Famous Short Poems

Published: June 2018

Famous Short Poems - Examples Of Short Poems By Famous Poets

Examples of short famous poems by famous poets such as Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Sara Teasdale. Short Funny poems by famous poets such as Ogden Nash and Shel Silverstein and short poems for children by famous poets including A. A. Milne and Christina Rossetti.


The shorter the poem, the more difficult it is to write. Every word must be exactly what you intend to say. There is no time for long winded explanations. Often it may take longer to write a short poem. You are more likely to write it and revise it many times before you feel that each word is perfect and perfectly placed. This may be analogous to a small family or group. There are not many people so each one much show up. Each one must do their part to create a loving family unit or group of friends. Every family member or friend must play their role to perfection


31 Famous Short Poems - Examples Of Short Poems By Famous Poets

  1. If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

    Famous Poem

    This poem is by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). Like all the rest of her poems, the poem does not have a title and is called by the first line of the poem. Dickinson had the gift of saying a tremendous amount in a few perfectly succinct words. The poem's message is simple and self-explanatory. If I can ease the burden of a fellow living creature, "I shall not live in vain."

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,

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    If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking By Emily Dickinson

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    The poem transmits the meaning of helping from the heart, reaching out to those in need and soothing the pain felt by others. It doesn't need a hero to work wonders, only need a heart to...

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  2. Now We Are Six

    Famous Poem

    A.A. Milne was an English author who lived from 1882-1956. He is best known for his stories about Winnie the Pooh, which were inspired by his son, Christopher Robin Milne's, stuffed animals. In this poem, a young child recounts the previous five years and how life was just beginning. But six, oh, six is the best year.

    in Famous Children Poems

    When I was One,
    I had just begun.
    When I was Two,
    I was nearly new.

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    I remember my dad reading this poem to me when I turned 6! He read many poems and stories to me but this was one of my favorites! Did not realize it was Winnie the Pooh until recently. To...

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  4. Dreams

    Famous Poem

    Langston Hughes was an American poet who became famous for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He was the first African American to support himself as a writer. In this poem, Langston Hughes shares the importance of having dreams. Without dreams, our lives do not feel complete. We do not have anything to work toward, so holding onto the dreams strengthens and empowers us. In this short poem, he pulls the reader’s attention to this theme by using the repetition of the phrase, “Hold fast to dreams.” Dreams is written in Quatrains (4 line stanzas) and follows the ABCB rhyme scheme.

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    Hold fast to dreams
    For if dreams die
    Life is a broken-winged bird
    That cannot fly.

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    Dreams By Langston Hughes

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    I so get it. Dreams are hope to a lot of us. I've heard it said that before you get it you have to dream it. I think when we stop dreaming we stop reaching, and when we stop reaching we stop...

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  5. Snowball

    Famous Poem

    Shel Silverstein's (1930-1999) comedic genius is demonstrated in this short, funny poem that is sure to bring a smile to children of all ages and adults as well.

    Bonus pleasure points: If you're sharing this poem with a child be sure to catch the look on their face as they figure out why snowballs don't make good pets!

    in Famous Children Poems

    I made myself a snowball
    As perfect as could be.
    I thought I'd keep it as a pet
    And let it sleep with me.

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    I love the humor, innocence and whimsy of this poem. But there's more here than meets the eye. If you look a bit deeper, you can see how we sometimes don't properly interpret our experiences,...

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  7. Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Famous Poem

    Robert Frost is one of the most famous poets from the 1900s. He never earned a formal college degree, but he did receive honorary degrees from more than 40 colleges and universities. This famous poem shows that everything in life is cyclical and that the beauty in nature only lasts for a short period of time. Even though life ends, there is new life waiting to come forth.

    in Famous Nature Poems

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf's a flower;
    But only so an hour.

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  8. The Rainbow

    Famous Poem

    There are many pretty sights in this world, some of which are manmade, but nothing compares to the beauty found in nature. The beauty of clouds and rainbows cannot be replicated by human hands.

    in Famous Children Poems

    Boats sail on the rivers,
    And ships sail on the seas;
    But clouds that sail across the sky
    Are prettier far than these.

