Pre-20th Century Poems

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness

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 . . .

A Hymn to God the Father

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, . . .

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)

By Emily Dickinson

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed . . .

I Find no Peace

By 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; . . .

I Hear America Singing

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, . . .

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)

By Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air - . . .

I Remember, I Remember

By Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun . . .

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

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, . . .

Idea 20: An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still

By Michael Drayton


An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still,
Wherewith, alas, I have been long possess'd, . . .

Idea 43: Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace

By Michael Drayton

Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness in the self-same place . . .