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Representative Poetry Online

Found In: language arts & literature, 6-8, 9-12

Representative Poetry Online is an Internet anthology of 4,800 poems by more than 700 English and French poets from AD 657 to the present.

A great advantage to this online anthology is the ability to approach it in different ways on different occasions. The home page offers a daily poem and three headings: poets, poems, and poetry.

  • Clicking Poets provides an alphabetical list with a brief biography of each poet. Clicking “read more” supplies a more detailed entry with an index linked to poems and more biographical information.
  • Using the Poems menu allows browsing by name, date, period, movement, nationality, or honors. Clicking Poems leads to an alphabetized list. A menu allows browsing by title, date, form, rhyme scheme, or collection.
  • The Poetry heading furnishes a world map, timeline, calendar, criticism, glossary, and bibliography.

The Map has geographical information about places mentioned in poems, residences, birthplaces, and death places of poets. The Timeline can be graphical or text only and configured by types of events (to 2010) and historical categories. Events include historical and poetical context and other expected categories as well as some interesting categories such as touchstone poems and poems on poems. Timeline links have links to pertinent entries. The Calendar supplies a daily list of poetical milestones. Criticism is a selection of both prose and verse criticism. The Glossary ( is comprehensive. The Bibliography can be sorted by author and by title year.

A menu bar at the top of the home page offers another means of access. The About page outlines the evolution of the website and explains fair use. An interesting sentence explaining the absence of some poets and their poems is worth quoting. “Usually, copyright constraints explain why well-respected poets are not represented.”



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