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Famous Suburbs Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Sexton, Anne
...matches at street signs 
for it is dark, 
as dark as the leathery dead 
and I have lost my green Ford, 
my house in the suburbs, 
two little kids 
sucked up like pollen by the bee in me 
and a husband 
who has wiped off his eyes 
in order not to see my inside out 
and I am walking and looking 
and this is no dream 
just my oily life 
where the people are alibis 
and the street is unfindable for an 
entire lifetime. 

Pull the shades down -- 
I don't care! 
Bolt the door, ...Read more of this...



by Lehman, David
...st letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else,
 yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by 
 the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another:
The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik
 who think...Read more of this...

by Murray, Les
...iping off the air. 

Metaphors slump irritably together in
the muggy weeks. Shark and jellyfish shallows
become suburbs where you breathe a fat towel;
babies burst like tomatoes with discomfort
in the cotton-wrapped pointing street markets;
the Lycra-bulging surf drips from non-swimmers
miles from shore, and somehow includes soil.
Skins, touching, soak each other. Skin touching
any surface wets that and itself
in a kind of mutual digestion.
Throbbing heads...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...on the floor . . .
Alas! your dancing days are nearly done.

I've played you from the palm-belt to the suburbs of the Pole;
From the silver-tipped sierras to the sea.
The gay and gilded cabin and the grimy glory-hole
Have echoed to your impish melody.
I've hushed you in the dug-out when the trench was stiff with dead;
I've lulled you by the coral-laced lagoon;
I've packed you on a camel from the dung-fire on the bled,
To the hell-for-breakfast Mountai...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
...int, their fathers
work at the spark plug factory or truck
bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs
to the widows of the suburbs. You can see
already how their backs have thickened,
how their small hands, soiled by pig iron,
leap and stutter even in dreams. I would like
to sit down among them and read slowly
from The Book of Job until the windows
pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea
of industrial scum, her gowns streaming
with light, her foolish words transfor...Read more of this...



by Browning, Robert
...fore the hot day
Brightens the blue from its silvery grey,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Ride past the suburbs, asleep as you'd say;
Many's the friend there, will listen and pray
"God's luck to gallants that strike up the lay,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Forty miles off, like a roebuck at bay,
Flouts Castle Brancepeth the Roundheads array:
Who laughs, Good fellows ere this, by my fay,

(Chorus) "Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Who? My w...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...e, before the hot day
Brightens to blue from its silvery gray,
(Chorus)
Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!
Ride past the suburbs, asleep as you'd say;
Many's the friend there, will listen and pray
"God's luck to gallants that strike up the lay--
(Chorus)
Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"
Forty miles off, like a roebuck at bay,
Flouts Castle Brancepeth the Roundheads' array:
Who laughs, "Good fellows ere this, by my fay,
(Chorus)
Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Who? My wif...Read more of this...

by Kunitz, Stanley
...Now in the suburbs and the falling light
I followed him, and now down sandy road
Whitter than bone-dust, through the sweet
Curdle of fields, where the plums
Dropped with their load of ripeness, one by one.
Mile after mile I followed, with skimming feet,
After the secret master of my blood,
Him, steeped in the odor of ponds, whose indomitable love
Kept me in chains....Read more of this...

by Bosselaar, Laure-Anne
...e wind 
push it, suck it into a cloud; then it’s 
gone — like some vague, inhuman 
longing — as the rain lifts, and the suburbs 
 emerge in dirty white light....Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...oloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! 
 Light streaming out of the sky! 
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! 
 skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic 
 industries! spectral nations! invincible mad 
 houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs! 
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave- 
 ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to 
 Heaven which exists and is everywhere about 
 us! 
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! 
 g...Read more of this...

