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Famous Traditional Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...ith this spirit poesy no more 
Adorns that vain mythology believ'd, 
By rude barbarian, and no more receives, 
The tale traditional, and hymn profane, 
Sung by high genius, basely prostitute. 
New strains are heard, such as first in the morn 
Of time, were sung by the angelic choirs, 
When rising from chaotic state the earth 
Orbicular was seen, and over head 
The blazing sun, moon, planet, and each light 
That gilds the firmament, rush'd into view. 


Thus did the su...Read More



by Yeats, William Butler
...that great glory spent -
Like some poor Arab tribesman and his tent.

We were the last romantics - chose for theme
Traditional sanctity and loveliness;
Whatever's written in what poets name
The book of the people; whatever most can bless
The mind of man or elevate a rhyme;
But all is changed, that high horse riderless,
Though mounted in that saddle Homer rode
Where the swan drifts upon a darkening flood....Read More

by Breton, Andre
...onge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.

Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.

Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not t...Read More

by Brock, Edwin
...onge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.

Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.

Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not t...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ught not my home till the day's dying glory 
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star; 
For fancy was cheered by traditional story, 
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr. 

"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices 
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?" 
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices, 
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale. 
Rouch Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers, 
Winter presides in his cold icy car: 
Clou...Read More



by Lowell, Robert
...our feet--
too boiled and shy
and poker-faced to make a pass,
while the shrill verve
of your invective scorched the traditional South.

Now twelve years later, you turn your back.
Sleepless, you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child;
your old-fashioned tirade--
loving, rapid, merciless--
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head....Read More

by Amichai, Yehuda
...hildless silence.

My child wafts peace.
His mother's womb promised him
What God cannot
Promise us.


* The traditional burial place in Hebron of Abraham
 and the other Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel....Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...Of wisdom's dictates two are principal,
Surpassing all your lore traditional;
Better to fast than eat of every meat,
Better to live alone than mate with all!...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...re,
the roosters brace their cruel feet and glare

with stupid eyes
while from their beaks there rise
the uncontrolled, traditional cries.

Deep from protruding chests
in green-gold medals dressed,
planned to command and terrorize the rest,

the many wives 
who lead hens' lives
of being courted and despised;

deep from raw throats
a senseless order floats
all over town. A rooster gloats

over our beds
from rusty irons sheds
and fences made from old bedsteads,

over ou...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...rot
pack
of cards, from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience.
The Hanged Man, a member of the traditional pack, fits my purpose
in two ways: because he is associated in my mind with the Hanged God
of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in
the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V. The Phoenician Sailor
and the Merchant appear later; also the "crowds of people," and
Death by Water is executed in Part IV. The Man w...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...till 
I know the answer— true for me alone—
What is she worth— this country— not my own?

I thought of my father's deep traditional wrath
Against England— the redcoat bully— the ancient foe—
That second reaping of hate, that aftermath
Of a ruler's folly and ignorance long ago—
Long, long ago— yet who can honestly say
England is utterly changed— not I— not I.
Arrogance, ignorance, folly are here today,
And for these my son must die?
I thought of these years, these last dar...Read More

by Baraka, Imamu Amiri
...WHYS (Nobody Knows
    The Trouble I Seen)
    Traditional

If you ever find
yourself, some where
lost and surrounded
by enemies
who won't let you
speak in your own language
who destroy your statues
& instruments, who ban
your omm bomm ba boom
then you are in trouble
deep trouble
they ban your
own boom ba boom
you in deep deep
trouble

humph!

probably take you several hundred years
...Read More

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