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Famous Staves Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...unco bang.
“New Brig” was buskit in a braw new coat,
That he, at Lon’on, frae ane Adams got;
In ’s hand five taper staves as smooth ’s a bead,
Wi’ virls and whirlygigums at the head.
The Goth was stalking round with anxious search,
Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch;
It chanc’d his new-come neibor took his e’e,
And e’en a vexed and angry heart had he!
Wi’ thieveless sneer to see his modish mien,
He, down the water, gies him this guid-e’en:—

AULD BRIG“I doubt ...Read More

by Burns, Robert
...e, that bears the name o’ Scot,
But feels his heart’s bluid rising hot,
To see his poor auld mither’s pot
 Thus dung in staves,
An’ plunder’d o’ her hindmost groat
 By gallows knaves?

Alas! I’m but a nameless wight,
Trode i’ the mire out o’ sight?
But could I like Montgomeries fight,
 Or gab like Boswell, 2
There’s some sark-necks I wad draw tight,
 An’ tie some hose well.

God bless your Honours! can ye see’t—
The kind, auld cantie carlin greet,
An’ no get warmly to y...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...been there ever since

By the look in your eyes.

I write between the lines

Of the Great Northern Goodsyard

My staves are the buffers

My stops the buffer ends.


Ben’s cycle shop at Crossgreen had the odd few Christmas toys

A clockwork Triang train in a grand cardboard box, on the cover

A boy in a red pullover glowing over ‘The Coronation Scot’

Full-steaming ahead through glens and loch-laden mountain

Scenes and a sign ‘To Edinburgh Fifty Miles’....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...oom enough for this, and when a day
Suits best for carrying the corpse away,
With care about the banners, scarves and staves:
And still the man hears all, and only craves
He may not shame such tender love and stay.

Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ
So many times among 'The Band' - to wit,
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed
Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best,
And all the do...Read More

by Hugo, Victor grim and sombre made 
 Than are these helms; the deaf and sealed-up graves 
 Are not more icy than these arms; the staves 
 Of hideous biers have not their joints more strong 
 Than are the joinings of these legs; the long 
 Scaled gauntlet fingers look like worms that shine, 
 And battle robes to shroud-like folds incline. 
 The heads are skull-like, and the stony feet 
 Seem for the charnel house but only meet. 
 The pikes have death's-heads carved, and seem to ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt> 

Out of this face emerge banners and horses—O superb! I see what is coming; 
I see the high pioneer-caps—I see the staves of runners clearing the way,
I hear victorious drums. 

This face is a life-boat; 
This is the face commanding and bearded, it asks no odds of the rest; 
This face is flavor’d fruit, ready for eating; 
This face of a healthy honest boy is the programme of all good.

These faces bear testimony, slumbering or awake; 
They show their descent from...Read More

by Trumbull, John to trouble ye,
And keep new years of Jewish jubilee;
Drive judges out, like Aaron's calves,
By jurisdiction of white staves,
And make the bar and bench and steeple
Submit t' our Sovereign Lord, The People;
By plunder rise to power and glory,
And brand all property, as Tory;
Expose all wares to lawful seizures
By mobbers or monopolizers;
Break heads and windows and the peace,
For your own interest and increase;
Dispute and pray and fight and groan
For public good, and mean ...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
...he soup-greens,
artichoke field marshals,
close-order conclaves,
commands, detonations,
and voices,
a crashing of crate staves.

with her hamper
make trial
of an artichoke:
she reflects, she examines,
she candles them up to the light like an egg,
never flinching;
she bargains,
she tumbles her prize
in a market bag
among shoes and a
cabbage head,
a bottle
of vinegar; is back
in her kitchen.
The artichoke drowns in a pot.

