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Classical Poems

Page history last edited by Mrs. C 11 years, 6 months ago



Poetry Night ~ General Information  Classical Poems Information Page Contemporary Poems Information Page
  Sample Photo Montage





Step One:  Find a great poem.  In fact, find two or three possible great poems.  One excellent source of poems is The American Academy of Poets webpage.  If you click right here, you'll be taken to their "themes" page.   This is a great place to start because you can click on an idea that interests you, and then search for poems from there.   Please keep in mind the following guidelines as you search:


  • The poem must be "G rated."
  • The poem must be at least 16 lines long.
  • Children's poetry (such as those written by Shel Silverstein, Kenn Nesbitt, Jack Prelutsky, Bruce Lansky, or those similar in style, subject, or theme) are not acceptable for this event.


Step Two:  Think "big picture."  What possible themes or ideas could this poem represent?  Try to establish a personal connection.  This will help greatly when choosing a contemporary song to partner with this poem.


Step Three:  Fill out the Classical Poem selection form.  Print out a copy of each of your poem choices.  [Yes, you must have two choices!  This is in case someone else chooses your first one in the lottery before you do, or if your choice[s] are unsuitable for some reason.  In fact, we recommend that you have a third choice ... just in case.]


Step Four:  Turn in the form and poems to your language arts teacher by Monday, November 15.


Below are some poems that other students have done in the past, are part of the traditional poetry canon, or are just poems that I personally love.  Next year many of your choices will be on this list.


Poem Poet

“Discordants:  Bread and Music” — Section I


Conrad Aiken

“She Walks in Beauty”


George Gordon, Lord Byron 

“My First Memory (of Librarians)


Nikki Giovanni 

“The Roman Road”


Thomas Hardy 



D.H. Lawrence 

“The Day is Done”   (Stanzas 1—4 )


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Sea Fever”


John Masefield 

Looking Around, Believing”


Gary Soto 



Christina Rossetti



 Edna Wheeler Wilcox 

“Let Evening Come”


Jane Kenyon 

“My Star”


Robert Browning 

"Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" **


Dylan Thomas 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”


Robert Frost 

“The Swingset”


Grace Walton 

“When  You Are Old”


William Butler Yeats 

Excerpt from “Song of Myself”


Walt Whitman 

Untitled” [Each Time I Go Outside]”


Ted Kooser and Jim Harrison 

Endymion I [A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever] Lines 1-24


John Keats 

As imperceptibly as Grief”


Emily Dickinson 

“Dream Variations”


Langston Hughes 

“I Hear America Singing”


Walt Whitman 

God’s World”


Edna St. Vincent Millay 

“If —” **


Rudyard Kipling 

“The Bean Eaters”


Gwendolyn Brooks 

“The Odyssey” — Book I, Lines 1— 16 to 20



You Begin” **


Margaret Atwood 



Laurence Alma Tadema 

maggie and milly and molly and may


ee cummings 

The Partial Explanation”



Charles Simic

“Before the World Intruded”


Michele Rosenthal

"I Taught Myself To Live Simply"


Anna Akhmatova

"Hurt No Living Thing" and “Who Has Seen the Wind?”




Christina Rossetti

Baseball and Writing” — Stanzas I and II


Marianne Moore

"Sonnet 43 - How do I love thee? Let me count the ways"


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Hope is the thing with feathers" and “I’m Nobody!”


Emily Dickinson

Motto” and “We Real Cool 



Langston Hughes; Gwendolyn Brooks



The Road Not Taken”


Robert Frost

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"



Maya Angelou



Nikki Giovanni

“Love for This Book” **


Pablo Neruda

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree”



William Butler Yeats

“O Captain!  My Captain!” **


Walt Whitman

The Snow Man”


Wallace Stevens

All Lovely Things”


Conrad Aiken

Porch Swing in September”


Ted Kooser

“The Daffodils”  [I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud]


William Wordsworth

Preface — Leaves of Grass


Walt Whitman

“Sonnet 18 — Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”



William Shakespeare

“The Gladness of Nature”


William Cullen Bryant

“Of the Many Worlds in This World”


Margaret Cavendish

Going Down Hill on a Bicycle”


Henry Charles Beeching

“The Plaid Dress”


Edna St. Vincent Millay



William Ernest Henley

“Ode to the West Wind”  Stanza I, Line 1; all of Stanza 5


Percy Bysshe Shelley

Briefly It Enters, and Briefly  Speaks”



Jane Kenyon

“ A True Poem”


Lloyd Schwartz

“I Hear an Army”


James Joyce

Jabberwocky” **


Lewis Carroll

“The Raven”  - Stanzas 1-3; 6-8 **



Edgar Allen Poe

Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays— I; New Year’s Day; Stanzas 1—4


Charles Reznikoff

Fat is Not a Fairy Tale”


Jane Yolen

“This Moment”


Eaven Bolen



Sheenagh Pugh

"The Pick" 



Cecilia Woloch

"One Art"


Elizabeth Bishop

"The Tyger"


William Blake

"so you want to be a writer?"  (first stanza)


Charles Bukowski





English - Spanish Partner Poems


How This Works:  You and a friend pick the same poem.  One recites it in Spanish and the other recites it in Inglés.


Note:  only a limited number of these performances will be allowed.  Please speak with Mrs. Christianson prior to choosing this as an option.


English Version
Spanish Version
"Where I'm From" by Georgia Ella Lyon
"De Donde Yo Soy" by Levi Romero
"Three Trees" translated by Jill Savitt
"Tres Arboles"  by Gabriela Mistral
"Laughing Out Loud, I Fly" by Juan Felipe Herrera
"A carcajadas, yo vuela" by Juane Felipe Herrera
"City of Bridges" by  Francisco X. Alarcón "Cuedad de puentes" by Francisco X. Alarcón
"Poor Poets" by Francisco X. Alarcon   (Note: scroll down page until you see it.) "Pobres Poetas" by  Francisco X. Alarcón  (Note: scroll down page until you see it.)
"From the Other Side of Night" by  Francisco X. Alarcón (Note: scroll down page until you see it.)
 "Del otro lado de la noche" by  Francisco X. Alarcón  (Note: scroll down page until you see it.)



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