poem index

poems & poets

Search our curated collection of over 8,000 poems, over 2,500 poet biographies, as well as essays about poetry, and some of the most important books, anthologies, and textbooks about the art form ever written. To search by keyword, use the search bar above.


I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,

a text message
from her coffin.
It said Glad
you’re not here.

She's always doing
stuff like that. She says
it’s to help me
savor my remaining
days. But I know
it’s because I’m
the only one left
who hasn’t changed
his number.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive


Archival Images

In 1955, Sylvia Plath, who was then a student at Smith College, typed up a group of poems on onion skin paper and mailed them to the Academy of American Poets in New York City to be considered for one of its College Poetry Prizes. Founded in 1934, the Academy has recognized young poets for much of its history, and today awards more than 200 prizes to poets in undergraduate programs across the U.S.

Plath's poems won. Uplifted and inspired by the recognition, she wrote a letter to thank the donor, Mr. Harrison Eudy, who had endowed the prize in memory of his mother, an aspiring poet herself. "After this fruitful year," Plath wrote to Eudy, "I know that writing poetry will always be the richest, most rewarding part of a full maturing life."

During the next seven years staff at the Academy of American Poets and Plath remained in contact as her poetry life quickly blossomed. In 1961, Elizabeth Kray, the Director of the Academy at the time, invited Plath

Schools & Movements

The Dark Room Collective was founded in Boston in 1988 by a group of African American poets led by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange. The mission of the Collective was to form a community of established and emerging African American writers. Major Jackson, John Keene, Janice Lowe, Carl Phillips, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Artress Bethany White, and Kevin Young were also members of this group.

Originally conceived as a reading series, the Collective became a small community of poets. Strange wrote, "It was the sustaining practice of writing in community just as much as the activism of building a community-based reading series for writers of color that kept us engaged in collectivity" (Painted Bride Quarterly 60).

The Collective invited a diverse group of writers with different aesthetics and at different points in their careers, including Young and Smith, who both joined while undergraduates at Harvard University. Visiting writers and early readers in the

for Children

The following is a selection of poems kids love. Many of these poems are especially suitable for younger children and students in elementary school.

read more poems for kids


Antigonish [I met a man who wasn't there] by Hughes Mearns
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there...

At the Zoo by William Makepeace Thackeray
First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;...

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face by Jack Prelutsky
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,...

Bleezer's Ice Cream by Jack Prelutsky
I am Ebenezer Bleezer,

Clouds by Christina Rossetti
White sheep, white sheep,
On a blue hill,...

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,...

Eletelephony by Laura Elizabeth


Children's Book
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
Poetry Book
Nervous Device by Catherine Wagner
Children's Book
Ellington Was Not a Street