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Famous Student Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Hikmet, Nazim
...went back to my birthplace
I don't like to turn back
at three I served as a pasha's grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student at Moscow Communist University
at forty-nine I was back in Moscow as the Tcheka Party's guest
and I've been a poet since I was fourteen
some people know all about plants some about fish
 I know separation
some people know the names of the stars by heart
 I recite absences
I've slept in prisons and in grand hotels
I've known hunger even a hunger strik...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e factory, farm, the house-room, lodging-room, 
Labor and toil, the bath, gymnasium, play-ground, library, college,
The student, boy or girl, led forward to be taught; 
The sick cared for, the shoeless shod—the orphan father’d and mother’d, 
The hungry fed, the houseless housed; 
(The intentions perfect and divine, 
The workings, details, haply human.)

O thou within this tomb, 
From thee, such scenes—thou stintless, lavish Giver, 
Tallying the gifts of Earth—large as t...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...h! what deceivers are we aging men!
What vanity keeps youthful hope aglow!
Poor girl! I sent a photo taken when
I was a student, twenty years ago.
(Hers is so Springlike, Oh so blossom sweet!)
How she will shudder when she sees me now!
I think I'd better hide that marguerite -
How can I age and ugliness avow?

She does not come. It's after nine o'clock.
What fools we fogeys are! I'll try to laugh;
(Garcon, you might bring me another bock)
Falling in love, just fro...Read More

by Hacker, Marilyn
Your knees were red with cold; your itchy wool
socks had inched down, so you stooped to pull
them up, a student and a citizen.

You are a student and a citizen
of whatever state is transient.
You are no more or less the resident
of a hotel than you were of that town
whose borders were disputed and redrawn.
A prince conceded to a president.
Another language became relevant
to merchants on that street a child walked down
whom you remember, in the...Read More

by Roethke, Theodore
...(My student, thrown by a horse)

I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
And how, once startled into talk, the light syllables leaped for her,
And she balanced in the delight of her thought,

A wren, happy, tail into the wind,
Her song trembling the twigs and small branches.
The shade sang with her;...Read More

by Tebb, Barry

And danced with her five minutes centre stage –

I’ve lost all inhibitions in old age. A Malaysian architecture

Student invited me to sit and get my breath back

"Le Corbusier described a house as a machine for living in,"

I quipped; she slipped a smile and sipped her drink and said

"I love Leeds and its people; in seven years I’ve never 

Heard a single racist comment, whatever the papers say"

Malaysian girls are rightly known for their sensual beauty

But I made ...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...nd screaming as birch-bark,
Goes like bullet to its mark,
While the solid curse and jeer
Never balk the waiting ear:
To student ears keen-relished jokes
On truck, and stock, and farming-folks,—
Nought the mountain yields thereof
But savage health and sinews tough.

On the summit as I stood,
O'er the wide floor of plain and flood,
Seemed to me the towering hill
Was not altogether still,
But a quiet sense conveyed;
If I err not, thus it said:

Many feet in summer seek
Betim...Read More

by Seeger, Alan
...nt Michel. 

Here saunter types of every sort. The shoddy jostle with the chic: 
Turk and Roumanian and Greek; student and officer and sport; 

Slavs with their peasant, Christ-like heads, 
and courtezans like powdered moths, 
And peddlers from Algiers, with cloths 
bright-hued and stitched with golden threads; 

And painters with big, serious eyes go rapt in dreams, fantastic shapes 
In corduroys and Spanish capes and locks uncut and flowing ties; 

And lovers wa...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard gravy over mashed potatoes,

a dance once a week with the lady kooks, clean clothes a

locked razor and lovely young student nurses.

 Ah, yes, there was a future in the insane asylum. No

winter spent there could be a total loss.


I walked down one morning from Steelhead, following the

Klamath River that was high and murky and had the intelligence

of a dinosaur. Tom Martin Creek was a small creek with cold,

clear water an...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard Monument. Swimming

close to shore, like children they believed in their own im-

mortality .

 A third-year student in engineering at the University of

Montana attempted to catch some of the minnows but he went

about it all wrong. So did the children who came on the

Fourth of July weekend.

 The children waded out into the lake and tried to catch the

minnows with their hands. They also used milk cartons and

plastic bags. They presented the lak...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...A woman 
who loves a woman 
is forever young. 
The mentor 
and the student 
feed off each other. 
Many a girl 
had an old aunt 
who locked her in the study 
to keep the boys away. 
They would play rummy 
or lie on the couch 
and touch and touch. 
Old breast against young breast... 
Let your dress fall down your shoulder, 
come touch a copy of you 
for I am at the mercy of rain, 
for I have left the t...Read More

by Duhamel, Denise
doodled through her teenage years—"Snow + ?" in Magic
Markered hearts all over her notebooks. She was an average
student, a daydreamer who might have been a scholar
if she'd only applied herself. She liked sappy music
and romance novels. She liked pies and cake
instead of fruit.
 The Queen remained the fairest in the land.
It was hard on Snow, having such a glamorous mom.
She rebelled by wearing torn shawls and baggy gowns.
Her mother would some...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...of here
with your best hat over your face. I cried
because I was seventeen. I am older now.
I read how your student ticket admitted you
into the private chapel of the Vatican and how
you cheered with the others, as we used to do
on the fourth of July. One Wednesday in November
you watched a balloon, painted like a silver abll,
float up over the Forum, up over the lost emperors,
to shiver its little modern cage in an occasional
breeze. You worked your New E...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...dness -- 
greater not in scale but in context, 
memorable, true to a proportioned, 
subtle form. Last year I knew a student, 
a half mad boy who finally opened his arms 

with a razor, not because he wanted to die 
but because he wanted to design something grand 
on his own body. Once he said, When a child 
realizes his parents aren't enough,
he turns to architecture. 
I think I know what he meant. 
Imagine the Masons parading, 

one of them, in his splendid g...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...derous blade,
No woven web of bloody heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its littl...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...Scaring the prowling robber to his den;
     Gilding on battled tower the warder's lance,
         And warning student pale to leave his pen,
     And yield his drowsy eyes to the kind nurse of men.

     What various scenes, and O, what scenes of woe,
         Are witnessed by that red and struggling beam!
     The fevered patient, from his pallet low,
         Through crowded hospital beholds it stream;
     The ruined maiden trembles at its gleam,
        ...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...hat is permeating
the thin bedroom curtains

as the beginning of a lecture
I will listen to until it is dark,
a curious student in a V-neck sweater,
angled into the wooden chair of his life,
ready with notebook and a chewed-up pencil,
quiet as a goldfish in winter,
serious as a compass at sea,
eager to absorb whatever lesson
this damp, overcast Tuesday
has to teach me,
here in the spacious classroom of the world
with its long walls of glass,
its heavy, low-hung ceiling....Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord sudden sun: 
We took this palace; but even from the first 
You stood in your own light and darkened mine. 
What student came but that you planed her path 
To Lady Psyche, younger, not so wise, 
A foreigner, and I your countrywoman, 
I your old friend and tried, she new in all? 
But still her lists were swelled and mine were lean; 
Yet I bore up in hope she would be known: 
Then came these wolves: ~they~ knew her: ~they~ endured, 
Long-closeted with her the yestermorn,...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me 
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what 
I f...Read More

by Lehman, David
and didn't care what it was, "so long as it was 
always the same," noted Professor Malcolm 
of Cornell, a former student, in whose house 
in Ithaca Wittgenstein spent hours doing 
handyman chores. He was happy then. 
There was no need to say a word....Read More

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