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    27 Phenomenal Poems That Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life

    "It really shows you what power just the right words can hold."

    Recently, for World Poetry Day, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their favourite poems and why they love them so much. Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou.

    It's the fire in my eyes And the flash of my teeth The swing in my waist And the joy in my feet I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me
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    "It's about loving yourself, liking the way you look, and having confidence. It strikes a chord with me."


    2. "An Unfortunate Choice" by Wendy Cope.

    I think I am in love with A E Housman Which puts me in a worse than usual fix No woman ever stood a chance with Housman And he’s been dead since 1936
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    "Wendy Cope always makes me smile."


    3. "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas.

    Do not go gentle into that good night Old age should burn and rave at close of day Rage rage against the dying of the light
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    "A beautiful poem, which resonates more and more as you get older."


    "I'm not a big poetry fan and I think a lot of poems are so vague and confusing that they have basically no meaning to the average reader. Thomas manages to paint beautiful imagery that also has an incredibly clear meaning. I've always appreciated this 'emo' fave."


    4. "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    My name is Ozymandias king of kings Look on my works ye Mighty and despair Nothing beside remains Round the decay Of that colossal wreck boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away
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    "Reminds me of the fleetingness of human corruption upon nature, and how little material things matter in the long run. It's the breath of fresh air that comes after an existential crisis. Brilliant poem."


    5. "Resumé" by Dorothy Parker.

    Razors pain you Rivers are damp Acids stain you And drugs cause cramp Guns arent lawful Nooses give Gas smells awful You might as well live
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    "Mine is a slightly morbid one but it has gotten me through some dark times."


    "It's a little dark but it has her unique sense of humour and always makes me smile."


    6. "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny" by Blythe Baird.

    As a child fat was the first word people used to describe me which didn’t offend me until I found out it was supposed to
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    "It’s spoken word poetry but so relevant."


    7. "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

    Four gray walls and four gray towers Overlook a space of flowers And the silent isle imbowers The Lady of Shalott
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    "Tbh, any Tennyson is 👌 but this one is my favourite – whimsical, romantic, devastating... with EXQUISITE crafting. It is JUST *chef's kiss*."


    "It flows beautifully and evokes feelings of constriction, hope, loneliness, beauty and tragedy."


    8. "The Tyger" by William Blake.

    Tiger tiger burning bright In the forests of the night What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry
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    "It's just a beautiful, vivid poem about a tiger, and while it may not have as much everyday relevance emotionally, it sticks with you."


    9. "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats.

    Darkling I listen and for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme To take into the air my quiet breath
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    "I’ve been obsessed with the first lines since I heard it as a child. As a whole. it’s a really powerful mix of joyousness and melancholy and so evocative."


    10. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.

    Whose woods these are I think I know His house is in the village though He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow
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    "I once had to memorise it in third grade and I still remember most of it!"


    11. "The Shirt" by Jane Kenyon.

    The shirt touches his neck and smooths over his back It slides down his sides It even goes down below his belt down into his pants Lucky shirt
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    "It's so simple, yet so full of lust and longing. It really shows you what power just the right words can hold."


    12. "[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]" by E.E. Cummings.

    i carry your heart with me i carry it in my heart i am never without it anywhere i go you go my dear and whatever is done by only me is your doing my darling i fear
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    "It was the poem we had read at our wedding."


    13. "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou.

    You may write me down in history With your bitter twisted lies You may trod me in the very dirt But still like dust Ill rise
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    14. "Sonnet 130" by William Shakespeare.

    My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun Coral is far more red than her lips red If snow be white why then her breasts are dun If hairs be wires black wires grow on her head
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    "So many poems dehumanise women by putting them on a pedestal and treating them like faultless heavenly beings. That's why I love how Shakespeare deconstructs and gently mocks sonnets in his own Sonnet 130. He's just a guy who thinks someone is great in spite of, and because of, their flaws!"


    15. "For Women Who Are Difficult' to Love" by Warsan Shire.

    you are terrifying and strange and beautiful something not everyone knows how to love
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    "Even more touching when you listen to her rendition."


    16. "If–" by Rudyard Kipling.

    If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds worth of distance run Yours is the Earth and everything thats in it And which is more youll be a Man my son
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    "I've always loved it since was a child, something about it makes me feel a bit emotional. It is full of advice and is ultimately timeless in its structure, wisdom, and appeal. Plus, it rhymes which is my personal preference."


    17. "oh yes" by Charles Bukowski.

    oh yes there are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realize this and most often when you do its too late and theres nothing worse than too late
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    "When I cancelled my wedding, for which I had all but bought my own dress, this was the most empowering thing I read. In fact, I would go as far as to say it made me end my eight year relationship. Have never looked back."


    18. "One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII" by Pablo Neruda.

    I love you without knowing how or when or from where I love you directly without problems or pride I love you like this because I dont know any other way to love
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    "It's incredibly moving and has some of the most beautiful lines of poetry I've ever read."


    19. "Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" by Mary E. Frye.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there I do not sleep I am a thousand winds that blow I am the diamond glints on snow
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    "It's such a beautiful poem dealing with loss and grief."


    "The idea that people who die never really leave us, that they live on in the wind that blows and the autumn rain – it’s so simple but beautiful. I remember reading it at a funeral and it was the only thing that brought me a glimmer of peace that day."


    20. "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe.

    For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
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    "It's pretty short, but it's beautiful and breaks my heart each time I read it."


    21. "The Stolen Child" by W. B. Yeats.

    Come away O human child To the waters and the wild With a faery hand in hand For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand
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    "It's been my favourite poem since I can remember. I have fond memories of my grandmother reciting it to me as a little girl. She was a huge influence on me and instilled a love of literature, horror, and science fiction that I carry with me to this day."


    22. "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley.

    It matters not how strait the gate How charged with punishments the scroll I am the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul
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    "Its themes of overcoming adversity and taking charge of your own life really resonate with me."


    "I know it by memory and I recite it in my head when I’m going through tough times. It reminds me that I’m strong."


    23. "Afternoons" by Philip Larkin.

    Summer is fading The leaves fall in ones and twos From trees bordering The new recreation ground
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    "We studied it in school and I loved the beauty of it."


    24. "People" by D. H. Lawrence.

    The great gold apples of night Hang from the streets long bough Dripping their light On the faces that drift below On the faces that drift and blow Down the nighttime out of sight In the winds sad sough
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    "It captures the feeling of being alone together in the world with countless others just like you."


    25. "Embarrassed" by Hollie McNish.

    Cause Im getting tired of discretion and being polite As my babys first sips are drowned drenched in shite I spent the first feeding months of her beautiful life Feeling nervous and awkward and wanting everything right
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    "It just hits the good spot, especially now that the discussion around female bodies and how they’re judged is so prevalent."


    26. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot.

    Let us go then you and I When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table
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    "It’s incredible."


    27. "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.

    Gas GAS Quick boys An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundring like a man in fire or lime Dim through the misty panes and thick green light
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    "He served in World War I and the poem’s title means 'it is sweet and honourable [to die for your country]'. It paints a picture of the horrors of WWI and how it is certainly NOT sweet or noble to die in war. It's bleak and awful but an important reminder of world history."


    "Owen makes me feel. I first encountered him when I studied GCSE English and I still love his war poetry. The fact he died shortly before the end of WW1 lends a poignancy to his writing."


    Note: Some entries were edited for length and/or clarity.

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