20-01-2021 Literature 17664

Short Poems in English

Short poems in English

We present to your attention a selection of laconic poems by famous English and American poets. The poems will open the world of nice, tender feelings and philosophical outlook on life, bright cheerful jokes and witty English humor to you. Short poems are easy to read and memorize.

George Gordon Byron

Sun of the sleepless! melancholy star!
Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
That show’st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
How like art thou to Joy remember’d well!

So gleams the past, the light of other days,
Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays;
A night-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold,
Distinct, but distant – clear, but oh, how cold!

Alfred Edward Housman

Alfred Edward Housman. Short poems

It nods and curtseys and recovers
When the wind blows above,
The nettle on the graves of lovers
That hanged themselves for love.
The nettle nods, the wind blows over,
The man, he does not move,
The lover of the grave, the lover
That hanged himself for love.


Oh, when I was in love with you,
Then I was clean and brave,
And miles around the wonder grew
How well did I behave.

And now the fancy passes by,
And nothing will remain,
And miles around they’ll say that I
Am quite myself again.

the best short poems

When I came last to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale,
Two friends kept step beside me,
Two honest lads and hale.
Now Dick lies long in the churchyard,
And Ned lies long in jail,
And I come home to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale.


Oh on my breast in days hereafter
Light the earth should lie,
Such weight to bear is now the air,
So heavy hangs the sky.

Hilaire Belloc

The Big Baboon

The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo;
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do.)
But if he dressed respectably
And let his whiskers grow
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-So!

Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare. Short poems

The Horseman

I heard a horseman
Ride over the hill;
The moon shone clear,
The night was still;
His helm was silver,
And pale was he;
And the horse he rode
Was of ivory.


Hide and Seek

Hide and seek, says the Wind,
In the shade of the woods;
Hide and seek, says the Moon,
To the hazel buds;
Hide and seek, says the Cloud,
Star on to star;
Hide and seek, says the Wave
At the harbour bar;
Hide and seek, says I,
To myself, and step
Out of the dream of Wake
Into the dream of Sleep.

T. E. Hulme


A touch of cold in the Autumn night —
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.


The embankment
(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night)

Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In a flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

Richard Aldington

Richard Aldington. Short poems

To Those Who Played for Safety in Life

I also might have worn starched cuffs,
Have gulped my morning meal in haste,
Have clothed myself in dismal staffs
Which prove a sober City taste;

I also might have rocked and craned
In undergrounds for daily news,
And watched my soul grow slowly stained
To middle-class unsightly hues...

I might have earned ten pounds a week!

Richard Church

The Last Freedom

The blind man, when the skylark shakes
Trill over trill from the blue above,
Stares upward and from darkness wakes
Through sockets eloquent with love.

If our defective senses thus
Kindle at glories half-divined,
What of the joy awaiting us
When death brings freedom to the mind?

George Barker

George Barker. Short poems

Summer Song II

Soft is the coolied night, and cool
These regions where the dreamers rule,
As Summer, in her rose and robe,
Astride the horses of the globe,
Drags, fighting, from the midnight sky,
The mushroom at whose glance we die.

Philip Larkin

Pour away that youth
That overflows the heart
Into hair and mouth;
Take the grave’s part,
Tell the bone’s truth.

Throw away that youth
That jewel in the head
That bronze in the breath;
Walk with the dead
For fear of death.


Within the dream you said:
Let us kiss then,
In this room, in this bed,
But when all’s done
We must not meet again.

Hearing this last word,
There was no lambing-night,
No gale-driven bird
Nor frost-encircled root
As cold as my heart.

Short poems in English

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft
And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes. Short poemsKafka

And he is an owl
He is an owl, “Man” tattooed in his armpit
Under the broken wing
(Stunned by the wall of glare, he fell here)
Under the broken wing of huge shadow that twitches across the floor.

He is a man in hopeless feathers.

Brian Patten

A Talk with a Wood

Moving through you one evening
when you offered shelter to
quiet things soaked in rain

I saw through your thinning branches
the beginnings of suburbs, and
frightened by the rain,

gray hares running upright in
distant fields, and quite alone there
thought of nothing but my footprints

being filled, and love, distilled
of people, drifted free, and then
the woods spoke with me.

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats. Short poemsHe Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

James Joyce

The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.

The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.

Shy thoughts and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list —
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.



O bella bionda,
Sei come l’onda!
Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.

A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight kisses her young brow
And, gathering, she sings an air:
Fair as the wave is, fair, art thou!

Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman. Short poems

I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the
whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream’d that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led
the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson. Short poemsTo venerate the simple days
Which lead the seasons by,
Needs but to remember
That from you or I,
They may take the trifle
Termed mortality!

To invest existence with a stately air
Needs but to remember
That the acorn there
Is the egg of forests
For the upper air!


If I shouldn’t be alive
When the Robins come,
Give the one in Red Cravat,
A Memorial crumb.

If I couldn’t thank you,
Being fast asleep,
You will know I’m trying
With my Granite lip!


I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d banish us — you know!
How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell your name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!


Heart! We will forget him!
You and I - tonight!
You may forget the
Warmth he gave -
I will forget the Light!
When you have done, pray tell me
That I may straight begin!
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I may remember him!

poems by English poets

This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me —
The simple News that Nature told —
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see —
For love of Her — Sweet — countrymen —
Judge tenderly — of Me


If I can stop one Heart from breaking
shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.


I never saw a Moor —
I never saw the Sea —
Yet know I how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be.
I never spoke with God
Nor visited in Heaven —
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the Checks were given —

Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg. Short poems


I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains
of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air go
fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand people.
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men and
women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to
I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers:


Prayers of Steel

Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.
Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue
nights into white stars.

Robert Frost

The Pasture

I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha’n’t be gone long. — You come too.

I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha’n’t be gone long. — You come too.


Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Walter Lowenfels

Message from Bert Brecht

And don’t think
is that actor over there
to that other one
He’s the third one
you don’t see
to that other one
you can’t hear

Langston Hughes


I must say
Yes, sir,
To you all the time.
Yes, sir!
Yes, sir!
All my days
Climbing up a great big mountain
Of yes, sirs!
Rich old white man
Owns the world
Gimme yo’ shoes
To shine
Yes, sir!

Edward Lear

Edward Lear. Short poems

There was an Old Man of Dumbree,
Who taught little Owls to drink Tea;
For he said, "To eat mice
Is not proper or nice,"
That amiable Man of Dumbree.


There was on Old Man of the Isles,
Whose face was pervaded with smiles;
He sung high dum diddle,
And played on the fiddle,
That amiable Man of the Isles.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll. Short poems

There was an eccentric old draper,
Who wore a hat made of brown paper,
It went up to a point,
Yet it looked out of joint,
The cause of which he said was “vapour.”


There was once a young man of Oporta,
Who daily got shorter and shorter,
The reason he said
Was the hod on his head,
Which was filled with the heaviest mortar.

His sister named Lucy O’Finner,
Grew constantly thinner and thinner,
The reason was plain,
She slept out in the rain,
And was never allowed any dinner.

John Donne

The Expiration

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
Which sucks two souls, and vapors both away,
Turn thou ghost that way, and let me turn this,
And let our selves benight our happiest day,
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
Any, so cheap a death, as saying, Go;
Go; and if that word have not quite kil'd thee,
Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Oh, if it have, let my word work on me,
And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
Being double dead, going, and bidding, go.

Maya Angelou

Passing Time

Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk

One paints the beginning
of a certain end.

The other, the end of a
sure beginning.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 116. Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Edgar Allan Poe

An Acrostic

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not"—thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth—and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love—was cured of all beside—
His folly—pride—and passion—for he died.

William Blake


You say their Pictures well Painted be,
And yet they are Blockheads you all agree,
Thank God, I never was sent to School
To be Flogg’d into following the Stile of a Fool.
The Errors of a Wise Man make your Rule
Rather than the Perfections of a Fool.


He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.


All pictures that's panted with sense and with thought
Are panted by madmen, as sure as a groat;
For the greater the fool is the pencil more blest,
As when they are drunk they always pant best.
They never can Raphael it, Fuseli it, nor Blake it;
If they can't see an outline, pray how can they make it?
When men will draw outlines begin you to jaw them;
Madmen see outlines and therefore they draw them.

Wystan Hugh Auden

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

Thomas Stearns Eliot

The Boston Evening Transcript

The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.

When evening quickens faintly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript."

Oscar Wilde


This mighty empire hath but feet of clay:
Of all its ancient chivalry and might
Our little island is forsake quite:
Some enemy hath stolen its crown of bay,
And from its hills that voice hath passed away
Which spake of Freedom: O come out of it,
Come out of it my Soul, thou art not fit
For this vile traffic-house, where day by day
Wisdom and reverence are sold at mart,
And the rude people rage with ignorant cries
Against an heritage of centuries.
It mars my calm: wherefore in dreams of Art
And loftiest culture I would stand apart,
Neither for God, nor for his enemies.

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