The origins of the English poetry date back to the 7th century. The earliest samples found are written in Anglo-Saxon and Old English, before Modern English came into existence. According to the experts, the first ever-known poem is Beowulf, written in Old English by an unknown author. Geoffrey Chaucer, on the other hand, is considered the Father of English literature, best-known for his timeless piece called The Canterbury Tales.
If you are a poem lover, then you will absolutely love being our guest on this page. Following are the best poems ever written in history, inspired by the lives, thoughts, feelings and imagination of the most famous poets the world has ever known. Enjoy!
“On His Blindness”, John Milton
This epic, yet deeply emotional poem speaks about one's restrictions and weaknesses throughout everyday life. Everybody has them and Milton's visual impairment is an ideal case of this. His visual perception progressively declined and he turned out to be entirely visually impaired at 42 years old. This occurred after he served under Oliver Cromwell's progressive Puritan government in England. To lay it out plainly, Milton went from a sky-scraping position as an English essayist to a condition of not being able to write and compose all alone. How pitiful!
“On His Blindness” is a poem in which Milton rises above the hopelessness he feels. In the first place, he outlines himself, not as an individual sufferer, but a servant to the one and only Creator: God. For Milton, God is the only monarch and His kingdom is invisible to the eyes of human beings anyway, which gives Milton strength to overcome the hardships, by calling them “not being that bad”. Milton says that the biggest mission in one’s life is to be humble, be patient and respect the law of the universe. The message of the poem is to find our purpose and let us be led by it.
“The Raven”, Edgar Allan Poe
The very first appearance of “The Raven” took place in 1845, when it was published in the popular weekly newspaper New York Daily Mirror. Not long after, it turned into a world-wide sensation and it made Edgar Allan Poe an easily recognized name in English literature. The sonnet recounts to the tale of a lover whose identity is not revealed. While he is mourning the death of the love of his life Lenore, the man is visited by an unusual talking bird, a raven. The raven adds to the man’s misery by constantly repeating the word "Nevermore", thus gradually diving him into a state of madness. This poem has a range of mythological and folk references. It also became an inspiration for future works of art, such as the celebrated painting “Nevermore”, signed by Paul Gauguin.
“If”, Rudyard Kipling
Beyond doubt, this is the most popular poem written by Rudyard Kipling. “If”, presents a lot of circumstances and how an individual ought to behave ideally when he experiences them. The poem is written during the Victorian era, so it has a lot of Victorian elements. With no specific physical setting, the poem is about a father who teaches his son the most important lesson in life. Many of this poem’s lines become globally popular. Hence, the lines of the second stanza are embellishing today’s wall of the Centre Court, the main court of the Wimbledon Championship.