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Top 10 Favorite Poems

  • Jul 31, 2009
  • by
I was a biology major in college and only had to take 3 English classes. I didn't even think I liked poetry until I ended up in Francis B. Carothers Jr's "Intro to Poetry." We used the Wadsworth Handbook and Anthology of Poems edited by C.F. Main and Peter J. Seng. From that class, I discovered the wonderfully concentrated form of expression that is poetry. The British theoretical physicist Paul Dirac has been quoted as having said, "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite." Here are my 10 favorite poems. I hope you will be curious enough to look up and read the ones that are unfamiliar to you. And, sorry, but I couldn't just pick one of Shakespeare's sonnets.
2
E.E. Cummings
Short and sweet.
3
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I love the irony of it.
4
Robert Frost
When you come to think of it, we’re all on the same journey.
5
John Donne
The improbability of true love. I’ve always wondered “what wind serves to advance an honest mind.”
6
A.E. Houseman
Two guys having a couple of beers and being philosophical about life sometime in the fall when the colors are out in the trees.
7
Edwin Arlington Robinson
I still remember my shock and surprise when I realized what this poem was about.
8
Emily Dickinson
Another short one. I thought of this poem when I was cleaning out my parents’ house in L.A. after they died.
9
Matthew Arnold
It’s amazing how people find each other and connect in a seemingly cold and indifferent universe.
10
William Shakespeare
I couldn’t pick just 1 of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In this one, the compression of time as the poem moves forward mimics our feeling that time moves faster as we grow older.

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About the list creator
Steve DiBartola ()
Ranked #155
I was invited to join Lunch by one of the developers, who apparently read some reviews I posted on Library Thing. My interests are books, music, and movies. I enjoy both classical and contemporary fiction, … more
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