The 333 Greatest Poems of All Time

The 111 Greatest Long Poems | The 222 Greatest Short Poems

The list of greatest poems has been spit into two categories—long and short poems—analogous to the separation of prose works by length and complexity into stories and novels.

This distinction helps us avoid the ludicrous comparison in the same list of book-length epics, single-verse poems and everything in-between.

In general, the poems delegated to the "short" list are those that can be read and appreciated in a single sitting, and are probably under a dozen pages long in standard typography. They tend to present single moods and thoughts, featuring single themes with simple development and compact, cohesive storylines, if any.

Those that require more than a single sitting, or that run longer in page count are on the "long" list. They are generally more intricately developed in theme, mood, thought and storyline.

But these are very rough and erratic rules of thumb and cannot always easily determinne which category a given poem falls into. And for those poetic works that don't easily fit one group or the other, we don't have the equivalent of an in-between novella category in which to collect them.

So, for the purposes of these lists, we've made the best choices we could, secure in the understanding that readers can find all 333 of the greatest poems of all time on one list or the other.

The 111 Greatest Long Poems | The 222 Greatest Short Poems