The Best Poems of All Time – Organized by Poet

This is a list of the Best Poems of All Time organized by poet’s date of birth, with each poet’s poems organized in chronological order, where the date the poem was written or (more likely) when it was first published is available.  This is a revision of an earlier list.  Poems for which I have no date are listed after the poems that have dates.  I began this list with the poems from the “Best Poems of All Time” meta-list. To create that meta-list, I compiled lists of best poetry from over 20 sources, including Internet lists and poetry anthologies. Unfortunately, many of the lists and anthologies I found are restricted to poems originally written in English, which eliminates the vast majority of poets and poems and creates an obvious English-language bias for which I apologize.  Also, most lists include only lyric poems and omit epic poetry. In order to correct some of these biases, I specifically added lists of the best epic poems and the best world/international poetry. Once I had compiled a list from that information, I went back to my original Best Poetry lists and added poems by poets who were listed on those earlier lists but did not make it onto the new list.  Not satisfied, I then created a meta-list of Best Poets of All Time, identified those poets who were not included yet, researched their most well-regarded poems and added those to the list. Still unsatisfied with the underrepresentation of Asian poetry, I made lists of the best poets of China, Japan and Persia, researched their best poems and added some of them to the list.  Finally, I added any poems or poets from my original meta-list that were not already on the list.  For a ranked list of the best poems, with links to the text of each poem, go here.  For a chronological list of the best poems, go here.

HOMER (attrib.) (Ancient Greece)
The Iliad (c. 750 BCE)
The Odyssey (c. 750 BCE)

HESIOD (Ancient Greece, c. 750-650 BCE)
Theogony (700 BCE)
Works and Days (700 BCE)

SAPPHO (Ancient Greece, c. 630-570 BCE)
With His Venom
Fragment 42
Fragment 155

PINDAR (Ancient Greece, 498-444 BCE)

THEOCRITUS (Ancient Greece/Rome, c. 300-200 BCE)

APOLLONIUS OF RHODES (Ancient Greece, c. 250-200 BCE)
Argonautica (Jason and the Argonauts) (c. 220 BCE)

LUCRETIUS (Ancient Rome, c. 99–55 BCE)
De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (50 BCE)

VIRGIL (Ancient Rome, 70–19 BCE)
Eclogues (39-38 BCE)
Georgics (37-29 BCE)
The Aeneid (29-19 BCE)

CATULLUS (Ancient Rome, c. 84-54 BCE)
Attis (c. 65-54 BCE)

HORACE (Ancient Rome, 65–8 BCE)
Satires (35-30 BCE)
Odes (65-8 BCE)
Odes, Book 1:25 (“The Young Men Come Here Less Often, Isn’t It So?”) (65-8 BCE)

SEXTUS PROPERTIUS (Ancient Rome, c. 50-15 BCE)

OVID (Ancient Rome, 43 BCE – 18 CE)
The Art of Love (1 CE)
Metamorphoses (2-8 CE)

LUCAN (Ancient Rome, 39-65 CE)
Pharsalia (On the Civil War) (61-65 CE)

JUVENAL (Ancient Rome, c. 98-138 CE)

VALMIKI (attrib.) (India)
Ramayana (c. 500 BCE -100 CE)

VYASA (attrib.) (India)
Mahabharata (c. 300 CE)

KĀLIDĀSA (India, c. 300-400 CE)
The Cloud Messenger (Meghaduta)

TAO YUANMING (Tao Qian) (China, 365-427 CE)
Returning to Live in the Country
Reading the Classic of Hills and Seas
Twenty Poems after Drinking Wine (esp. #5)
The Return

Begging for Food
On Moving House
In the Sixth Month of 408, Fire

BHARTRIHARI (India, c. 400-500 CE)
The Three Centuries (Satakatraya)

WANG WEI (China, 699-759 CE)
Deer Park
Replying to Subprefect Zhang
A Green Stream
The Bamboo Grove
Autumn Evening in a Mountain Retreat
Passing Hidden Fragrance Temple
Birds Calling in the Ravine
Drifting on the Lake
Mourning Yin Yao
A Song of an Autumn Night
A Song of Peach Blossom River
Huazi Ridge
Temple Tree Path
At the Lake Pavilion
A Message from my Lodge at Wangchuan to Pei Di
At Parting
Lament For Mêng Hao-jan

LI BAI (Li Po) (China, 701-762 CE)
Jade Stairs Lament
The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter (A Poem of Changgan)
A Quiet Night Thought
Long Yearning
Farewell to Meng Hao-jan
Drinking Alone in the Moonlight
The Moon at the Fortified Pass
Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly
The Exile’s Letter
Drinking with Someone in the Mountains
Taking Leave of a Friend                             
On Climbing in Nan-king to the Terrace of Phoenixes
Alone, Looking at the Mountain
Amidst the Flowers a Jug of Wine
Autumn River Song
About Du Fu
To Du Fu from Shantung
Climbing West of Lotus Flower Peak
Looking for a Monk and not Finding Him
Visiting a Taoist Priest on Tiatien Mountain
To Wang Lun
For Meng Hao-Jan
Waking From Drunkenness on a Spring Day

DU FU (Tu Fu) (China, 712-770 CE)
Song of an Old Cypress
To My Retired Friend Wei
Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky
Spring Night in the Left Office
Moonlit Night
Ballad of the Army Carts
Alone, Looking for Blossoms along the River
A Spring View
Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night
Four Rhymes to see off General Yan at Fenji Station
On meeting Li Guinian again, south of the river
Reply to a Friend’s Advice

