My favourite poems in celebration of international poetry day
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my top 25 favourite poems

International Poetry Day

My favourite poems

In honour of international poetry day I have compiled a list of 25 of my favourite poems. From modern poets like Mary Oliver and Seamus Heaney to the classics of Wordsworth, Kipling and Yeats.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, my favourite poem by Robert Frost

1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler

The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost 
Do not go gentle into that good night, one of my favourite poems by Dylan Thomas for international poetry day

2. Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting 
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

3. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. W.B. Yeats

4. But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven by W.B. Yeats
How oft, in spirt, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro’ the woods,How often has my spirt turned to thee!

5. How oft, in spirt, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro’ the woods,How often has my spirt turned to thee!

Tintern Abbey, by William Wordsworth
Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me – The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality. Emily Dickinson

6. Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me – The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality.

Because I could not stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, William Shakespeare

7. All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,

All The World’s a Stage by William Shakespeare
My dove, my beautiful one,
Arise, arise!
The night-dew lies
Upon my lips and eyes.
James Joyce

8. My dove, my beautiful one, Arise, arise! The night-dew lies Upon my lips and eyes.

My dove, my beautiful one, by James Joyce
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach ... Elizabeth Browning

9. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach

How Do I Love Thee?, by Elizabeth Browning
Oh, call it by some better name, For Friendship sounds too cold,
Thomas Moore

10. Oh, call it by some better name, For Friendship sounds too cold

Oh, call it by some better name, by Thomas Moore
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two impostors just the same; Rudyard Kipling

11. If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;

If– , by Rudyard Kipling
They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. William Wordsworth

12. They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud ( Daffodils) , by William Wordsworth
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
William Shakespeare

13. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Sonnet 18, by William Shakespeare
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all - Emily Dickinson

14. “Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all –

“Hope” is the thing with feathers, by Emily Dickinson
I had melancholy thoughts…a strangeness in my mind, A feeling that I was not for that hour, Nor for that place. William Wordsworth

15. I had melancholy thoughts…a strangeness in my mind, A feeling that I was not for that hour, Nor for that place.

The Prelude, by William Wordsworth
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; 
The Lake Isle of Innisfree , W.B. Yeats

16. I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by W.B. Yeats
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. 
Invictus by William Ernest Henley

17. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Once off the bush The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour. I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair. 
Blackberry picking by Seamus Heaney

18. Once off the bush The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour. I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair.

Blackberry picking by Seamus Heaney
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. 
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

19. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Dry be that tear, my gentlest love, Be hushed that struggling sigh;
Richard Brinsley Sheridan

20. Dry be that tear, my gentlest love, Be hushed that struggling sigh;

Dry be that tear, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
what would I do without this world faceless incurious where to be lasts but an instant where every instant spills in the void the ignorance of having been 
What would I do without this world, by Samuel Becket

21. what would I do without this world faceless incurious where to be lasts but an instant where every instant spills in the void the ignorance of having been

What would I do without this world, by Samuel Becket
Surely some revelation is at hand. Surely the Second coming is at hand .
The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats

22. Surely some revelation is at hand. Surely the Second coming is at hand

The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats
No man is an island entire of itself.

No Man is an Island by John Donne

23. No man is an island entire of itself.

No Man is an Island by John Donne
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ 
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

‘24. My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

W.B. Yeats

25. When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

When you are old, by W.B. Yeats
International Poetry Day

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