The HyperTexts

The Best Lyrical Poems

Which poets wrote the best lyrical poems of all time? Before I attempt to answer the question by providing some of the very best lyrical poems on this page, I think it's important to provide a definition of the term "lyrical poem" and explain the possibly confusing difference between lyrical poetry and lyric poetry.

Lyrical poetry definition: poetry with the form and musical qualities of a song.

Lyric poetry definition: poetry that is usually short in length and expresses personal thoughts and emotions, usually without the plot and character development common to epic, dramatic and narrative poetry.

Lyric poems and lyrical poems are closely related, with the primary difference being that lyrical poems are more musical, more songlike. As we will see, many of the best poems in the English language are both lyric poems and lyrical poems.

The terms "lyric" and "lyrical" derive from the lyre, a harp-like instrument. The first "lyrics" were sung or chanted to the strumming of a lyre. When we see modern singer-songwriters strumming guitars and singing words they've set to music, we are seeing the evolution of what began with ancient lyric poets. And the first great lyric poet may still be the best. Lyric poetry—at least as we think of it todayprobably begins with Sappho of Lesbos, who was described by her ancient peers as the Tenth Muse. (Since the first nine Muses were goddesses, Sappho had quite a reputation!)

compiled by Michael R. Burch

Famous lyrical poems include:

"To Celia" by Ben Jonson (also known as "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes")
"Song" by John Donne (also known as "Go and Catch a Falling Star")
"A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns (cited by Bob Dylan as his greatest inspiration as an artist)
"Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas (Bob Dylan took his last name from the great Welsh poet's first name)
"Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns (the great Scottish poet created lyrics for a number of Scottish folk tunes and airs)
"Song" by Christina Rossetti (the poem begins with the line "When I am dead, my dearest" and contains the refrain "And if thou wilt, forget.")
"The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe
"Blow, Bugle, Blow" or "The Bugle Song" by Alfred Tennyson
"Jerusalem" by William Blake (the poem was set to music and became a famous hymn—one of my mother's favorites)
"Cradle Song" by William Blake
"Lullaby" by W. H. Auden
"To Earthward" by Robert Frost
There are a number of excellent songs in the plays of William Shakespeare, such as "Under the Greenwood Tree" and "Full Fathom Five"
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth
"The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes (perhaps the most musical poem in the English language; you can find wonderful performances—spoken, sung and acted out—on YouTube)

Outstanding lyrical poets who wrote in the English language include Conrad Aiken, W. H. Auden, Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Ernest Dowson, T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Langston Hughes, Ben Jonson, John Keats, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, E. A. Robinson, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edmund Spenser, Alfred Tennyson, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth and Sir Thomas Wyatt. And of course we should include singer-songwriters like Adele, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Dido, Dan Fogelberg, Woody Guthrie, Michael Jackson, Carole King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, Prince, Smokey Robinson, Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams Sr., Brian Wilson and Stevie Wonder.

For our purposes here, I will focus on lyrical (musical) poets. If you are more interested in the larger category of lyric poetry, please click here: The Best Lyric Poetry.

For whatever it's worth, my top ten lyrical poets in alphabetical order are: William Blake, Louise Bogan, Robert Burns, Hart Crane, e. e. cummings, Robert Frost, A. E. Housman, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas and William Butler Yeats.

Poets who were musicians, librettists, songwriters and/or composers include W. H. Auden, Robert Burns, Thomas Campion, Thomas Carew, William Cowper, John Donne, John Dowland, John Dryden, T. S. Eliot, Robert Herrick, Henry Howard, Sappho, William Shakespeare, Richard Wilbur and Thomas Wyatt.

Sing, my sacred tortoiseshell lyre;
come, let my words
accompany your voice!
—Sappho, fragment 118, translated by Michael R. Burch

Lyrical Poetry Origins and a Very Brief History

Eros harrows my heart:
wild winds whipping desolate mountains,
uprooting oaks.
—Sappho, fragment 142, translated by Michael R. Burch

As I previously mentioned, lyrical poems began in the ancient world with poets either singing or chanting words to the strummings of a lyrethus lyrical poems and song lyrics are closely related "kissing cousins." The connection between lyrical poems and song lyrics can clearly be seen in the first epigram of Sappho above, and in the one below ...

Now, I shall sing these songs
Beautifully
for my companions.
—Sappho, fragment 3, translated by Julia Dubnoff

The dates given below are birth dates unless otherwise specified. All dates are AD unless specifically denoted BC.

