I've recently found and begun enjoying Semicolon (it's mostly books, with a bit of parenting and school), and she's running a poetry survey, trying to make a list of her reader's top 100 favorite classic poems (in English, so no Purgatorio). You can check out the survey here. I'm participating, and am really interested to see what the results are (it's running through the end of March; sounds like the results will be out around Easter).
My top ten:
1) "Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward" by John Donne
2) The preface to In Memoriam A. H. H. by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ("Strong Son of God, immortal Love . . .")
3) "To All Angels and Saints" by George Herbert
4) "At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners" (Holy Sonnet 7) by John Donne
5) "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo" by Gerard Manley Hopkins
6) "Easter" by George Herbert ("Rise, heart, thy Lord is risen . . .")
7) "The Sun Rising" by John Donne ("Busy old fool, unruly Sun . . .")
8) "A Birthday" by Christina Rossetti
9) "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
10) "Elegy XIX; To His Mistress Going to Bed" by John Donne
If you're wondering: yes, I love the metaphysical poets, yes, especially John Donne, and yes, I seem to think the only things worth writing poetry about are love and theology, and preferably both together.
If you're interested, here are the Hon. Mentions (these are what I had to cut from the list):
-"Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
--The end of Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffery Chaucer (from "Swich fyn hath, lo, this Troilus for love!" to "For love of mayde and moder thyn benigne!")
-"Terence, this is stupid stuff" by A. E. Housman
"To the Virgins to Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick
"A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne
"The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson
"The Dream of the Rood"
And these were out of the running from the get-go because they're too new (i.e., might still be under copyright):
-"The Silken Tent" by Robert Frost
-"Ash Wednesday" by T. S. Eliot
-"Love is not all" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I hope you all participate too, and if you do, I'd love to hear what your top ten are!
peace of Christ to you,