A Poetry-Lover's Guide To the World-Wide Web
I look for poetry which expresses genuine feeling: love, tenderness, despair, wistfulness, rage... The guide consists of 100 poems and 65 links to other poetry collections and guides.
The poems are English-language with a few non-English poems whose translations are, in themselves, great poetry.
I have included almost no "modern poetry". The print-published poetry of the past fifty years is what one might call "imagist poetry"*: thousands of well-crafted, carefully-thought-out poems of which astonishingly few express genuine feelings about things which are really important to human beings. I've tried, nevertheless, to search through these imagist/literary poems just as thoroughly as I've searched elsewhere...
I have omitted numerous generally-accepted-as-great Cavaliers, gallants, Romantics; Donne, Herrick, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Browning (1 and 2), Poe. I respect them, but am not moved....
Forgive my pretensions. This is what you get when a guy working 40 hours a week as a software engineer with three children under 10 years old tries to take on something like "English-Language Poetry". Whatever value the guide has lies in the absurdly simple idea that great poetry expresses genuine feelings about things which are really important to human beings.
Though I looked at thousands of poems, I'm certain there are many, many good poems which I've missed. This is a work-in-progress. If you know of others I should include, please email me: Lucius @ jspecht.org .
The guide is divided into three parts:
* poets whose most important work was done before 1950
* poets whose most important work was done after 1950
* links to other Web poetry collections and guides
* imagist poetry: Though this term is normally used more narrowly, I feel it is the distinguishing characteristic of nearly all "modern poetry" (-- see the third paragraph under "The Argument" on the Humanist Art Homepage).