Poetry Terms – Examples

The day came slow, till five’o clock,
Then sprang before the hills
Like hindered rubies, or the light
A sudden musket spills.

(Emily Dickinson)

O love is the crooked thing

(William Butler Yeats)

Good-night, good-night!
parting is such *sweet sorrow*

(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune — without the words,
And never stops at all,

(Emily Dickinson)

My love is like a red, red rose.

(Robert Burns)

LIfe is a walking shadow.

(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear them – *Ding, dong, bell*.
(Shakespeare, The Tempest)

And *h*umming *h*ive-bees *h*omeward *h*urry by

(John Clare)

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry

(Emily Dickinson)

For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
*There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch*,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.

(Robert Frost)

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair

(Joyce Kilmer)

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

(Langston Hughes)

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—

(Langston Hughes)

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

(Langston Hughes)

I have seen them riding seaward on the *w*aves
Combing the *wh*ite hair of the *w*aves blown back
*Wh*en the *w*ind blows the *w*ater *wh*ite and black.

(T. S. Eliot)

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

(T. S. Eliot)

Ever unr*ee*ling them, ever tirelessly sp*ee*ding them.

(Walt Whitman)

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When *w*eeds, in *wh*eels, shoot *l*ong and *l*ovely and *l*ush

(Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

(Sara Teasdale)

Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

(Sara Teasdale)

Over the cobbles he *clattered and clashed* in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his *whip* on the shutters, but all was locked and barred…

(Alfred Noyes)

There midnight’s a*ll* a g*l*immer, and noon a purp*le* glow,
And evening fu*ll* of the *l*innet’s wings

(William Butler Yeats)

He *c*lasps the *c*rag with *c*rooked hands;
*C*lose to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

But he grew *o*ld-
This knight s*o* b*o*ld-
And *o*’er his heart a shad*ow*
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorad*o*.

(Edgar Allan Poe)

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw–
For he’s the *master criminal* who can defy the Law.
He’s the *bafflement of Scotland Yard*, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime–Macavity’s not there!

(T.S. Eliot)

Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical! / Dove feathered raven! Wolvish-ravening lamb! / Despised substance of divinest show! / A damned saint, an honorable villain!

(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

Lotus leaves in the pond
Ride on water.
Rain in June.

(Shiki Masaoka)

Heron’s cry
Stabs the darkness

(Basho Matsuo)

There was an old man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!–
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

(Edward Lear)

THERE was a small boy of Quebec,
Who was buried in snow to his neck;
When they said. “Are you friz?”
He replied, “Yes, I is—
But we don’t call this cold in Quebec.”

(Rudyard Kipling)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.


There was a young lady of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

For the moon never b*ea*ms without bringing me dr*ea*ms
Of the beautiful Annabel L*ee*;
And the stars never r*i*se but I f*ee*l the bright *eye*s
Of the beautiful Annabel L*ee*;
And so, all the n*igh*t-t*i*de, I l*ie* down b*y* the s*i*de
Of my darling- my darling- my l*i*fe and my br*i*de,
In the sepulchre there by the s*ea*,
In her tomb by the sounding s*ea*.

(Edgar Allan Poe)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

(Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge–break to new mutiny,
Where *civil blood* makes *civil hands* unclean.

(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)