Archives For Poems



Today is the birthday of the poet Lord Byron, born January 22, 1788…

Here are five of our favorite poems by him…

Lord Byron

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Read More Poetry

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to read more poetry?

If not, it’s not too late to do so. 

“For me, poetry is a practice that is helping me begin to slow down and become more attentive. Learning to read a poem carefully trains us to pay extraordinary attention to the sounds and images of language that we might easily overlook in our haste. … Poems offer us an invitation to abide with their words.”

– ERB Editor, Chris Smith, In Defense of Poetry

To help you read more poetry, we will be publishing two lists of recommended poets.

This first list will feature classic poets, whose work is freely available in the public domain.  These poems are good because they have withstood the test of time, and because they are easily and freely accessible. Their drawbacks are that they are dated (Many of them, for instance, write in verse, a form that is widely rejected among poets today), and that although we have tried to make our list as diverse as possible, there tends to be less diversity (A hundred years ago or more, the vast majority of poets being published were white males).

Our second list, which will be posted next week, will feature the work of contemporary poets.

It will be beneficial to develop habits of reading poems from both of these lists. The classics help us understand the tradition of poetry, and contemporary poets wrestle with contemporary concerns in the forms of today.

Classic Poets:

All the poems in these books are in the public domain. Read them on your device, print them out, post them on your blog, slice them, dice them and remix them into your own poems. Most of all, have fun!

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Today is the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle…

In honor of the occasion, we offer this poem by one of our favorite living poets:

St. Thomas the Apostle
Malcolm Guite

Found in the collection:  Sounding the Seasons: 70 Sonnets for the Christian Year
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Three poems from the brand new collection

These Intricacies: Poems

Dave Harrity

Paperback: Wipf and Stock, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Poem #1: Contemplating the Egg

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TomOrrIn Love of Place

A Review of

Tongue to the Anvil: Poems
Thomas Alan Orr

Paperback: Restoration Press, 2014.

Reviewed by Sarah Lyons


If left on my own, I find that I tend to be very demanding when reading poems. I’ll read them in handfuls on a whim, but not carefully—it’s the casual, uncommitted kind of reading with eyes sweeping from one line break to the next without really ‘catching.’ I’ll skim. I’ll find myself in love with the idea of poetry, and yet not actually interested in the sometimes bare realities of it.

With this habit ingrained in the back of my soul, I brushed my hands over a few pages of Orr’s work. And I paused. And then I read the poems again.

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Today is the birthday of G.K. Chesterton, born 1874…

In honor of the occasion, here are three of our favorite poems of his.

If you are a fan of Chesterton’s work,
we recommend this $1.99 bargain Kindle ebook:
The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books]

G.K. Chesterton

When Adam went from Paradise
He saw the Sword and ran;
The dreadful shape, the new device,
The pointed end of Paradise,
And saw what Peril is and Price,
And knew he was a man.

When Adam went from Paradise,
He turned him back and cried
For a little flower from Paradise;
There came no flower from Paradise;
The woods were dark in Paradise,
And not a bird replied.

For only comfort or contempt,
For jest or great reward,
Over the walls of Paradise,
The flameless gates of Paradise,
The dumb shut doors of Paradise,
God flung the flaming sword.

It burns the hand that holds it
More than the skull it scores;
It doubles like a snake and stings,
Yet he in whose hand it swings
He is the most masterful of things,
A scorner of the stars.


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Today (March 20) is the first day of spring…
Here are a few of our favorite spring poems:


Another Spring

Christina Rossetti

If I might see another Spring
I’d not plant summer flowers and wait:
I’d have my crocuses at once,
My leafless pink mezereons,
My chill-veined snowdrops, choicer yet
My white or azure violet,
Leaf-nested primrose; anything
To blow at once not late.

If I might see another Spring
I’d listen to the daylight birds
That build their nests and pair and sing,
Nor wait for mateless nightingale;
I’d listen to the lusty herds,
The ewes with lambs as white as snow,
I’d find out music in the hail
And all the winds that blow.

If I might see another Spring–
O stinging comment on my past
That all my past results in “if”–
If I might see another Spring
I’d laugh to-day, to-day is brief;
I would not wait for anything:
I’d use to-day that cannot last,
Be glad to-day and sing.


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Today (Feb. 27) is the Feast Day of George Herbert in the Anglican Church…
Here are a few of our favorite poems of his:



George Herbert

I made a posy, while the day ran by:
“Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
                           My life within this band.”
But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
                           And withered in my hand.


My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part
                           Time’s gentle admonition;
Who did so sweetly death’s sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day,
                           Yet, sug’ring the suspicion.


Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,
                           And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since, if my scent be good, I care not if
                           It be as short as yours.


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John Henry Newman

Tomorrow (Feb. 21) is the birthday of Cardinal John Henry Newman…
Here are a few of our favorite poems of his:


The Sign of the Cross

John Henry Newman

WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine
I draw the Holy Sign,
All good thoughts stir within me, and renew
Their slumbering strength divine;
Till there springs up a courage high and true
To suffer and to do.

And who shall say, but hateful spirits around,
For their brief hour unbound,
Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?
While on far heathen ground
Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odor, though
Its source he cannot know.


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Here are a few of our favorite love poems for Valentine’s Day:

All of these poems can be found in
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)

(a 99c Bargain Kindle ebook!)


How Do I Love Thee?
(Sonnet 43)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.



IMAGE CREDIT: Springtime by Pierre-August Cot
(via Wikimedia Commons)

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