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 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...

By Emily Dickinson

It sifts from Leaden Sieves -
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool...

By Emily Dickinson

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down -
It was not Night, for all the Bells...

By Mary Robinson

Pavement slipp’ry, people sneezing,
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing;
Titled gluttons dainties carving, ...

By Edmund Spenser

Joy of my life, full oft for loving you
    I bless my lot, that was so lucky placed:
    But then the more your own mishap I rue,...

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran ...

What People are Saying

"I was surprised how attached I got to my poems. I've had "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" memorized since my sophomore year, and whenever I get nervous or anxious about something I recite it to myself. "
Sarah Calvin-Stupfel
2018 OR POL Champ