Poetry Opening Lines
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Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and the lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold:- Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold...
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest. 1879-1931
I have walked out in rain-and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. 1875-1963
Inimitable contriver, endower of Earth 1914-1917
My spirit revives in the morning breeze
Toward heaven still, And there's a barrel that I didn't fill. 1875-1963
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
Many a servant have ye put out of grace. Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Sharp flippers lifted, or great-eyed heads, as they roll in the sea. 1887-1962
That a maiden there lived, whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee;
Yesterday Wind came, bringing low cigar Shaped clouds.
When to battle fierce came forth, All the might of Denmark's crown, And her arms along the deep proudly shone; By each the lighted brand, In a bold determined hand, And the price of all the land, Led them on.
pale morninglory scattered on a granite hill bells clanging under grey sea cliffs. 1926-1997 major voice in American beat poetry
twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. 1927-1980
Go up and down the alleys. 1907-1963
The long light shakes cross the lakes, And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot, O'ver the grave where our hero we buried.
forth on the godly sea, and We set up mast and sail on that swart ship. 1885-1972
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
The story told of a brave engineer.
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, -A host, of golden daffodils,
the moon lies fair Upon the straits. 1822–1888
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea ...
They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes... 1902-1967
Set out across the emptying pastures of the fifties ... Born 1927, Kinnell lives and works in Vermont and New York City
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud, A child in its cradle lay.
And vine and rush enclosed backwater. Rexroth, 1906-1982
Have woven round his grave a magic shade ... 1884-1933
The insects are scant, skinny. 1932–1963
Out the 12th floor hotel window by his ankles. 1920-1994, Los Angeles poet was one of the most prolific and popular poets in the US in recent years.
By the shining Big-Sea-Water. (Lake Superior)
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
Starving hysterical naked. 1926-1997 Beat poet
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe ...
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And dunno if my legs or back or heart is most wore out
Twin fallen kings, twin perished hopes to mourn. 521BC-431BC
And the woods against a stormy sky, Their giant branches tossed.
near the rank, disheveled bed ... (1883-1963), Williams was a practicing MD
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair ... 1888-1965 Italian Title meaning "The Daughter who cries"
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Knocking on the moonlit door ...
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best ...
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me
That the colt from old Regret had got away... Australian Poet - February 17, 1864 - February 6, 1941
James Joyce (1882 – 1941), most famous for his novel Ulysses (1922) was an Irish expatriate.
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk
Since others it hath ceased to move... Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert... English Romantic poet (1792 – 1822)
As if it were time for dancing 1922-1987
A memorial for Robinson Jeffers
Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963)
Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963)
especially at such an awkward time ... 1905-2006
Along Flaggy Shore ... B. 1939, Northern Ireland; Nobel Laureate
While I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
That's newly sprung in June ... National poet of Scotland, 1759-1796
Edward (Ted) James Hughes (1930 – 28) was also a children's writer and wrote 'The Iron Giant'
And the ship of sunrise burning Strands upon the eastern rims.
All the gone or endangered came ... American poet and pacifist, 1914-1993
Soft is the note, and sad the lay, That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
No haughty feat of arms I tell; Our hearts, in glad surprise, To higher levels rise.
17 June 1867-2 September 1922
And in the morning summer hued the deck ... 1879-1955
And all the men and women merely players ...
Who stands so long in the evening ... English poet (1930-1998)
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune; Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew;
And my body Stretched bathing in the sun, I lie by the waterfall(1905-1982), American poet and translator
From Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887 – 1915)
19th C. sentimental poet whose works with this exception are forgotten
And proud titles boast ...
Fronting as it does a Pacific so immensely lush... American poet and novelist
in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush ... British, 1844-1889
which it passes to a row of ancient trees ... Austrian, 1875-1926
For I walked down the idestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
with her visible forms, she speaks ... Bryant: 1794-1878
When they are poor, without nice things, and with their hair down, When their beauty is taken from them, when their hearts are broken ... (1915-1968), Merton lived as a Trappist monk
American poet and pediatrician, 1883-1963
I've got to wait for spring to get my ahes hauled ... 1897-1948; written under the name Bessie Jackson
And my divine Althea brings To whisper at the grates; When I lie tangled in her hair And fetter'd to her eye, The birds that wanton in the air Know no such liberty.
O cuckoo! shall I call thee bird, Or but a wandering voice?
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
The leaves they were crispèd and sere, The leaves they were withering and sere; It was night in the lonesome October
... among these barren crags
"mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain"
I smell the wind for my ancestors ... Laguna Pueblo, American Indian
I paused and said, 'I will turn back from here. No, I will go on farther–and we shall see’. 1875-1963
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,'To bear him company ...
Facts contributed by:
Allan R. Matthes