Here, for the first time, is our generations' definitive view of the greatest poetry in the English language. This is the story of poetry in English, a collection of the best 500 poems, based not on one critic's choice, not on one poet's choice, but on the collective choice of 550 critics, editors, and poets.
Here are the 500 poems that speak to us across the centuries, beginning with Chaucer's words, moving to Shakespeare's masterpieces, through Donne's wonderful witticisms and Pope's elegant satires, through the perennial favorites of Blake, Wordsworth, and Keats, on through Dickinson's jewels of profundity to the ironies of Eliot and to the passion of Plath and Ginsberg in out own time. These are the 500 poems we know or want to know, arranged as an unfolding story of great literature, with comments on each by William Harmon and with a general introduction on the entire collection.
If your library can buy only one volume of poetry, let this be it. Booklist The Top 500 Poems is intriguing in concept and management, and most of us will want to own it. And for this we are grateful. -- Gwendolyn Brooks, poet A revealing snapshot of one aspect of Western civilization, even including a list of the poems in order of popularity. Globe and Mail The merriest poetry anthology of the past decade... It's everything from 'Sumer is icumen in' to Sylvia Plath's 'Daddy' with terse, plain, and rather wonderful commentary by Harmon. Buffalo News It is rare indeed to come across a book in which wisdom and love come together as powerfully as they do for William Harmon. -- John Frederick Nims, coauthor of Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry
1 This Is It!Anonymous (c.1250-c.1350)7 Cuckoo SongGeoffrey Chaucer (c.1340-1400)8 General Prologue to The Canterbury TalesAnonymous (c.1400-1600)10 Sir Patrick Spens14 Western Wind15 Edward, Edward18 Thomas the Rhymer21 The Wife of Usher's Well23 As You Came from the Holy Land of Walsingham25 Corpus Christi Carol26 The Three Ravens28 Tom o' Bedlam's Song31 Adam Lay I-bounden32 Lord Randal33 The Cherry-Tree Carol35 The Lord Is My Shepherd36 I Sing of a Maiden37 A Lyke-Wake Dirge39 My Love in Her Attire40 The Demon Lover43 Weep You No More, Sad Fountains44 The Unquiet Grave46 Waly, WalyJohn Skelton (1460?-1529)48 To Mistress Margaret HusseySir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)50 They Flee from Me That Sometime Did Me Seek52 The Lover Complaineth the Unkindness of His Love54 Whoso List to HuntSir Walter Ralegh (1554?-1618)55 The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd57 The LIe60 Even Such Is Time61 The Passionate Man's PilgrimageEdmund Spenser (c.1552-1599)64 One Day I Wrote Her Name upon the Strand65 ProthalamionSir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)71 With How Sad Steps, O Moon, Though Climb'st the Skies!72 Leave Me, O Love, Which Reachest But to Dust73 My True Love Hath My Heart74 Loving in Truth, and Fain in Verse My Love to Show75 Come Sleep! O Sleep, the Certain Knot of PeaceGeorge Peele (c.1558-1597)76 His Golden Locks Time Hath to Silver Turned78 Whenas the Rye Reach the ChinRobert Southwell (c.1561-1595)79 The Burning BabeSamuel Daniel (1562-1619)80 Care-Charmer Sleep, Son of the Sable NightMichael Drayton (1536-1593)81 Since There's No Help, Come Let Us Kiss and PartChristopher Marlowe (1564-1593)82 The Passionate Shepherd to His LoveWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616)84 That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold86 Shal I Copmare Thee to a Summer's Day?87 Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds88 Fear No MOre the Heat o' the Sun89 When Icicles Hang by the Wall90 Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies91 When to the Sessions of Sweet Siletn Thought92 O Mistress Mine93 The Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame94 When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes95 When Daisies Pied96 It Was a Lover and His Lass97 My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing like the Sun98 Poor Soul, the Center of My Sinful Earth99 Hark! Hark! the Lark!100 Take, O Take Those Lips Away101 Farewell! Thou Art Too Dear for My Possessing102 Where the Bee Sucks, There