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

"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