Best Books: Poetry

For the best books list of poetry, I broke the list into poets, books of poetry, and anthologies. It’s hard to separate one from another, but I didn’t want to just grab best books of poetry when a beloved poet might not get included. I also didn’t want to skip over all the great poetry anthologies, which is where I have read most of my most beloved poetry and poets. So here it is.

POETRY BOOKS:

  • Lighthead, Terrence HayesTWENTY LOVE POEMS
  • Praise, Robert Hass
  • The Book of Nigthmares, Galway Kinnell
  • Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Pablo Neruda
  • Ariel, Sylvia Plath
  • The Complete Poems, Emily Dickinson
  • Howl and Other Poems, Allen Ginsberg
  • Mother Love, Rita Dove
  • Mountain Interval, RObert Frost
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Sinners Welcome, Mary KarrDREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE
  • The Dream of a Common Language, Adrienne Rich
  • Leave of Grass, Walt Whitman
  • Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson
  • Antidote, Corey Van Landingham
  • Dance Dance Revolution, Cathy Park Hong
  • The Dream Songs, John Berryman
  • No Planets Strike, Josh Bell
  • Metamorphoses, Ovid
  • My Life, Lyn Hejinian
  • The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
  • The Morning of the Poem, James SchuylerSONNETS SHAKESPEARE
  • The Wasteland and Other Poems, T.S. Eliot
  • Lunch Poems, Frank O’Hara
  • Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror, John Ashberry
  • The Wild Iris, Louise Gluck
  • alphabet, Inger Christensen
  • View with a Grain of Sand, Wislawa Szymborska
  • Native Guard, Natasha Trethewey
  • 100 Selected Poems, E.E. Cummings
  • The Master Letters, Lucie Brock-Broido
  • Life on Mars, Tracy K. Smith
  • The Essential Rumi, RumiESSENTIAL RUMI
  • Ooga-Booga, Frederick Seidel
  • Head Off & Split, Nikky Finney
  • Annie Allen, Gwendolyn Brooks
  • American Primitive, Mary Oliver
  • The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Langston Hughes
  • Spring and All, William Carlos Williams
  • The Complete Poems, John Keats
  • Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds
  • Coal, Audre Lorde
  • Sonnets to Orpheus, Rainer Maria RilkeSONNETS TO ORPHEUS
  • Collected Poems, Wallace Stephens
  • New and Selected Poems, Charles Simic
  • What the Living Do, Marie Howe
  • Opened Ground, Seamus Heaney
  • Poems, Elizabeth Bishop
  • Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie, Maya Angelou
  • The Complete English Poems, John Donne
  • The Selected Poems of Li Po, Li Po
  • Paradise Lost, John Milton
  • Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor ColeridgeDON JUAN
  • Don Juan, Lord Byron
  • Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin
  • The Man with Night Sweats, Thom Gunn
  • The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
  • Howl, Kaddash, and Other Poems, Allen Ginsberg
  • Birthday Letters, Ted Hughes
  • Dart, Alice Oswald
  • Family Values, Wendy Cope
  • The Divine Comedy, Dante
  • Songs and Sonnets, John DonneFAUST
  • Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Les Fleurs de Mal, Charles Beaudelaire
  • Selected Poems, John Clare
  • Montage of a Dream Deferred, Langston Hughes
  • Station Island, Seamus Heaney
  • The Golden Gate, Vikram Seth
  • Selected Poetry, Yehuda Amichai
  • White Egrets, Derek Wallcot
  • The Complete Poems, Elizabeth Bishop
  • Migration, W.S. MerwinCOMPLETE COLLECTED POEMS OF M A
  • The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou
  • Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara
  • The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart, Deborah Digges
  • A New Selected Poems, Galway Kinnell
  • The Poetry of Robert Frost, Robert Frost
  • The Best of It, Kay Ryan
  • Dream Work, Mary Oliver
  • The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks, Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Selected Poems, WIlliam Carlos Williams
  • Lyrical Ballads, AnonymousSELECTED POEMS OF W C W
  • Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems, John Keats
  • Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • North of Boston, Robert Frost
  • Poems, Edward Thomas
  • Poems, W.H. Auden
  • The Less Deceived, Philip Larkin
  • North, Seamus Heaney
  • The Psalms, the Bible
  • Collected Poems, T.S. Eliot
  • Poems from the Book of Hours, R.M. RilkePOEMS FROM THE BOOK OF HOURS
  • Poems by George Seferis, George Seferis
  • Collected Poems, Edward Thomas
  • Collected Poems, W.H. Auden
  • Collected Poems, Dylan Thomas
  • Collected Poems, Bernard Spencer
  • Life Studies, Robert Lowell
  • Collected Poems, Philip Larkin

