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Famous Statistics Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Walcott, Derek
...attered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
"Waste no compassion on these separate dead!"
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?
Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilizations dawn
>From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...from you; 
All sculpture and monuments, and anything inscribed anywhere, are tallied in you;
The gist of histories and statistics as far back as the records reach, is in you this
 hour, and
 myths and tales the same; 
If you were not breathing and walking here, where would they all be? 
The most renown’d poems would be ashes, orations and plays would be vacuums. 

All architecture is what you do to it when you look upon it; 
(Did you think it was in the white or gray sto...Read More

by Paz, Octavio
...To the debate of wasps
the dialectic of monkeys
the chirping of statistics
it offers
             (tall pink flame
made of stone and air and birds
time at rest on the water)

the architecture of silence...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...ight shift. Always there are things to sort,

Misapprehensions to untangle, delusions to decipher,

Lies to expose, statistics to disclose, Trust Boards

And team meetings to attend, ‘Mental Health Monthly’

To peruse, funds for my press to raise – the only one 

I ever got will leave me out of pocket.

A couple sat on the next bench

Are earnestly discussing child custody, broken marriages,

Failed affairs, social service interventions – 

Even here I cannot escape c...Read More

by Field, Eugene
...eath than money in his vest,
Had started on a freight-train fur the great 'nd boundin' West,
But further information or statistics he had none
Uv the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun."

We dropped the matter quietly 'nd never made no fuss,--
When we get played for suckers, why, that's a horse on us!--
But every now 'nd then we Denver fellers have to laff
To hear some other paper boast uv havin' on its staff
A man who's "worked with Dana," 'nd then we feller...Read More

by Belloc, Hilaire
...Ill fares the land to hast'ning ills a prey (1) 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.' 
But how much more unfortunate are those 
Where wealth declines and population grows! 

(1)This line is execrable; and I note it.
I quote it as the faulty poet wrote it....Read More

by Kunitz, Stanley
Before I left town for school
my birthday went up in smoke 
in a fire at City Hall that gutted
the Department of Vital Statistics.
If it weren't for a census report
of a five-year-old White Male
sharing my mother's address
at the Green Street tenement in Worcester
I'd have no documentary proof
that I exist. You are the first, 
my dear, to bully me
into these festive occasions.

Sometimes, you say, I wear
an abstracted look that drives you
up the wall, as though i...Read More

by Hacker, Marilyn
...teen months paper: the past
a fragile eighteen months regime of trust
in slash-and-burn, in vitamin pills, backed
by no statistics. Each day I enact
survivor's rituals, blessing the crust
I tear from the warm loaf, blessing the hours
in which I didn't or in which I did
consider my own death. I am not yet
statistically a survivor (that
is sixty months). On paper, someone flowers
and flares alive. I knew her. But she's dead.

She flares alive. I knew...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...NAPOLEON shifted,
Restless in the old sarcophagus
And murmured to a watchguard:
"Who goes there?"
"Twenty-one million men,
Soldiers, armies, guns,
Twenty-one million
Afoot, horseback,
In the air,
Under the sea."
And Napoleon turned to his sleep:
"It is not my world answering;
It is some dreamer who knows not
The world I marched in
From Calais to Moscow...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...'Those Platonists are a curse,' he said,
'God's fire upon the wane,
A diagram hung there instead,
More women born than men.'...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...illion boots in line,Without expression, waiting for a sign. Out of the air a voice without a faceProved by statistics that some cause was justIn tones as dry and level as the place:No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;Column by column in a cloud of dustThey marched away enduring a beliefWhose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.She looked over his shoulderFor ritual pieties,White flower-garlanded heifers,Li...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to beOne against whom there was no official complaint,And all the reports on his conduct agreeThat, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was asaint,For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.Except for the War till the day he retiredHe worked in a factory and never got fired,But satisfied h...Read More

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