Pre-20th Century Poems

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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By Emily Dickinson

How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -...

By John Donne

Since I am coming to that holy room,
         Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy music; as I come ...

By John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
         Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, ...

By Emily Dickinson

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed...

By Sir Thomas Wyatt

I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise; ...

By Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, ...

By Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air -...

By Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun ...

By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, ...

By Michael Drayton


An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still,
Wherewith, alas, I have been long possess'd,...

What People are Saying

"I was amazed at the different perspectives that people take regarding poetry and the multiple interpretations that can be effectively conveyed from one single poem."
Sydney Bayless
2017 AR POL Champion