15 Famous Poems from Famous Poets

What makes a poem famous? Is it the poet's fame? We feel a famous poem is one that has stood the test of time. They are truly classic verses that inspire and encourage us. Famous poems are ones that are shared and that inspires us.

Poetry is truly an art form, with words and verses that move us. Many times we can feel the passion of the poet. Poetry can make us stop and think. We may find ourselves reflecting on life as we know it and consider how others see a similar situation. The best poetry opens our hearts and our eyes and makes us realize that many of the issues we face today, people have faced the same challenges hundreds of years ago.

Our collection of famous poems also provides a link to more poems and a brief biography of the poet. We hope you find them inspiring and encouraging.




Edgar A. Guest
Edgar A. Guest Poems
1. Sacrifice
Poet: Edgar A. Guest

When he has more than he can eat
To feed a stranger's not a feat.

When he has more than he can spend
It isn't hard to give or lend.

Who gives but what he'll never miss
Will never know what giving is.

He'll win few praises from his Lord
Who does but what he can afford.

The widow's mite to heaven went
Because real sacrifice it meant.

More by Edgar A. Guest


Berton Braley
Berton Braley Poems

2. My One Talent

Poet: Berton Braley

If I were but a painter
I'd make your picture, dear,
In hues which grow no fainter,
But brighten year by year;

And if I were a singer
With voice that caroled true,
That voice would be the bringer
Of notes of love to you!

A poet or a writer
I'd pen your glory, too;
A soldier or a fighter-
The fight should be for you!

But I'm so ordinary,
So plain and commonplace,
I know no way to vary
The praises of your grace;

My ways of turtle-doving
Are simple, tried and few,
My only art is lover-
And all my love's for you

More by Berton Braley


douglas malloch
Douglas Malloch Poems

3. Constancy

Poet: Douglas Malloch

Tall and trim the pine tree grows,
Every limb with verdure glows;
Winter keen or autumn sere
Finds it green through all the year.
Life hath snow like winter hath ;
Cold winds blow across my path.
Wind and drift go swirling by;
Let me lift my head on high.
Boreas, roll thy thunder car —
Still my soul shall seek the star.
Winds may sweep life's woodland through-
I will keep my spirit true.

More by Douglas Malloch





Patience Strong
Patience Strong Poems

4. Grandfather Clock

Poet: Patience Strong

There's a grandfather clock in the quiet old hall -
And it strikes with a deep-throated chime;
He booms out the hours with a terrible voice,
And he cuts up our lives into Time.

He's a century old and he looks with disdain
On the folks who stare into his face;
He knows that when their little lives flicker out,
He'll be still standing there in his place. . . .

And he whirrs and he chuckles deep down in his works-
For he knows that we're all in his power -
As, relentless, he roars our his challenge to men -
And he can't take back one single hour.

More by Patience Strong


Strickland Gillilan
Strickland Gillilan Poems

5. The Easier Task

Poet: Strickland Gillilan

No matter what the treatment he accord me,
I will not let dislike embitter me;
Whate'er unrest unkindness might afford me,
I will keep sweet, however hard it be.
For I have learned and oh, how slow the learning,
And with what costly grief has it been mated!
Hate in its author's heart has fiercest burning
'Tis harder work to hate than to be hated.

Year after year a man may hate his brother
Each waking hour with bitterness be filled.
This hate may bring discomfort to the other
But, in the hater, joy is well-nigh killed.
And so I will not harbor hate, nor hoard it
I've learned my lesson, though perchance belated.
The honest truth is this: I can't afford it;
'Tis costlier to hate than to be hated.

More by Strickland Gillilan


Wilhelmina Stitch
Wilhelmina Stitch Poems
6. Believe This
Poet: Wilhelmina Stitch

You’re winning. You simply cannot fail.
The only obstacle is doubt;
There’s not a hill you cannot scale
Once fear is put to rout.

Don’t think defeat, don’t talk defeat,
The word will rob you of your strength.
"I will succeed," This phrase repeat
Throughout the journey’s length.

The minute that “I can’t is said –
You slam a door right in your face.
Why not exclaim, "I will" instead?
Half won then is the race.

You close the door to your success
By entertaining one small fear.
Think happiness, talk happiness,
Watch joy then coming near.

The word "impossible" is black.
“I can" is like a flame of gold.
No whining, heart! Eyes! look not back;
Be strong, O Will! and bold.

You’re winning, though the journey’s slow;
You’re gaining steadily each day.
O Courage! what a warmth and glow
You shed along your way.

