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Famous Suddenness Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by McGonagall, William Topaz
...gers were thrown off their balance;
But, most fortunately, they were all saved merely by chance. 

And owing to the suddenness of the shock, many women fainted away,
Which filled the rest of the passengers' hearts with dismay;
But they soon regained their composure when close to the land,
Especially when they saw that succour was near at hand. 

The engines were kept going at full speed,
And God helped His people in time of need;
And in a short time Newburgh was reach...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...Before you thought of spring,
Except as a surmise,
You see, God bless his suddenness,
A fellow in the skies
Of independent hues,
A little weather-worn,
Inspiriting habiliments
Of indigo and brown.

With specimens of song,
As if for you to choose,
Discretion in the interval,
With gay delays he goes
To some superior tree
Without a single leaf,
And shouts for joy to nobody
But his seraphic self!...Read More

by Roethke, Theodore
...s the earth,
And from my Pullman berth
I stare into the night
While others take their rest.
Bridges of iron lace,
A suddenness of trees,
A lap of mountain mist
All cross my line of sight,
Then a bleak wasted place,
And a lake below my knees.
Full on my neck I feel
The straining at a curve;
My muscles move with steel,
I wake in every nerve.
I watch a beacon swing
From dark to blazing bright;
We thunder through ravines
And gullies washed with light.
Beyond the m...Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore
...rms patience into sensation and satiation.
The handsome wolf spider moves suddenly freely and relies
Upon lightning suddenness, stealth and surprise,
Possessing accurate eyes, pouncing upon his victim with the
 speed of surmise.

Courtship is dangerous: there are just as many elaborate 
 and endless techniques and varieties
As characterize the wooing of more analytic, more 
 introspective beings: Sometimes the male
Arrives with the gift of a freshly caught fly.
So...Read More

by Kinnell, Galway
...of some flower
that hummingbirds love, perhaps
"honeysuckle" or "hollyhock"
or "phlox" -- just then shocked me
with its suddenness, and this time
apparently did burst the insulation,
letting the word sound in the open
where all could hear, for these tiny, irascible,
nectar-addicted puritans jumped back
all at once, as if the air gasped....Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...the hill,
And many of the English vanguard, with their claymores, they did kill. 

Then, taken by surprise and the suddenness of the attack,
The vanguard of the English army instantly fell back,
But rallied again immediately-- to be beaten back once more,
Whilst beneath the Highlanders' claymores they fell by the score. 

But a large body of horsemen came to the rescue,
And the wing of the Scottish army they soon did subdue;
Then swords and spears clashed on every si...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...quickly attacked General M'Neill's transport-zereba,
But in a short time they were forced to withdraw. 

And in the suddenness of surprise the men were carried away,
Also camels, mules, and horses were thrown into wild disarray,
By thousands of the Arabs that in ambush lay,
But our brave British heroes held the enemy at bay. 

There was a multitude of camels heaped upon one another,
Kicking and screaming, while many of them did smother,
Owing to the heavy pressure of ...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...mity --

As Lightning on a Landscape
Exhibits Sheets of Place --
Not yet suspected -- but for Flash --
And Click -- and Suddenness....Read More

by Skillman, Judith
...The trigger is sensation.

The violin's a dirty animal.

I want you to take away the suddenness.

Pain up the side of my head.

I'll have my teeth extracted one by one.

See if it makes any difference.

Rehearse for the real.

Be either present or absent.

I'll let my fingers drum ebony.

Thinking makes it worse.

I'll take the beat inside myself

and feel it up the center of my body.

A string through my ...Read More

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
...ou only, exist.
We pass away, till at last,
our passing is so immense
that you arise: beautiful moment,
in all your suddenness,
arising in love, or enchanted
in the contraction of work.

To you I belong, however time may
wear me away. From you to you
I go commanded. In between
the garland is hanging in chance; but if you
take it up and up and up: look:
all becomes festival!...Read More

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