Famous Short Poems | 25 Best and Short Famous Classic Poems

Famous Short Poems: Certain poems do not lose their essence over time. They are classics, and it is always a great experience to memorize them. Here is a list of such 25 poems:

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

This poem is also referred to as Daffodils. It is considered to be one of the best creations by the poet.

In the poem, the poet stumbles across a field of daffodils in a valley. He is mesmerized by their beauty. The main theme of this poem is the captivating beauty of nature and how it soothes us.

The poem consists of four stanzas having six lines each.

The first few lines are as follows:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’ero’er vales and hills

When all at once I saw a crowd

A host, of golden daffodils.”

Sonnet 18′ by William Shakespeare

There is a total of 154 sonnets by William Shakespeare. Sonnet 18 is named Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

The main theme of this sonnet is beauty. The speaker speaks to his beloved as if his beloved is there in front of him.

The first lines of the poem are as follows:

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;”

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

This poem elaborates all those moments of ambiguity when we are on the edge of making a decision. The decision is about whether we take the mainstream choice which everyone opts for or we go alone.

It is an inspirational poem and urges the readers to contemplate before making major choices in life.

The initial lines of the poem are:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

Death Be Not Proud by John Donne

This poem is the tenth poem in a series of Holy Sonnets by the poet whose main themes are faith and God.

The poet here elaborates various ideas about the power of Death. It acts as a warning to Death for misinterpreting its power as pride.

The poet ends the poem with his comments about the downfall of Death itself.

The first four lines are:

“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

This fourteen-line poem is about a self-centred character who thought himself to be the supreme being. The leader considered himself without a rival but was extremely cruel to his people. The main topic is the tyranny to which such rulers subject their people to.

The first few lines are:

“Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command…”

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

This poem is of the genre nonsense. It is an overall funny poem with distinct uses of poetic techniques. It speaks about the journey of a boy who goes on the search to kill a beast. It is set against the backdrop of a fairy tale.

The initial lines are:

“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe. ”

Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare

This poem turns the idea of female beauty and embarks on loving a woman from the heart. It is all about conveying heartfelt love for your beloved without considering any external manifestations.

The first few lines are:

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. ”

Ode to a Nightingale’ by John Keats

The poem harps on the poet’s experience of listening to a song by a nightingale. The song is ear soothing and comforts the poet in an intoxicating way.

It is as though the poet is transported to some other realm and forgets everything about his worldly realities. The interesting thing about this poem is the various mythological reference and their interpretations.

The poem is lengthy and starts as follows:

“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One-minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:”

Sonnet 43: How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barret Browning

Sonnet 43 Analysis – How Do I Love Thee

The underlying theme of this poem is love. It describes the poet’s eternal love and passion for her beloved.

Here it brings out her emotions for her husband, the famous poet Robert Browning. This poem is the imprint of her real life.

The starting lines of this beautifully acclaimed poem are:

“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.”

The Tyger by William Blake

This poem is commonly referred to as Jerusalem. It is indeed one of the most famous masterpieces.

The poem is a sequence of questions intended for the Creator. The poem wonders how the Creator must have made such a fierce animal like the tiger. He warns the readers not to go too near the tiger or might get burnt.

The poem’s main idea is creating such a dangerous animal by God, who is believed to be peace-loving.

The first lines of this poem are:

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?”

The Lamb by William Blake

This poem has been penned from the perspective of a child. He has an avid understanding of nature. The poem brings forward the idea that we do not appreciate God’s creation to the fullest.

The main theme of the poem is nature and the innocence of childhood.

The first few lines are:

“Little Lamb who made thee

Dost, thou know who made thee

Gave thee life & bid thee feed.

By the stream & o’er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing woolly bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vales rejoice!”

On His Blindness by John Milton

The poem is in the format of an autobiography of a blond man. He expresses his grievance for not being able to serve God due to his lost sight.

The poet further believes that God does not want him to give up but keep working. The poem has several references from the Bible and brings forward the stern believe of the poem in God.

