The best poetry of all times

in the English language

Selected by piero scaruffi
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  1. Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "Four Quartets" (1943) [p]
  2. John Milton (1608): "Paradise Lost" (1667) [p]
  3. Wallace Stevens (USA, 1879): "Notes Towards A Supreme Fiction" (1942) [p]
  4. William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "The Tower" (1928) [p]
  5. William Wordsworth (Britain, 1770): "Prelude" (1805) [p]
  6. John Ashbery (USA, 1927): "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror: (1975) [p]
  7. Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "The Waste Land" (1922) [p]
  8. Ezra Pound (USA, 1885): "Cantos" (1970) [p]
  9. John Donne (1572): "Holy Sonnets" (1618) [p]
  10. John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode to a Nightingale" (1820) [p]
  11. Robert Browning (Britain, 1812): "The Ring and the Book" (1869) [p]
  12. William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "The Winding Stair" (1929) [p]
  13. Geoffrey Chaucer (134#): "Canterbury Tales" (1400) [p]
  14. William Blake (Britain, 1757): "Jerusalem" (1820) [p]
  15. Seamus Heaney (Ireland, 1939): "Death of a Naturalist" (1966) [p]
  16. Edward-Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados, 1930): "The Arrivants" (1973) [p]
  17. David Jones (Britain, 1895): "The Anathemata" (1952) [p]
  18. John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode To Autumn" (1820) [p]
  19. William-Carlos Williams (USA, 1883): "Paterson" (1958) [p]
  20. Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "Another Life"" (1973) [p]
  21. John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode on Melancholy" (1820) [p]
  22. Hart Crane (USA, 1899): "The Bridge" (1930) [p]
  23. James Merrill (USA, 1926): "The Changing Light at Sandover (1982) [p]
  24. "Beowulf" (9##) [p]
  25. John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1820) [p]

Chronological


"Beowulf" (9##) [p] ++
"The Owl and the Nightingale" (120#) [p] +
"Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight" (13##) [p] +
William Langland (1331): "Piers the Plowman" (1386) [p] +
Geoffrey Chaucer (134#): "Canterbury Tales" (1400) [p] ++
Edmund Spenser (1552): "The Faerie Queene" (1596) [p] +
Walter Raleigh (155#): "The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage" (1603) [p] +
Michael Drayton (1563): "The Poly-Olbion" (1622) [p] +
William Shakespeare (1564): "Sonnets" (1609) [p] +
John Davies (1569): "Orchestra" (1596) [p] +
John Donne (1572): "Songs and Sonnets" (1601) [p] +
John Donne (1572): "Elegies" (1601) [p] +
John Donne (1572): "An Anatomy of the World" (1611) [p] +
John Donne (1572): "Of the Progress of the Soul" (1612) [p] +
John Donne (1572): "Holy Sonnets" (1618) [p] ++
John Donne (1572): "The Progresse of the Soule" (1601) [p] +
George Herbert (1593): "The Temple" (1633) [p] +
John Milton (1608): "Paradise Lost" (1667) [p] +++
Samuel Butler (1613): "Hudibras" (1674) [p] +
Andrew Marvell (1621): "The Garden" (1633) [p] +
Andrew Marvell (1621): "Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" (1659) [p] +
Andrew Marvell (1621): "A Dialogue Between the Resolved Soul and Created Pleasure" (1681) [p] +
John Dryden (1631): "Absalom and Achitophel" (1681) [p] +
John Dryden (1631): "Religio Laici" (1682) [p] +
John Dryden (1631): "The Hind and the Panther" (1687) [p] +
Alexander Pope (1688): "The Rape of the Lock" (1714) [p] +
Alexander Pope (1688): "Epistles to Arbuthnot" (1735) [p] +
Alexander Pope (1688): "An Essay on Man" (1734) [p] +
Thomas Gray (Britain, 1716): "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1751) [p] +
Christopher Smart (Britain, 1722): "Song to David" (1763) [p] +
Oliver Goldsmith (Britain, 1730): "The Deserted Village" (1770) [p] +
William Cowper (Britain, 1731): "The Task" (1785) [p] +
William Cowper (Britain, 1731): "The Castaway" (1800) [p] +
George Crabbe (Britain, 1754): "The Village" (1783) [p] +
William Blake (Britain, 1757): "Songs of Experience" (1794) [p] +
William Blake (Britain, 1757): "Vala" (1797) [p] +
William Blake (Britain, 1757): "Milton" (1808) [p] +
William Blake (Britain, 1757): "Jerusalem" (1820) [p] ++
William Wordsworth (Britain, 1770): "Prelude" (1805) [p] ++
William Wordsworth (Britain, 1770): "Michael" (1800) [p] +
William Wordsworth (Britain, 1770): "Intimations of Immortality" (1807) [p] +
Samuel-Taylor Coleridge (Britain, 1772): "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798) [p] +
George-Gordon Byron (Britain, 1788): "Don Juan" (1823) [p] +
Percy Shelley (Britain, 1792): "Prometheus Unbound" (1821) [p] +
John Clare (Britain, 1793): "Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery" (1820) [p] +
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Endymion" (1818) [p] +
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "The Eve of St Agnes" (1820) [p] +
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode To Autumn" (1820) [p] ++
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1820) [p] ++
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode on Melancholy" (1820) [p] ++
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "Ode to a Nightingale" (1820) [p] ++
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "The Eve of St Mark" (1821) [p] +
John Keats (Britain, 1795): "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (1821) [p] +
Alfred Tennyson (Britain, 1809): "Idylls of the King" (1885) [p] +
Edward Lear (Britain, 1812): "A Book of Nonsense" (1845) [p]
Robert Browning (Britain, 1812): "Men and Women" (1855) [p] +
Robert Browning (Britain, 1812): "Dramatis Personae" (1864) [p] +
Robert Browning (Britain, 1812): "The Ring and the Book" (1869) [p] ++
Walt Whitman (USA, 1819): "The Leaves of Grass" (1892) [p] +
Emily Dickinson (USA, 1830): "Poems" (1886) [p] +
Algernon Swinburne (Britain, 1837): "Poems and Ballads" (1866) [p] +
Gerard-Manley Hopkins (Britain, 1844): "The Wreck of the Deutschland" (1875) [p] +
William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "The Wild Swans at Coole" (1917) [p] +
William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "Michael Robartes and the Dancer" (1921) [p] +
William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "The Tower" (1928) [p] ++
William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "The Winding Stair" (1929) [p] ++
William-Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865): "A Full Moon in March" (1935) [p] +
Christopher Brennan (Australia, 1871): "Poems" (1913) [p] +
Walter DeLaMare (Britain, 1873): "The Traveller" (1946) [p] +
Robert Frost (USA, 1874): "North of Boston" (1914) [p] +
Robert Frost (USA, 1874): "A Further Range" (1936) [p] +
Carl Sandburg (USA, 1878): "The People Yes" (1936) [p] +
Edward Thomas (Britain, 1878): "Poems" (1917) [p] +
Wallace Stevens (USA, 1879): "Ideas of Order" (1935) [p] +
Wallace Stevens (USA, 1879): "Notes Towards A Supreme Fiction" (1942) [p] ++
Edwin-John Pratt (Canada, 1882): "The Titanic" (1935) [p] +
William-Carlos Williams (USA, 1883): "Spring and All" (1923) [p] +
William-Carlos Williams (USA, 1883): "Paterson" (1958) [p] ++
Khalil Gibran (Lebanon, 1883): "The Prophet" (1923) [p] +
Ezra Pound (USA, 1885): "Cantos" (1970) [p] ++
Andrew Young (Britain, 1885): "Into Hades" (1952) [p] +
Andrew Young (Britain, 1885): "A Traveller In Time" (1958) [p] +
Hilda Doolittle (USA, 1886): "Helen in Egypt" (1961) [p] +
Robinson Jeffers (USA, 1887): "Tamar" (1924) [p] +
Marianne Moore (USA, 1887): "Observations" (1924) [p] +
Edwin Muir (Britain, 1887): "The Labyrinth" (1949) [p] +
Edith Sitwell (Britain, 1887): "The Outcasts" (1962) [p] +
Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "The Waste Land" (1922) [p] ++
Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "Four Quartets" (1943) [p] +++
Hugh McDiamird (Britain, 1892): "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle" (1926) [p] +
David Jones (Britain, 1895): "In Parenthesis" (1937) [p] +
David Jones (Britain, 1895): "The Anathemata" (1952) [p] ++
Austin Clarke (Ireland, 1896): "Mnemosyne Lay in Dust" (1966) [p] +
Sacheverell Sitwell (Britain, 1897): "Agamemnon's Tomb" (1933) [p] +
Hart Crane (USA, 1899): "White Buildings" (1926) [p] +
Hart Crane (USA, 1899): "The Bridge" (1930) [p] ++
Allen Tate (USA, 1899): "Ode to the Confederate Dead" (1928) [p] +
Edwin-John Pratt (Canada, 1882): "The Titanic" (1935) [p] +
William-Carlos Williams (USA, 1883): "Spring and All" (1923) [p] +
William-Carlos Williams (USA, 1883): "Paterson" (1958) [p] ++
Khalil Gibran (Lebanon, 1883): "The Prophet" (1923) [p] +
Ezra Pound (USA, 1885): "Cantos" (1970) [p] ++
Andrew Young (Britain, 1885): "Into Hades" (1952) [p] +
Andrew Young (Britain, 1885): "A Traveller In Time" (1958) [p] +
Hilda Doolittle (USA, 1886): "Helen in Egypt" (1961) [p] +
Robinson Jeffers (USA, 1887): "Tamar" (1924) [p] +
Marianne Moore (USA, 1887): "Observations" (1924) [p] +
Edwin Muir (Britain, 1887): "The Labyrinth" (1949) [p] +
Edith Sitwell (Britain, 1887): "The Outcasts" (1962) [p] +
Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "The Waste Land" (1922) [p] ++
Thomas-Stearns Eliot (USA, 1888): "Four Quartets" (1943) [p] +++
Hugh McDiamird (Britain, 1892): "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle" (1926) [p] +
David Jones (Britain, 1895): "In Parenthesis" (1937) [p] +
David Jones (Britain, 1895): "The Anathemata" (1952) [p] ++
Austin Clarke (Ireland, 1896): "Mnemosyne Lay in Dust" (1966) [p] +
Sacheverell Sitwell (Britain, 1897): "Agamemnon's Tomb" (1933) [p] +
Hart Crane (USA, 1899): "White Buildings" (1926) [p] +
Hart Crane (USA, 1899): "The Bridge" (1930) [p] ++
Allen Tate (USA, 1899): "Ode to the Confederate Dead" (1928) [p] +
Basil Bunting (Britain, 1900): "The Spoils" (1951) [p] +
Basil Bunting (Britain, 1900): "Briggflatts" (1966) [p] +
Roy Campbell (South Africa, 1901): "The Flaming Terrapin" (1924) [p] +
Cecil Day-Lewis (Britain, 1904): "Overtures to Death" (1938) [p] +
Louis Zukofsky (USA, 1904): "A" (1978) [p] +
Patrick Kavanagh (Ireland, 1905): "The Great Hunger" (1942) [p] +
Wystan-Hugh Auden (Britain, 1907): "New Year Letter" (1941) [p] +
Wystan-Hugh Auden (Britain, 1907): "The Age of Anxiety" (1947) [p] +
Louis MacNeice (Britain, 1907): "Autumn Journal" (1939) [p] +
Louis MacNeice (Britain, 1907): "Solstices" (1961) [p] +
Kathleen Raine (Britain, 1908): "Stone and Flower" (1943) [p] +
Theodore Roethke (USA, 1908): "The Lost Son" (1948) [p] +
Theodore Roethke (USA, 1908): "Four for Sir John Davies" (1953) [p] +
Theodore Roethke (USA, 1908): "Dying Man" (1957) [p] +
Theodore Roethke (USA, 1908): "Meditations of an Old Woman" (1957) [p] +
Stephen Spender (Britain, 1909): "Poems/ Pylons" (1933) [p] +
Stephen Spender (Britain, 1909): "Poems of Dedication/ Elegy for Margaret" (1947) [p] +
Charles Olson (USA, 1910): "Maximus" (1975) [p] +
Elizabeth Bishop (USA, 1911): "Geometry III" (1976) [p] +
Allen Curnow (New Zealand, 1911): "At Dead Low Water" (1949) [p] +
Kenneth Patchen (USA, 1911): "Because It Is" (1960) [p] +
George Barker (Britain, 1913): "The True Confessions" (1950) [p] +
Muriel Rukeyser (USA, 1913): "The Book of the Dead" (1938) [p] +
Douglas Stewart (New Zealand, 1913): "Sun Orchids" (1952) [p] +
Randall Jarrell (USA, 1914): "The Lost World" (1965) [p] +
John Berryman (USA, 1914): "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet" (1956) [p] +
John Berryman (USA, 1914): "77 Dream Songs" (1964) [p] +
Dylan Thomas (Britain, 1914): "Under the Milk Wood" (1953) [t] +
Dylan Thomas (Britain, 1914): "Deaths and Entrances" (1946) [p] +
Dylan Thomas (Britain, 1914): "In Country Sleep" (1951) [p] +
David Gascoyne (Britain, 1916): "Poems 1937-1942" (1943) [p] +
Robert Lowell (USA, 1917): "Mills of the Kavanaughs" (1951) [p] +
Robert Lowell (USA, 1917): "Life Studies" (1959) [p] +
James McAuley (Australia, 1917): "A Vision of Ceremony" (1956) [p] +
James McAuley (Australia, 1917): "Captain Quiros" (1964) [p] +
Norman-Frederick Simpson (Britain, 1919): "One Way Pendulum" (1959) [t]
Robert Duncan (USA, 1919): "The Venice Poem" (1948) [p] +
Kendrick Smithyman (New Zealand, 1922): "Reading the Maps" (1977) [p] +
Philip Larkin (Britain, 1922): "The Less Deceived" (1955) [p] +
Philip Larkin (Britain, 1922): "High Windows" (1974) [p] +
James Dickey (USA, 1923): "Buckdancer's Choice" (1965) [p] +
Anthony Hecht (USA, 1923):"The Hard Hours" (1967) [p] +
Denise Levertov (USA, 1923): "O Taste and See" (1964) [p] +
Philip Whalen (USA, 1923): "High Grade" (1966) [p] +
John Haines (USA, 1924): "Letter to Patience" (2006) [p] +
Dennis Brutus (South Africa, 1924): "Letters to Martha" (1968) [p] +
Kenneth Koch (USA, 1925): "Ko Seasons On Earth" (1959) [p] +
Kenneth Koch (USA, 1925): "When The Sun Tries To Go On" (1960) [p] +
James Baxter (New Zealand, 1926): "Howrah Bridge" (1961) [p] +
Elizabeth Jennings (Britain, 1926): "A Way of Looking" (1955) [p] +
James Merrill (USA, 1926): "Nights and Days" (1966) [p] +
James Merrill (USA, 1926): "The Changing Light at Sandover (1982) [p] ++
Frank O'Hara (USA, 1926): "Meditations in an Emergency" (1956) [p] +
William-DeWitt Snodgrass (USA, 1926): "The Fuehrer Bunker" (1995) [p] +
John Ashbery (USA, 1927): "The System" (1972) [p] +
John Ashbery (USA, 1927): "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror: (1975) [p] ++
John Ashbery (USA, 1927): "Houseboat Days" (1977) [p] +
John Ashbery (USA, 1927): "A Wave" (1984) [p] +
William-Stanley Merwin (USA, 1927): "The Carrier of Ladders" (1970) [p] +
Anne Sexton (USA, 1928): "Live or Die" (1966) [p] +
Attipat-Krishnaswami Ramanujan (India, 1929): "The Striders" (1966) [p] +
Ed Dorn (USA, 1929): "Gunslinger" (1975) [p] +
Thom Gunn (Britain, 1929): "The Sense of Movement" (1957) [p] +
Adrienne Rich (USA, 1929): "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" (1963) [p] +
Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "Another Life"" (1973) [p] ++
Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "The Schooner Flight" (1979) [p] +
Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "The Star-Apple Kingdom" (1979) [p] +
Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "The Fortunate Traveller" (1981) [p] +
Derek Walcott (Trinidad, 1930): "Omeros" (1990) [p] +
Edward-Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados, 1930): "The Arrivants" (1973) [p] ++
Edward-Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados, 1930): "Mother Poem" (1977) [p] +
Roy Fisher (Britain, 1930): "The Furnace" (1986) [p] +
Ted Hughes (Britain, 1930): "Lupercal" (1960) [p] +
Ted Hughes (Britain, 1930): "Crow" (1970) [p] +
Anthony Thwaite (Britain, 1930): "The Owl in the Tree" (1963) [p] +
Anthony Thwaite (Britain, 1930): "Inscriptions" (1973) [p] +
PBitek Okot (Uganda, 1931): "Song of Lawino" (1966) [p] +
Arun-Balkrishna Kolatkar (India, 1932): "Jejuri" (1976) [p] +
Sylvia Plath (USA, 1932): "Ariel" (1965) [p] +
Geoffrey Hill (Britain, 1932): "For The Unfallen" (1959) [p] +
Geoffrey Hill (Britain, 1932): "Mercian Hymns" (1971) [p] +
Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria, 1932): "Heavensgate" (1962) [p] +
Wole Soyinka (Nigeria, 1934): "A Shuttle In The Crypt" (1968) [p] +
Jeremy Prynne (Britain, 1936): "The Oval Window" (1983) [p] +
John Fuller (Britain, 1937): "The Illusionists" (1980) [p] +
John Fuller (Britain, 1937: "The Illusionists" (1980) [p] +
Tony Harrison (Britain, 1937): "The School of Eloquence" (1978) [p] +
Les Murray (Australia, 1938): "Subhuman Redneck Poems" (1996) [p] +
Les Murray (Australia, 1938): "Fredy Neptune" (1999) [p] +
Charles Simic (USA, 1938): "Charon's Cosmology" (1977) [p] +
Charles Simic (USA, 1938): "The World Doesn't End" (1990) [p] +
Charles Simic (USA, 1938): "Walking the Black Cat" (1996) [p] +
Seamus Heaney (Ireland, 1939): "Seeing Things" (1991) [p] ++
Seamus Heaney (Ireland, 1939): "Death of a Naturalist" (1966) [p] ++
Seamus Heaney (Ireland, 1939): "Station Island" (1984) [p] +
Michael Longley (Ireland, 1939): "Gorse Fires" (1991) [p] +
Douglas Dunn (Britain, 1942): "Elegies" (1985) [p] +
Craig Raine (Britain, 1944): "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" (1979) [p] +
Mongane-Wally Serote (South Africa, 1944): "Yakhal'Inkomo" (1972) [p] +
Peter Reading (Britain, 1946): "Diplopic" (1983) [p] +
Peter Reading (Britain, 1946): "Stet" (1986) [p] +
Derek Mahon (Britain, 1947): "The Hunt by Night" (1982) [p] +
Christopher Reid (Britain, 1949): "Arcadia" (1979) [p] +
Grace Nichols (Guyana, 1950): "I Is a Long-Memoried Woman" (1983) [p] +
Paul Muldoon (Britain, 1951): "Immram" (1980) [p] +
Paul Muldoon (Britain, 1951): "Moy Sand and Gravel" (2002) [p] +
Carol-Ann Duffy (Britain, 1955): "Standing Female Nude" (1985) [p] +
Carol-Ann Duffy (Britain, 1955):"Mean Time" (1993) [p] +
See the Chronology of English Literature