Top 5 Best Poetry Books to Read

Poetry is the most beautiful language used by poets to express their hidden feelings and happiness, joy, or sorrow. For poets, their poems are their journey, their destination, and their whole world.

“Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.” APJ Abdul Kalam well quotes this phrase. Poetry is an art in which the poet uses words magically to connect with the readers. It also includes their imagination and their views.

There are thousands of poets out there who have written masterpieces that have won everyone’s hearts. Many poems affect the readers’ minds so much that they have left them either speechless or in tears. Poems create such a deep impact on the readers that normal articles fail to create.

There are a lot of such best poetry books available where poems of the same theme are compiled or books in which poems of one particular poet are present. If you are a person who is fond of reading poems, then this article will help you find the best poetry books with a collection of wonderful poems that will leave an everlasting impact on you.

For poetry lovers and those who like experimenting with reading and want to explore all genres, here are a few of the best poetry books worth reading at least once.

And last but not least, this article can be helpful for people who want to take a break from their favourite poets and want to read something new. Therefore here is a list of the 5 best poetry books that have received an overwhelming response from readers and are written by famous poets in the history of literature.

1) On Love and Barley by Haiku of Basho

About the author:

This poetry collection is written by a Buddhist monk and Japanese poet, Basho, consisting of poems on the natural world since Basho was also a traveller and nature lover. He is considered one of the best Japanese poets. Basho loved to explore nature, and this is reflected in his poems.

About the book:

This book is 92 pages and is published in the English language. It was first published in the year of 1985. The book’s title is taken from one of the book’s poems.

“In my new robe this morning -someone else” is one of the extracts from the same book.

In his poems, he has highlighted and praised the beauty of the natural world, such as the snowy evening and how nature is soothing and relaxing. He has described the calmness possessed by nature, which helps attain the inner peace that materialistic things fail to bring.

Through his powerful poetry, he has mentioned the tragically short life of humans in comparison with nature. He highlighted Japan’s nature and daily life during that era. This book is a collection of 253 poems by Basho, which he wrote while exploring the world. It is one of the best poetry books and all you need to embrace the beauty of nature and fall in love with nature. Perfectly translated by Lucien Stryk, it makes it easy for people to connect with the poet’s work.

The main idea behind writing this book was to evoke the Zen qualities of lightness. He hasn’t portrayed anything too superficial through these poems. All he has expressed is about daily life, stillness, and nature.

2) The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

About the author:

Emily Dickinson is considered one of the milestones in American poetry, and her poetry collections were mostly about death and immortality. “A coffin is a small domain”, ” Twas the Old Road – Through Pain”, and “I heard a Fly Buzz When I died” are a few exceptionally deep poems in which she uniquely describes death.

It is believed that after her death, only her poetry collection was discovered and then published by her acquaintances. Only 13-15 of her poems were published during her lifetime, as no one ever had the idea of the number of poems she had written. She preferred a private life and wasn’t engaged much in public events.

According to the people who have read her poems, she wrote in a captivating style. She had written poems on all topics, such as nature, life, hope, death, new life, and mental health. She has also written love poems too. Her poetry had depth, which is why her poetry books were among the best.

The famous lines “Because I could not stop for Death –He kindly stopped for me –The Carriage held but just Ourselves –And Immortality.” are a part of Emily Dickinson’s poetry collection only where she personified death and describes the journey after that.

About the book:

This book is the perfect collection of all the poems of Emily Dickinson, including a total of 1775 poems that she wrote in her entire lifetime. These poems are loved by millions of people and have received a positive response from readers worldwide.

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This book is worth reading for people who are fans of Emily Dickinson and her writings. Also, read some of her poems to go in-depth and provoke your inner self. You will like them, and your interest will surely develop in her poems. Regarded as one of the best poetry books, this book was initially published in January 1981 and consisted of 716 pages. The other books similar to this are “The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson” and Emily Dickinson’s Poems.

3) The Complete Sonnets and Poems by William Shakespeare

About the author:

Who is unaware of the great poet and writer of many best poetry books, William Shakespeare? He is a famous writer and the author of worldwide appreciated tragedy plays like Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Othello, Hamlet, and many others.

Shakespeare has been regarded as the most influential writer in English history and is titled “Bard of Avon” by the Englishmen.

About the book:

Literature never gets old. This is why Shakespeare’s literature is still so famous and reads widely by the youth, no matter how many generations old his literature has become.

So, if you are one of those who like Shakespeare’s literature a lot, this book is meant for you. As the name suggests, this book is the complete collection of all the poems and sonnets of William Shakespeare which he has written on themes such as love, friendship, betrayal, power, and death.

This book consists of 794 pages and an introduction to his poetic career, how his career bloomed along with his poems, and how these poems relate to his play with a detailed explanation of these poems. All his poetry collections are undoubtedly part of classic poetry books, and everyone should try to read his poems. Once you are done with this book, you can also read “The Sonnets” by him.