FERDOWSI (Persia/Iran, 940-1020 CE)
Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) (1010)

SU SHI (SU DONGPO) (China, 1037-1101)
Dreaming of My Deceased Wife on the Night of the 20th Day of the First Month
Impromptu Verse (My frosty hair blows loosely in the wind)
Mid-Autumn Moon
New Year’s Watch
Visiting the Temple of Auspicious Fortune Alone on Winter Solstice
Visiting the Temple of the God of Mercy on a Rainy Day
Written While Drunk in Lake-View Pavilion on the 27th Day of the Sixth Month Remembrance
The Immortal by the River

OMAR KHAYYAM (Persia/Iran, 1048-1131)
The Rubaiyat

AL-HARIRI OF BASRA (Iraq, 1054-1122)
The Assemblies of al-Hariri (Maqamat al-Hariri) (c. 1100-1122)

LI QINGZHAO (China, 1084-1151)
To the Tune of ‘Fisherman’s Pride’
To the Tune of ‘Intoxicated under the shadow of flowers’

To the Tune of ‘Like a dream’

ARCHPOET (pseud.) (Germany, c. 1130 – c. 1165)

CHRÉTIEN DE TROYES (France, c. 1130-1190)
Perceval, the Story of the Grail (1181-1190)

ATTAR OF NISHAPUR (Farid al-Din Attar) (Persia/Iran, 1145-1221)
The Conference of the Birds (1177)

MARIE DE FRANCE (France/UK, c. 1150-1200)
Lais of Marie de France (c. 1180-1199)

WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH (Germany, 1170-1220)
Parzifal (1200-1220)

SAADI SHIRAZI (Sa’di) (Persia/Iran, 1210-1291)
Bani Adam (All human beings are in truth akin) (from the Gulistan)
Bustan (Bostan) (The Orchard) (1257)
Gulistan (Golestan) (The Rose Garden) (1258)

JAYADEVA (India, c. 1200-1300)
Song of Govinda (Gita Govinda)

GUILLAUME DE LORRIS (France, 1200-1240)
Romance of the Rose, Part One (1230)

JALALU’L-DIN RUMI (Persia/Iran, 1207-1273)
A Stone I died
Come, Come, Whoever You Are
At the Twilight

JEAN DE MEUN (France, 1240-1305)
Romance of the Rose, Part Two (1275)

DANTE ALIGHIERI (Italy, 1265-1321)
The New Life (1295)
The Divine Comedy (1265-1321)

ZHANG YANGHAO (China, 1270-1329)
Meditation on the Past at Tong Pass

PETRARCH (Italy, 1304-1374)
Sonnets to Laura in Life 109 (“Alas, when Love makes his assaults on me”)
Sonnets to Laura in Life 156 (“I saw angelic virtue on earth”)

HAFEZ (Persia/Iran, 1329-1385)
O beautiful wine bearer, bring forth the cup (Ghazal 1)
That beautiful Shirazi Turk, took control and my heart stole (Ghazal 5)
Where is my Ruined Life? (Ghazal 12)
Last Night, as Half Asleep I Dreaming Lay (Ghazal 44)
Wild Deer
Rubaiyat 1 (“Nothing comes in our eyes except Your face”)

WILLIAM LANGLAND (UK, c. 1332-1386)
Piers Plowman

GEOFFREY CHAUCER (UK, c. 1343-1400)
Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1385)
The Canterbury Tales (c. 1387-1400)

MATTEO MARIA BOIARDO (Italy, 1440-1494)
Orlando Innamorato

JOHN SKELTON (UK, c. 1463-1529)
To Mistress Margaret Hussey (1523)

LUDOVICO ARIOSTO (Italy, 1473-1533)
Orlando Furioso (1532)

FUŻŪLĪ (Turkey, 1483-1556)
Epic of Layla and Majnun (Dâstân-ı Leylî vü Mecnun)

SIR THOMAS WYATT (UK, 1503-1542)
Whoso List to Hunt
They Flee from Me
The Lover Showeth How He is Forsaken

EDMUND SPENSER (UK, c. 1552-1599)
The Faerie Queen (1590, 1596)
My Love Is Like To Ice, and I to Fire

WALTER RALEIGH (UK, 1552-1618)
The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd (1592)
The Lie (1592)
The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage (1603)

PHILIP SIDNEY (UK. 1554-1586)
Astrophel and Stella (1591)

ROBERT SOUTHWELL (UK, c. 1561-1595)
The Burning Babe (1595)

Tichborne’s Elegy (1586)

The Passionate Shepherd To His Love

A Fairy Song (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) (1596)
All the World’s a Stage (The Seven Ages of Man) (from As You Like It) (1599)
Sonnet 138 (“When my love swears she is made of truth”) (1599)
Sonnet 1 (“From fairest creatures we desire increase”) (1609)
Sonnet 12 (“When I do count the clock that tells the time”)
Sonnet 18 
(“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”) (1609)
Sonnet 20 (“A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted”) (1609)
Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”) (1609)
Sonnet 30 (“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought”) (1609)
Sonnet 55 (“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments”) (1609)
Sonnet 65 (“Since neither brass nor stone”) (1609)
Sonnet 71 (“No longer mourn for me when I am dead”) (1609)
Sonnet 73 (“That Time of year thou mayst in me behold”) (1609)
Sonnet 76 (“Why is my verse so barren of new pride”) (1609)
Sonnet 94 (“They that have power to hurt and will do none”) (1609)
Sonnet 106 (“When in the chronicle of wasted time”)
Sonnet 107 (“Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul”) (1609)
Sonnet 116 
(“Let me not to the marriage of true minds”) (1609)
Sonnet 127 (“In the old age black was counted fair”) (1609)
Sonnet 129 (“The expense of spirit in a waste of shame”) (1609)
Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”) (1609)
Sonnet 146 (“Pour soul, the centre of my sinful earth”) (1609)
Sonnet 147 (“My love is a fever, longing still”) (1609)

