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

"Though I have always had an immense love and appreciation for poetry, particularly spoken word poetry, it was not until I was given the opportunity to go on stage and actually deliver the words of others that I was able to comprehend the real impact of this art."
Iman Dancy
2017 NC POL Champion