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...urses and rumours;The provinces of his body revolted,The squares of his mind were empty,Silence invaded the suburbs,The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers. Now he is scattered among a hundred citiesAnd wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,To find his happiness in another kind of woodAnd be punished under a foreign code of conscience.The words of a dead manAre modified in the guts of the living. But in the im...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...
To impose on the evening. 
The noise came from outside: 
A metal detonating 
Native, evidently, to 

These stilled suburbs nobody 
Startled at it, though the sound 
Shook the ground with its pounding. 
It took a root at my coming 

Till the thudding shource, exposed, 
Counfounded in wept guesswork: 
Framed in windows of Main Street's 
Silver factory, immense 

Hammers hoisted, wheels turning, 
Stalled, let fall their vertical 
Tonnage of metal and wood; 
Stunned in m...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...and dismal lanes, 
Walked of yore the Mastersingers, chanting rude poetic strains. 30 

From remote and sunless suburbs came they to the friendly guild, 
Building nests in Fame's great temple, as in spouts the swallows build. 

As the weaver plied the shuttle, wove he too the mystic rhyme, 
And the smith his iron measures hammered to the anvil's chime; 

Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the flowers of poesy bloom 35 
In the forge's dust and cinder...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
...e, and no stars emerge; however,
not the least hint of the stockyards
or slaughterhouses is allowed to drift
out to the suburbs, so it's a deathless
darkness with no more perfume than
cellophane. "Our souls are mingling
now somewhere in the open spaces
between Illinois and you," she writes.
When I read the letter, two weeks
from now, forwarded by my publisher,
I will suddenly discover a truth
of our lives on earth, and I'll bless
Mrs. William Settle of Lake Forest...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...iled
That by strong hand his family obtained,
Though priests, the crown, and David's throne usurped,
With Modin and her suburbs once content. 
If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
And duty—zeal and duty are not slow,
But on Occasion's forelock watchful wait:
They themselves rather are occasion best—
Zeal of thy Father's house, duty to free
Thy country from her heathen servitude.
So shalt thou best fulfil, best verify,
The Prophets old, who sung thy endless rei...Read more of this...

by Ashbery, John
...f it
There seems no special reason why that light
Should be focused by love, or why
The city falling with its beautiful suburbs
Into space always less clear, less defined,
Should read as the support of its progress,
The easel upon which the drama unfolded
To its own satisfaction and to the end
Of our dreaming, as we had never imagined
It would end, in worn daylight with the painted
Promise showing through as a gage, a bond.
This nondescript, never-to-be defined daytime is...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...ill accept
your America back to live like a prim thing
on the farm in Maine. I tell you, you will come
here, to the suburbs of Boston, to see the blue-nose
world go drunk each night, to see the handsome
children jitterbug, to feel your left ear close
one Friday at Symphony. And I tell you,
you will tip your boot feet out of that hall,
rocking from its sour sound, out onto
the crowded street, letting your spectacles fall
and your hair net tangle as you stop passers-by
...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...d; 
We pass the colossal outposts of the encampment—we pass with still feet and
 caution; 
Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruin’d city; 
The blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the
 globe.)

I am a free companion—I bivouac by invading watchfires. 

I turn the bridegroom out of bed, and stay with the bride myself; 
I tighten her all night to my thighs and lips. 

My voice is the wife’s voice, the screech by ...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
....

THOMAS DELAIN: 
from a journal found on his person

 At night wakened by the freight 
 trains boring through the suburbs 
 of Lyon, I watched first light 
 corrode the darkness, disturb 
 what little wildlife was left 
 in the alleys: birds moved from 
 branch to branch, and the dogs leapt 
 at the garbage. Winter numbed 
 even the hearts of the young 
 who had only their hearts. We 
 heard the war coming; the long 
 wait was over, and we moved 
 along the crow...Read more of this...

by Williams, William Carlos (WCW)
...t she'll be rescued by an
agent—
reared by the state and

sent out at fifteen to work in
some hard-pressed
house in the suburbs—

some doctor's family, some Elsie—
voluptuous water
expressing with broken

brain the truth about us—
her great
ungainly hips and flopping breasts

addressed to cheap
jewelry
and rich young men with fine eyes

as if the earth under our feet
were
an excrement of some sky

and we degraded prisoners
destined
to hunger until we eat filth

while the imag...Read more of this...

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Book: Shattered Sighs