THOMAS NASHE (UK, 1567-1601)
Summer’s Last Will And Testament: Spring (1600)

THOMAS CAMPION (UK, 1567-1620)
Rose-Cheeked Laura

JOHN DONNE [UK, 1572-1631]
Holy Sonnets No. 1 (“Thou has made me, and shall thy work decay”) (1609-1611)
Holy Sonnets No. 5  (“I am a little world made cunningly”)
Holy Sonnets No. 7
(“At the round earth’s imagined corners”) (1609)
Holy Sonnets No. 10 (“Death be not proud”) (1609)
Holy Sonnets No. 14 (“Batter my heart, three-personed God”) (1609)
Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward (1613)
Song (“Go and Catch a Falling Star”)
The Good-Morrow
The Anniversary
The Canonization
The Ecstasy
The Flea
The Funeral
The Sun Rising
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
Woman’s Constancy

BEN JONSON (UK, 1572-1637)
Song To Celia (“Drink to me only with thine eyes) (1616)
On My First Son (1616)
To Penshurst (1616)
To John Donne

ROBERT HERRICK (UK, 1591-1674)
The Argument Of His Book (1648)
Upon Julia’s Clothes (1648)
Delight In Disorder (1648)
To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time (1648)
Corinna’s Going a-Maying (1648)
To Daffodils

HENRY KING (UK, 1592-1669)
An Exequy To His Matchless, Never-to-be-forgotten Friend
Exequy on His Wife

GEORGE HERBERT (UK, 1593-1633)
The Collar 
The Pulley
Easter Wings 

THOMAS CAREW (UK, 1595-1640)
To My Inconstant Mistress

EDMUND WALLER (UK, 1606-1687)
Song (“Go, Lovely Rose”)

JOHN MILTON (UK, 1608-1674)
On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity (1629)
L’Allegro (1631)
Il Penseroso (1631)
Lycidas (1637)
Sonnet XVIII. On The Late Massacre In Piedmont (1655)
Sonnet XIX. On His Blindness (1655)
Sonnet XXIII. On His Deceased Wife (1656)
Paradise Lost (1667)
Paradise Regained (1671)

JOHN SUCKLING (UK, 1609-1642)
Orsames’ Song (“Why so pale and wan, fond lover?”) (from Aglaura) (1638)

ANNE BRADSTREET (Colonial America, 1612-1672)
To My Dear And Loving Husband

To Althea, From Prison (1642)
To Lucasta, Going To The Wars (1649)

ANDREW MARVELL (UK, 1621-1678)
To His Coy Mistress
The Definition Of Love
The Garden 

HENRY VAUGHAN (UK: Wales, 1621-1695)
The Retreat (1650)
They Are All Gone into the World of Light (1655)

JOHN DRYDEN (UK, 1631-1700)
Mac Flecknoe (c. 1678)
To the Memory of Mr. Oldham (1684)
A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day (1687)

MATSUO BASHŌ (Japan, 1644-1694)
An old pond
First day of spring
Four Haiku
A bee
The dragonfly
Fleas, lice 
A caterpillar
A cicada shell
What fish feel
A wild sea 
Spring rain
Autumn moonlight
First snow
Winter solitude
Winter garden
The oak tree
A field of cotton
Awake at night
Moonlight slanting
The clouds come and go
How admirable
Won’t you come and see 
None is travelling 
Don’t imitate me
Basho’s Death Poem

JONATHAN SWIFT (Ireland/UK, 1667-1745)

A Description of the Morning (1709)

ALEXANDER POPE (UK, 1688-1744)
Essay on Criticism (1711)
The Rape of the Lock
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot 

SAMUEL JOHNSON (UK, 1709-1784)
The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749)

THOMAS GRAY (UK, 1716-1771)
Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes (1747)
Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard (1751)

YOSA BUSON (Japan, 1716-1784)
Buying leeks
A bat flits
Ploughing the land
Washing the hoe
Straw sandal half sunk
The behavior of the pigeon
Calligraphy of geese
His Holiness the Abbot
He’s on the porch
Hokku Poems in Four Seasons
The spring sea rising
The end of spring
Early summer rain
Harvest moon
The willow leaves fallen
Haiku (The winter river…)
Not quite dark yet
Evening wind
Blown from the west
Lighting one candle
My arm for a pillow
Sparrow singing
They end their flight
Before the white chrysanthemum
Blow of an ax
Old well
Elegy to the Old Man Hokuju

The Deserted Village (1770)

WILLIAM COWPER (1731-1800) [UK, 1731-1800]
Olney Hymn 35 (“Light Shining out of Darkness”) (1779)

The Beautiful Night (1768)
The Erlking (1782)
Nearness of the Beloved (1795)
At Midnight Hour (1818)
Mignon’s Longing
Permanence in Change
The Fisherman
The Dance of Death

PHILLIS WHEATLEY (West Africa/US, 1753-1784)
On Being Brought from Africa to America
On Imagination
To S. M., A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works
On Virtue