The oldest known lyres were Sumerian and date back to around 2500 BC. The Sumerian Kesh Temple Hymns date back to around the same period, so it seems likely that lyric poetry is very ancient indeed. Ancient Greek lyric poets such as Sappho (c. 630 BC) and Pindar (c. 522 BC) were followed by Romans like Catullus (84 BC) and Ovid (c. 43 BC). The first dateable Old English poem, Caedmon's Hymn, was written around 658 AD and its title suggests that it would have been set to music. Around the time of the Norman invasion of England in 1066, medieval troubadours in France began to perform their compositions as heroic and courtly songs. In England, many of the older poems that have survived were probably sung by minstrels or performed at community dances. (Think of an ancient hoe-down with someone fiddling and other people singing or calling out the words.) The ancient ballads were also performed (our word "ballad" is closely related to "ballet," a dance set to music). The 14th century saw the birth of the first major English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. Meanwhile Petrarch developed the Italian sonnet ("little song") which Dante had used in his Vita Nuova. Renaissance poets who copied Petrarch's style named his collection of poems Il Canzoniere ("Song Book"). The 16th century saw the introduction of the sonnet to England by Henry Howard and Thomas Wyatt. Howard also pioneered the use of blank verse. Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, published in 1579, has been called "the first work of the English literary Renaissance." Spenser was among the most musical of English poets, as were William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Donne, Thomas Campion, John Dowland and Robert Herrick, all born during the century and writing during a golden period of nearly a hundred years from 1579 to 1673. The 17th century saw the births of John Milton, Shakespeare's sonnets and First Folio, and the King James Bible. The 18th century seems like another dry spell punctuated by the great elegies of Thomas Gray. Otherwise, lyric poetry had declined in England and France. Notable German lyric poets of the period include Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Novalis and Friedrich Schiller. But lyric and lyrical poetry made a comeback, in a very big way. In the 19th century the lyric emerged as the principal poetic form and came to be seen as synonymous with poetry itself. The lyric poems of the great Romantics spearheaded this revival and a second golden period. Important English-language Romantic poets include William Blake, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth. In 1830 Alfred Tennyson published his Poems, Chiefly Lyrical. In 1855 Walt Whitman published his landmark Leaves of Grass, which contained highly musical free verse poems in a distinctive new style (although echoes of the King James Bible can be heard). And while she was not well-known in her day, Emily Dickinson was writing "slant" rhymes in a different musical key. Early in the 20th century modernists like Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot began writing poems in what they termed a "musical cadence" rather than adhering to what they called the "metronome" of more regular poetic meters. Eliot wrote poems that became the highly popular musical Cats. Today we have superstar singer-songwriters who are emulating what ancient lyric poets, troubadours and minstrels did centuries to millennia ago. 

And now, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the very best examples of lyrical poems. A number of traditional songs and hymns are lyric poems that were set to music: for instance, "To Celia" by the English poet Ben Jonson ...

To Celia
by Ben Jonson

Drink to me, only, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine:
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st back to me:
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

Traditional songs like "Greensleeves," "Shenandoah," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Molly Malone" and "Danny Boy" are other examples of lyric poems set to music, as are most of the best-loved hymns. Some of the best-known contemporary songwriters call themselves poets. In fact, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Jewel have published books of poems, while Paul Simon wrote some of his most famous songs as poems, then set them to music later ...

I Am a Rock
by Paul Simon; performed by Simon & Garfunkel

A winter's day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don't talk of love;
I've heard the word before;
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb,
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Paul Simon wrote the poem above, I suspect, in response to a famous statement by another poet, John Donne. Donne claimed in a sermon that "no man is an island," but Simon apparently begged to differ. Donne wrote some of the sexiest poems in the English language, and some of the best devotional poems as well. Talk about range!

Song
by John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devils foot;
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights
Till Age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return'st wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one let me know;
Such a pilgrimage were sweet.
Yet do not; I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two or three.

Robert Burns was one of the early romantics and still reads well today. He is, of course, most famous today for his nostalgic drinking song "Auld Lang Syne." But this poem is even better, in my opinion (and Bob Dylan's) ...

A Red, Red Rose

by Robert Burns

Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
Oh my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

Music When Soft Voices Die (To )
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Song For The Last Act
by Louise Bogan

Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd's crook.
Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease
The lead and marble figures watch the show
Of yet another summer loath to go
Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.

Now that I have your face by heart, I look.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read
In the black chords upon a dulling page
Music that is not meant for music's cage,
Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
The staves are shuttled over with a stark
Unprinted silence. In a double dream
I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
The beat's too swift. The notes shift in the dark.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see
The wharves with their great ships and architraves;
The rigging and the cargo and the slaves
On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done!
The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps
Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps
Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.

Song

by Christina Rossetti

When I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.

Bread and Music
by Conrad Aiken

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, belovèd,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,—
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.