So you have it:
a ve...Read More

by Lowell, Amy, April, twilight sky,
A wind which blew the puddles dry,
And slapped the river into waves
That ran and hid among the staves
Of an old wharf. A watery light
Touched bleak the granite bridge, and white
Without the slightest tinge of gold,
The city shivered in the cold.
All day my thoughts had lain as dead,
Unborn and bursting in my head.
From time to time I wrote a word
Which lines and circles overscored.
My table seemed a graveyard, full
Of coffins waiting b...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
  The lady of situations.                                                 50
  Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
  And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
  Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
  Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
  The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
  I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
  Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
  Tell her I br...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Nuova," distinguishes three classes of
pilgrims: palmieri - palmers who go beyond sea to the East,
and often bring back staves of palm-wood; peregrini, who go
the shrine of St Jago in Galicia; Romei, who go to Rome. Sir
Walter Scott, however, says that palmers were in the habit of
passing from shrine to shrine, living on charity -- pilgrims on the
other hand, made the journey to any shrine only once,
immediately returning to their ordinary avocations. Chaucer
uses "pa...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...h gauntleted in glove of steel.

     Then clamored loud the royal train,
     And brandished swords and staves amain,
     But stern the Baron's warning:
     'Back! Back, on your lives, ye menial pack!
     Beware the Douglas.—Yes! behold,
     King James! The Douglas, doomed of old,
     And vainly sought for near and far,
     A victim to atone the war,
     A willing victim, now attends,
     Nor craves thy grace but for his friends.—'
     'Thus ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey

5. A colt's tooth; a wanton humour, a relish for pleasure.

6. Chimb: The rim of a barrel where the staves project beyond
the head.

7. With olde folk, save dotage, is no more: Dotage is all that is
left them; that is, they can only dwell fondly, dote, on the past.

8. Souter: cobbler; Scottice, "sutor;"' from Latin, "suere," to

9. "Ex sutore medicus" (a surgeon from a cobbler) and "ex
sutore nauclerus" (a seaman or pilot from...Read More

by Herbert, George
...aste they make to be undone! 
How with their lanterns do they seek the sun! 
Was ever grief like mine? 

With clubs and staves they seek me, as a thief, 
Who am the way of truth, the true relief; 
Most true to those, who are my greatest grief: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

Judas, dost thou betray me with a kiss? 
Canst thou find hell about my lips? and miss
Of life, just at the gates of life and bliss? 
Was ever grief like mine? 

See, they lay hold on me, not with the hands
O...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...s shook, 
But murmur'd meekly as the brook. 
The winds were pillow'd on the waves; 
The banners droop'd along their staves, 
And, as they fell around them furling, 
Above them shone the crescent curling; 
And that deep silence was unbroke, 
Save where the watch his signal spoke, 
Save where the steed neigh'd oft and shrill, 
And echo answer'd from the hill, 
And the wide hum of that wild host, 
Rustled like leaves from coast to coast, 
As rose the Muezzin's voice in air 
...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...such a cavalier!" 


She coaxes, clasps, nor fails to win 
 His first-unwilling hand: 
The merry music strikes its staves, 
 The dancers quickly band; 
And with the damsel of the graves 
 He duly takes his stand. 


"You dance divinely, stranger swain, 
 Such grace I've never known. 
O longer stay! Breathe not adieu 
 And leave me here alone! 
O longer stay: to her be true 
 Whose heart is all your own!" - 


"I mark a phantom through the pane, 
 That ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations. 
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope mys...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...ade the gloomy Northern winter
Bright as summer.

Once some ancient Scald,
In his bleak, ancestral Iceland,
Chanted staves of these old ballads
To the Vikings.

Once in Elsinore,
At the court of old King Hamlet
Yorick and his boon companions
Sang these ditties.

Once Prince Frederick's Guard
Sang them in their smoky barracks;--
Suddenly the English cannon
Joined the chorus!

Peasants in the field,
Sailors on the roaring ocean,
Students, tradesmen, pale mechanics,
...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...en the vigilant Patroul
Of Stars walks round about the Pole,
Their Leaves, that to the stalks are curl'd,
Seem to their Staves the Ensigns furl'd.
Then in some Flow'rs beloved Hut
Each Bee as Sentinel is shut;
And sleeps so too: but, if once stir'd,
She runs you through, or askes The Word.

Oh Thou, that dear and happy Isle
The Garden of the World ere while,
Thou Paradise of four Seas,
Which Heaven planted us to please,
But, to exclude the World, did guard
With watry ...Read More

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