WILLIAM BLAKE (UK, 1757-1827)
To The Evening Star (1783)
The Lamb (1789)
The Little Black Boy (1789)
The Chimney Sweeper (1789)
A Cradle Song (1789)
The Clod And The Pebble (1794)
Holy Thursday (1794)
The Sick Rose (1794)
The Tyger (1794)
The Garden Of Love (1794)
London (1794)
A Poison Tree (1794)
Mock On, Mock On! Voltaire, Rousseau (1800-1803)
Auguries of Innocence (1803)
Jerusalem (“And did those feet in ancient time”) (1804-1810)

ROBERT BURNS (UK: Scotland, 1759-1796)
Holy Willie’s Prayer (1785)
To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough (1785)
John Anderson My Jo (1789)
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose (1794)

FRIEDRICH SCHILLER (Germany, 1759-1805)
Ode to Joy (1785)
The Glove (1797)
The Artists

KOBAYASHI ISSA (Japan, 1763-1828)
All the time I pray to Buddha
The snow is melting
Even with insects
Writing shit about new snow
A cuckoo sings
I’m going out
How much
Don’t know about the people
Ducks bobbing on the water
Even on the smallest islands
Blossoms at night
In this world
With my father
It once happened
Pissing in the snow
Last time, I think
That pretty girl
Summer night
Windy fall
New Year’s morning
The crow
Don’t worry, spiders
A bath when you’re born
In spring rain
A huge frog and I

Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (1798)
Lucy Gray (1800)
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 (1802)
London, 1802 (1802)
Daffodils (“I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”) (1807)
The World Is Too Much with Us (1807)
My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold (1807)
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood (1807)
Resolution and Independence (1807)
The Solitary Reaper (1807)
The Prelude (1850)

Kubla Khan (1797)
Frost at Midnight (1798)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)
Dejection: An Ode (1802)

On his Seventy-Fifth Birthday
Rose Aylmer
Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher

Piers Plowman

THOMAS MOORE (Ireland, 1779-1852)
Thee, Thee, Only Thee
Tis the Last Rose of Summer
The Meeting of the Waters
Oft in the Stilly Night

Abou Ben Adhem (1834)
Jenny Kiss’d me

She Walks In Beauty (1814)
The Destruction of Sennacherib (1815)
So, we’ll go no more a-roving (1817)
When We Two Parted (1817)
Don Juan (1824)

Ozymandias (1818)
Stanzas written in dejection – December 1818, Near Naples (1818)
Ode to the West Wind (1819)
England in 1819 (1819)
The Masque of Anarchy (1819)
Love’s Philosophy (1820)
To A Skylark (1820)
Music, When Soft Voices Die (1821)
Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats (1821)

JOHN CLARE (UK, 1793-1864)
I Am (1845)
First Love


Thanatopsis (1817)
To a Waterfowl (1821)

JOHN KEATS (1795-1821) (UK, 1795-1821)
On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer (1816)
Endymion (1817)
When I have fears that I may cease to be (1818)
Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819)
Ode on Melancholy (1819)
Ode to a Nightingale (1819)
Ode to Psyche (1819)
La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1819)
To Autumn (1819)
Bright Star (1819)
The Eve of St. Agnes

GIACOMO LEOPARDI (Italy, 1798-1837)
The Canti (1835)

ALEXANDER PUSHKIN (Russia, 1799-1837)
I Loved You (1829)
Eugene Onegin (1825-1832)

VICTOR HUGO (France, 1802-1885)
The End of Satan (Et nox facta es) (1886)

Concord Hymn (1836)
The Rhodora (1847)
The Snow-storm (1841)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 14 
(“If thou must love me, let it be for nought”) (1845-1846)
Sonnets from the Portuguese 43
 (“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”) (1845-1846)


A Psalm of Life
The Village Blacksmith (1842)
The Arrow and the Song (1845)
My Lost Youth (1858)
The Children’s Hour (1863)

Barbara Frietchie (1864)
Snowbound (1866)

EDGAR ALLAN POE (US, 1809-1849)

Alone (1829)
To Helen (1831)
The Raven (1845)
Annabel Lee (1849)
A Dream Within A Dream (1849)

Mariana (1830)
Ulysses (1833)
The Lotos-eaters (1833)
Break, Break, Break (1835)
In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849)
The Eagle (1851)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854)
Crossing The Bar (1889)

The Chambered Nautilus (1858)
Old Ironsides (1885)

EDWARD LEAR (UK, 1812-1888)
The Owl and the Pussycat (1871)

My Last Duchess (1842)
Home-thoughts, From Abroad (1845)
Two in the Campagna (1855)
The Pied Piper of Hamelin

MIKHAIL LERMONTOV (Russia, 1814-1841)
The Demon (1829-1841)

Sic Vita

EMILY BRONTË (UK, 1818-1848)
Remembrance (1846)

The Latest Decalogue
Say Not The Struggle Naught Availeth

WALT WHITMAN (US, 1819-1892)
Song of Myself (1855)
To You (1860)
O Captain! My Captain!
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d (1865)
When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer (1867)
I Hear America Singing
Year that Trembled and Reel’d Beneath Me
Whoever You Are Now Holding Me Now in Hand
Dirge for Two Veterans
The Runner
As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days
Song of the Redwood Tree
A Clear Midnight (1882)
In Paths Untrodden
Shut Not Your Doors 
A Noiseless Patient Spider 
Good-Bye My Fancy! (1891)
A Child Said, What is the grass?
Beat! Beat! Drums!

