Culture

The Greatest Poems Ever Written  

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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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list ordered by
1
Papaof3 added Edgar Allan Poe
"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 ...more
2
Linus added Robert Frost
"The Road Not Taken" is a poem by Robert Frost, published in 1916 as the first poem in the collection Mountain Interval.
3
4
Walt Whitman
5
William Shakespeare
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 ...more
6
William Shakespeare
7
looksharp added Rudyard Kipling
8
William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's Sonnets is a book with the complete collection of the 154 sonnets of William Shakespeare.
9
looksharp added Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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
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malachi4.4ministries added Dante Alighieri
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 ...more
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looksharp added T. S. Eliot
"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 ...more
14
Edgar Allan Poe
"A Dream Within a Dream" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1849. The poem is 24 lines, divided into two stanzas. The poem questions the way one can distinguish ...more
15
erdos1 added Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment" is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in 1816. According to Coleridge's Preface to "Kubla ...more
16
christopher-edwards added Robert Burns
"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", ...more
17
Maya Angelou
18
Papaof3 added George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron
"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 ...more
19
William Wordsworth
20
looksharp added T. S. Eliot
The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, is widely regarded as "one of the most important poems of the 20th century" and a central text in Modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem ...more
21
looksharp added Alfred, Lord Tennyson
22
Mollevangsvagen added Rudyard Kipling
23
Linus added William Ernest Henley
"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 ...more
24
Mollevangsvagen added T. S. Eliot
"The Hollow Men" is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognized to be concerned most with post-World War I ...more
25
Newhere added William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's Sonnet 53, presumably addressed to the same young man as the other sonnets in the first part of the sequence, raises some of the most common themes of the sonnet: the sublime ...more