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    My 11-year-old daughter loved this and learned quickly to recite it.

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  9. Hug O' War

    Famous Poem

    Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) wove lessons into his poems for children. In Hug O' War, he shares the importance of showing kindness to others instead of trying to overpower them.

    in Famous Friendship Poems

    I will not play at tug o' war.
    I'd rather play at hug o' war,
    Where everyone hugs
    Instead of tugs,

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    Thanks for the simple but profound poem. I am a bus driver and I strive to be the open heart and guide for my children who ride with me. It is not always easy to hear what they have to say or...

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  10. Winter Morning Poem

    Famous Poem

    This famous poem by Ogden Nash uses descriptive language to show the beauty of snow. Winter is unlike any other season where snow blankets everything it touches. It transforms the land into a magical experience. Ogden Nash (1902-1971) was well-known and appreciated during his lifetime.

    in Famous Nature Poems

    Winter is the king of showmen,
    Turning tree stumps into snow men
    And houses into birthday cakes
    And spreading sugar over lakes.

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  11. A Word To Husbands

    Famous Poem

    This poem was written by Ogden Nash (1902-1971). Nash was know as a writer of humorous poetry. He wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse. In this poem, Nash sets his vision on the relationship between husband and wife. He points out that silence is often the best policy.

    in Famous Funny Poems

    To keep your marriage brimming
    With love in the loving cup,
    Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
    Whenever you're right, shut up.

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    Interesting. Years ago for our children I made this little rule. They had to periodically repeat it after me. When you're wrong, admit it. When you're right, shut up. I'm an avid...

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  12. Listen To The MUSTN'TS

    Famous Poem

    Although Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) wrote poetry for young children, adults can glean many lessons from his pieces. This poem is filled with lessons on dreaming and persevering. Don’t allow others to get you down, because in the end, anything is possible.

    in Famous Children Poems

    Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
    Listen to the DON'TS
    Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
    The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT'S

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    Featured Shared Story

    I love this poem because I have been writing love letters to my two teenagers and eight year old for fifteen years reminding them of what they shouldn't.

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  13. I Shall Not Care

    Famous Poem

    Some thought “I Shall Not Care” was a suicide note written by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), but this poem was published more than a decade before she took her life. Each stanza of this poem has a different focus. The first stanza shares about no longer having any cares or pain after death. In contrast, the second stanza focuses on another person, almost as if saying that person will only come to realize his love for the speaker after her death.

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    When I am dead and over me bright April
    Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
    Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,
    I shall not care.

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    The poem "I Shall Not Care" by Sara Teasdale is beautifully written tho' it does cause the reader to wonder what pain and hurt she was going through at the time of writing, the thought...

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  14. Still Here

    Famous Poem

    Langston Hughes (1902-1967) had a lonely childhood, but he was raised by his grandmother who had a love of literature, so Hughes turned to books during those lonely years. This poem shows that even through the hardships of life, it’s possible to keep pushing forward. In this poem, Langston Hughes does not follow the rules of grammar, but that adds to the frazzled feel of the poem’s content.

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    I been scarred and battered.
    My hopes the wind done scattered.
    Snow has friz me,
    Sun has baked me,

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    This poem was in a textbook of mine from the sixth grade. As a child, it resonated with me. It inspired me to write poetry. As a child, educated by white folk, I had no idea who Langston...

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  15. Always Marry An April Girl

    Famous Poem

    April is a month of tumultuous weather. Some days are dry, sunny, and pristine. Others are cold, stormy, and unenjoyable. Ogden Nash compares women to the month of April. They can be unpredictable. Sometimes they’re sweet and tender. Other times they’re cruel and angry, but in the end, they are loved for who they are.

    in Famous Love Poems

    Praise the spells and bless the charms,
    I found April in my arms.
    April golden, April cloudy,
    Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;

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    I was searching for a short poem that encapsulates the love I have for my wife. When I saw this, I knew. My wife's birthday is in April. The double meaning of marrying an April girl really...

