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Famous Way Out Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Frost, Robert
Put on me, but there seems no other way. 
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it. 
He says the best way out is always through. 
And I agree to that, or in so far 
As that I can see no way out but through-- 
Leastways for me--and then they'll be convinced. 
It's not that Len don't want the best for me. 
It was his plan our moving over in 
Beside the lake from where that day I showed you 
We used to live--ten miles from anywhere. 
We didn't c...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...arking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.

A grey wall now, clawed and bloody.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.

This red wall winces continually:
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two grey, papery bags --
This is what i am made of, this, and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and rain of pieties.

On a black wall, unidentifi...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington> I was in hell,
Remember; and if you have never been there 
You may as well not say how easy it is 
To find the best way out. There may not be one. 
Well, I was there; and I was there alone— 
Alone for the first time since I was born;
And I was not alone. That’s what it is 
To be in hell. I hope you will not go there. 
All through that slow, long, desolating twilight 
Of incoherent certainties, I waited; 
Never alone—never to be alone;
And while the nig...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...m the burning building a rush was made;
And soon the theatre was filled with a blinding smoke,
So that the people their way out had to grope. 

The shrieks of those trying to escape were fearful to hear,
Especially the cries of those who had lost their friends most dear;
Oh, the scene was most painful in the London Inn Square,
To see them wringing their hands and tearing their hair! 

And as the flames spread, great havoc they did make,
And the poor souls fought heroicall...Read More

by Merwin, W S
...another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And fore-ordaining as stars
Our sacrifices
Join your work to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are imp...Read More

by Gregory, Rg
they seek to celebrate the word
not to bring their knives out on a poem
dissecting it to find a heart
whose beat lies naked on a table
not to score in triumph on a line
no sensitive would put a nostril to
but simply to receive it as an
offering glimpsing the sacred there

poem probes the poet's once-intention
but each time said budges its truth
afresh ...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...ront of me on a line
or getting up from a table
to leave the restaurant just before I do,
slipping into his coat on the way out the door.
But there is no catching him,
no way to slow him down
and put us back in synch,
unless one day he decides to go back
to the house for something,
but I cannot imagine
for the life of me what that might be.

He is out there always before me,
blazing my trail, invisible scout,
hound that pulls me along,
shade I am doomed to follow,
my ...Read More

by Nemerov, Howard
...Some nights it's bound to be your best way out,
When nightmare is the short end of the stick,
When sleep is a part of town where it's not safe
To walk at night, when waking is the only way
You have of distancing your wretched dead,
A growing crowd, and escaping out of their
Time into yours for another little while;

Then pass ghostly, a planet in the house
Never observed, among the sleeping rooms...Read More

by Collins, Billy
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means....Read More

by García Lorca, Federico I want to see them. Before the stone. 
Before this body with broken reins. 
I want to know from them the way out 
for this captain stripped down by death. 

I want them to show me a lament like a river 
wich will have sweet mists and deep shores, 
to take the body of Ignacio where it looses itself 
without hearing the double planting of the bulls. 

Loses itself in the round bull ring of the moon 
which feigns in its youth a sad quiet bull, 
loses itsel...Read More

by Du Bois, W. E. B.
...oo, after all it is your country and you do love its ideals if not all of its realities. Now, then, I have thought of a way out: Arise, gracefully remove your hat, and tilt your head. Then sing as follows, powerfully and with deep unction. They’ll hardly note the little changes and their feelings and your conscience will thus be saved: 

My country tis of thee, 
Late land of slavery, 
         Of thee I sing. 
Land where my father’s pride 
Slept where my mother died, 
...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...'t stand no more.
It didn't seem 's though that was Ed,
An' it didn't seem as though I was me.
I had to break a way out somehow,
Somethin' was closin' in
An' I was stiflin'.
Ed's loggin' axe was ther,
An' I took it.
Oh, my God!
I can't see nothin' else afore me all the time.
I run out inter th' woods,
Seemed as ef they was pullin' me;
An' all the time I was wadin' through the snow
I seed Ed in front of me
Where I'd laid him.
An' I see him now.
Ther...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...d unready, making the necessary calls

To get a bed, to keep him on the ward, to visit and reassure 

Us both that some way out could be found.

The ‘Care Home’ was the next disaster, trying to cure

Schizophrenia with sticking plaster: "We don’t want 

Carers’ input, we call patients ‘residents’ and insist on chores

Not medication", then the letters of terrible abuse, the finding of a flat,

‘The discharge into the community.’

His ‘keyworker’ was the keyworker from...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...s Royces.

 Afterwards the girl got dressed and she and the man left.

They walked down the stairs and on their way out, I heard

him say his first words.

 "Would you like to go to Emie's for dinner?"

 "I don't know, " the girl said. "It's a little early to think

about dinner. "

 Then I heard the door close and they were gone. I got

dressed and went downstairs. The flesh about my body felt

soft and relaxed like an experiment in functional bac...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...he surface, that is,
No words to say what it really is, that it is not
Superficial but a visible core, then there is
No way out of the problem of pathos vs. experience.
You will stay on, restive, serene in
Your gesture which is neither embrace nor warning
But which holds something of both in pure
Affirmation that doesn't affirm anything.

The balloon pops, the attention
Turns dully away. Clouds
In the puddle stir up into sawtoothed fragments.
I think of th...Read More

by Kinnell, Galway so wet with its waters, like the waters
the fishes multiplied in at Galilee, that
each wick draws a portion all the way out
to its tip and fattens a droplet on the bush
of half notes now glittering in that dark.
At last she lifts off the bow and sits back.
Her face shines with the unselfconsciousness of a cat
screaming at night and the teary radiance of one
who gives everything no matter what has been given....Read More

by Taylor, Edward
...d Persian insect powder 
and smut fungi, the enemies of the iris, 
wireworms are worse than their parents, 
there is no way out, flowers as big as heads, 
pock-marked, disfigured, blinking insolently 
at me, the me who so loves to garden 
because it prevents the heaving of the ground 
and the untimely death of porch furniture, 
and dark, murky days in a large city 
and the dream home under a permanent storm 
is also a factor to keep in mind."...Read More

by Tate, James
...d Persian insect powder 
and smut fungi, the enemies of the iris, 
wireworms are worse than their parents, 
there is no way out, flowers as big as heads, 
pock-marked, disfigured, blinking insolently 
at me, the me who so loves to garden 
because it prevents the heaving of the ground 
and the untimely death of porch furniture, 
and dark, murky days in a large city 
and the dream home under a permanent storm 
is also a factor to keep in mind."...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...tch' where an 'aitch' should be,
But millions and millions to spend on me.
Not much fun— but there wasn't any
Other way out. I haven't a penny.
But with you it's different. You can go away,
And oh, what a fool you'd be to stay.

Rabbits in the park, 
Scuttling as we pass, 
Little white tails 
Against the green grass. 
'Next time, Mother, 
I must really bring a gun, 
I know you don't like shooting, 
But—!' John's own son, 
That blond bowed face,...Read More

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