Suck I103 When That I Was and a Little Tiny Boy104 Full Many a Glorious Morning Have I Seen105 No Longer Mourn for Me When I Am Dead106 Tired with All These, for Restful Death I Cry107 Like as the Waves Make towards the Pebbled Shore108 When Daffodils Begin to Peer109 How like a Winter Hath My Absense Been110 Since Brass, nor Stone, nor Earth, nor Boundless Sea111 Come Away, Come Away, Death112 Come unto These Yellow Sands113 Tell Me Where Is Fancy BredThomas Campion (1567-1620)114 My Sweet Lesbia115 Rose-cheeked Laura116 There Is a Garden in Her Face117 Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes in the AirThomas Nashe (1567-1601)118 Adieu, Farewell, Earth's Bliss120 Spring, the Sweet SpringChidiock Tichborne (c.1568-1586)121 Tichborne's ElegySir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)123 On His Mistress, the Queen of BohemiaJohn Donne (1572-1631)125 Death, Be Not Proud126 Batter My Heart, Three-Person'd God127 The Good Morrow128 At the Round EArth's Imagined Corners129 Go and Catch a Falling Star131 The Sun Rising133 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning135 A Hymn to God the Father136 The Ecstasy139 The Canonization141 The Flea143 Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness145 Sweetest Love, I Do Not Go147 A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day149 The Funeral150 The Apparition151 The Relic153 Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward155 The AnniversaryBen Johnson (1572-1637)157 Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes158 On My First Son159 Hymn to Diana160 Still to Be Neat161 The Triumph of Charis163 Epitaph on S.P.164 Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount, Keep Time with My Salt Tears165 Come, My Celia, Let Us Prove166 To PensburstJohn Webster (c.1578-1632)170 Call for the Robin Redbreast and the WrenWilliam Browne (c.1590-1645)171 On the Countess Dowarger of PembrokeRobert Herrick (1591-1674)172 To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time173 Upon Julia's Clothes174 Delight in Disorder175 To Daffodils176 The Argument of His Book177 Corinna's Going a-Maying180 The Night-Piece to Julia181 Grace for a ChildHenry King, Bishop of Chichester (1592-1669)182 Exequy on His WifeGeorge Herbert (1593-1633)186 Love Bade Me Welcome188 The Collar190 Virtue191 The Pulley192 Redemption193 Easter Wings194 Jordan195 Prayer to the Church's BanquetThomas Carew (1595-1639)196 Ask Me No More Where Jove Bestows198 To My Inconstant MistressSir William Davenant (1606-1668)199 The Lark Now Leaves His Watery NestEdmund Waller (1606-1687)200 Go, Lovely Rose202 On a GirdleJohn Milton (1608-1674)203 Lycidas209 On His Deceased wife210 On His Blindness211 On the Late Massacre in Piedmont212 L'Allegro217 Il PenserosoSir John Suckling (1609-1642)222 Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover?Anne Bradstreet (c.1612-1672)223 To My Dear and Loving HusbandRichard Lovlace (1618-1658)224 To Lucasta, Going to the Wars225 To Althea, from Prison227 The GrasshopperAndrew Marvell (1621-1678)229 To His Coy Mistress231 The Garden234 The Definition of Love236 Bermudas238 An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland242 The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers244 The Mower to the Glow-Worms245 A Dialogue between the Soul and BodyHenry Vaughan (1622-1695)247 The Retreat249 The World251 They Are All Gone into the World of Light253 Peace254 The NightJohn Dryden (1631-1700)256 To the Memory of Mr. Oldham258 Mac Clecknoe265 A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687268 Alexander's Feast; or, The Power of MusicEdward Taylor (c.1645-1729)275 HuswiferyJonathan Swift (1667-1745)276 A Description of the MorningAlexander Pope (1688-1744)277 Know Then Thyself279 Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot291 An Essay on CriticismSamuel Johnson (1709-1784)312 A Short Song of Congratulation314 On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, a Practiser in Physic316 The Vanity of Human Wishes: The Tenth Satire of Juvenal ImitatedThomas Gray (1716-1771)327 Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard333 Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold