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10 of the Greatest Poems of All Time

2 minute read

There are poems…

and then there are poems.

Some poems are so loved that they have been heard or read by the vast majority of people in the English speaking world. Though the world of poetry is constantly evolving, there are several poems that impacted this art form in such a powerful way, leaving it forever changed. Specifically 10 poems that we call the greatest poems of all time. Though this is my opinion, it seems pretty factual to me. 

Consider how many times you’ve heard “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare referenced in a film or wedding vows. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…”, a lovestruck teen reads from his English paper notes, finally feeling as though he has a way to describe his longing for his class crush. Or take a look further back to the first time you heard a Dr. Seuss poem. Many of us were first introduced to poetry through a tale that resonated with picky eaters everywhere, Green Eggs and Ham.

These are the lines that shape, alter and create who we are. The power of these most cherished poems shines in the way they’ve withstood the tests of time with their unique word choice and groundbreaking subject matter and structure.

Of course, every poetry lover has their own list of favorites. Yet these are our top ten because of their timeless nature, societal impact at their time of creation and continued popularity. Whether you’re hoping to remember an old favorite or being introduced to these iconic poems for the first time, this list is sure to bring in new perspectives and fresh inspiration!

Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare (below)

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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

Harlem by Langston Hughes

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (excerpt below)

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If– by Rudyard Kipling

For My People by Margaret Walker

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (below)


We share more than just what we believe as the greatest poems of all time throughout our beloved poetry site! Check out our “Poetry for Life“.