Skip to content

Category: Classic Poetry

Some say poetry is for the more sensitive types. We don’t believe that. Here you’ll find poems from some of the greatest authors of all time. And trust us, these aren’t you’re typical love poems.

Poetry Classics: The Old Flame, By Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell was born in 1917 into one of Boston's oldest and most prominent families. He attended Harvard College for two years before transferring to Kenyon College, where he studied poetry under John Crowe Ransom and received an undergraduate degree in 1940. He took graduate courses at Louisiana State University where he studied with Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks. His first and second books, Land of Unlikeness (1944) and Lord Weary's Castle (for which he received a Pulitzer Prize in 1946, at the age of thirty),

Poetry Classics: Dover Beach, By Matthew Arnold

"Dover Beach" is a lyric poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold. It was first published in 1867 in the collection New Poems, but surviving notes indicate its composition may have begun as early as 1849. The most likely date is 1851.

Poetry Classics: The Dead Man Walking, By Thomas Hardy

"The Dead Man Walking" is a lyric poem centering despair and pessimism. A lyric poem presents the author's imaginative or emotional response to a person, a place, a thing, an event, or an idea. Unlike a narrative poem, a lyric poem does not tell a story.

Poetry Classics: London, By William Blake

London is a poem by William Blake, published in Songs of Experience in 1794. It is one of the few poems in Songs of Experience that does not have a corresponding poem in Songs of Innocence.

Poetry Classics: To Helen, By Edgar Allan Poe

"To Helen" is the first of two poems to carry that name written by Edgar Allan Poe. The 15-line poem was written in honor of Jane Stanard, the mother of a childhood friend. It was first published in the 1831 collection Poems of Edgar A. Poe.

Poetry Classics: A Dream, By Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was one of the greatest yet mysterious poets in the world. His life shaped his poems and short stories; all the misery, sorrow, romantic feelings Poe suffered was expressed through his poems and short stories. He was part of the famous American Romantic Movement, consequently, most of his work was dark and disturbing.

Poetry Classics: The Tiger, By William Blake

This poem contemplates a question arising from the idea of creation by an intelligent creator. The question is this: If there is a loving, compassionate God or gods who created human beings and whose great powers exceed the comprehension of human beings, as many major religions hold, then why would such a powerful being allow evil into the world

Poetry Classics: Advice To A Son, By Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway wrote Advice to a Son right after the Roaring Twenties in the early 1930's. This poem shows the many things that Hemingway had learned after fleeing to Paris from America after the Great War. Hemingway in his early thirties was writing to his son through poetry about the harsh reality of life.

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"

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.