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The Greatest Works of Poetry

Greatest Short Poems | Greatest Long Poems | Greatest Poetry Collections

When was the last time you bought, borrowed or downloaded a single poem? If you become interested in a poet, aren't you more likely to check a volume of their poems or look up their work in a general anthology?

Poets can be acclaimed for entire volumes of poetry as much as for standalone poems. For many a great poet, years or even a lifetime of writing are compressed into compendiums that are most appreciated by poetry lovers.

This version of the Greatest Poetry list considers anthologies of poems. For the most part we are looking at anthologies by individual poets, though a few collections containing multiple authors have also been included.

Wherever possible we are highlighting volumes compiled by the poets during their active lifetimes, though in some cases we have had to resort to retrospectively collected and selected works.

We have relied on our extensive research and surveys among readers, writers, critics and scholars for the Greatest Literature of All Time list to determine the most highly regarded collections.

As with all our lists, we'll keep adjusting this one as new great works appear, research advances and literary tastes evolve.

Latest revision: July 26, 2022

 

The 111 greatest poetry collections of all time

BCE
c.1000–600
Classic of Poetry
Various
China
Poetry collection
c.610–800
Sappho's Poems
Sappho
Greece
Poetry collection
c.520–440
Epinician Odes
Pindar
Greece
Poetry collection
c.475
Olympian
Pindar
Greece
Poetry collection
c.270
Epigrams
Asclepiades of Samos
Greece
Poetry collection
 
Idylls
Theocritus
Greece
Poetry collection
c.41–37
Eclogues
Virgil
Rome
Poetry collection
35–30
Odes
Horace
Rome
Poetry collection
30–26
Marathus Cycle
Tibullus
Rome
Poetry collection
29–16
Elegies
Sextus Propertius
Rome
Poetry collection
23–13
Odes
Horace
Rome
Poetry collection
CE
86–103
Epigrams
Martial
Rome
Poetry collection
c.100–127
Satires
Juvenal
Rome
Poetry collection
c.450–500
The Three Satakas
Bhartṛhari
India
Poetry
c.759
Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro and others
Japan
Poetry collection
c.1180
Lais of Marie de France
Marie de France
England
Poetry collection
1257
The Orchard
Saadi Shirazi
Persia
Poetry collection
1294
The New Life
Alighieri Dante
Italy
Prose and poetry
c.1100
Rubaiyat
Omar Khayyám
Persia
Poetry collection
c.1387–1400
The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
England
Poetry collection
1461
The Great Testament
François Villon
France
Poetry collection
1494
Ship of Fools
Sebastian Brant
Germany
Poetry collection
c.1590–1591
Elegies
John Donne
England
Poetry collection
 
Satires
John Donne
England
Poetry collection
1609
England
Poetry collection
1648
Hesperides
Robert Herrick
England
Poetry collection
1668–1694
Fables
Jean de La Fontaine
France
Poetry collection
1733
The Temple
George Herbert
England
Poetry collection
1763
Three Hundred Tang Poems
Du Fu, Li Bai and others
China
Poetry collection
1765
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry
ed. Thomas Percy
England
Poetry collection
1779
Fables and Parables
Ignacy Krasicki
Poland
Poetry collection
1786
Poems, Chiefly in Scottish Dialect
Robert Burns
Scotland
Poetry collection
1789–1794
Songs of Innocence and Experience
William Blake
England
Poetry collection
1797–1806
Hymns and Fragments
Friedrich Hölderlin
Germany
Poetry collection
1798
Lyrical Ballads
William Wordsworth
England
Poetry collection
1807
Poems
William Wordsworth
England
Poetry collection
1812
Poems
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Germany
Poetry collection
1827
Book of Songs
Heinrich Heine
Germany
Poetry collection
1835
Canti
Giacomo Leopardi
Italy
Poetry collection
1842
The Nursery Rhymes of England
James Orchard Halliwell
England
Poetry collection
1844
Poems
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
England
Poetry collection
1845
The Raven and Other Poems
Edgar Allan Poe
United States
Poetry collection
1846–1863
The Book of Nonsense
Edward Lear
England
Poetry collection
1850
Sonnets From the Portuguese
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
England
Poetry collection
1852
Enamels and Cameos
Théophile Gautier
France
Poetry collection
1852
Enamels and Cameos
Théophile Gautier
France
Poetry collection
1853
Castigations
Victor Hugo
France
Poetry collection
1855
Men and Women
Robert Browning
England
Poetry
 
