
Of emotion. All the oceans of emotion
are full of such ffish
W...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
 The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog ...Read more of this...

by Williams, William Carlos (WCW)
...the waves
 are wakened.
I have seen it
 and so have you
 when it puts all flowers
to shame.
 Too, there are the starfish
 stiffened by the sun
and other sea wrack
 and weeds. We knew that
 along with the rest of it
for we were born by the sea,
 knew its rose hedges
 to the very water's brink.
There the pink mallow grows
 and in their season
and there, later,
 we went to gather
 the wild plum.
I cannot say
 that I have gone to hell
 for your l...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard

When leagued about the 'wildered boat
The rainbow Jellies fill and float,
And, lilting where the laver lingers,
The Starfish trips on all her fingers;
Where, 'neath his myriad spines ashock,
The Sea-egg ripples down the rock,
An orange wonder dimly guessed
From darkness where the Cuttles rest,
Moored o'er the darker deeps that hide
The blind white Sea-snake and his bride,
Who, drowsing, nose the long-lost Ships
Let down through darkness to their lips --
Safe-swung above t...Read more of this...

by Aiken, Conrad
...of caverns by the sea. 
Wet weed hangs on the rock. In shimmering pools 
Left on the rocks by the receding sea 
Starfish slowly turn their white and brown 
Or writhe on the naked rocks and drown. 
Do sea-girls haunt these caves—do we hear faint singing? 
Do we hear from under the sea a faint bell ringing? 
Was that a white hand lifted among the bubbles 
And fallen softly back? 
No, these shores and caverns are all silent, 
Dead in the moonlight; only, far above, 
...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
the fancy amid the absurd
and awkward, that horn for hounds
that skipper homeward, that museum
keeper of stiff starfish, that blaze
within the pilgrim woman,
a clown mender, a dove's
cheek among the stones,
my Lady of first words,
this is the division of ways.
And now, while Christ stays
fastened to his Crucifix
so that love may praise
his sacrifice
and not the grotesque metaphor,
you come, a brave ghost, to fix
in my mind without praise
or paradise
to make me yo...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...mean to look at." 
"I haven't dared to look at them uncovered. 
Through the bed blankets I remind myself 
Of a starfish laid out with rigid points." 
"The wonder is it hadn't been your head." 
"It's hard to tell you how I managed it. 
When I saw the shaft had me by the coat, 
I didn't try too long to pull away, 
Or fumble for my knife to cut away, 
I just embraced the shaft and rode it out-- 
Till Weiss shut off the water in the wheel-pit. 
That's how...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
..., they serve as well.
And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue.
The body is resourceful.
The body of a starfish can grow back its arms
And newts are prodigal in legs. And may I be
As prodigal in what lacks me.

She is a small island, asleep and peaceful,
And I am a white ship hooting: Goodbye, goodbye.
The day is blazing. It is very mournful.
The flowers in this room are red and tropical.
They have lived behind glass all t...Read more of this...

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