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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Hap

By Thomas Hardy

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,...

By John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend ...

By John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow ...

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -...

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, ...

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