AMERICA POEMS

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Freedom's Plow

When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
.....
Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes
Song At Sunset

Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic-hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat-you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Candles

They are the last romantics, these candles:
Upside-down hearts of light tipping wax fingers,
And the fingers, taken in by their own haloes,
Grown milky, almost clear, like the bodies of saints.
.....

Sylvia Plath
I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
.....
Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes
I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics-each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
The Age Of The Antonines

While faith forecasts millennial years
Spite Europe's embattled lines,
Back to the Past one glance be cast-
The Age of the Antonines!
.....
Herman Melville

Herman Melville
A Dream Of Whitman Paraphrased, Recognized And Made More Vivid By Renoir

Twenty-eight naked young women bathed by the shore
Or near the bank of a woodland lake
Twenty-eight girls and all of them comely
Worthy of Mack Sennett's camera and Florenz Ziegfield's
.....
Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz
America In 1904

(Europe Conquers America.)

Strong for the strong and in his own conceit;
Half-boy, half-madman, playing with the fire;
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
Ruth

When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
.....
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Fear Is What Quickens Me

1

Many animals that our fathers killed in America
Had quick eyes.
.....

James Arlington Wright
America The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
.....

Katharine Lee Bates
Money

An introductory lecture


This morning we shall spend a few minutes
.....

Howard Nemerov
A Farewel To America

I.
Adieu, New-England's smiling meads,
Adieu, the flow'ry plain:
I leave thine op'ning charms, O spring,
.....
Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley
With All Thy Gifts, America

With all thy gifts, America,
(Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,)
Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee, With these, and like of these, vouchsafed to thee,
What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never solving;)
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
The Greatest Thing In North America

This is the greatest thing in North America:
Europe is the greatest thing in North America!
High in the sky, dark in the heart, and always there
Among the natural powers of sunlight and of air,
.....
Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz
Columbus

Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
.....

Ogden Nash
Salut Au Monde

O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman!
Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds!
Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next!
Each answering all--each sharing the earth with all.
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Full Flight

I'm in a plane that will not be flown into a building.
It's a SAAB 340, seats 40, has two engines with propellers
is why I think of beanies, those hats that would spin
a young head into the clouds. The plane is red and loud
.....

Bob Hicok
Ode On Venice

I.
Oh Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
.....

George Gordon Byron
Ploughing On Sunday

The white cock's tail
Tosses in the wind.
The turkey-cock's tail
Glitters in the sun.
.....

Wallace Stevens
So Long

TO conclude--I announce what comes after me;
I announce mightier offspring, orators, days, and then, for the
present, depart.

.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
To The Republicans Of North America

I.
Brothers! between you and me
Whirlwinds sweep and billows roar:
Yet in spirit oft I see
.....
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fellow Citizens

I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter
one night
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker,
.....
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Karen

At her low quaint wheel she sits to spin,
Deftly drawing the long, light rolls
Of carded wool through her finders thin,
By the fireside at the Isles of Shoals.
.....
Celia Thaxter

Celia Thaxter
Crossing Nation

Under silver wing
San Francisco's towers sprouting
thru thin gas clouds,
Tamalpais black-breasted above Pacific azure
.....

Allen Ginsberg
America

I
Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
.....
Herman Melville

Herman Melville
Elegy Xix: To His Mistress Going To Bed

Come, madam, come, all rest my powers defy,
Until I labor, I in labor lie.
The foe oft-times having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing though he never fight.
.....
John Donne

John Donne
The Shoelace

a woman, a
tire thatâ??s flat, a
disease, a
desire: fears in front of you,
.....

Charles Bukowski
Bus East

Society has good intentions Bureaucracy is like a friend
5 years ago - other furies other losses -

America's
.....

Jack Kerouac
Song Of The Coffle Gang

This song is said to be sung by Slaves, as they are chained in gangs,
when parting from friends for the far off South-children taken from
parents, husbands from wives, and brothers from sisters.

.....

Anonymous Americas
To The Right Honourable William, Earl Of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary Of State

Hail, happy day, when, smiling like the morn,
Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn:
The northern clime beneath her genial ray,
Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway:
.....
Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley
The Ballad Of The Children Of The Czar

1

The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball
.....
Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz
A Sad State Of Freedom

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
.....

Nazim Hikmet
The New Year

Come you with dangers to fright us? or hazards
to try out our souls?
Then may you find us undaunted; determined to
get to our goals.
.....
Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest
An Old Man's Thought Of School

An old man's thought of School;
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot.

Now only do I know you!
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Rizpah

SAID one who led the spears of swarthy Gad,
To Jesseâ??s mighty son: â??My Lord, O King,
I, halting hard by Gibeonâ??s bleak-blown hill
Three nightfalls past, saw dark-eyed Rizpah, clad
.....

Henry Kendall
Ode For Walt Whitman

<I>A Translation for Steve Jonas</i>

Along East River and the Bronx
The kids were singing, showing off their bodies
.....

Jack Spicer
To A Kindly Critic

If it's wrong to believe in the land that we love
And to pray for Our Flag to the good God above;
If it's wrong to believe that Our Country is best;
That honor's her standard, and truth is her crest;
.....
Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest
Pane Caldo

Rising in the morning
like warm bread,
from a bed
in America,
.....

Erica Jong
To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain

I had no idea the elf owl
Crept into you in the secret
Of night.

.....

To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain Poe
To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain

I had no idea the elf owl
Crept into you in the secret
Of night.

.....

James Arlington Wright
Eidà³lons

I MET a Seer,
Passing the hues and objects of the world,
The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense,
To glean Eidólons.
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
America

Glorious daughter of time! Thou of the mild blue eye --
Thou of the virginal forehead --pallid, unfurrowed of tears--
Thou of the strong white hands with fingers dipped in the dye
Of the blood that quickened the fathers of thee, in the ancient years,
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
America

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
.....

Claude Mckay
Behavior

BEHAVIOR--fresh, native, copious, each one for himself or herself,
Nature and the Soul expressed--America and freedom expressed--In it
the finest art,
In it pride, cleanliness, sympathy, to have their chance,
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Ode To Maize

America, from a grain
of maize you grew
to crown
with spacious lands
.....
Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda
States!

STATES!
Were you looking to be held together by the lawyers?
By an agreement on a paper? Or by arms?

.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
The Columbiad: Book I

The Argument


Natives of America appear in vision. Their manners and characters. Columbus demands the cause of the dissimilarity of men in different countries, Hesper replies, That the human body is composed of a due proportion of the elements suited to the place of its first formation; that these elements, differently proportioned, produce all the changes of health, sickness, growth and decay; and may likewise produce any other changes which occasion the diversity of men; that these elemental proportions are varied, not more by climate than temperature and other local circumstances; that the mind is likewise in a state of change, and will take its physical character from the body and from external objects: examples. Inquiry concerning the first peopling of America. View of Mexico. Its destruction by Cortez. View of Cusco and Quito, cities of Peru. Tradition of Capac and Oella, founders of the Peruvian empire. Columbus inquires into their real history. Hesper gives an account of their origin, and relates the stratagems they used in establishing that empire.
.....

Joel Barlow
Everywhere In America

Not somewhere in America, but everywhere to-day,
Where snow-crowned mountains hold their heads,
the vales where children play,
Beside the bench and whirring lathe, on every
.....
Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest
Long, Too Long America

Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys and prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman