Category: Poetry

Great poems for study, copywork, memorization, dictation, and enjoyment.

Reading Gaol cell

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

The Ballad of Reading Gaol (gaol is the British spelling of jail) narrates the story of an execution that occurred while Oscar Wilde was imprisoned in the late 1890s. It does not attempt to...

Robert Burns Poetry

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796), a Scottish poet and lyricist is not only the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, but he has long been considered the national...

Sir Walter Scott Poetry

Sir Walter Scott Poetry

Much of Sir Walter Scott’s poetry reflects the stories and themes of courage, justice, and romance found in his novels. Here are three of his shorter poems, “Lochinvar,” “Breathes There the Man,” and “Old...

Ellen Sturgis Hooper poem.

Ellen Sturgis Hooper Poetry

Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1812 – 1848) was an American poet and member of the Transcendental Club, and widely regarded as one of the most gifted among the New England Transcendentalist poets. She and her...

William Blake's handwritten poem, "A Poison Tree."

A Poison Tree by William Blake

“A Poison Tree,” which explores the dangers of anger and revenge, was first published in Blake’s Songs of Experience in 1794. It has been set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his Ten Blake...

Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women

Thoreau’s Flute by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, best known for her novel Little Women, admired her Transcendentalist neighbors, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. During Louisa’s elementary school years, Thoreau was her teacher, and in Moods, one...

Birthplace of Jonathan Swift.

Jonathan Swift Poetry

Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and Anglican cleric best remembered in the literary world for his satirical novel, Gulliver’s Travels. As a writer, he developed close,...

The Storm by John Donne

Following his participation in the Islands Voyage, an unsuccessful 1597 naval campaign also known as the Essex-Raleigh Expedition, poet John Donne wrote “The Storm,” memorializing a storm at sea. The Storme To Mr. Christopher...

New Year poems, and of course, Auld Lang Syne.

New Year Poems

How better to mark the close of an old year and the coming of a new than with poetry or song? Here are a few favorite classic New Year’s Eve poems to help you...

August poems from Excellence in Literature

August Poems

Poets can be inspired by many things, but honestly — bugs? I guess if you’re writing about the month of August, it’s almost inevitable that some variety of insect will appear. You’ll find bugs...