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Famous Stretch Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt freshets and changing chutes—Columbia, Niagara, Hudson,
 themselves lovingly in him,
If the Atlantic coast stretch, or the Pacific coast stretch, he stretching with them north
Spanning between them, east and west, and touching whatever is between them, 
Growths growing from him to offset the growth of pine, cedar, hemlock, live-oak, locust,
 chestnut, hickory, cottonwood, orange, magnolia, 
Tangles as tangled in him as any cane-brake or swamp, 
He li...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...I knew beforehand, so enjoyed, 
What now I should be--as, permit the word, 
I pretty well imagine your whole range 
And stretch of tether twenty years to come. 
We both have minds and bodies much alike: 
In truth's name, don't you want my bishopric, 
My daily bread, my influence and my state? 
You're young. I'm old; you must be old one day; 
Will you find then, as I do hour by hour, 
Women their lovers kneel to, who cut curls 
From your fat lap-dog's ear to grace a br...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
...a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry sex of fire and 
After speaking to no one,
Stretch myself over the world,
Over roofs and landscapes,
With a passionate desire
To hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
Would undulate, how the night flowed 
Through it like dark water and at times, 
It was going to fall or possibly 
Plunge into the bare deserted snowdrifts.

Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
Like a tiger's...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...rned casque,
The seven-cubit spear, the brazen targe!
And clad in bright and burnished panoply
Athena strode across the stretch of sick and shivering sea!

To the dull sailors' sight her loosened looks
Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet
Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks,
And, marking how the rising waters beat
Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried
To the young helmsman at the stern to luff to windward side

But he, the overbold adulterer,
A dear prof...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...answer meet,
And her voice was faint and sweet:-
'Have pity on my sore distress,
I scarce can speak for weariness:
Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!'
Said Christabel, 'How camest thou here?'
And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet:-
'My sire is of a noble line,
And my name is Geraldine:
Five warriors seized me yestermorn,
Me, even me, a maid forlorn:
They choked my cries with force and fright,
And tied me on a palfr...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...nd hidden in their wings. 

And sometimes through life’s heavy swound 
We grope for them!—with strangled breath 
We stretch our hands abroad and try 
To reach them in our agony,— 
And widen, so, the broad life-wound 
Which soon is large enough for death....Read More

by Frost, Robert
...t me off.”

“Rank weeds that love the water from the dish-pan
More than some women like the dish-pan, Joe;
A little stretch of mowing-field for you;
Not much of that until I come to woods
That end all. And it’s scarce enough to call
A view.”

“And yet you think you like it, dear?”

“That’s what you’re so concerned to know! You hope
I like it. Bang goes something big away
Off there upstairs. The very tread of men
As great as those is shattering to the frame...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Will serve almost as well about Vermont,
Excepting that they differ in their mountains.
The Vermont mountains stretch extended straight;
New Hampshire mountains Curl up in a coil.

I had been coming to New Hampshire mountains.
And here I am and what am I to say?
Here first my theme becomes embarrassing.
Emerson said, "The God who made New Hampshire
Taunted the lofty land with little men."
Anotner Massachusetts poet said, 
"I go no more to summer in N...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...f me, my joy! 
My children and grand-children—my white hair and beard,
My largeness, calmness, majesty, out of the long stretch of my life. 

O the ripen’d joy of womanhood! 
O perfect happiness at last! 
I am more than eighty years of age—my hair, too, is pure white—I am the most
 venerable mother; 
How clear is my mind! how all people draw nigh to me!
What attractions are these, beyond any before? what bloom, more than the bloom of youth? 
What beauty is this that desce...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl

To a man across a thousand years I offer a handshake.
I say to him: Brother, make the story short, for the stretch of a thousand years is short.. . .
What brothers these in the dark?
What eaves of skyscrapers against a smoke moon?
These chimneys shaking on the lumber shanties
When the coal boats plow by on the river—
The hunched shoulders of the grain elevators—
The flame sprockets of the sheet steel mills
And the men in the rolling mills with the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...d south turn the axis-ends; 
Within me is the longest day—the sun wheels in slanting rings—it does not set for months;

Stretch’d in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above the horizon, and sinks

Within me zones, seas, cataracts, plants, volcanoes, groups,
Malaysia, Polynesia, and the great West Indian islands. 