4) Selected poetry by John Keats

About the author:

John Keats was an English poet, and his poems are mostly famous for their sensual style. John Keats’s work didn’t get appreciated much when he was alive.

This poet succumbed to death at the early age of 25 years. His fans mourn his early death by calling it an unexpected ending to a wonderful era. But with the passage of time, his love poetry became famous worldwide, and he became one of the most beloved poets in history and an inspiration to various poets. One reason his poems gained so much popularity is that his poetry collection isn’t meant to preach.

He was only interested in doing poetry and wasn’t concerned about anything else. Ode to Nightingale is among his selected poems which are widely read. The main idea of this poem is found to be touching, and everyone should read it at least once. His poems showcase his profound understanding of art, love and separation.

About the book:

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Selected poetry is one of the best anthologies, including his best poems and a few of his unnoticed poems. A few poems included in this book are “I stood tiptoe upon a little hill”, “When I have fears that I may cease to be”, A thing of a beauty is a joy forever”, “Bright Star”, Endymion etc.

This book includes a short introduction to John Keat’s life, his poems and the related contexts for a better understanding. According to some of the readers who have reviewed his book, his poetry depicted a great sense of philosophy of the tragedy of life. This book consists of 320 pages, and since it is a collection of extraordinary poems, it is one of the best poetry books in the world of literature.

His other books include The letters, Sonnets of John Keat, Song about myself etc.

5) Robert Frost’s poems by Robert Frost

About the author:

Robert Frost is one of the twentieth-century American poets whose writings have a touch of modern poetry. He wrote 376 books in his whole writing career. He had a dazzling writing career and won the Pulitzer prize four times and served as “Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress”, which was later renamed as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

We all have come across Robert Frost’s poem at least once. If you are still doubting how, then let me draw your attention towards the famous poem “The Road Not Taken”, which almost everyone has read in school. This poem is the notable work of Robert Frost only, and if you want to read other poems written by him, you can read this book.

About the book:

Robert Frost’s Poems consist of 100 poems, with rural life being the centre of the attraction. This new collection includes his poems like Stopping By the Woods, Desert Places, Birches, Mending wall etc. and has been awarded “The Best seller” many times.

His poetry collections are very impressive and relatable if you also love and feel nature. What makes his poems different is how he describes things. He has done it in a very remarkable way leaving people amused.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the book and get started!!!!

A few other examples of best poetry books

Above are the description of just the 5 best poetry books. However, there is no limit to the literature and its versatility. People write on topics they find connected to, so something new and classic is coming up every day.

Similarly, there are different topics which a person likes to read about. You don’t need to find all topics worth reading as it solely depends on your interests and liking. For example, if you are a person who loves reading poems on love and tragedy, then poetry involving deeper meanings and nature or any other theme won’t keep you hooked up. So before starting any book, ensure that the theme suits your interests so you don’t waste your time.

Many other renowned poets have collections of poems in a single book. For example, the Selected poems by William Carlos Williams, The selected poems of Mary Oliver, Selected Poems by Neon Vernacular, Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath, or Selected poems by William Wordsworth.

For people looking for a collection of poems based on inspiration, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman can be a good idea. Picture Bride by Cathy Song is a winning volume and one of the must-read poetry books.

Tips for the beginners

If you are a newbie and want to start with short poetry books, then you can start with short poetry collections such as “And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, which is a collection of 32 poems. Through these poems, Maya Angelou tried to inspire people to stay positive. Apart from this, Rita dove selected poems written by Rita Dove, highlighting highly compassionate storytelling and Selected poems by Sylvia Plath are also great classics.

Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath is a must-read for demotivated people looking for the perfect motivation to face problems. All these books are also categorized as among the best poetry books by many readers. Try to read poetry books with simple wordings at the start.

If you will read poems with complex vocabulary, then it is possible that you won’t read the poetry books again. So pick up the books carefully.

If you want to begin a writing career  and don’t know where to start, you can read the article ” How to find writing inspiration?”

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Reading is a hobby that keeps to engaged and enhances your vocabulary. It deepens your thinking process. Reading poetry books is a little different; when you read any collection of poems, you cross new genres and develop an understanding of various thoughts and emotions and how poets use them to express their feelings.

Poetry is a beautiful language that helps people connect with various themes differently. Poems are believed to be the hidden voice of poets through which they convey many things to the world. A thousand such masterpieces have been gifted to us by various writers. What makes poetry unique is the choice of perfect rhyme scheme and words to leave an everlasting impact on the reader’s mind.

People who wish to begin their career as a poet should also read collections of the best poetry books to learn how to write in such a way that they can write good poems and win the hearts of the readers.

So do read the above-discussed books for good utilization of your time, as these are undoubtedly amongst the best poetry books in the world.

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