Poetry Classics: The Road Not Taken, By Robert Frost

Frost's biographer Lawrance Thompson suggests that the poem's narrator is "one who habitually wastes energy in regretting any choice made: belatedly but wistfully he sighs over the attractive alternative rejected". Thompson also says that when introducing the poem in readings, Frost would say that the speaker was based on his friend Edward Thomas. In Frost's words, Thomas was "a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn't go the other"

Deadly Impressions

After moving into an older home, a young couple discovers that the children of previous owners have left their hand prints and names in cement, merely a curiosity until they discover their own daughter’s impression.

Short Story Classics: Harrison Bergeron, By Kurt Vonnegut

"Harrison Bergeron" is a satirical and dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut and first published in October 1961. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the story was republished in the author's Welcome to the Monkey House collection in 1968.

Poetry Classics: Caedmon’s Hymn

The so-called Venerable Bede (c. 673-735) embeds this Anglo-Saxon hymn and the legend of its creation within his Latin text, An Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a book that describes the spread of Christianity in England. The hymn itself was composed in the mid- or late-7th century and so is the earliest surviving Old English poem.

Poetry Classics: Opportunity, By John James Ingalls

Opportunity, it is famously said, knocks only once. John James Ingalls, a U.S. Senator from Kansas, penned an ode to this simple but profound principle in the mid-19th century, and it was said to have become Theodore Roosevelt’s very favorite poem.

Poetry Classics: Ode 1.11, By Horace

Made famous by Robin Williams’ inspiring literature teacher in the film Dead Poets Society, Horace’s Ode 1.11 contains one of the most quoted Latin phrases — Carpe diem, or “Seize the day!”

Poetry Classics: The Iron Heel, By Jack London

The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel by American writer Jack London, first published in 1908. Generally considered to be "the earliest of the modern dystopian" fiction, it chronicles the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. This is a poem inside the book which is a take on Jack London's view of life.

Poetry Classics: Ulysses, By Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Ulysses" is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, written in 1833 and published in 1842 in his well-received second volume of poetry. An oft-quoted poem, it is popularly used to illustrate the dramatic monologue form.

Short Story Classics: The Mustache, By Guy De Mauspassant

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless dénouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who get crushed in it - many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s.

Poetry Classics: “The Soldier” By Rupert Brooke

This poem was written at the beginning of the First World War in 1914, as part of a series of sonnets written by Rupert Brooke. Brooke himself, predominantly a prewar poet, died the year after “The Soldier” was published. “The Soldier”, being the conclusion and the finale to Brooke’s ‘1914’ war sonnet series, deals with the death and accomplishments of a soldier.

Short Story Classics: A Telephonic Conversation, By Mark Twain

In 1879, Mark Twain became a very early adopter of Alexander Graham Bell's new invention (in 1876) of the telephone, a big step beyond the telegraph because it made possible voice communication at a distance, ordinary talk via electric current over a wire. A new adventure for humanity. Being Mark Twain, he also was early and keenly aware of some cultural side effects and ironies of new technological developments. Twain's sketch "A Telephonic Conversation" recounts an overheard conversation in his home, perhaps partly fabricated or embellished but true to life. This sketch is so early in the history of the telephone that it's likely that the majority of Americans, even of readers of his sketch, had never yet heard a voice via a telephone