What do you hear, Walt Whitman? 

I hear the workman singing, and the farmer’s wife singing; 
I hear in the distance the sounds of childr...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...e pot. 
We heard the tales of witchcraft old, 
And dream and sign and marvel told 
To sleepy listeners as they lay 
Stretched idly on the salted hay, 
Adrift along the winding shores, 
When favoring breezes deigned to blow 
The square sail of the gundelow 
And idle lay the useless oars. 

Our mother, while she turned her wheel 
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel, 
Told how the Indian hordes came down 
At midnight on Concheco town, 
And how her own great-uncle bore 
His...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...on the brown gray and green intertinged; 
The armfuls are pack’d to the sagging mow. 

I am there—I help—I came stretch’d atop of the load; 
I felt its soft jolts—one leg reclined on the other; 
I jump from the cross-beams, and seize the clover and timothy,
And roll head over heels, and tangle my hair full of wisps. 

Alone, far in the wilds and mountains, I hunt, 
Wandering, amazed at my own lightness and glee; 
In the late afternoon choosing a safe sp...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...a free knight
That might betray his lord;

"He brake Him and betrayed Him,
And fast and far he fell,
Till you and I may stretch our necks
And burn our beards in hell.

"But though I lie on the floor of the world,
With the seven sins for rods,
I would rather fall with Adam
Than rise with all your gods.

"What have the strong gods given?
Where have the glad gods led?
When Guthrum sits on a hero's throne
And asks if he is dead?

"Sirs, I am but a nameless man,
A rhymeste...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter drew nigh;
     Then, as the headmost foes appeared,
     With one brave bound the copse he cleared,
     And, stretching forward free and far,
     Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.

     Yelled on the view the opening pack;
     Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
     To many a mingled sound at once
     The awakened mountain gave response.
     A hundred dogs bayed deep and strong,
     Clattered a hundred steeds along,
     Their peal the...Read More

by Walcott, Derek
...r that was white,
lighthouse and star start making friends,
down every beach the long day ends,
and there, on that last stretch of sand,
on a beach bare of all but light,
dark hands start pulling in the seine
of the dark sea, deep, deep inland.

5 Shabine Encounters the
 Middle Passage

Man, I brisk in the galley first thing next dawn,
brewing li'l coffee; fog coil from the sea
like the kettle steaming when I put it down
slow, slow, 'cause I couldn't believe what I see:
...Read More

by Thomson, James
...h Stubble, and the rushy Fen.
Then Woodcocks, o'er the fluctuating Main,
That glimmers to the Glimpses of the Moon,
Stretch their long Voyage to the woodland Glade: 
Where, wheeling with uncertain Flight, they mock
The nimble Fowler's Aim. -- Now Nature droops;
Languish the living Herbs, with pale Decay:
And all the various Family of Flowers
Their sunny Robes resign. The falling Fruits, 
Thro' the still Night, forsake the Parent-Bough,
That, in the first, grey, Gl...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...imonies are enough: we lose 
Our time, nay, our eternity, between 
The accusation and defence: if we 
Hear both, 'twill stretch our immortality.' 


Satan replied, 'To me the matter is 
Indifferent, in a personal point of view; 
I can have fifty better souls than this 
With far less trouble than we have gone through 
Already; and I merely argued his 
Late majesty of Britain's case with you 
Upon a point of form: you may dispose 
Of him; I've kings enough below, God ...Read More

by Brooks, Gwendolyn
...To be in love 
Is to touch with a lighter hand. 
In yourself you stretch, you are well. 
You look at things 
Through his eyes. 
A cardinal is red. 
A sky is blue. 
Suddenly you know he knows too. 
He is not there but 
You know you are tasting together 
The winter, or a light spring weather. 
His hand to take your hand is overmuch. 
Too much to bear. 
You cannot look in his eyes 
Because you...Read More

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