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101 Famous Poems

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,175 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Fully indexed by title, author, and first line, this much-loved collection, in print since 1916, is a wide-ranging collection of the best-known English language poets, from William Shakespeare Robert Frost, from Percy Bysshe Shelley to Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 30th 2003 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published 1916)
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Michael Harville This wonderful book got me started on poetry 55 years ago . . . now I have hundreds of poetry books and really enjoyed creating and hosting "Poetry…moreThis wonderful book got me started on poetry 55 years ago . . . now I have hundreds of poetry books and really enjoyed creating and hosting "Poetry Night" at a local coffee house in the Chicago suburbs.
OH, it is . . . ! !
Michael Harville
Fort Worth, Texas 70.6 yrs old (young) (less)
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Wayne Barrett
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, poetry, 2016

The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
~Francis William Bourdillon

This old poetry is not necessarily my cup of tea (throw some Bukowski in there with a cup of whiskey and we're talking) but I still rate this a solid 5. This is poetry in which you will find some of the most famous lines in history. This is poetry, but in
Jun 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites
My dad had a 1929 copy of this book. It's pretty sweet. It's got the best of the best inside. Whenever I would consider giving presents to people, this book would usually cross my mind. I've read most of it, but now I'm starting at the beginning and reading it through.

EDIT: And now I've finished it.

I have a lot of favorites. I love the multi-layered symbolism in "In Flanders Fields." The poppies being red, and an opiate and the fact that they introduce the poem and give it a sense of closure.

I've re-read this multiple times, it has many classical poems in it that I love like "Charge of the Light Brigade". I re-read parts of it again for my Western Civilization class to compare and contrast 3 poems of the First World War that are in it. The most well known one "In Flanders Fields" by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, also "I Have a Rendezvous with Death" by Alan Seeger, both who took part in the war and were killed in action. The final "The Spires of Oxford" by Winifred M. Letts who ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Preface: This is the age of science, of steel--of speed and the cement road, The age of hard faces and hard highways. Science and steel demand a medium of prose. Speed requires only the look--the gesture. What need then, for poetry?
Great need!"

The summer I turned eleven my family moved from Tonawanda, NY to Michigan. For several months we lived with my grandparents while my folks looked for a new house. All my possessions, save for my Barbie dolls, were in boxes in my grandparents' garage. I
Annie McCall
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My favorite poem in this book is by Francis William Bourdillon, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes:
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.

Cuddle Doon by Alexander Anderson was super cute and I love reading the old language style even though it's hard to understand since I don't know all of those words (and being old English
B. P. Rinehart
I actually own a 1926 edition of this book and I have to say it contains some of the best classic poetry..along with some now mediocre poems favored in the old Victorian era. But for the most part the poetry and prose is good and this book is a good and interesting read.

This book is a historical treasure in how it shows what reading in the ante-depression era was like. It is filled to the brim with Romantic/transcendentalist authors as well as the Victorians, an almost disturbing amount of dead
I really want to like poetry more than I do.
Karen GoatKeeper
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2014
Reading a book of poetry from cover to cover is never the ideal way to savor each poem. That aside, i am glad I finally did that with this book I've had on my book shelf for many years reading a poem here and a poem there.
The range of poets included is broad although all English or American. The poems range from traditional rhymed and metered to some free verse. Most of the poets are men. Almost all the poems have a picture of the poet and dates of birth and death by them. Some have comments
Cory Schulz
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-poetry
In print since 1916, this book of poetry contains a wide range of the best-known English poets,
from William Shakespeare Robert Frost, to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Roy Cook assembled this much-loved collection and indexed them by title, author, and first line of the poem. The poetry represents early American, and although the poems may not be familiar to kids, they reflect a less complicated world. Well-known American poets such as William Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Matthew Bianco
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The title includes "with a prose supplement." Honestly, that annoyed the daylights out of me. Not the title, but that a book called One Hundred and One Famous Poems would include a prose supplement. Actually, it was probably the prose they selected that annoyed me even more.

These were not 101 Famous Political poems, yet the supplements were: The Gettysburg Address, The Ten Commandments (okay, that one gets a pass, kind of), a Patrick Henry speech, and The Declaration of Independence, and the
Rachel Hall
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
I'm actually the third in my generation to own a copy of this book, so reading this was a rite of passage for me in a way. This collection is classic and has such a great breadth of styles and talents, and such a great selection of poetry that really is fundamental for any great reader who appreciates all genres of writing. It is inspiring and relaxing, and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a great poetry anthology!
Diana Long
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection of poems, sonnets,odes and documents compiled by Mr. Cook. These are famous to be sure but only represent a small sampling of the many works written though time. This type of writing is in my opinion the most personally attached to that writer. Reading these types of work are personal as well. At one time or another I think we would pretty much concur that we all have had moments expressing or thoughts using this form.
Casey Harris
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a book my dad always had on his bookshelf, and my brother was kind enough to get it for me for my birthday. Some of the poems in it are kind of questionable (not for content, just for general inclusion), but many of them are the classics: "If," by Kipling, Hamlet's soliloquy, "The Raven," by Poe, even the Gettysburg Address. Great stuff in here. This is one book that will be on my bookshelf for a long time, too.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will never be marked as 'finished reading' as it is one I pick up so often I am never truely done with it. My edition is missing a page from the prose, however. The page is there, it was just left blank. Is there anyone willing to share "Rules For Choosing Books"? I would love to at least insert it until I get a complete copy.
Holly Lindquist
Classic poetry anthology. If you buy one poetry collection in you lifetime, this one is a superb choice.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun but outdated, and VERY white and male. Useful now mostly as a document of how tastes change.
Ronald Smith
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this as an assignment in 9th or 10th grade English class. Loved it ever since.
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I have a small but growing collection of poetry books, and this one is definitely one of my favorites. I don't remember when or where I got it, but it has become a treasured friend on my bookshelf.

