Culture

The Greatest Poems Ever Written

List Rules
Vote up the all time greatest poems ever written in recorded history.

What is the best poem of all time? This list includes the best poems of all time such as "The Raven," "Daddy," "O Captain! My Captain!," and "I Hear America Singing." Poetry has captivated readers for centuries, and the poems on this list include modern classics as well as older poems that have stood the test of time.

Written works have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we read on the page. Whether short or long form, poetry is often illusory, and full of rich imagery or hidden meaning. It is these elements which provoke readers to dig deeper. The best poems, like those on this list, are read throughout the ages. They are passed from generation to generation and taught throughout school to young students.

Poets and their poetry have the ability to take readers places and into worlds never imagined. Poets can often be tortured souls or great thinkers that allow the reader a new view on the world. The greatest poems on this list provide the kind of emotional connection to the written word that few other poems can.

Vote up the all time best poems below or add the most famous poems you think are great if they aren't already on the list.
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  • "The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It ...more
  • "The Road Not Taken" is a poem by Robert Frost, published in 1916 as the first poem in the collection Mountain Interval.
  • Sonnet 18, often alternately titled Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Part of the Fair ...more
  • 4

    Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening

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  • Shakespeare's Sonnets is a book with the complete collection of the 154 sonnets of William Shakespeare.
  • 6

    All the World's a Stage

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  • 7

    O Captain! My Captain!

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  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern ...more
  • "Annabel Lee" is the last complete poem composed by American author Edgar Allan Poe. Like many of Poe's poems, it explores the theme of the death of a beautiful woman. The narrator, who fell in love ...more
  • "A Dream Within a Dream" is a poem written by American poet Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1849. The poem has 24 lines, divided into two stanzas.
  • 12

    The Knight in the Panther's Skin

  • "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", commonly known as "Prufrock", is a poem by American-British poet T. S. Eliot. Eliot began writing "Prufrock" in February 1910, and it was first published in the ...more
  • 14

    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

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  • "Because I could not stop for Death" is a lyrical poem by Emily Dickinson first published posthumously in Poems: Series 1 in 1890. Dickinson's work was never authorized to be published so it is ...more
  • "A Red, Red Rose" is a 1794 song in Scots by Robert Burns based on traditional sources. The song is also referred to by the title "Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose", "My Love is Like a Red, Red ...more
  • 17

    The Daffodils

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  • 18

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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  • 19
    "Lenore" is a poem by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. It began as a different poem, "A Paean", and was not published as "Lenore" until 1843.
  • The Divine Comedy is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is seen ...more
  • "Invictus" is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley. It was written in 1875 and published in 1888 in his first volume of poems, Book of Verses, where it is the fourth poem ...more
  • "She Walks in Beauty" is a poem written in 1813 by Lord Byron, and is one of his most famous works. It was one of several poems to be set to Jewish tunes from the synagogue by Isaac Nathan, which ...more
  • 24

    Still I Rise

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  • "My Last Duchess" is a poem by Robert Browning, frequently anthologised as an example of the dramatic monologue. It first appeared in 1842 in Browning's Dramatic Lyrics. The poem is written in 28 ...more