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Famous String Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...d me lying here
She will not ruth or gentle pity show,
But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow,
And draw the feathered notch against her breast,
And loose the arched cord; aye, even now upon the quest

I hear her hurrying feet, - awake, awake,
Thou laggard in love's battle! once at least
Let me drink deep of passion's wine, and slake
My parched being with the nectarous feast
Which even gods affect! O come, Love, come,
Still we ha...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...y grasshopper then sing,
58 The black clad Cricket bear a second part.
59 They kept one tune and played on the same string,
60 Seeming to glory in their little Art.
61 Shall creatures abject thus their voices raise
62 And in their kind resound their maker's praise
63 Whilst I, as mute, can warble forth no higher lays? 


64 When present times look back to Ages past
65 And men in being fancy those are dead,
66 It makes things gone perpetually to last
67 And calls b...Read More

by Keats, John
...d flutes: close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
A venerable priest full soberly,
Begirt with ministring looks: alway his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,
And after him his sacred vestments swept.
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white,
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;
And in his left he held a basket full
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
Than Leda's love,...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...apon all so ghastly did appear. 
 The head became the stone to this strange sling, 
 Of which the body was the potent string; 
 And while 'twas brandished in a deadly way, 
 The dislocated arms made monstrous play 
 With hideous gestures, as now upside down 
 The bludgeon corpse a giant force had grown. 
 "'Tis well!" said Eviradnus, and he cried, 
 "Arrange between yourselves, you two allied; 
 If hell-fire were extinguished, surely it 
 By such a contest might be ...Read More

by Keats, John
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children; I will give command:
Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"
This passion lifted him upon his feet,
And made his hands to struggle in the air,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat,
His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease.
He stood, and hear...Read More

by Keats, John
...would all his seeing fill;
And his continual voice was pleasanter
To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill;
Her lute-string gave an echo of his name,
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same.

He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,
Before the door had given her to his eyes;
And from her chamber-window he would catch
Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;
And constant as her vespers would he watch,
Because her face was turn'd to the same skies;
A...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Anchored fast for many an age,
I await the bard and sage,
Who in large thoughts, like fair pearl-seed,
Shall string Monadnoc like a bead.
Comes that cheerful troubadour,
This mound shall throb his face before,
As when with inward fires and pain
It rose a bubble from the plain.
When he cometh, I shall shed
From this well-spring in my head
Fountain drop of spicier worth
Than all vintage of the earth.
There's fruit upon my barren soil
Costlier far than win...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
The yearning theme, and let the flute reply
In placid melody, while violins complain,
And sob, and sigh,
With muted string;
Then let the oboe half-reluctant sing
Of bliss that trembles on the verge of pain,
While 'cellos plead and plead again,
With throbbing notes delayed, that would impart
To every urgent tone the beating of the heart.
So runs the andante, making plain
The hopes and fears of love without a word.

Then comes the adagio, with a yielding theme
Throu...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...thinking. We are done with ermine. 
What I fear most is not the multitude, 
But those who are to loop it with a string 
That has one end in France and one end here. 
I’m not so fortified with observation
That I could swear that more than half a score 
Among us who see lightning see that ruin 
Is not the work of thunder. Since the world 
Was ordered, there was never a long pause 
For caution between doing and undoing.


Go on, sir; my attention is a tr...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...tains of the Moon, and the Snow Mountains, and the Red Mountains of
I see the Vermont hills, and the long string of Cordilleras;
I see the vast deserts of Western America; 
I see the Lybian, Arabian, and Asiatic deserts; 
I see huge dreadful Arctic and Antarctic icebergs; 
I see the superior oceans and the inferior ones—the Atlantic and Pacific, the sea of
 Brazilian sea, and the sea of Peru, 
The Japan waters, those of Hindostan, the China Sea, an...Read More

by Berman, David

I know these recurring news articles are clues,
flaws in the design though I haven't figured out
how to string them together yet,
but I've begun to notice that the same people
are dying over and over again,
for instance Minnie Pearl
who died this year
for the fourth time in four years.

III three

Today is the first day of Lent
and once again I'm not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass
before I take the trouble to ask someone?

...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ed-over chain; 
The ***** that drives the dray of the stone-yard—steady and tall he stands,
 pois’d on one leg on the string-piece; 
His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast, and loosens over his hip-band;

His glance is calm and commanding—he tosses the slouch of his hat away from
 his forehead;
The sun falls on his crispy hair and moustache—falls on the black of his
 polish’d and perfect limbs. 

I behold the picturesque giant, and love him—and I do no...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
But these shall not return.

Gored on the Norman gonfalon
The Golden Dragon died:
We shall not wake with ballad strings 
The good time of the smaller things,
We shall not see the holy kings
Ride down by Severn side.

Stiff, strange, and quaintly coloured
As the broidery of Bayeux
The England of that dawn remains,
And this of Alfred and the Danes
Seems like the tales a whole tribe feigns
Too English to be true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ter speed: 
And hark — of thine own head take heed — 
If thus Zuleika oft takes wing — 
Thou see'st yon bow — it hath a string!" 


No sound from Selim's lip was heard, 
At least that met old Giaffir's ear, 
But every frown and every word 
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword. 
"Son of a slave! — reproach'd with fear! 
Those gibes had cost another dear. 
Son of a slave! and who my sire?" 
Thus held his thoughts their dark career, 
And glances ev'n of more t...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
And she would draw away from him, still shaking.
Had he but guessed she was another one,
Another violin. Her strings were aching,
Stretched to the touch of his bow hand, again
He played and she almost broke at the strain.
Where was the use of thinking of it now,
Sitting alone and listening to the clock!
She'd best make haste and knit another row.
Three hours at least must pass before his knock
Would startle her. It always was a shock.
She listened -...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...nny vile reflections cast:  "A little idle sauntering thing!"  With other names, an endless string.  But now that time is gone and past.   And Betty's drooping at the heart.  That happy time all past and gone,  "How can it be he is so late?  The Doctor he has made him wait,  Susan! they'll both be here anon."   And Susan's growing wor...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ul breeze thy numbers flung,
        Till envious ivy did around thee cling,
     Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,—
        O Minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep?
     Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
        Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep,
     Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?

     Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon, 10
        Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd,
     When lay of hopeless...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
To madness by the sight of Heaven.
At other times he would take the things
He had made, and winding them on strings,
Hang garlands before her, and burn perfumes,
Chanting strangely, while the fumes
Wreathed and blotted the shadow face,
As with a cloudy, nacreous lace.
There were days when he wooed as a lover, sighed
In tenderness, spoke to his bride,
Urged her to patience, said his skill
Should break the spell. A man's sworn will
Could compass life, even t...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...he blood-black sea around
Month after month, with its voices of failure.
I am helpless as the sea at the end of her string.
I am restless. Restless and useless. I, too, create corpses.

I shall move north. I shall move into a long blackness.
I see myself as a shadow, neither man nor woman,
Neither a woman, happy to be like a man, nor a man
Blunt and flat enough to feel no lack. I feel a lack.
I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets.
See...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...shing tackle. Like a joke.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I bent a pin and tied it onto a piece of white string.

And slept. The next morning I got up
early and ate my breakfast. I took a slice of white bread to use for bait.
I planned on making dough balls from the soft center of the bread
and putting them on my vaudevillian hook. I left the place and walked
down to the different streetCorner. How beautiful the field looked and
the cree...Read More

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