Poems "Every Man Should Read"

The Art of Manliness proposes a list. I suppose there's nothing wrong with reading these shorter works, some of which are very good. My favorite Yeats poem is "The Song of Wandering Aengus" rather than "Sailing to Byzantium," but they're short enough you can easily read both in the same sitting if you want.

For my money, however, the poems that "every man should read" are the epic poems.

The Iliad

The Odyssey

The Beowulf

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Some might add the Aeneid to that list, but Virgil was never my favorite. Among modern poets, Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse is very much worth reading.

6 comments:

Kelly said...

And don't miss The Song of Roland.

Grim said...

The Kalevala is good, too, although it's apparently a fraud. But it's a real poem, even if it's not a real "find."

Jason said...

The writer cites John James Ingalls' "Opportunity" as one of the twenty, but I prefer Walter Malone's poem of the same name: http://www.poetry-archive.com/m/opportunity.html

Eric Blair said...

You forgot Camoes, Ariosto and Spenser. And Teika.

Grim said...

This is the reason I rarely make lists; you always leave something off that was important.

Eric Blair said...

Ha!