FishesWilliam Collins (1721-1759)335 Ode to Evening337 How Sleep the BraveOliver Goldsmith (c.1730-1774)338 When Lovely Woman Stoops to Folly339 An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog341 The Deserted VillageWilliam Cowper (1731-1800)354 Light Shining out of Darkness356 The Poplar FieldPhilip Freneau (1752-1832)357 The Indian Burying GroundWilliam Blake (1757-1827)359 The Tyger361 London362 And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time363 Piping down the Vailleys Wild364 The Sick Rose365 The Lamb366 Ah! Sun-Flower367 Hear the Voice of the Bard368 Auguries of Innocence372 How Sweet I Roam'd from Field to Field373 The Little Black Boy375 A Poison Tree376 The Chimney Sweeper378 To the Evening Star379 The Garden of Love380 The Clod and the Pebble381 Holy Thursday382 Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, RousseauRobert Burns (1759-1796)383 A Red, Red Rose384 To a Mouse on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785386 John Anderson, My Jo387 The Banks o' Doon388 For A' That and A' That390 Holy Willie's PrayerWilliam Wordsworth (1770-1850)394 The World Is Too Much with Us396 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud397 Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802398 The Solitary Reaper400 Ode: Intimations of Imortality from Recollections of Early Childhood407 Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey Lucy (comprising:)412 She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways412 I Traveled among Unkown Men413 Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known414 Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower415 A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal416 It Is a Beauteous Evening417 London, 1802418 My Heart Leaps Up419 Surprised By Joy420 She Was a Phantom of Delight421 Resolution and IndependenceSir Walter Scott (1771-1832)426 Proud Maisie427 Breathes There the Man with Soul So Dead428 LochinvarSamuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)430 Kubla Khan433 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner458 Dejection: An Ode463 Frost at MidnightRobert Southey (1774-1843)466 The Battle of BlenheimWalter Savage Landor (1775-1864)469 Rose Aylmer470 Dirce471 I Strove with None, for None Was Worth My Strife472 Past Ruined Ilion Helen LivesThomas Campbell (1777-1844)473 Hohenlinden Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)475 A Visit from St. NicholasLeigh Hunt *1784-1859)477 Jenny Kissed Me478 Abou Ben AdhemGeorge Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron (1788-1824)479 So We'll Go No More a-Roving481 She Walks in Beauty482 The Destruction of Sennacherib484 When We Two Parted486 The Ocean489 There Was a Sound of Revelry by NightCharles Wolfe (1791-1823)493 The Burial of Sir John Moore after CorunnaPercy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)495 Ozymandias497 Ode to the West Wind500 To a Skylark504 Music, When Soft Voices Die505 To Night507 England in 1819508 To _____509 AdonaisJohn Clarke (1793-1864)528 I AmWilliam Cullen Bryant *1794-1878)530 To a Waterfowl532 ThanatopsisJohn Keats (1795-1821)535 To Autumn537 La Belle Dame sans Merci539 La Belle Dame sans Merci (Revised Version)541 On First Looking into Chapman's Homer542 Ode to a Nightingale546 Old on a Grecian Urn548 When I Have Fears549 Ode on Melancholy551 The Eve of St. Agnes565 Bright Star566 Ode to PsycheThomas Hood (1799-1845)569 I Remember, I RememberThomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849)571 Old Adam, the Carrion CrowRalph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)573 Concord Hymn574 The Snow-Storm575 The Rhodora576 Brahma577 Fable578 DaysElizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)579 How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the WaysHenry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)580 My Lost Youth584 Paul Revere's Ride589 ChaucerJohn Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)590 Barbara Frietchie593 Snow-Bound: A Winter IdylOliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)615 The Deacon's Masterpiece; or, The Wonderful "One Hoss Shay"620 The Chambered Nautilus622 Old IronsidesEdgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)623 