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
President Lincoln’s Burial Hymn
To a Locomotive in Winter
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night

JULIA WARD HOWE (US, 1819-1910)
Battle Hymn of the Republic (1861)

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (France, 1821-1867)
Carrion (A Carcass) (1857)
Invitation to a Voyage (1857)
Hymn to Beauty (1861)

MATTHEW ARNOLD (UK, 1822-1888)
The Scholar Gipsy (1853)
Dover Beach (1867)

The Blessed Damozel (1850)

Success is counted sweetest
‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers
There’s a certain Slant of light,
I felt a funeral, in my Brain,
The Soul selects her own Society
A Bird came down the Walk
After great pain, a formal feeling comes
Much madness is divinest sense
I heard a Fly buzz – when I died
Because I could not stop for Death
A narrow fellow in the grass
I’m Nobody! Who are you? 
Wild Nights! Wild Nights!
This is my letter to the world
As Imperceptibly as Grief
The Bible Is an Antique Volume
Fame Is a Bee
I Like a Look of Agony
I Never Lost as Much but Twice
I Reckon – When I Count at All
I Would Not Paint – a Picture
A Little Over [or, East of] Jordan
My Life Had Stood – a Loaded Gun
On a Columnar Self
The bustle in a house
Publication Is the Auction
Renunciation Is a Piercing Virtue
A Route of Evanescence
Safe in their Alabaster Chambers
Split the Lark and You’ll Find the Music
Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant
They Shut Me Up in Prose
I Cannot Live with You 
If those I loved were lost 
There is another sky
“Why do I love” You, Sir?
“Faith” is a fine invention
To hear an oriole sing
Ample make this Bed
This Grass so little has to do
One need not be a Chamber – to be haunted
Surgeons must be very careful
To fight aloud, is very brave

Echo (1854)
In An Artist’s Studio (1856)
Goblin Market (1859)
A Birthday (1861)
Remember (1862)
Up-hill (1862)
Song (1862)

LEWIS CARROLL (UK, 1832-1898)
Rhyme? and Reason? (Phantasmagoria) (1869)
Jabberwocky (1871) (from Through the Looking Glass)
The Hunting of the Snark (1876)
Three Sunsets (1898)

WILLIAM MORRIS (UK, 1834-1896)
The Earthly Paradise (1868-1870)

A Forsaken Garden (1878)

THOMAS HARDY (UK, 1840-1928)
The Darkling Thrush (1901)
The Ruined Maid (1901)
The Man He Killed (1902)
The Convergence of the Twain (1914)
The Voice (1914)
Channel Firing
In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’ 
During Wind and Rain

God’s Grandeur (1877)
The Windhover (1877)
Pied Beauty (1877)
Spring and Fall: To A Young Child (1880)
Felix Randal (1880)
Inversnaid (1881)
Carrion Comfort 

Invictus (1875)

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (UK: Scotland, 1850-1894)
Requiem (1880)

ARTHUR RIMBAUD (France, 1854-1891)
The Sleeper in the Valley (1870)
Sensation (1870)
Romance (1870)
The Drunken Boat (1871)
The Seekers of Lice
A Winter Dream
Dance of the Hanged Men

A.E. HOUSMAN (UK, 1859-1936)
A Shropshire Lad II (“Loveliest of trees the cherry now”) (1896)
A Shropshire Lad XIX (To An Athlete Dying Young) (1896)
A Shropshire Lad LIV (“With rue my heart is laden”) (1896)
A Shropshire Lad LXII (“Terence, this is stupid stuff”) (1896)
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries (1914)

RABINDRANATH TAGORE (India, 1861-1941) 
Endless Time (Gitanjali #1) (1910)
A Moment’s Indulgence (Gitanjali #5) (1910)

The Lotus (Gitanjali #20) (1910)
The Gardener #38 (“My love once upon a time”) (1913)

CONSTANTINE P. CAVAFY (Greece, 1863-1933)
Waiting for the Barbarians (1904)
The City (1910)
Ithaka (1911)

Gunga Din (1892)
Recessional (1897)
If (1910)
The Way through the Woods (1910)

W.B. YEATS (Ireland, 1865-1939)
The Lake Isle of Innisfree (1890)
When You Are Old (1892)
Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven (1899)
Easter 1916 (1916)
The Wild Swans at Coole (1917)
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death (1919)
The Second Coming
Leda and the Swan (1928)
Sailing to Byzantium (1928)
Among School Children
The Circus Animals’ Desertion
Lapis Lazuli (for Henry Clifton)
No Second Troy

ERNEST DOWSON (UK, 1867-1900)
Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae (1894)

MASAOKA SHIKI (Japan, 1867-1902)
A mountain village
A hollyhock
A quart of phlegm
For love and for hate

Spoon River Anthology (1915)

Richard Cory (1897)
Luke Havergal (1897)
Miniver Cheevy
Mr. Flood’s Party (1921)

STEPHEN CRANE (US, 1871-1900)
In the Desert (1895)

W.H. DAVIES (UK: Wales, 1871-1940)
Leisure (1911)

WALTER DE LA MARE (UK, 1873-1956)

The Listeners (1912)
Silver (1913)

AMY LOWELL (US, 1874-1925)

GERTRUDE STEIN (US, 1874-1946)
Susie Asado (1912)
Tender Buttons (1914)
Stanzas in Meditation
Guillaume Apollinaire

The Cremation of Sam McGee (1907)

