Brian Phillips at Circe recently posted 11 Poems That Every Young Man Should Know followed by 11 Poems That Every Young Woman Should Know. His lists are wonderful, and you’ll find more excellent suggestions in the comments. One commenter’s sixteen-year-old daughter pushed back a bit on the number of love poems in the list for young women. Brian graciously explains his reasons for doing so. In any case, these two lists together are a pretty good poetry repertoire for any young person!
Of course, any poetry lover will have his or her own highly personal list. So, culled from poetry studies in various volumes of Cottage Press Language Arts, here are my additions to the list offered by Dr. Phillips (which, by the way, does contain several selections we study!):
- The Brook, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe
- Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer (for a bonus, in Middle English!)
- Jerusalem, by William Blake
- On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer, by John Keats
- Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, by Thomas Gray
- Journey of the Magi, by T. S. Eliot
- Sonnet XVIII, by William Shakespeare
- When I Consider How My Light Is Spent, by John Milton
- Death, Be Not Proud, by John Donne
I’ll stop there. At least, for now.