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  16. Underface

    Famous Poem

    Children, teenagers, and adults as well, can all identify with the message of this poem for children from Shel Silverstein published in his book, "Every Thing On It." Sometimes we all feel like no one really truly knows us, as if we are wearing a mask and our true self is hidden from all underneath our face.

    in Famous Children Poems

    Underneath my outside face
    There's a face that none can see.
    A little less smiley,
    A little less sure,

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    Underface By Shel Silverstein

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    What a perfect poem! At times we could basically tell how people were feeling despite their facial expressions. It was in their eyes the tell- tale signs that led us to see at least the...

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  17. May

    Famous Poem

    Sara Teasdale was an American poet who lived from 1884-1933. "May" is about a woman who has not been treated well by a man. It shows how time can change a part of a person's life drastically. Teasdale's own marriage to Ernst Filsinger ended in 1929. Even while it appears that a person's life is as bright and beautiful as spring, she could feel like winter on the inside.

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    The wind is tossing the lilacs,
    The new leaves laugh in the sun,
    And the petals fall on the orchard wall,
    But for me the spring is done.

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  18. Ebb

    Famous Poem

    In this poem, Edna St. Vincent Millay powerfully portrays the heartbreak of losing a lover. She uses a shrinking pool of water as a metaphor for the feelings of loss and heartbreak.

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    I know what my heart is like
    Since your love died:
    It is like a hollow ledge
    Holding a little pool

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  19. The Kiss

    Famous Poem

    Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was a famous American poet. In 1913 she courted two men before deciding to marry Ernst Filsinger. Some wonder if she wished she chose Vachel Lindsay because her marriage to Filsinger ended in divorce in 1929. "The Kiss" shows that not all things are as wonderful as they first appear to be.

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    I hoped that he would love me,
    And he has kissed my mouth,
    But I am like a stricken bird
    That cannot reach the south.

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    Yes! Been there! It kinda takes away from the romance. It might be best to keep trying to fly south. Jac Judy A Campbell

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  20. The Door Of Dreams

    Famous Poem

    The poem "The Door of Dreams" by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse explores the theme of missed opportunities and the transformative power of seizing the right moment. The narrator reflects on their past hesitations and missed chances to explore the possibilities presented by the Door of Dreams. The open door symbolizes opportunities and aspirations that the narrator has previously overlooked. However, on one fateful day, the narrator discovers that the door is open, and this time, they encounter someone, "You," standing there. This encounter signifies a turning point where the narrator decides to take a chance and step through the door. The poem uses vivid imagery to convey the allure of the Door of Dreams and the significance of encountering someone who inspires them to take action. The repetition of the open door motif emphasizes the recurring opportunities in life, urging readers not to miss their chance for personal growth and fulfillment

    in Famous Poems

    I often passed the Door of Dreams
    But never stepped inside,
    Though sometimes, with surprise, I saw
    The door was open wide.

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  21. Fire And Ice

    Famous Poem

    A poem about the end of days, when the world will end by either fire or ice. "Fire and Ice" is one of Robert Frost's most popular poems. It was first published in 1920 in Harper's Magazine.

    in Famous Sad Poems

    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.

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    Featured Shared Story

    Robert Frost is a poet of great repute. It is not within our jurisdiction to comment on such a literary giant. However, in view of your invitation, I would say that he might have been in...

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  22. A Time To Talk

    Famous Poem

    This poem is about the value of friendship and priorities. Even while working, take the time to chat with your friend; the work will still be there when you come back. Friends and family are what's important in life.

    in Famous Friendship Poems

    When a friend calls to me from the road
    And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
    I don't stand still and look around
    On all the hills I haven't hoed,

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    Excellent! The case almost unattended in today's crazily hasty waste of morality and spirituality in favor of modernity! A nice moral lesson for those entrapped in the network of virtual...

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