Poetic Passage

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A Poetic Passage is a linguistic passage that uses aesthetics and rhythmic qualities of language.

  • Context:
  • Example(s):
    • “Because I could not stop for Death, / He kindly stopped for me; / The carriage held but just ourselves / And Immortality”,
      from 'Because I could not stop for Death', Emily Dickinson.
    • “And when wind and winter harden / All the loveless land, / It will whisper of the garden, / You will understand”,
      from 'To My Wife', Oscar Wilde.
    • “But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper / And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper / In an elementary world; There is something down there and you want it told”,
      from 'Dark Pines Under Water', Gwendolyn MacEwen.
    • “This is the way the world ends / not with a bang but a whimper”,
      from 'The Hollow Men', T.S Eliot.
    • “Out of the ash I rise / With my red hair / And I eat men like air”,
      from 'Lady Lazarus', Sylvia Plath.
    • “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, / Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, / Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs / And towards our distant rest began to trudge.”,
      from 'Dulce et Decorum est', Wilfred Owen.
    • “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved / in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”,
      from 'Sonnet XVII', Neruda.
    • “I would like to be the air / that inhabits you for a moment / only. I would like to be that unnoticed / & that necessary”,
      from 'Variation on the Word Sleep', Margaret Atwood.
    • “they speak whatever’s on their mind / they do whatever’s in their pants / the boys i mean are not refined / they shake the mountains when they dance”,
      from 'the boys i mean are not refined', E. E. Cummings.
    • “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; / The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won ”,
      from 'O Captain! My Captain!', Walt Whitman.
    • “Don’t like the / fact that he learned to hide from the cops before he knew / how to read. Angrier that his survival depends more on his ability / to deal with the “authorities” than it does his own literacy”,
      from 'Cuz He’s Black', Javon Johnson.
    • “The weight of the world / is love / Under the burden / of solitude, / under the burden / of dissatisfaction / the weight, / the weight we carry / is love”,
      from 'Song', Allen Ginsberg.
    • “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill / Of things unknown but longed for still / And his tune is heard on the distant hill / For the caged bird sings of freedom”,
      from 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings', Maya Angelou.
    • “The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned; / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity”,
      from 'The Second Coming', William Butler Yeats.
    • “Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave / Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; / Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. / I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned”,
      from 'Dirge Without Music', Edna St. Vincent Millay.
    • “I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love / If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles”,
      from 'Leaves of Grass', Walt Whitman.
    • “How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot. / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd”,
      from 'Eloisa to Abelard', Alexander Pope.
    • “Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove: / O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, / That looks on tempests, and is never shake”,
      from 'Sonnet 116', William Shakespeare.
    • “Tree you are, / Moss you are, / You are violets with wind above them. / A child - so high - you are, / And all this is folly to the world”,
      from 'A Girl', Ezra Pound.
    • “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise”,
      from 'Still I Rise', Maya Angelou.
    • “you are much more than simply dead / I am a dish for your ashes / I am a fist for your vanished air / the most terrible thing about life / is finding it gone”,
      from 'The Unblinking Grief', Charles Bukowski.
    • “At twenty I tried to die / And get back, back, back to you. / I thought even the bones would do. / But they pulled me out of the sack, / And they stuck me together with glue”,
      from 'Daddy', Sylvia Plath.
    • “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, / dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix / angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night”,
      from 'Howl', Allan Ginsberg.
    • “She had blue skin, / and so did he. / He kept it hid / and so did she. / They looked for blue / their whole life through. / Then passed right by-- / and never knew”,
      from 'Masks', Shel Silverstein.
    • “Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light”,
      from 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night', Dylan Thomas.
    • “Water, water, every where, / And all the boards did shrink; / Water, water, every where / Nor any drop to drink”,
      from 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    • “I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart / I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars / I am the red man driven from the land, / I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek - / And finding only the same old stupid plan / Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak”,
      from 'Let America Be America Again', Langston Hughes.
    • “You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye / Who cheer when soldier lads march by, / Sneak home and pray you'll never know / The hell where youth and laughter go”,
      from 'Suicide in the Trenches', Siegfried Sassoon.
  • Counter-Example(s):
  • See: Poem.