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman
United States
Poetry collection
1857
Idylls of the King
Alfred Lord Tennyson
England
Poetry collection
1859–1885
Poetical Works
Robert Bridges
England
Poetry collection
1866
Poems and Ballads
Algernon Swinburne
England
Poetry collection
1869
Collected Poems
Matthew Arnold
United States
Poetry collection
1862
Goblin Market and Other Poems
Christina Rossetti
England
Poetry collection
1871
Rimas
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Spain
Poetry collection
1881
Sagesse
Paul Verlaine
France
Poetry collection
1882
Ismaelillo
José Marti
Cuba
Poetry collection
1896
A Shropshire Lad
A.E. Housman
England
Poetry collection
1905
Songs of Life and Hope
Rubén Darío
Nicaragua
Poetry collection
1907
Songs of a Sourdough
Robert Service
Canada
Poetry collection
1912
Song Offerings
Rabindranath Tagore
Bengal
Poetry collection
 
Poetical Works
Robert Bridges
England
Poetry collection
 
Campos de Castilla
Antonio Machado
Spain
Poetry collection
1913
Alcohols
Guillaume Apollinaire
France
Poetry collection
1914
North of Boston
Robert Frost
United States
Poetry collection
1915
Spoon River Anthology
Edgar Lee Masters
Rome
Poem cycle
1915–1962
The Cantos
Ezra Pound
United States
Poetry collection
1916
Chicago Poems
Carl Sandburg
United States
Poetry collection
1918
Poems
Gerard Manley Hopkins
England
Poetry collection
1919
Mountain Interval
Robert Frost
United States
Poetry collection
1920
Poems
Wilfred Owen
England
Poetry collection
1923
Duino Elegies
Ranier Maria Rilke
Germany
Poetry collection
 
Tulips and Chimneys
e.e. cummings
United States
Poetry collection
 
New Hampshire
Robert Frost
United States
Poetry collection
1925
Residence on Earth and Other Poems
Pablo Neruda
Chile
Poetry collection
1928
The Tower
W.B. Yeats
Ireland
Poetry collection
 
Gypsy Ballads
Federico García Lorca
Spain
Poem cycle
1933
Collected Poems
W.B. Yeats
Ireland
Poetry collection
1935
Selected Poems
Marianne Moore
United States
Poetry collection
1938
Human Poems
Cesar Villejo
Peru
Poetry collection
 
Harvesting
Gabriela Mistral
Chile
Poetry collection
1940
Another Time
W.H. Auden
England
Poetry collection
 
Poet in New York
Federico García Lorca
Spain
Poetry collection
1944–1946
Trilogy
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
United States
Poetry collection
1946
Paroles
Jacques Prévert
France
Poetry collection
1951
Montage of a Dream Deferred
Langston Hughes
United States
Poem cycle
1955
The Complete Poems
Emily Dickinson
United States
Poetry collection
1956
Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg
United States
Poetry collection
1958
A Coney Island of the Mind
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
United States
Poetry collection
1959
Lie Studies
Robert Lowell
United States
Poetry collection
1961
Kaddish and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg
United States
Poetry collection
1963
Collected Poems 1909–1963
England
Poetry collection
 
Selected Poems
Octavio Paz
Mexico
Poetry collection
 
Requiem
Anna Akhmatova
Russia
Poetry collection
1965
Ariel
Sylvia Plath
United States
Poetry collection
1971
Crow
Ted Hughes
United States
Poetry collection
 
Collected Poems
Frank O'Hara
United States
Poetry collection
1972
The Palm at the End of the Mind
Wallace Stevens
United States
Poetry collection
1973
Diving Into the Wreck
Adrienne Rich
United States
Poetry collection
1975
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
John Ashbery
United States
Poetry collection
1977
A Part of Speech
Joseph Brodsky
Russia
Poetry collection
1981
Emplumada
Lorna Dee Cervantes
United States
Poetry collection
1993
Stranger Music
Canada
Poetry collection
1994
The Complete Collected Poems
Maya Angelou
United States
Poetry collection
1998
Open Ground: Poems 1966–1996
Seamus Heaney
Ireland
Poetry collection
2000
I Ask the Impossible
Ana Castillo
United States
Poetry collection
 
Selected Prose and Poems
Paul Celan
Romania
Prose and poetry collection
2002
Dart
Alice Oswald
England
Poetry collection
2004
New and Collected Poems
Czesław Miłosz
Poland
Poetry collection
2005
Rapture
Carol Ann Duffy
England
Poetry collection
2011
Family Values
Wendy Cope
England
Poetry collection