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 George Eliot

The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke.
For view there are the houses opposite
Cutting the sky with one long line of wall ...

By John Greenleaf Whittier

Still sits the school-house by the road,
   A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow, ...

By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground, ...

By Adah Isaacs Menken

Where is the promise of my years;
    Once written on my brow?
Ere errors, agonies and fears ...

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of......

By William Blake

Piping down the valleys wild 
Piping songs of pleasant glee 
On a cloud I saw a child. ...

By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be ...

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars ...

By A. E. Housman

“Is my team ploughing,
   That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle ...

By Edgar Allan Poe

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
   “Whose heart-strings are a lute”;   
None sing so wildly well...

What People are Saying

"I learned that I enjoyed poetry - a lot. I'm known as the "football guy" at my school and it surprised me, and others, that poetry would be a big part of my life. Also, I realized that I not bad at performing and public speaking."
Marquavious Moore
2017 TN POL Champion