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 Thomas Carew

This little vault, this narrow room,
Of Love, and Beauty, is the tomb;
The dawning beam that gan to clear ...

By Aphra Behn


This Little, Silent, Gloomy Monument,
Contains all that was sweet and innocent ;...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

The lords of life, the lords of life,—
I saw them pass,
In their own guise,...

By Edith Wharton

I

Like Crusoe with the bootless gold we stand ...

By Andrew Marvell

To make a final conquest of all me,
Love did compose so sweet an enemy,
In whom both beauties to my death agree, ...

By Ben Jonson

Rhyme, the rack of finest wits,
That expresseth but by fits
True conceit,...

By Margaret Fuller

We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,
Which spake in Greek simplicity of thought,
And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought ...

By Dorothy Wordsworth

Harmonious Powers with Nature work
On sky, earth, river, lake, and sea:
Sunshine and storm, whirlwind and breeze ...

By Thomas Campion

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow,
Though thou be black as night
And she made all of light, ...

By Thomas Carlyle

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And the frost falls and the rain:
A weary heart went thankful to rest, ...

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