Top 10 Poems to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Top 10 Poems to Celebrate National Poetry Month
Photo by Robert Keim

In an effort to encourage a lifelong love of poetry, the Academy of American Poets established April as National Poetry Month. The monthlong celebration includes poetry-themed events, inspirational resources, educational materials and poetry parties across the country.

Houston has joined in the celebration with several poetry readings around town including the Houston Public Library's Public Poetry reading series, Inprint's First Friday Poetry Reading Series and the beloved annual A Poem A Day campaign presented by the Writers in the Schools.

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we wanted to share a few stanzas from our top ten favorite poems for your pleasure. 10. If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine

9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.

8. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference   7. Daddy by Sylvia Plath And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I'm finally through. The black telephone's off at the root, The voices just can't worm through. If I've killed one man, I've killed two-- The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. 6. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 5. The Unicorn by Shel Silverstein Ol' Noah looked out through the drivin' rain but the Unicorns were hidin', playin' silly games. They were kickin' and splashin' in the misty morn, oh them silly Unicorn.

The goat started goatin', and the snake started snakin', the elephant started elephantin', and the boat started shaking'. The mouse started squeakin', and the lion started roarin', and everyone's aboard but the Unicorn.

I mean the green alligators and the long-neck geese, the humpy bumpy camels and the chimpanzees. Noah cried, "Close the door 'cause the rain is pourin' - and we just can't wait for them Unicorn."

  4. Bluebird by Charles Bukowski there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I'm not going to let anybody see you. there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's in there.

3. America by Allen Ginsberg America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I'm sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?

2. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with A fearful trill of things unknown But longed for still and his Tune is heard on the distant hill For the caged bird sings of freedom. 1. To My Wife - With a Copy of My Poems by Oscar Wilde I can write no stately poem As a prelude to my lay; From a poet to a poem I would dare to say.

For if of these fallen petals One to you seem fair, Love will waft it till it settles On your hair.

And when wind and winter harden All the loveless land, It will whisper of the garden, You will understand.


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