The first lines are:

“When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning chide,

“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

The poem embarks on the idea that life is never constant and not a permanent phenomenon. It changes over time, and a thing you possess now might not be in your possession in the future. All the good things and bad things will eventually fade away, no matter how hard you try to cling to them.

The first four lines are:

“Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

The poem speaks about death. It is conveyed from the perspective of the poet, who has an encounter with death. Death has been personified here.

Death has been referred to here as a carriage driver who comes to take the poet on a journey filled with macabre.

The initial few lines are as follows:

“Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labour and my leisure too,

For His Civility –”

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is known for inducing the concept of love in his poems. This poem is no different from this subject of love. The poem elaborates the poet’s love for a lady by the name of Annabel Lee.

She passes away severe circumstances, but the poet’s love for her never ends.

The beginning few lines of the poem are:

“It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.”

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

This poem speaks about a boy’s request for his dying father. The boy conveys that no matter how everyone meets the same end, one should not stop fighting for life.

The father seems to have resigned towards life and is not ready to try to survive. The boy wants some more time to stop the inevitable from happening.

The first lines are:

“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.”

Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats

The poem exclaims about the beauty of nature. The whole poem is addressed to an urn.

The first lines are:

“Thou still unravished bride of quietness,

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape.”

Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The poem brings forward the sacrifices of the brave cavalrymen. They never back out from their duties even when they know that death is certain.

In the Crimean War (1853-1855), the Light Brigade was responsible for taking charge against the Russian artillery unit. This poem is dedicated to this unit.

The first lines are as follows:

“Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!” he said.”

A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is a didactic poem. It speaks about the ideals of life filled with positivity and hopefulness.

He does not want to consider life as a collection of mere numbers and statistics. He wants to enjoy the very essence of life and not fade away in the reigns of time.

The beginning lines are as follows:

“Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;”

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

This poem portrays the Statue of Liberty as a welcoming figure, a mother figure who is the embodiment of kindness. This poem considers America to be welcoming to the immigrants and is etched on the Statue of Liberty.

The opening lines are as follows:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name.”

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth

The poet wrote the poem after visiting the ruins of the medieval abbey on the England-Wales border. The poem is about the revisiting of the poet to the banks of River Wye after five years. Although he was away from here, he never forgot this place since it had many memories of his childhood and his sister Dorothy.

The first lines of this poem are:

“Five years have past; five summers, with the length

Of five long winters! and again I hear

These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

With a soft inland murmur.”

Oh, Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

The poet wrote this poem after the assassination of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, as an honour to him.

At first, the title conveys the poem is about a sailor talking to a captain. However, on further scrutiny, it becomes evident that the poem is actually a lamentation of sorrow mourning Abraham Lincoln’s death. The captain is depicted as the President and the ship, in turn, represents the United States. The trip is synonymous with the Civil War, and the price keeps the union of America together.

The first few lines are:

“O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:”

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

This poem highlights the importance of baseball in American culture. It has served as a source of pass time in the country for several years, and this poem brings forward the elite status of the game.

It describes a particular part of the game and the craze related to it.

The first few lines are:

“The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;

The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

The poem is about how the poet recognizes the beauty of trees.

The starting two lines are:

“I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.”

Sonnet I by Sir Philip Sidney

The poet writes the poems as he intends his lover to read them, know about his love for her, and reciprocate it. The strict theme of the poem is love.

The first few lines are:

“Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,

That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain, —

Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,

Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—”

What is the most beautiful poem ever?

What is a very short poem called?
Haiku. Because haiku are very short poems, they make common school assignments and writing exercises, so you may have written one of these before. … Typically a haiku has 17 syllables, arranged in three lines, first five syllables, then 7, then 5.

What is Dr Seuss most famous poem?

Some of the most famous poems from Dr. Seuss include The Cat in the Hat, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham, and Yertle the Turtle.

What is the shortest kind of poem?

It has 17 syllables, arranged in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables. Haiku grew out of another poetry form, tanka, which has 31 syllables of 5-7-5-7-7.