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Famous Strolling Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Swift, Jonathan
...Corinna, Pride of Drury-Lane,
For whom no Shepherd sighs in vain;
Never did Covent Garden boast
So bright a batter'd, strolling Toast;
No drunken Rake to pick her up,
No Cellar where on Tick to sup;
Returning at the Midnight Hour;
Four Stories climbing to her Bow'r;
Then, seated on a three-legg'd Chair,
Takes off her artificial Hair: 
Now, picking out a Crystal Eye,
She wipes it clean, and lays it by.
Her Eye-Brows from a Mouse's Hide,
Stuck on with Art on either Side,
...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
..."May be true what I had heard,
Earth's a howling wilderness
Truculent with fraud and force,"
Said I, strolling through the pastures,
And along the riverside.
Caught among the blackberry vines,
Feeding on the Ethiops sweet,
Pleasant fancies overtook me:
I said, "What influence me preferred
Elect to dreams thus beautiful?"
The vines replied, "And didst thou deem
No wisdom to our berries went?"...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...d Monet.’

O, how slowly I drifted back to consciousness

Probing delightedly the dizzying whitenesses of Mallarm?

Strolling along an avenue of linden trees

Under a Provencal sky of azure

Wet with the scent of jasmine and lavender.

Yet in reality, things could hardly have been more different:

Watching our children grow from their first tottering steps,

Helping to tend them in sickness, learning the basics

Of the healer’s art, taking an old man to a ward,

Liste...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...en a barnstormer in California. There were few theatres, but the hotels were provided with crude assembly rooms for strolling players.

The youth played in the blear hotel.
The rafters gleamed with glories strange.
And winds of mourning Elsinore
Howling at chance and fate and change;
Voices of old Europe's dead
Disturbed the new-built cattle-shed,
The street, the high and solemn range.

The while the coyote barked afar
All shadowy was the battlement.
...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...t Blanc

Easier to imagine, as Benjamin Peret did,

A wind that would unscrew the mountain

Or stars like apricot tarts strolling

Aimlessly along the Boulevard of Broken Dreams....Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...thed tightly round the midriff. 
I like these waters where the wild gale scuds;
All day the country tempts me to go strolling; 
The little village urchins, book in hand,
Envy me, at the schoolmaster's (my lodging), 
As a big schoolboy sneaking a day off.
The air is pure, the sky smiles; there's a constant 
Soft noise of children spelling things aloud.
The waters flow; a linnet flies; and I say: "Thank you! 
Thank you, Almighty God!"--So, then, I live:
Peacefully, ...Read More

by Lowell, Robert
and saw the Hudson River once a day
through sooty clothesline entanglements
and bleaching khaki tenements.
Strolling, I yammered metaphysics with Abramowitz,
a jaundice-yellow ("it's really tan")
and fly-weight pacifist,
so vegetarian,
he wore rope shoes and preferred fallen fruit.
He tried to convert Bioff and Brown,
the Hollywood pimps, to his diet.
Hairy, muscular, suburban,
wearing chocolate double-breasted suits,
they blew their tops and bea...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off....Read More

by Clampitt, Amy
as it alters, to grow as though it were indigenous.

But at this remove what I think of as
strange and wonderful, strolling the side streets of Manhattan
on an April afternoon, seeing hybrid pear trees in blossom,
a tossing, vertiginous colonnade of foam, up above—
is the white petalfall, the warm snowdrift
of the indigenous wild plum of my childhood.
Nothing stays put. The world is a wheel.
All that we know, that we're 
made of, is motion....Read More

by Lowell, Amy
She sighed because it seemed so long ago, Those 
days with Everard; unthinking took
The path back to the orchard. Strolling so She walked, 
and he beside her. In a nook
Where a stone seat withdrew beneath low boughs, Full-blossomed, 
hummed with bees, they sat them down.
She questioned him about the war, the share Her 
husband had, and grown
Eager by his clear answers, straight allows
Her hidden hopes and fears to speak, and rouse
Her numbed love, which had slum...Read More

by Hannah, Sophie
...was exactly what I planned.
I know your pattern: in, out, like the sea.

