Look around you. There are stories -err- there are poems. Yes, there is poetry all around you. Look at the trees, plants and flowers, there is poetry. Look into the eyes of a child, there is poetry. Look at the rivers and streams, there is poetry. Look at the rain, there is poetry. Look into the corners and crevices of a street, there is poetry. Poems bring out the true essence of literature. Poetry has been, is and will be the most beautiful form of expression. When you’re happy, there is a poem to complement your jovial mood. When you’re sad, there is a poem to comfort you. When you’re bored, there is a poem to lighten you up. When you’re lazy, there is a poem to boost energy inside you. There is definitely a poem for each and every mood of yours.
Well, there are a few poems which every individual should have read at least once in their lifetime. These poems have defined the world of poetry and influenced many lives. I am listing out 15 cherished poems of all time:
15. Going for water by Robert Frost
In this poem, Robert Frost perfectly captures childhood emotions and imaginations. Two young boys seek out a brook in the middle of the night, as the well beside their house has dried up. They play hide-and-seek with the moon, enjoy the nature and stay with each other till they find the brook.
“We ran as if to meet the moon
That slowly dawned behind the trees,
The barren boughs without the leaves,
Without the birds, without the breeze.”
Read the full poem here: Going for water
14. Daffodils by William Wordsworth
Originally penned as I wandered lonely as a cloud, this nature poem by William Wordsworth was written by him when he had went on a walk along with his sister Dorothy and discovered a long belt of daffodils. He portrays the beauty of the flowers by constructing brilliant verses. He also explains how the daffodils provided him company when he was lonely.
“A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:”
Read the full poem here: Daffodils
13. English Words by V.K.Gokak
Only this poem could describe English language in such an exquisite manner. When you read out the lines from this poem, you’d feel at peace with the honey-dipping words. V.K. Gokak describes how English language enriched the human soul with its words and sentences.
“You blossomed into a nascent loveliness.
You ripened into nectar in fruit-jars
That hung like clustered stars.
O winging words! Like homing bees you borrow
Grown murmurous, the honey of delight,”
Read the full poem here: English Words
12. Rain in Summer by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Everyone loves rain. And so did H.W Longfellow too. He weaves magic with this poem, describing the beauty of rain in different dimensions. The impact of rain on different persons and objects is amazingly portrayed in this one.
“How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!”
Read the full poem here: Rain in Summer
11. Snake by D.H.Lawrence
In this poem, D.H.Lawrence describes how he finds a snake at his water-trough. He considers the creature as his guest and allows it to drink water. Though the voice of his education screams at him to kill the snake, he doesn’t give in to it. However, he throws a stick at it and then feels guilty for his act. The entire poem is like a folklore in the form of verses.
“He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,”
Read the full poem here: Snake
10. Migrant Bird by Famida Y. Basheer
This poem is all about how birds have unlimited jurisdictions and freedom. They see humans as the caged ones, bounded by restrictions, rules and laws. Famida explains the point that the home is the world for humans, while the world is the home for birds.
“No walls for me, no vigil gates,
No flags, no machine guns that blast
Citizens of those border states-
Brothers of her brother’s sons.
No maps, no boundaries to block
My sojourn into unknown lands.”
Read the full poem here: Migrant Bird
9. Off to Outer Space Tomorrow Morning by Norman Nicholson
Norman Nicholson adopts a nonchalant mood for this poem as he waves a final goodbye to earthly beings and begins his journey to the the outer space. He even tells people to erase his name from the telephone book as his return from the space might not be possible.
“I’ll be writing no letters; I’ll be posting no mail.
For with nobody to visit me and not a friend in hail,
In solit’ry confinement as complete as any gaol
I’ll be off to Outer Space tomorrow morning.”
Read the full poem here: Off to Outer Space Tomorrow Morning
8. Earth by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran pays a beautiful tribute to Earth through his poetic lines. He captivates the reader with his wonderful personification of our planet and how it bears with the human beings, even though we ill-treat it sometimes.
“How perfect you are, Earth, and how majestic!
I have crossed your plains and climbed your mountains;
I have gone down into your valleys and entered your caves.
On the plains I have discovered your dreams, on the mountains I have admired your splendid presence.”
Read the full poem here: Earth
7. Where the mind is without fear by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore wrote this poem as a prayer to God. He pleads to God to make his country free from the British rule and provide strength to the people. He dreams of a nation that is depleted of corruption, slavery & fear and filled with knowledge & power.
“Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection”
Read the full poem here: Where the mind is without fear
6. If by Rudyard Kipling
This empowering poem by Rudyard Kipling is an advice from a father to his son. The father teaches his son to trust himself, to dream, to treat success and failure as one, to strive hard and to talk. The poem serves as a chicken soup for every soul in this world.
“If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;”
Read the full poem here: If
5. Sonnet No.116 by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare brings out the vitality of true love in this poem. He tells that true love stands strong, despite the obstacles that it faces. Even though situations may change, true love remains the same. He even challenges that if anyone can prove him wrong, he’d stop writing thereafter.
“Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;”
Read the full poem here: Sonnet No.116
4. A psalm of life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In this poem, H.W. Longfellow urges us to live our life to the fullest. He says that life is short and we should not waste our life. He also tells that life does not end with death and the soul lives on. Since there is only one life, he tells people to make good use of it.
“Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.”
Read the full poem here: A psalm of life
3. Don’t Quit by Edgar A. Guest
This poem is a piece of advice to everyone – not to quit when life throws an ultimate test at you. The poet tells that when you’re stressed out, you can rest, but you shouldn’t quit. You have to smile and move ahead, even when there are hell lot of troubles in your life.
“When the funds are low and debts are high,
And you want to Smile but have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit”
Read the full poem here: Don’t Quit
2. Be The Best by Douglas Malloch
Douglas Malloch tells that you must be the best in whatever position you are. If you cannot reach for that highest position which you’ve always dreamed of, you must be satisfied with what you are and be the best in it. The lines in this endearing poem are very inspirational.
“If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass-
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,”
Read the full poem here: Be The Best
1. The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth
One of the most beautiful poems of all the time. The Solitary Reaper speaks about a Scottish woman who reaps and binds the grain in the paddy fields, singing a melancholic song to herself. Since the song is in a different language, the poet wonders about the nature of her problem. He compares her enthralling voice to that of the nightingale. He winds up by telling that though he made his way for his home, he bore the reaper’s song in his heart.
“Will no one tell me what she sings?-
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago;”
Read the full poem here: The Solitary Reaper
Have you read these poems? If not, then do it immediately. I am sure that you wouldn’t regret. Tell about your favorite poems in the comments section!