Pre-20th Century Poems

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

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 61: “Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part”

By Michael Drayton

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart, . . .

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 . . .

The Idler

By Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

An idle lingerer on the wayside's road,
  He gathers up his work and yawns away;
  A little longer, ere the tiresome load . . .

In a London Drawingroom

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 . . .