It's not as if we were designed to be
Strolling along the beach front, hand in hand.
Things change, of natural necessity.
The sharp north wind must blow away the sand

And every storm to rage, however grand,
Will end in pain and shipwreck and debris
And each time there's a voice I have to strand
On a bare rock, hardened against its plea;
I know the rules....Read More

by Hugo, Victor

 As life wanes on, the passions slow depart, 
 One with his grinning mask, one with his steel; 
 Like to a strolling troupe of Thespian art, 
 Whose pace decreases, winding past the hill. 
 But naught can Love's all charming power efface, 
 That light, our misty tracks suspended o'er, 
 In joy thou'rt ours, more dear thy tearful grace, 
 The young may curse thee, but the old adore. 
 But when the weight of years bow down the head, 
 And man feels all hi...Read More

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell Pagan's line, 
Humani nihil, -- even so, -- 
And is not human life divine? 
When soft the western breezes blow, 
And strolling youths meet sauntering maids, 
I love to watch the stirring trades 
Beneath the Vallombrosa shades 
Our much-enduring elms bestow; 
The vender and his rhetoric's flow, 
That lambent stream of liquid lies; 
The bait he dangles from his line, 
The gudgeon and his gold-washed prize. 
I halt before the blazoned sign 
That bids me linger to admire 
...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...of his head,
To be his bloody token of regret
That he hath put them to so foul employ
As catching villainous breath of strolling priests
That mouth at knighthood and defile the Church."
The knife . . . . . [Rest of line lost.]
To place the edge . . . [Rest of line lost.]
Mary! the blood! it oozes sluggishly,
Scorning to come at call of blade so base.
Sathanas! He that cuts the ear has left
The blade sticking at midway, for to t...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
It was a death dance.
The Larz Anderson bridge wore its lights
and many cars went by,
and a few students strolling under
their Coop umbrellas.
And a black man who asked this Sappho the time,
the time, as if her watch spoke.
Words were turning into grease,
and she said, "Why do you lie to me?"
And the waters of the Charles were beautiful,
sticking out in many colored tongues
and this strange Sappho knew she would enter the lights
and be lit by them and s...Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson on the hills all night
Watching the stars, let their dogs watch the sheep. And I'll have
For my poets, strolling from farm to farm, wild liars distorting
The country news into supernaturalism--
For all men to such minds are devils or gods--and that increases
Man's dignity, man's importance, necessary lies
Best told by fools.
 I will have no lawyers nor constables
Each man guard his own goods: there will be manslaughter,
But no more wars, no more mass-sacr...Read More

by Masters, Edgar Lee
...omas Rhodes and John Cabanis
The deadly strife? His daughter Flossie, she,
Returning from her wandering with a troop
Of strolling players, walked the village streets,
Her bracelets tinkling and with sparkling rings
And words of serpent wisdom and a smile
Of cunning in her eyes. Then Thomas Rhodes,
Who ruled the church and ruled the bank as well,
Made known his disapproval of the maid;
And all Spoon River whispered and the eyes
Of all the church frowned on her, till she kn...Read More

by Blok, Aleksandr
And children screech fortissimo. 

And every evening beyond the barriers
Gentlemen of practiced wit and charm
Go strolling beside the drainage ditches -- 
A tilted derby and a lady at the arm. 

The squeak of oarlocks comes over the lake water
A woman's shriek assaults the ear
While above, in the sky, inured to everything,
The moon looks on with a mindless leer. 

And every evening my one companion
Sits here, reflected in my glass.
Like me, he has drunk of ...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...e and dark—
Smell of wet earth and growth from the empty Park, 
Pall Mall vacant-Whitehall deserted. Johnnie and I 
Strolling together, averse to saying good-bye—
Strolling away from some party in silence profound, 
Only far off in Mayfair, piercing, the sound 
Of a footman's whistle—the rhythm of hoofs on wood, 
Further and further away. . . . And now we stood 
On a bridge, where a poet came to keep 
Vigil while all the city lay asleep—
Westminster Bridge...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...Blandly mother 
takes him strolling 
by railroad and by river 
-he's the son of the absconded 
hot rod angel- 
and he imagines cars 
and rides them in his dreams, 

so lonely growing up among 
the imaginary automobiles 
and dead souls of Tarrytown 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit. 

Will he ...Read More

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