ROBERT FROST (US, 1874-1963)
Mending Wall (1914)
After Apple-Picking (1914)
The Road Not Taken (1916)
An Old Man’s Winter Night (1916)
Birches (1916)
Out, Out (1916)
The Oven Bird (1916)
Design (1922)
Fire and Ice (1923)
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1923)
Acquainted With The Night (1928)
Provide, Provide (1937)
The Most of It (1942)
The Gift Outright (1942)
Directive (1947)

RAINER MARIA RILKE (Bohemia/Germany, 1875-1926)
Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes (1904)
Duino Elegies (1912-1923)

ANTONIO MACHADO (Spain, 1875-1939)
Self-Portrait (Retrato) (1908)

CARL SANDBURG (US, 1878-1967)
Chicago (1914)
Fog (1916)
Grass (1918)

Peter Quince at the Clavier (1915)
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Anecdote of the Jar (1919) 
The Snow Man
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon (1921)
The Emperor of Ice Cream (1922)
Sunday Morning 
The Idea of Order at Key West


Zone (1913)

ALEXANDER BLOK (Russia, 1880-1921)

The Twelve

ALFRED NOYES (UK, 1880-1958)
The Highwayman (1906)

JACOB NIBENEGENESABE (Canada, c. 1882 – c.1976)
The Wishing Bone Cycle (1976)

UMBERTO SABA (Italy, 1883-1957)
The Goat (1910)

Danse Russe (1916)
The Red Wheelbarrow (1923)
This is Just to Say (1934)
The Yachts (1935)
Paterson (1946-1958)
The Dance (1962)

D.H. LAWRENCE (UK, 1885-1930)
Piano (1918)
Snake (1923)
Bavarian Gentians (1932)
The Ship of Death (1933)

EZRA POUND (US, 1885-1972)
A Station of the Metro (1913)
The Garden (1916)
The Cantos (1917-1969)
A Girl

JOYCE KILMER (US, 1886-1918)
Trees (1913)

GOTTFRIED BENN (Germany, 1886-1956)
What’s Bad

RUPERT BROOKE (UK, 1887-1915)
The Soldier (1914)

Shine, Perishing Republic (1923)
The Eye (1925)
The Deer Lay Down their Bones (1925)
Carmel Point (1953)
Birds and Fishes (1963)

MARIANNE MOORE (US, 1887-1972)
The Fish (1918)
Poetry (1919)
The Steeplejack (1935)
What Are Years? (1941)
The Mind Is An Enchanting Thing (1944)
Nevertheless (1944)
A Jellyfish (1959)

FERNANDO PESSOA (Portugal, 1888-1935)
Autopsychography (1931)
To be great, to be whole (1933)

T.S. ELIOT (US/UK, 1888-1965)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)
La Figlia Che Piange (1917)
Sweeney among the Nightingales 
The Waste Land (1922)
The Hollow Men (1925)
Journey of the Magi (1927)
Four Quartets (1945)

Piazza Piece (1924)
Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter (1924)

WEN YIDUO (China, 1889-1946)
Dead Water (1928)

ANNA AKHMATOVA (Russia, 1889-1966)
Requiem (1935-1940)

Break of Day in the Trenches (1916)

BORIS PASTERNAK (Russia, 1890-1960)
Winter Night (1946)

HO CHI MINH (Vietnam, 1890-1969)
Prison Poems (Songs from a Prison Diary) (1940s)

OSIP MANDELSTAM (Russia, 1891-1938)
The Necklace (“Take from my palms”) (1920)
O Lord, Help me to live through this night (1931)
The Stalin Epigram (1933)

EDITH SODERGRAN (Finland/Sweden, 1892-1923)
The Trees of My Childhood (1916)

CESAR VALLEJO (Peru, 1892-1938)
Black Stone Lying on a White Stone

MARINA TSVETAEVA (Russia, 1892-1941)
To Mother (1907)
In Paris (1909)
For my Poems, Written so Young (1913)
You walk, looking just like me (1913)
The Girlfriend (cycle) (1914-1915)
Where does such tenderness come from? (1916)
Gray Hair (1922)
The Window (1923)
Dialogue between Hamlet and his Conscience (1923)
You who Loved Me with the Falseness (1923)
Conversation with a Genius (1928)
Little World
The Demon in Me

First Fig (1922)
Sonnet XLI (I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed) (1931)

Ars Poetica (1926)

WILFRED OWEN (UK, 1893-1918)
Dulce et Decorum Est (1917)
Anthem for Doomed Youth (1917)
Strange Meeting (1918)

E.E. CUMMINGS (US, 1894-1962)
anyone lived in a pretty how town (1917)
i carry your heart with me (1920)
since feeling is first (1926)

EUGENIO MONTALE (Italy, 1896-1981) 
The Eel (1956)

LOUISE BOGAN (US, 1897-1970)
Song for the Last Act (1968)
Juan’s Song (1968)

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA (Spain, 1898-1936)
Gypsy Ballads (1927)
Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1935)
The Unfaithful Wife

BERTOLT BRECHT (Germany, 1898-1956)
Mack the Knife (1928)
Radio Poem
I Want To Go with the One I Love
On the Critical Attitude
Contemplating Hell
The Mask of Evil
To Be Read in the Morning and at Night
United Front Song

HART CRANE (US, 1899-1932)
Voyages (1921-1926)
The Bridge (1930)

ALLEN TATE (US, 1899-1979)
Ode to the Confederate Dead (1928)

HENRI MICHAUX (Belgium/France, 1899-1984)
I Am Writing To You from a Far-Off Country (1938)