Historically the most popular form of lyric poetry in the Western tradition has been the sonnet, which is Italian for "little song" ...

Sonnet 147
by William Shakespeare

My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest.
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed,
    For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
    Who art as black as Hell, as dark as night.

Lyrical poetry appears in a wide variety of other forms, including ballades, canzones and villanelles. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is the best-known villanelle in the English language, and justifiably so ...

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

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.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Today the most common form of lyric poetry is unrhymed, metrically ad-hoc free verse ...

A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Thomas Wyatt was a musician who addressed poems he wrote to his lute!

They Flee from Me
by Thomas Wyatt

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle tame and meek
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themselves in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
And therewithal sweetly did me kiss,
And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"

It was no dream, I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness
And she also to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served,
I would fain know what she hath deserved.

Thomas Wyatt lived during the reign of King Henry VIII. Wyatt's "Whoso List to Hunt" may have been written to Anne Boleyn, the mistress of Henry who became his queen, only to be beheaded. Another wonderful poem of this period is "Sweet Rose of Virtue" by the Scottish poet William Dunbar. Dunbar's magnificent poem is one of my favorites from the early days of English poetry. I chose to translate it myself, to make it more accessible to modern readers ...

Sweet Rose of Virtue
by William Dunbar [1460-1525]
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness,
delightful lily of youthful wantonness,
richest in bounty and in beauty clear
and in every virtue that is held most dear―
except only that you are merciless.

Into your garden, today, I followed you;
there I saw flowers of freshest hue,
both white and red, delightful to see,
and wholesome herbs, waving resplendently―
yet everywhere, no odor but bitter rue.

I fear that March with his last arctic blast
has slain my fair rose of pallid and gentle cast,
whose piteous death does my heart such terrible pain
that, if I could, I would compose her roots again―
so comforting her bowering leaves have been.

In France, Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Jean-Antoine de Baïf led the way. Ronsard influenced the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats, as we can see in his loose translation of a poem by Ronsard:

When You Are Old

by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

by William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

The Wild Swans at Coole
by William Butler Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

The Garden
by Ezra Pound

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
               of a sort of emotional anemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
             will commit that indiscretion.

Piano
by D. H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

in Just-
by e. e. cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman

whistles      far      and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far      and      wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it's
spring
and

      the
               goat-footed

 baloonMan      whistles
far
and
wee

Acquainted With The Night
by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad
by Wallace Stevens

The time of year has grown indifferent.
Mildew of summer and the deepening snow
Are both alike in the routine I know:
I am too dumbly in my being pent.

The wind attendant on the solstices
Blows on the shutters of the metropoles,
Stirring no poet in his sleep, and tolls
The grand ideas of the villages.

The malady of the quotidian . . .
Perhaps if summer ever came to rest
And lengthened, deepened, comforted, caressed
Through days like oceans in obsidian

Horizons, full of night's midsummer blaze;
Perhaps, if winter once could penetrate
Through all its purples to the final slate,
Persisting bleakly in an icy haze;

One might in turn become less diffident,
Out of such mildew plucking neater mould
And spouting new orations of the cold.
One might. One might. But time will not relent.

Other Lyrical Poems of Note

The poetic fragments of Sappho, composed for the lyre, hence "lyrics"
"Lullaby" by W. H. Auden
"Voyages" by Hart Crane
"I Sing of Olaf, Glad and Big" by e. e. cummings
"Success Is Counted Sweetest" by Emily Dickinson
"A Last Word" by Ernest Dowson
"The Snowstorm:" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
"America" by Allen Ginsberg
"Aubade" by Philip Larkin
"Churchgoing" by Philip Larkin
"The Whitsun Weddings" by Philip Larkin
"The Leaden-Eyed" by Vachel Lindsay
"The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Skunk Hour" by Robert Lowell
"The Silent Slain" by Archibald MacLeish
"Memorial Rain" by Archibald MacLeish
"You, Andrew Marvell" by Archibald MacLeish
"Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"The Fish" by Marianne Moore
"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen
"The Unreturning" by Wilfred Owen
"Daddy" by Sylvia Plath
"To Helen" by Edgar Allan Poe
"Dreamland" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe
"Piazza Piece" by John Crowe Ransom
"Credo" by Edward Arlington Robinson
"Luke Havergal" by Edward Arlington Robinson
"The Miller's Wife" by Edward Arlington Robinson
"Mr. Flood's Party" by Edward Arlington Robinson
"Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson
"The Truth the Dead Know" by Anne Sexton
"The Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens
"Upon a Spider Catching a Fly" by Edward Taylor
"Earth, My Likeness" by Walt Whitman
"The Dance" by William Carlos Williams

The HyperTexts