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Poetry and Poetry Criticism

Find a Poem Online

There is a great deal of older and contemporary poetry easily accessible on the web. Here are a few fulltext websites especially recommended for poetry:

  • - The poetry here is in the public domain (not copyrighted), published before 1923.
  • - This site is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and features many contemporary poets as well as earlier ones.
  • The University of Michigan Digital Library Text Collections has three collections of interest. Choose Browse from the main page, then scroll down to the Poetry section for links to the individual collections. They can be searched or browsed.
    • American Verse Project
    • British Women Romantic Poets
    • Williams Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience
  • Contemporary American Poetry - Out of print contemporary volumes are archived here. See "about the archive" for conditions of use.
  • American Verse Project - The American Verse Project is a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press. The project is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920.
  • Representative Poetry Online - This anthology gives you individual poems in English that critics, teachers, and students have thought unusually good. The editors of this collection, which have included Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye, are selective. Includes bibliographic sources for all poems. Version 3.0 " includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the verge of copyright in the twentieth century." May be searched by title, poet, first line, or keyword. Does not include famous modern poets whose works are still copyrighted. For those poets, you could try searching Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

Find a Poem in the HSU Library

Long, separately published poems, such as The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, La Chanson de Roland, El Cid Campeador, the Waste Land, or The Odyssey, can be found in the HSU Library catalog by title and by author.

Most poems are not published individually and are instead included in anthologies, periodicals, or in collections of a single author's work. The library has indexes that cover some poetry anthologies and poetry in periodicals. Below are some examples in the Reference Collection on the 1st floor. For help in using these indexes, please come to the Research Help Desk.

  • Subject Index to Poetry REF PN 1021 B7
  • Granger's Index to Poetry REF PN 1022 G7
  • Hoffman's Index to Poetry: European and Latin American Poetry in Anthologies REF PN 1022 H627
  • Index to Poetry for Children and Young People REF PN 1023 B72
  • Women's Poetry Index  REF PN 1024 G89
  • Index to Black Poetry REF PN 1025 C5
  • Index to Poetry by Black American Women REF PS 153 N5 C43

Books of Poems in the HSU Library