To Helen625 The Raven631 Annabel Lee633 The City in the Sea635 The Bells639 The Haunted PalaceAlfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809-1892)641The Splendor Falls646 Break, Break, Break644 Crossing the Bar645 Ulysses648 The Eagle649 Tears, Idle Tears650 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal651 The Charge of the Light Brigade654 Mariana657 The Lady of Shalott664 Flower in the Crannied WallRobert Browning (1812-1889)665 My Last Duchess668 Home Thoughts from Abroad669 Meeting at Night670 The Year's at the Spring671 The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed's Church675 Parting at Morning676 Two in the CampagnaEdward Lear (1812-1888)679 The Owl and the Pussy-Cat681 The JumbliesEmily Bronte (1818-1848)684 RemebranceArthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)686 Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth687 The Latest DecalogueJulia Ward Howe (1819-1892)688 The Battle Hymn of the Republic690 A Noiseless Patient Spider692 O Captain! My Captain!694 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd704 I Hear America Singing705 Cavalry Crossing a FordMatthew Arnold (1822-1888)706 Dover Beach708 The Scholar-GipsyWilliam Allingham (1824-1889)717 The FairiesGeorge Meredith (1824-1909)719 Lucifer in Starlight720 Thus Piteously Love Closed What He BegatDante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)721 The Blessed Damozel727 The WoodspurgeEmily Dickinson (1860-1886)728 "Because I could not stop for Death"730 "I heard a Fly buzz--when I died"731 "A narrow Fellow in the Grass"732 There's a certain Slant of light"733 "A Bird came down the Walk"734 "The Soul selects her own Society"735 "I like to see it lap the Miles"736 "My life closed twice before its close"737 "Success is counted sweetest"738 "I taste a liquor never brewed"739 "After great pain, a formal feeling comes"740 "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain"741 "I never saw a Moor"742 "Much Madness is divinest Sense"Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)743 When I Am Dead744 Up-Hill745 A Birthday746 Remember"Lewis Carroll" (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (1832-1898)747 Jabberwocky749 The Walrus and the Carpenter753 Father William755 I'll Tell Thee Everything I Can758 How Doth the Little CrocodileSir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911)759 The Yarn of the Nancy BellAlgernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)763 When the Hounds of Spring Are on Winter's Traces766 The Garden of ProsperpineThomas Hardy (1840-1928)770 The Darkling Thrush772 The Oxen773 In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"774 Channel Firing776 Afterwards777 The Convergence of the Twain779 The Man He Killed780 Neutral Tones781 The Ruined Maid783 The Voice784 During Wind and RainRobert Bridges (1844-1930)786 London Snow788 NightingalesGerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)789 Pied Beauty790 The Windhover792 God's Grandeur793 Spring and Fall794 Felix Randal795 No Worst, There Is None796 Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord797 Spring798 Heaven-Haven799 Inversnaid800 The Habit of Perfection802 Carrion ComfortEugene Field (1850-1895)803 Wynken, Blynken, and Nod805 The DuelRobert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)807 RequiemEdwin Markham (1852-1904)808 The Man with the HoeOscar Wilde (1854-1900)810 The Ballad of Reading GaolAlfred Edward Housman (1859-1936)833 Loveliest of Trees834 To an Athlete Dying Young836 With Rue My Heart Is Laden837 When I Was One-and-Twenty838 Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff841 Into My Heart an Air That Kills842 On Wenlock Edge843 The Hound of HeavenRudyard Kipling (1865-1936)849 Recessional851 Danny DeeverWilliam Butler Yeats (1865-1939)853 The Second Coming855 Sailing to Byzantium857 Leda and the Swan858 The Lake Isle of Innisfree859 When You Are Old860 Among School Children863 An Irish Airman Foresees His Death864 Easter, 1916867 The Wild Swans at Coole869 The Circus Animals' Desertion871 A Prayer for My Daughter874 Lapis Lazuli876 The Song of Wandering Aengus877 No Second TroyGelett Burgess (1866-1951)878 The Purple