This list of poets is taken directly from Poetry Soup, because I thought it was pretty good. POETS:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Emily Dickenson
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Ben Jonson
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Lascelles Abercrombie
  • Robert Frost
  • Sarah Fuller Flower Adams
  • William Shakespeare
  • Pablo Neruda
  • E E Cummings
  • Delmira Augustini
  • Langston Hughes
  • Jane Austen
  • Walt Whitman
  • Anna Akhmatova
  • Robert Burns
  • Julie Hill Alger
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Oscar Wilde
  • John Keats
  • Elizabeth Barrett Bronwing
  • Billy Collins
  • William Blake
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Gary Soto
  • William Wordsworth
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Phyllis Wheatley
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Rabidranath Tagore
  • Matthew Arnold
  • Mark Twain
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Sara Teasedale
  • Conrad Aiken
  • John Donne
  • William Butler Yeates
  • Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Lord George Byron
  • Homer
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Alice Walker
  • W.H. Auden
  • Sappho

POETRY ANTHOLOGIES, including childrens’:

  • Poetry by Heart, ScholasticPOETRY BY HEART
  • Around the World in Eighty Poems, Chronicle
  • Big, Bad and a Little Bit Scary, Viking
  • Poems by Adolescents and Adults, NCTE
  • Word of Mouth, Vintage Books
  • Poetry for Extraordinary Times, Random House
  • A Jar of Tiny Stars, Boyds Mill Press and NCTE
  • Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Walt Whitman, University of Iowa Press
  • Unsettling America, Penguin Books
  • Spirit and Flame, Syracuse University Press
  • The Poetry of Arab Women, Interlink Publishing GroupPOETRY OF ARAB WOMEN
  • My Song Is Beautiful, Little, Brown and Co.
  • The Kingfisher Book of Family Poems, Kingfisher
  • Through Our Eyes, Little, Brown and Company
  • Lives, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Teaching With Fire, Jossey-Bass
  • Good Poems, Viking Press
  • A Family of Poems, Caroline Kennedy
  • Talking to the Sun, Henry Holt and Company
  • On City Streets, Bantam Books
  • Countdown to Summer, Little, Brown and Co.
  • Poems to Live By in Uncertain Times, Beacon PressPOEMS TO LIVE BY
  • This Same Sky, Four Winds Press
  • Imagination’s Other Place, Thomas Y. Cromwell Company
  • The Invisible Ladder, Henry Holt and Co.
  • Truth and Lies, Henry Holt and Company
  • …I never saw another butterfly…, Schocken Books
  • Sky Scrape/City Scrape, Boyds Mills Press
  • Mother Earth, Father Sky, Boyds Mill Press
  • The Poetry of Birds, Penguin Books Ltd.
  • The Best American Poetry (series), ScribnerSCANNING THE CENTURY
  • Poems on the Underground
  • Scanning the Century, Penguin
  • The Rattle Bag, Faber & Faber
  • Wild Reckoning, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
  • Vanishing Points, Salt Publishing
  • The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Norton and Co.
  • The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse, Oxford University Press
  • Trees Be Company
  • A World of Poetry, Royal Fireworks Press
  • Being Alive and Staying Alive, Bloodaxe BooksSTAYING ALIVE
  • Earth Songs, Scholastic
  • Bestiary
  • Luckenbooth, Birlinn Ltd
  • The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, Barefoot Books
  • I’ve Got a Poem for You, Oxford University Press
  • The Oxford Treasury of Classic Poems, Oxford University Press
  • The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury, Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • The Invisible Ladder, Henry Holt and Co.
  • Sing a Song of Popcorn, Scholastic Press
  • A Child’s Anthology of Poetry, Deckle Edge/EkkoBUM RUSH THE PAGE
  • Bum Rush the Page, Ramdom House
  • A Book of Luminous Things, Harcourt
  • Americans’ Favorite Poems, Norton & Co
  • City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, City Lights Books
  • Writing To Be Seen, Light & Dust Books
  • Poems for the Millennium, University of California Press
  • Committed to Memory, Turtle Point Press
  • Poetry Slam, Manic D Press

 For best POEMS, you could read one of the recommend general anthologies or see Best Poems Encyclopedia for best 100 lists by genre, etc.

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  1. Pingback: Unmotivated Me | Kate's Bookshelf

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