Here is a list (in no particular order) of 9 poems written in English that everyone should know. I hope you all find these as great as I do!
1. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" - Dylan Thomas
A poem about living life to the absolute fullest! Reminding us to "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
2. "Howl" - Allen Ginsberg
This is definitely the longest poem on this list. But everyone should know it all the same! At the very least read the first stanza, the language is simply amazing.
3. "The Road Not Taken" - Robert Frost
One of the most famous poems , and one with either an incredibly optimistic, or pessimistic ending, depending on who you ask. It is worth reading just so you can decide for yourself if the narrator's choice really did make "all the difference."
4. "The Tyger" - William Blake
After you read this one , it's worth looking for in movies, books, and referenced in other poems. Blake's Tyger has a way of entering all kinds of works, and the poem asking how the Tyger was made, might just inspire you to make something as well.
5. "Harlem" - Langston Hughes
A definite classic from the Harlem Renaissance. Of course,every Hughes poem is worth reading, but this one has always seemed to have such a poignant message. No matter how many times I read it, it still gives me chills.
6. "Ozymandias" - Percy Bysshe Shelley
In a handful of lines, Shelley brings us worlds away to witness an empire in ruins. The imagery alone is enough to make this a poem anyone should know, let alone its message and the historical reference. This is a classic.
7. "Jabberwocky" - Lewis Carrol
If nothing else this poem is just incredibly fun, I strongly recommend trying to read it out loud!
8. "I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)" - Emily Dickenson
Any list of poetry would be incomplete without Dickenson . Often I think they are best read when you are feeling down, she seems to be able to put words to your feelings better than you can, even when her words were written long ago.
9. "Caged Bird" - Maya Angelou
If there is just one poem you should know from this list, it's this one. I'm not sure there is anything for me to say, I'm sure you've heard of it, and if you never got around to reading it, now is the time.