CowErnest Dowson (1867-1900)879 Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae880 Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare LongamEdgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)881 Anne RutledgeEdwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)882 Mr. Flood's Party885 Miniver Cheevy887 Richard Cory888 Eros Turannos890 For a Dead Lady891 Luke HavergalWilliam Henry Davies (1871-1940)893 LeisureWalter de la Mare (1873-1956)896 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening897 Mending Wall899 Fire and Ice900 The Road Not Taken901 Birches903 After Apple-Picking905 Acquainted with the Night906 Provide, Provide907 The Gift Outright908 Directive910 DesignJohn Masefield (1878-1967)911 CargoesCarl Sandburg (1878-1967)912 Chicago914 Fog915 Cool Tombs916 GrassEdward Thomas (1878-1917)917 The OwlVachel Lindsay (1879-1931)918 Abraham Lincoln Walks at MidnightWallace Stevens (1879-1955)920 Sunday Morning925 Anecdote of the Jar926 The Emperor of Ice-Cream927 The Idea of Order at Key West929 Peter Quince at the Clavier932 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a BlackbirdWilliam Carlos Williams (1883-1963)935 The Red Wheelbarrow936 The Dance937 Spring and All939 The YachtsDavid Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)941 Piano 942 Snake946 Bavarian GentiansEzra Pound (1885-1972)948 The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter950 In a Station of the MetroRupert Brooke (1887-1915)951 The SoldierRobinson Jeffers (1887-1962952 Hurt Hawks954 Shine, Perishing RepublicMarianne Moore (1887-1972)955 Poetry957 A GraveDame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)959 Still Falls the RainThomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)961 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock966 Journey of the Magi968 The Waste Land982 Sweeney among the Nightingales984 Gerontion987 Little GiddingJohn Crowe Ransom (1888-1974)995 Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter997 Piazza PieceClaude McKay (1890-1948)998 If We Must DieIsaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)999 Break of Day in the TrenchesArchibald MacLeish (1892-1982)1001 You, Andrew Marvell1003 Ars Poetica1005 The End of the WorldWilfred Own (1893-1918)1006 Anthem for Doomed Youth1007 Dulce et Decorum Est1008 Strange Meeting1010 Greater LoveEdward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962)1011 anyone lived in a pretty how town1013 "next to of course god america i"Hart Crane (1899-1832)1014 To Brooklyn BridgeAllen Tate (1899-1879)1017 Ode to the Confederate DeadLangston Hughes (1902-1967)1021 The Negro Speaks of RiversStevie Smith (1902-1971)1022 Not Waving But DrowningRichard Eberhart (b.1904)1023 The Fury of Aerial Bombardment1024 The GroundhogWystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973)1026 Musee des Beaux Arts1028 In Memory of W.B. Yeats1031 LullabyLouis MacNeice (1907-1963)1033 Bagpipe MusicTheodore Roethke (1908-1963)1035 My Papa's Waltz1036 I Knew a Woman1038 The Waking1039 Elegy for Jane1040 In a Dark TimeSir Stephen Spender (b.1909)1041 I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly GreatElizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)1043 The FishRobert Hayden (1913-1980)1046 Those Winter SundaysRandall Jarrell (1914-1986)1048 Naming of PartsDylan Thomas (1914-1953)1050 Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night1052 Fern Hill1054 A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London1056 The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the FlowerGwendolyn Brooks (b.1917)1057 We Real CoolRobert Lowell (1917-1977)1058 Skunk Hour1061 For the Union Dead1064 Mr. Edward and the SpiderRichard Wilbur (b.1921)1066 Love Calls Us to the things of This WorldPhilip Larkin (1922-19851068 Church GoingAllen Ginsberg (b.1926)1071 A Supermarket in CaliforniaSylvia Plath (1932-1963)1073 Daddy1077 The Poems in Order of Popularity1093 Acknowledgements1099 Index of Poets1105 Index of Titles and First Lines
Series: Columbia Anthologies
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 1132
Published: 10th December 1992
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.0 x 22.6
Weight (kg): 1.63