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Famous Strangling Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Because ye prosper in God's name,
With a claim
To honor in the old world's sight,
Yet do the fiend's work perfectly
In strangling martyrs, -- for this lie
This is the curse. Write.

Ye shall watch while kings conspire
Round the people's smouldering fire,
And, warm for your part,
Shall never dare -- O shame!
To utter the thought into flame
Which burns at your heart.
This is the curse. Write.

Ye shall watch while nations strive
With the bloodhounds, die or...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...your mother is crying out each day.
Your father is eating cake and digging her grave.
In this hole your baby is strangling. Your mouth is clay.
Your eyes are made of glass. They break. You are not brave.
You are alone like a dog in a kennel. Your hands
break out in boils. Your arms are cut and bound by bands

of wire. Your voice is out there. Your voice is strange.
There are no prayers here. Here there is no change.

5...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...spill into the rivers
where the fish kneel down
to swallow hair and goat's eyes.

All in all, I'd say,
the world is strangling.
And I, in my bed each night,
listen to my twenty shoes
converse about it.
And the moon,
under its dark hood,
falls out of the sky each night,
with its hungry red mouth
to suck at my scars....Read More

by Sassoon, Siegfried
And blots of green and purple in his eyes. 
Then the slow fingers groping on his neck, 
And at his heart the strangling clasp of death. ...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...ody asleep, but now is dust instead.

There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall,
And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds;
There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds;
But never an echo of your daughters' laughter
Is there, nor any sign of you at all
Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria!

Only her shadow once upon a stone
I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were...Read More

by Housman, A E
...leep outside. 

And naked to the hangman's noose 
The morning clocks will ring 
A neck God made for other use 
Than strangling in a string. 

And sharp the link of life will snap, 
And dead on air will stand 
Heels that held up as straight a chap 
As treads upon the land. 

So here I'll watch the night and wait 
To see the morning shine, 
When he will hear the stroke of eight 
And not the stroke of nine; 

And wish my friend as sound a sleep 
As lads' I did not kn...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...thy bent unleash’d.

Passage to you, your shores, ye aged fierce enigmas! 
Passage to you, to mastership of you, ye strangling problems! 
You, strew’d with the wrecks of skeletons, that, living, never reach’d you. 

Passage to more than India! 
O secret of the earth and sky!
Of you, O waters of the sea! O winding creeks and rivers! 
Of you, O woods and fields! Of you, strong mountains of my land! 
Of you, O prairies! Of you, gray rocks! 
O morning red! O clouds! O ...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky,
Till at my throat a strangling sob
Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb
Sent instant tears into my eyes;
O God, I cried, no dark disguise
Can e'er hereafter hide from me
Thy radiant identity!

Thou canst not move across the grass
But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,
Nor speak, however silently,
But my hushed voice will answer Thee.
I know the path that tells Thy way
Th...Read More

by Donne, John

Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset
With strangling snare, or windowy net.

Let course bold hand from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes' wandering eyes.

For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
For thou thyself are thine own bait;
That fish that is not catched thereby,
Alas, is wiser far than I....Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...weetness. But I think you're thinner;
You're like a bag of feathers on my knee.
Why, Lotta child, you're almost strangling me.
I'm glad you're going out this afternoon.
The days are getting short, and I'm so tied
At the Court Theatre my poor little bride
Has not much junketing I fear, but soon
I'll ask our manager to grant a boon.
To-night, perhaps, I'll get a pass for you,
And when I go, why Lotta can come too.
Now dinner, Love. I want some onion ...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...a jet-black band of night.
This zone seemed ever to contract and all
The frame with momentary spasms heaved
In the strangling traction which did never cease.
I cried unto the spectre, `Time hath bound
Thy body with the fibre of his hours.'
Then rose a multitude of mocking sounds,
And some mouths spat at me and cried `thou fool',
And some, `thou liest', and some, `he dreams': and then
Some hands uplifted certain bowls they bore
To lips that writhed but drank with ...Read More

by Benet, Stephen Vincent
...t now! 

. . . Eternally that stifling reek arises, 
Blotting the dome with smoky, terrible towers, 
Black, strangling trees, whispering obscene things 
Amongst their branches, clutching with maimed hands, 
Or oozing slowly, like blind tentacles 
Up to the gates; higher than that heaped brick 
Man piled to smite the sun. And all around 
Are devils. One can laugh . . . but that hunched shape 
The face one stone, like those Assyrian kings! 
One s...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
Man knows the fear of mystery everywhere, 
And peeps, with trembling glances, overhead. 

The heaven above? A strangling cavern wall; 
The lighted ceiling of a music-hall 
Where every actor treads a bloody soil-- 

The hermit's hope; the terror of the sot; 
The sky: the black lid of the mighty pot 
Where the vast human generations boil!...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...maidens' hands — 
Two bells fell in my hair, 
Two bells caressed my hair. 
I pressed them to my purple lips 
In the strangling Chaos-air. 

He Starts on the Return Journey

On desperate wings and strong, 
Two bells within my breast, 
I breathed again, I breathed again — 
West of the Universe — 
West of the skies of the West. 
Into the black toward home, 
And never a star in sight, 
By Faith that is blind I took my way 
With my two bosomed blossoms gay 
Till a spe...Read More

by Housman, A E
...ach is I. 

None will part us, none undo 
The knot that makes one flesh of two, 
Sick with hatred, sick with pain, 
Strangling-- When shall we be slain? 

When shall I be dead and rid 
Of the wrong my father did? 
How long, how long, till spade and hearse 
Puts to sleep my mother's curse?...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...ty patch 
Of primroses too faint to catch 
A weary bee.... And scarce it pushes 
Its gentle way through strangling rushes 
Where the glossy kingfisher 
Flutters when noon-heats are near, 
Glad the shelving banks to shun, 
Red and steaming in the sun, 
Where the shrew-mouse with pale throat 
Burrows, and the speckled stoat; 
Where the quick sandpipers flit 
In and out the marl and grit 
That seems to breed them, brown as they: 
Naught disturbs its quiet way, 
S...Read More

by Rossetti, Christina
...y hollowest friend, my deadliest foe, 
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself, 
Can roll the strangling load from me 
Break off the yoke and set me free...Read More

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