JORGE LUIS BORGES (Argentina, 1899-1986)
In Praise of Darkness (1974)

FRANCIS PONGE (France, 1899-1988)
The Pleasures of the Door (1942)

ROBERT DESNOS (France, 1900-1945)
I’ve Dreamed of You So Much (1945)

GEORGE SEFERIS (Greece, 1900-1971)
Mythistorema (1935)

SALVATORE QUASIMODO (Italy, 1901-1968)
And Suddenly It’s Evening (1942)

NÂZIM HIKMET (Turkey, 1902-1963)
Angina Pectoris (1948)
Things I Didn’t Know I Loved (1962)

Mother to Son (1920)
The Negro Speaks of Rivers (1920)
Suicide’s Note (1925)
Dream Deferred (1951)

STEVIE SMITH (UK, 1902-1971)
Not Waving But Drowning (1957)

OGDEN NASH (US, 1902-1971)
A Word to Husbands (1964)

Seven-Sided Poem (1930)
Family Portrait (1945)
Don’t Kill Yourself

JEAN FOLLAIN (France, 1903-1971)
A Mirror
Face the Animal

PABLO NERUDA (Chile, 1904-1973)
Walking Around (1935)
Canto General (1943)
If You Forget Me (1952)
Poet’s Obligation (1961)
Poetry (1964)

LOUIS ZUKOFSKY (US, 1904-1978)
“A” (1978)

ATTILA JÓZSEF (Hungary, 1905-1937)
Perched on Nothing’s Branch (1922-1937)

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep (1932)

STANLEY KUNITZ (US, 1905-2006)
The Layers (1978)

LÉOPOLD SÉDAR SENGHOR (Senegal, 1906-2001)
I Am Alone
To New York

LOUIS MACNEICE (Ireland, 1907-1963)
Bagpipe Music (1938)

W.H. AUDEN (UK/US, 1907-1973)
Funeral Blues 
Musée Des Beaux Arts 
Lullaby (1940)
In Memory of W.B. Yeats 

My Papa’s Waltz (1942)
Elegy For Jane
The Waking
I Knew A Woman

ANNA SWIR (Poland, 1909-1984)
The Second Madrigal
She Does Not Remember

YIANNIS RITSOS (Greece, 1909-1990)
Miniature (1961)
The End Of Dodona 2

The Fish (1946)
At the Fishhouses
Brazil, January 1, 1502 (1960)
One Art (1977)
In the Waiting Room (1977)
Filling Station (1979)

FAIZ AHMED FAIZ (India/Pakistan, 1911-1984)
Don’t Ask Me for That Love Again (1941)
You Tell Us What To Do
Before You Came

ODYSSEAS ELYTIS (Greece, 1911-1996)
To Axion Esti (It Is Worthy) (1959)

CZESLAW MILOSZ (Poland, 1911-2004)
A Song on the End of the World (1944)
Dedication (1945)

ROBERT HAYDEN (US, 1913-1980)
Those Winter Sundays (1962)

AIME CESAIRE (Martinique, 1913-2008)
Since Akkad, Since Elam, Since Sumer (1948)

DYLAN THOMAS (UK: Wales, 1914-1953)
The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower (1933)
Fern Hill (1945)
In My Craft or Sullen Art (1946)
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London (1947)
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (1951)

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner 

JOHN BERRYMAN (US, 1914-1972)
Dream Song 14 (1964)

HENRY REED (UK, 1914-1986)
Lessons of the War: 1. Naming of Parts (1942)

OCTAVIO PAZ (Mexico, 1914-1998)
The Key of Water

ROBERT LOWELL (US, 1917-1977)
My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereux Winslow (1959)
For the Union Dead (1964)
Epilogue (1977)

The Mother (1945)
We Real Cool (1959)

KEITH DOUGLAS (UK, 1920-1944)

PAUL CELAN (Romania, 1920-1970)
Death Fugue (1948)
Matiere de Bretagne (1959)
Tenebrae (1959)
Threadsuns (1968)

ANNA KAMIENSKA (Poland, 1920-1986)
A Prayer That Will Be Answered

JOÃO CABRAL DE MELO NETO (Brazil, 1920-1999)
The Emptiness of Being a Man (The Emptiness of Man)

TADEUSZ ROZEWICZ (Poland, 1921-2014)
A Sketch for a Modern Love Poem

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World (1956)
Advice to a Prophet (1961)

AGOSTINHO NETO (Angola, 1922-1979)
Kinaxixi (1950)

MIRON BIALOSZEWSKI (Poland, 1922-1983)
A Ballad of Going Down to the Store

PHILIP LARKIN (UK, 1922-1985)
Church Going (1955)
An Arundel Tomb (1956)
Talking in Bed (1960)
The Explosion (1970)

VASKO POPA (Serbia, 1922-1991)
St. Sava’s Journey

SADANAND REGE (India, 1923-1982)
Old Leaves from the Chinese Earth

JAMES DICKEY (US, 1923-1997)
The Heaven of Animals (1962)

Caedmon (1987)

MIROSLAV HOLUB (Czech Republic, 1923-1998)
The Fly (1961)
Zito the Magician

ANTHONY HECHT (US, 1923-2004)
More Light! More Light! (1967)

WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA (Poland, 1923-2012)
Under One Small Star (1972)
In Praise of My Sister (1976)
The End and the Beginning (1993)

