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Famous Stiffened Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Cummings, Edward Estlin (E E)
...riend clenched weakly dirt
while the mute trouserfly confessed
a button solemnly inert.

Brushing from whom the stiffened puke
i put him all into my arms
and staggered banged with terror through
a million billion trillion stars...Read more of this...



by Byron, George (Lord)
...ve mine— 
And there it stood,—all formless—but divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

"Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure?
Creatures of clay—vain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!"...Read more of this...

by Larkin, Philip
...by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithf...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...the glued sheet from which his powdery beak
Rises so whitely unbuffeted?

They propped his jaw with a book until it stiffened
And folded his hands, that were shaking: goodbye, goodbye.

Now the washed sheets fly in the sun,
The pillow cases are sweetening. 

It is a blessing, it is a blessing:
The long coffin of soap-colored oak,

The curious bearers and the raw date
Engraving itself in silver with marvelous calm.


(5)

The gray sky lowers, the...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...es, you devils! On! To halt is to die."

There in the frozen vastness Clancy fought with his foes;
 The ache of the stiffened fingers, the cut of the snowshoe thong;
Cheeks black-raw through the hood-flap, eyes that tingled and closed,
 And ever to urge and cheer him quavered the madman's song.

Colder it grew and colder, till the last heat left the earth,
 And there in the great stark stillness the bale fires glinted and gleamed,
And the Wild all around exulted and s...Read more of this...



by Subraman, Belinda
...past the hippies
past Ravi Shankar
eons before
when the first Asian snake
came alive
stiffened with sound
through some empty shell
some hollow wood
some emptiness

the snake 
was not so much charmed
as listening intently
to the accidental flute
to that which he knew
must be female
its empty insides
calling him
with breath music

and he joined in 
for awhile
finding a rang of sounds
he’d never heard
then peace

and a new religion
practiced in...Read more of this...

by Williams, William Carlos (WCW)
...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
 strawberries
and there, later,
 we went to gather
 the wild plum.
I cannot say
 that I have gone to hell
 for your love
but of...Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...ell you it's true, sir, 
I once was a punter with plenty of pelf, 
But gone is my glory, I'll tell you the story 
How I stiffened my horse and got stiffened myself. 
"'Twas a mare called the Cracker, I came down to back her, 
But found she was favourite all of a rush, 
The folk just did pour on to lay six to four on, 
And several bookies were killed in the crush. 

"It seems old Tomato was stiff, though a starter; 
They reckoned him fit for the Caulfield to keep. ...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...eal
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By weed and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beat...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...ains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.

Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eye...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...n by those autumnal eves
That nip the forest's foliage dead,
Discoloured with a lifeless red,
Which stands thereon like stiffened gore
Upon the slain when battle's o'er,
And some long winter's night hath shed
Its frost o'er every tombless head,
So cold and stark, the raven's beak
May peck unpierced each frozen cheek:
'Twas a wild waste of underwood, 
And here and there a chestnut stood, 
The strong oak, and the hardy pine;
But far apart - and well it were,
Or else a different...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...shing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All t...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...he peeped o'er the sill.
The lilies dropped from his fingers; devils were choking his breath;
Rigid with horror, he stiffened; ghastly his face was as death.
Like a nun whose faith in the Virgin is met with a prurient jibe,
He shrank--'twas the wife of his bosom in the arms of Philo, the scribe.

Tellus went back to his smithy; he reeled like a drunken man;
His heart was riven with anguish; his brain was brooding a plan.
Straight to his anvil he hurried; start...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...un
Which glows within each fiery core
And waits to be made free once more.
Their sharp and glistening edges cut
His stiffened fingers. Through the smut
Gleam red the wounds which will not shut.
Wet through and shivering he kneels
And digs the slippery coals; like eels
They slide about. His force all spent,
He counts his small accomplishment.
A half-a-dozen clinker-coals
Which still have fire in their souls.
Fire! And in his thought there burns
The topa...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...1. DREAMS

I was an ice baby.
I turned to sky blue.
My tears became two glass beads.
My mouth stiffened into a dumb howl.
They say it was a dream
but I remember that hardening.

My sister at six
dreamt nightly of my death:
"The baby turned to ice.
Someone put her in the refrigerator
and she turned as hard as a Popsicle."

I remember the stink of the liverwurst.
How I was put on a platter and laid
between the mayonnaise and the bac...Read more of this...

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,—but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn!—What is the Spring to me?...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
...ate.
Curled into tendrils, twisted into cones
Of leaves and roses, iron infoliate,
It guards the pleasance, and its stiffened bones
Are budded with much peering at the rows,
And beds, and arbours, which it keeps inside.
Max started at the beauty, at the glare
Of tints. At either end was set a wide
Path strewn with fine, red gravel, and such shows
Of tulips in their splendour flaunted everywhere!

28
From side to side, midway each path, there ran
A longer one which...Read more of this...

by Scott, Duncan Campbell
...the unheard-of
Drug of the sunshine;
Tears that had eaten
The half of their eyelids
Dry on their cheeks;
Blood in their stiffened hair
Clouted and darkened;
Down in their cavern hearts
Hunger the tiger,
Leaping, exulting;
Sighs that had choked them
Burst into triumphing;
On they come, Victory!
Up to the wheat-fields,
Dreamed of in visions
Bred by the hunger,
Seen for the first time
Splendid and golden;
On they come fluctuant,
Seething and breaking,
Weltering like fire
In the ...Read more of this...

by Stafford, William
...dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason--
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine....Read more of this...

by Taylor, Edward
...The bear that breathes the northern blast
Did numb, torpedo-like, a wasp
Whose stiffened limbs encramped, lay bathing
In Sol's warm breath and shine as saving,
Which with her hands she chafes and stands
Rubbing her legs, shanks, thighs, and hands.
Her pretty toes, and fingers' ends
Nipped with this breath, she out extends
Unto the sun, in great desire
To warm her digits at that fire.
Doth hold her temples in this state
Where pu...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things