So this month is National Poetry month. Now, you may be like me and just...not know a thing about poetry. This past week or so I've been combing through a lot of poetry lists and coming up with some poetry basics for me to look at when I start my journey into poetry (which will be next year, this year the journey is into plays). This is by no means a complete list. There are tons of poetry collections out there. But it is a list to give you an idea of what to start with so you can slowly become a poetry master reader.
Ancient Poetry/Epic Poems:
The Odyssey by Homer
Also, check out The Iliad.
Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology
There was a plethora of Chinese poetry being formed in the BCE era. This collection from what I can see, has a majority of the major ones.
Beowulf by Anonymous
Metamorphoses by Ovid
More epic Greek poetry.
The Aeneid by Virgil
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous
One of the many medieval epic Arthurian poems out there.
The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous
If Not Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
There are a lot of Chaucer epic poems to choose from. This is probably his most well known though.
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spensor
This humongous epic poem apparently influenced a lot of 18th century poets.
Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Along with a bunch of plays, the Bard also wrote quite a few poems in his day. Overacheiver.
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Complete English Poems by John Donne
The Complete Poetry by George Herbert
The Complete Poems by William Blake
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope
The Complete Poems by John Keats
The Complete Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley
This guy was married to Mary Shelley, she of Frankenstein fame, fyi.
Selected Poems by George Gordon Byron (better known today as Lord Byron)
The Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson
Really, all of Tennyson's work seems to be popular. But this is the one he seems to be known for.
Complete Poems by Christina Rosetti
Believe it or not, Emily Dickinson is not the only female eighteen hundreds poet out there.
The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson
But definitely give Dickinson a look.
The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats
Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Essential Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe
Seriously, read The Raven if you have not already been taught it in class.
The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S. Eliot
Also check out his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats collection, which the musical Cats is based on.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Complete Poems by Dorothy Parker
Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke by Rainer Maria Rilke
Ariel by Sylvia Plath
And honestly all her other poetry collections. I also recommend her one prose novel: The Bell Jar.
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
You probably read this as a kid. I highly recommend rereading as an adult, you'll catch a lot of things that go over a kids head.
The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost
The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou
Crush by Richard Siken
Sailing Around the Room: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins
Salt by Nayyirah Waheed
Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Some handy non-fiction about poetry:
The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
Book that I'm personally going to read to help me try and understand poetry more.
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
If you're looking for verse fiction, there's going to be a list for that next week.