YVES BONNEFOY (France, 1923- )
The Tree, the Lamp

ZBIGNIEW HERBERT (Poland, 1924-1998)
Elegy of Fortinbras (1961)
The Envoy of Mr. Cogito (1973)
What Mr. Cogito Thinks about Hell (1974)

YEHUDA AMICHAI (Israel, 1924-2000)
We Have Done Our Duty
A Pity, We Were Such a Good Invention

My Mother Once Told Me

CLARIBEL ALEGRÍA (Nicaragua, 1924- )
I Am Root (1973-1975)

DONALD JUSTICE (US, 1925-2004)
Men at Forty

FRANK O’HARA (US, 1926-1966)
The Day Lady Died (1959)

INGEBORG BACHMANN (Austria, 1926-1973)
A Kind of Loss
Aria 1

JAMES MERRILL (US, 1926-1995)
The Broken Home (1964)
The Changing Light at Sandover

ALLEN GINSBERG (US, 1926-1997)
Sunflower Sutra (1955)
A Supermarket in California (1956)
Howl (1956)
America (1956)

A.R. AMMONS (US, 1926-2001)
Easter Morning (1981)
In Memoriam Mae Noblitt (1981)
An Improvisation for Angular Momentum

Gravelly Run

JAMES WRIGHT (US, 1927-1980)
A Blessing (1963)
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio (1963)

For John Clare (1956)
Glazunoviana (1956)
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape (1970)
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975)
Syringa (1977)
Just Walking Around (1984)

W.S. MERWIN (US, 1927- )
The Carrier of Ladders (1970)
For the Anniversary of My Death

ANNE SEXTON (US, 1928-1974)
The Truth The Dead Know (1962)

DONALD HALL (US, 1928- )
The One Day (1988)

Phenomenal Woman (1978)
Still I Rise (1978)
Caged Bird (1983)

ENRIQUE LIHN (Chile, 1929-1988)
Torture Chamber

ADRIENNE RICH (US, 1929-2012)
Diving Into The Wreck

TED HUGHES (UK, 1930-1998)
The Thought-Fox (1957)
How To Paint a Water Lily (1960)
Crow’s Fall (1970)
The Harvest Moon (1975)
A Woman Unconscious
Old Age Gets Up

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974)

DEREK WALCOTT (St. Lucia, 1930- )
Love After Love (1976)
The Schooner ‘Flight’ (1980)
The Season of Phantasmal Peace (1981)
Omeros (1990)

SYLVIA PLATH (US, 1932-1963)
The Colossus (1960)
Daddy (1962)
Lady Lazarus 

Babi Yar (1961)

WOLE SOYINKA (Nigeria, 1934- )
Telephone Conversation (1967)
Funeral Sermon, Soweto

MARY OLIVER (US, 1935- )
At Blackwater Pond (1979)
August (1983)
A Meeting (1983)
The Journey (1986)
Wild Geese (1986)
The Summer Day (1990)
When Death Comes (1992)

LARS GUSTAFSSON (Sweden, 1936- )
Ballad of the Dogs

CHARLES SIMIC (Serbia/US, 1938- )
Empire of Dreams (1980)

SEAMUS HEANEY (Ireland, 1939- )
Digging (1966)
Funeral Rites (1975)
The Grauballe Man (1975)
The Tollund Man (1975)
Clearances (1987)

BREYTEN BREYTENBACH (South Africa/France, 1939- )
Breyten Prays for Himself (1964)

MARGARET ATWOOD (Canada, 1939- )
This is a Photograph of Me (1964)
Siren Song (1974)
Backdrop Addresses Cowboy (1974)
Variation on the Word Sleep (1986)
Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing (1995)
The Moment (1995)
Morning in the Burned House (1995)
In the Secular Night (1995)

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face (1984)
As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed (1990)


SHARON OLDS (US, 1942- )
I Go Back To May 1937 (1987)

Gretel in Darkness (1968)
The School Children (1975)

BEI DAO (China, 1949- )
The Answer (1988)

PAUL MULDOON (Ireland, 1951- )
Milkweed and Monarch (1994)

RITA DOVE (US, 1952- )
Parsley (1983)

GARY SOTO (US, 1952- )
Oranges (1985)

CAROL ANN DUFFY (UK: Scotland, 1955- )
War Photographer (1985)
Words, Wide Night (1990)
Valentine (1993)
Havisham (1993)
Stuffed (1993)
Anne Hathaway (1999)

The Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia, c. 2000 BCE)
Rig Veda (India, 1700-1100 BCE)
Classic of Poetry (Book of Odes) (Shijing) (China, c. 600 BCE)
The Hanging Poems (Mu’allaqat) (Arabia, c. 550-630 CE)
Man’yōshū (Japan, c. 760 CE)
Wulf and Eadwacer (UK, c. 960-990)
Beowulf (UK, c. 1000)
The Song of Roland (France, c. 1100)
The Poem of the Cid (Spain, 1195-1207)
Nibelungenlied (Germany, c. 1200)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (UK, c. 1350)
Adam lay i-bowndyn (Adam lay ybounden) (UK, c. 1400)
I Syng of a Mayden (As Dew in April) (UK, c. 1400)
The Unquiet Grave (Child Ballad no. 78) (UK, c. 1400)
Western Wind (Westron Wynde) (UK, c. 1530)
Tom O’ Bedlam (Tom O’ Bedlam’s Song) (UK, c. 1600)
Sir Patrick Spens (Child Ballad No. 58) (UK: Scotland, 1600)
The Three Ravens (Child Ballad no. 26) (UK, c. 1611)
Lord Randall (UK, c. 1629)


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