More by Wilhelmina Stitch


David V. Bush
David V. Bush Poems

7. Keep Forever At It

Poet: David V Bush

A toast to the man who works like a trooper,
Who makes hard work his great habit.
The gods shall descend with life's blessing when
A fellow forever keeps at it.

There are prizes in life for the worker and toiler,
To those who make work their chief habit.
There are diamonds all set in life's coronet
For the man who forever keeps at it.

There are honors and friendships by work oft cemented.
For those who make work their one habit.
There are souls knit together to breast life's roughest weather,
For those who forever keep at it.

More by David V. Bush


Nixon Waterman
Nixon Waterman Poems
8. Now And Waitahile
Poet: Nixon Waterman


Little Jimmie Waitawhile and little Johnnie Now
Grew up in homes just side by side; and that, you see, is how
I came to know them both so well, for almost every day
I used to watch them in their work and also in their play.

Little Jimmie Waitawhile was bright and steady, too.
But never ready to perform what he was asked to do;
"Wait just a minute," he would say, "I'll do it pretty soon,"
And things he should have done at morn were never done at noon.
He put off studying until his boyhood days were gone;
He put off getting him a home till age came stealing on;
He put off everything and so his life was not a joy,
And all because he waited ''just a minute" while a boy.

But little Johnnie Now would say, when he had work to do,
"There's no time like the present time," and gaily put it through.
And when his time for play arrived he so enjoyed the fun;
His mind was not distressed with thoughts of duties left undone.
In boyhood he was studious and laid him out a plan
Of action to be followed when he grew to be a man;
And life was as he willed it, all because he'd not allow
His tasks to be neglected, but would always do them "now."

More by Nixon Waterman


John Imrie
John Imrie Poems
9. Today - Tomorrow
Poet: John Imrie

'Tis lessons from the past we borrow,-
To-day is ours, but not to-morrow;
Then, smile to-day, leave care and sorrow
One day a-head, say - "Yes, to-morrow"

Make friends to-day for use to-morrow,
They'll help to drive away dull sorrow;
And from their friendship sweetness borrow
To bless each day and crown each morrow.

"To-morrow never comes" but each "to-day,"
Links out life's chain from cradle to decay!

More by John Imrie


Lillian E. Curtis

Lillian E. Curtis Poems
10. One Step At A Time
Poet: Lillian E. Curtis

If a long and toilsome ladder
You were trying to climb,
You would not reach the top at once,
But by one step at a time.

Doubtless all of you are trying,
Different ladders to climb,
But be sure you only take
One step at a time.

One step and take it surely,
Not like a conceited fop,
And soon you'll find my friend.
That you have reached the top.

More by Lillian E. Curtis



Daniel C. Colesworthy
Daniel C. Colesworthy Poems
11.  A Little Word
Poet: Daniel C. Colesworthy
 
A little word in kindness spoken,
A motion or a tear,
Has often healed the heart that's broken,
And made a friend sincere.

A word -- a look -- has crushed to earth
Full many a budding flower,
Which, had a smile but owned its birth,
Would bless life's darkest hour.

Then deem it not an idle thing,
A pleasant word to speak;
The face you wear - the thoughts you bring -
A heart may heal or break.

More by Daniel C. Colesworthy


J.J. Thorne Poems
J. J. Thorne Poems
12.  A Will Is Half Of Labor
Poet: J.J. Thorne

A will is a way and preparation
Our duties to fulfill,
A field cleared and nicely walled
For those that are willing to till.

A plow to upturn the sod
And also run the row
A drill to sow and cover well
That the seed may sprout and grow.

A hoe to thin out the plants
And keep the weeds away
A crop flourishing to advance
The tiller double pay.

More by J.J. Thorne


William Arthur Ward
William Arthur Ward Poems
13. If You Can
by William Arthur Ward

If you can imagine it,
You can possess it.
If you can dream it,
You can become it.
If you can envision it,
You can attain it.
If you can picture it,
You can achieve it.

More by William Arthur Ward


Henry VanDyke
Henry VanDyke Poems

14. Four Things
by Henry van Dyke

Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his record true:

To think without confusion clearly;
To love his fellow-men sincerely;
To act from honest motives purely;
To trust in God and Heaven securely.

More by Henry VanDyke

Mary C. Ryan
Mary C. Ryan Poems
15. Forgiveness
by Mary C. Ryan

Fair as a rainbow in summer
After a chilling blast,
Is the sweet smile of forgiveness
When anger's clouds are past.

For hearts estranged by mere trifles,
Are united again,
If both will relent and forget
A transient throe of pain.

More by Mary C. Ryan


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