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Finding lyric poems
Does your class assignment require you to find a lyric poem in the library?
Flip through a poetry anthology or collection and look for poems that fit your understanding of a lyric poem. Look for poems with rhythm, just like song lyrics have rhythm. Sonnets and ballads are types of lyric poetry.
Try these collections:
You can also browse the works of particular poets. Good ones to try are:
- Robert or Elizabeth Barrett Browning: PR4182.F67 1988, PR4203.D39 1991
- Lord Byron: PR4353 .L68 1995
- Robert Taylor Coleridge: PR4472 .J3 1994
- John Donne: PR2246 .C52 1988b
- John Keats: PR4832.C66 1990
- D. H. Lawrence: PR6023.A93 A17 1986
- Andrew Marvell: PR3546 .A1 1976
- Shakespeare PR2841.A1 1958b
- Emily Dickinson: PS1541 .A17 1997
- Robert Frost: PS3511.R94 A6 1995
- Edgar Allen Poe: PS2605 .A1 1965
Also: Sappho, Wordsworth, Tennyson, or Longfellow.
Poetry Full Text databases
For the full text of thousands of poems in English, start with these resources.
20th Century African-American Poetry
Contains works by more than 100 poets, including Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, and Rita Dove. Biographical profiles accompany each poet's work. For earlier African-American poetry, see African American Poetry, 1760-1900
, which includes allegories, broadsides, children's poems, elegiac poems, epics, hymns, odes, patriotic poems, and sonnets.
20th Century American Poetry
Contains poems from collected works and individual volumes of poetry covering the works of most major twentieth-century American poets. For early American poetry, see American Poetry 1600-1900
, which contains poems of American writers from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.
20th Century English Poetry
Contains poems and any integral images are also scanned. Introductions and prefaces to the volumes are included, as are all notes and any prose sections. For early English poetry, see English Poetry 600-1900
, which contains the full text of poems by poets from British Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries. Many of these collections are rare books, unavailable in print form. Works in English of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish poets are included with any relevant accompanying text written by the poet.
Thousand of poems by hundreds of authors are collected in Bartleby Verse, one of the largest free collections of verse in the public domain. Includes anthologies as well as works by individual poets.
Online Corpus of Old English Poetry
Find full text of many old English poems here, including The Dream of the Rood and The Wife's Lament; this version of Beowulf hyperlinks each word in the text to a glossary, and hopes to do so so each poem over time.
Recommended Reference Books in Jerome Library
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics by
Call Number: PN1021 .N39 2012
Publication Date: 2012
The most comprehensive and authoritative reference for students, scholars, and poets on all aspects of poetry: history, movements, genres, prosody, rhetorical devices, critical terms, and more.
Critical Survey of Poetry by
Call Number: REF PN1021 .C7 2003
Publication Date: 2002
Presents alphabetized profiles of nearly seven hundred significant poets from around the world, providing biographies, primary and secondary bibliographies, and analysis of their works.
Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry by
Call Number: REF PS303 .G74 2006
Publication Date: 2005
a five volume work, is a comprehensive reference on American poetry from colonial era to present. It includes more than 900 alphabetically arranged and cross-referenced entries by roughly 350 scholars.
The Poetry Dictionary by
Call Number: REF PN1021 .D78 2006
Publication Date: 2005
is a comprehensive and concise collection of poetry terms. This dictionary includes all the terms needed to effectively discuss poetry and lists examples from classic and contemporary poetry to illustrate the terms.
Index of American Periodical Verse
Call Number: PN1021 .I53
Publication Date: Library has 1971-2004
serves as a guide to contemporary poets; the index alphabetically lists poets with each entry containing the name of the translator (if necessary), first line of the poem, and the periodical containing the poem.
Biographical information about poets
Contemporary American Ethnic Poets by
Call Number: PS153.M56 C66 2004
Publication Date: 2004
Presents the lives and literary contributions of famous poets and unfamiliar poets with multicultural backgrounds. Full bibliographic information following each entry will help users locate the collections and anthologies.
Call Number: REF PR603 .C6 2001
Publication Date: 2000
Provides biographical and bibliographic information as well as brief critical essays on 787 poets.
Contemporary Women Poets by
Call Number: PS151 .C67 1998
Publication Date: 1997
Provides biographical, bibliographic, and critical entries on nearly 250 of the most prominent women poets currently writing and or publishing in the English language.
American Poetry Review
Name that poem!
Know how a poem begins but can't remember the author? Know the poet's name but can't remember the poem? When trying to match a line with an author, begin with a Columbia Granger's Index.
The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies by
Call Number: REF PN1022 .H39 2007
Publication Date: 2007
First published in 1918 and now in its 13th edition, Granger's is a standard source for locating poems by poet, title, first line or subject in about 250 poetry anthologies.
The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry by
Call Number: REF PN1022 .C63 2004
Publication Date: 2004
Indexes by major poets. Locate poems by poet, title, first line, and subject. Click on the link to find the record of the second edition in Jerome Library.
I just need a poem. Any poem will do.
Again, a poetry anthology might be just the ticket. An alternative is to search within the library catalog, using keywords such as "victorian poetry" or "slam poets" to find collections by time period or genre. Or, try browsing the journals highlighted on this guide.
For collections of poetry, search the library catalog for the Subject: Poetry--Collections or try these titles:
Recommended Databases and Websites about poetry
Modern American Poetry Site (MAPS)
A scholarly, comprehensive site created by the Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, filled with commentary and criticism on many poems and poets.
Has a variety of poetry-related information, including poems organized by categories such as Weddings, Love, Pets, Funerals. Brief biographical sketches, literary criticism of poems, poetry podcasts, and Poetry magazine are found here.
Poetry is meant to be experienced aloud, much like plays are meant to be performed. The Poetry Archive is an online collection of poets, of the 20th century onwards, reading their work; it includes some historic recordings from the late 19th century. Poems are browsable by title, theme, and form. Requires Real Player download to hear poetry; link from site.
Jerome Library also has many recordings of poets reading their works; search the BGSU Library Catalog by choosing Material Type > Spoken Word Recording.
Finding a poem
I have a poem, now I need to find scholarly articles about the poem.
Response, analysis, and interpretation of literature, such as poems, fall under the category of Literary Criticism. To find resources on criticism of poetry, see the information within the Literary Criticism tab.