This book was compiled in the early 20th century, so none of these poems are contemporary. They are, however, all classics. You have the heavy hitters -- Longfellow, Burns, Whitman, Wordsworth, Kipling. Of course, you also have a few choice selections from Shakespeare. If you like classic, timeless
John Nelson
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am told that this anthology contains some of my grandfather's favorite poems, and that it never has been out of print since it first was published in the nineteen teens.

The poems included are diverse and appear to reflect the compiler's personal tastes. Some of the poets are well-known to everyone (for example, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Byron, and Longfellow), some probably were well-known in their day but forgotten now, and still others likely were obscure even in their own time. The poetry
Jonathan Tennis
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great collection of the classics from Tennyson to Dickinson to Kipling to Poe. It includes the Ten Commandments (not sure God intended to be a poet) and the Declaration of Independence (also not sure the Founding Fathers intended to be poets). It's fun to read a book that collected what was considered the best poetry of the time (the 1950s) while at the same time reading so much modern poetry.

My favorites from this collection include the following:
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The date us when I first received a copy of this book and began reading it. I've been reading it ever since. While I've read several of the poems more times than I can count, I still haven't read all of them. I like to read, re-read and ponder a poem, so it's slow going.
What I really love about this collection is that the poems in it have a decidedly lyrical bent. I enjoy poems meant to be read out loud, with a cadence you can hear, and most of the poems in this book fit that description.
J. Alfred
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a mix of poems that was chosen to represent poetry to a literate public six years after the publication of The Waste Land. It is a compilation of the Romantic, the patriotic, and a few comfortable Early Modern selections a book like this couldn't live without (the only poem in here that doesn't fit one of these categories comfortably is Sandburg's "The Grass"). That being said, it is nice, and makes a nice gift (thanks, Stahl family!).
One interesting point is the choice of poems to
Barbara Lovejoy
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my most treasured books! There are poems that inspire me, encourage me, delight me, challenge me, teach me, etc. I love reading one a day. I am going to go back and memorize and/or memorize again some of my favorites. Beautiful poetry truly touches my soul.

December 10, 2011: This is a book I have read numerous times and finished reading it again this morning. In fact, my students would memorize poems from this book when I taught at Realms of Inquiry. I have loved it for so many
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful tome found in my late grandpa's house. I read it last night and the leather-bound volume has almost all the wonderful poems, with emphases on Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare and many others. Beautiful stuff.

The thing that touched me most, though, was that included in the greatest poetry were also the Gettysburg Address, the letter from Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby, Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty" speech, and the
Tyler Windham
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Roy Cook's 101 Famous Poems is a great book to have. For any lover of poetry or any reader who desires to increase the sphere of their knowledge about the works of the great poets this book stands as a must own. This volume contains such literary treasures as "The Rhodora", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Oh Captain! My Captain!", "Invictus", "The Raven", "Mending Walls", and, of course, Hamlet's soliloquy. Every poem in this work is an absolute jewel. Though I would not recommend trying to ...more
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads

I decided poetry is a little like music. For example the first time I listened to the Wicked soundtrack I wasn't a big fan. After listening to it for a while and becoming familiar with the story I now love the music and can't listen to the song "For Good" without crying. Although I didn't get a chance to read many of these poems more than once or twice I was glad I took the time to at least try to read and understand them. I think if I read poetry more often I would be able to love it more.
Dec 10, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite poetry anthology. It's basically all the poems your grandpa used to recite. I don't need a Norton Anthology to keep me happy (I have that and I don't read it)--just a book with 101 very well-chosen poems. It's a bonus that it is beautifully laid out on scrumptious paper. It will be on my "currently reading" list for the next two years...I'm memorizing all the poems starting at the beginning, each day as I wash the dishes in my new apartment that doesn't have a dishwasher. ...more
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of poetry. I grew up with this book as my grandparents had a copy and I visited them daily. I loved to hear my Grandpa recite from memory poems like, "Knee-Deep in June" (James Whitcomb Riley) and, "The Barefoot Boy" (John Greenleaf Whittier). It's where I first read, "The Spider and the Fly" (Mary Howitt)and got to know other poets like Longfellow, Whitman, and Wordsworth. I now possess my grandparent's copies (they had two) which I will continue to read and cherish.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, _owned
Good starter book of poetry. Nothing 'hard'. All the big names. Glad to see "Invictus", "If", "Sea Fever", "The Raven" in here. My edition has index of all the 1st lines in the appendix.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of wonderful and well-known poems was given to me and I treasure it. Within the white pages are Shakespeare, Longfellow, Wordsworth, Frost, Poe, Emerson, Millay, Kipling and so many others. Noteable poets and poetry required reading for anyone wanting to be well-rounded in their literature. There are the serious pieces alongside the playful and fun. This is any "anytime" book. Worth reading and having. The only reason I can't give it five stars is these are the most famous or a ...more
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“Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

(Excerpt from "How Did You Die?")”
More quotes…