160 Best Poems to Memorize

I just began Robert Penn Warren's Understanding PoetryBetween that and A Child’s Anthology of Poetry, (ed. by Elizabeth Hauge Sword) and running into many other poems 2010-2011, I've revised the List of Best Poems to Memorize.  See the first list and second list.  And here is the fully updated list with twenty-five new poems.

LIST I: By age 7, know 6 of the following.
A dillar, a dollar.
As I was going to St. Ives.
Bah, bah, black sheep.
Bobby Shaftoe.


Cock-a-doodle-do.
Cross-patch, draw the latch.
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.
Ding-dong-bell, pussy’s in the well.
Georgie Porgie.
Hickory, Dickory, Dock.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
Jack and Jill went up the hill.
Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
Jack, be nimble; Jack, be quick.
Lady-bird, lady-bird.
Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep.
Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn.
Little Jack Horner.
Little Miss Muffet.
Little Nanny Etticoat.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary.
Old King Cole.
Old Mother Hubbard.
One misty, moisty morning.
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Oranges and Lemons.
Pat a cake, pat a cake, Baker's man.
Pease-porridge hot.
Peter, Peter Pumpkin-Eater.
Polly, put the kettle on.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
Ride a cock horse.
Ring Around the Rosie.
Rock-a-by Baby, on the tree top.
See-saw, Margery Daw.
Simple Simon met a pieman.
Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye.
The Frog Who Would a-Wooing Go.
The King of China’s Daughter
The lion and the unicorn.
The man in the moon came down too soon.
The north wind doth blow.
The Queen of Hearts.
There was a crooked man.
There was an old woman lived in a shoe.
Thirty Days Hath September
This pig went to market.
Three wise men of Gotham.
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.
Tom, Tom, the piper's son.
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town.
When good King Arthur ruled his land.
Milne, A. A. Now We Are Six. (selections)
Milne, A. A. When We Were Very Young (selections, especially “The Wrong House”)


LIST II: By age 9, know previous 6 poems plus 12 more from LIST I or II
Alexander, Cecil Francis. “The Creation”
Caldecott, Randolph. “The House That Jack Built.”
Field, Eugene. “Little Boy Blue.”
Field, Rachel. “General Store.”
Millay, Edna St. Vincent. “Tavern.”
Millay, Edna St. Vincent. “First Fig.”
Riley, James Whitcomb. “Little Orphant Annie.”
Rossetti, Christina. “Flint.”
Stevenson, Robert Louis. “I Love To Be Warm By the Red Fireside.”
Stevenson, Robert Louis. “Prelude.”
Stevenson, Robert Louis. “Requiem.”
Stevenson, Robert Louis. “The Cow.”


LIST III: By age 11, know previous 18 poems, plus 12 more from LIST II or III
Cummings, e. e. “maggie and milly and molly and may.”
Farjeon, Eleanor. “Over the Garden Wall.”
Field, Rachel. “Something Told the Wild Geese.”
Frost, Robert. “A Dust of Snow.”
Graham, Kenneth. “The Toad Came Home.”
Hunt, Leigh. “Jenny Kiss’d Me.”
Millay, Edna St. Vincent. “Travel.”
Moore, Sir Thomas. “Child’s Song.”
Rossetti, Christina. “The Wind.”
Rossetti, Christina. “Who Has Seen the Wind?”
Stevenson, Robert Louis. “Escape at Bedtime.”
Tolkien, J. R. R. “The Road goes ever on.”


LIST IV: By age 13, know previous 30 poems, plus 12 more from LIST IV
“Jesus-Christ, the Apple Tree.”
Belloc, Hilaire. “My Own Country.”
Blake, William. “Jerusalem.”
Byron, George Gordon. “The Destruction of Sennacherib.”
Coatsworth, Elizabeth. “Swift Things Are Beautiful.”
Cummings, e. e. “All in Green Went My Love Riding.”
Donne, John. “Death Be Not Proud.”
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “Spring and Fall.”
Houseman, A. E. “Loveliest of trees, the cherry.”
Houseman, A. E. “The street sounds to the soldiers' tread.”
Keats, John. “Minnows.”
Kilmer, Joyce. “The House with Nobody in It.”
Longfellow, Henry. “The Arrow and the Song.”
Lorca, Federico Garcia. “Song of the Rider.”
Magee, John Gillespie. “High Flight.”
McCrae, John. “In Flander’s Fields.”
Rossetti, Christina. “A Birthday.”
Southey, Robert. “Inchcape Rock.” (very long)
Swinburne, Algernon Charles. “Shakespeare.”
Tennyson, Alfred. “Crossing the Bar.”
Tennyson, Alfred. “The Splendor Falls.”
Tolkien, J. R. R. “All that is gold does not glitter.”
Tolkien, J. R. R. “In western lands beneath the sun.”
Wordsworth, William. “My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold”
Wordsworth, William. “Composed upon Westminster Bridge.”
Yeats, William Butler. “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.”
Yeats, William Butler. “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”


LIST V: By age 16, know previous 42 plus 18 more from LIST IV or V
Aiken, Conrad. “Beloved, Let Us Once More Praise the Rain.”
Anon. Song of Roland, selections.
Anon. “Casey Jones.”
Arnold, Matthew. “Dover Beach.”
Belloc, Hilaire. “The South Country.”
Belloc, Hilaire. “To the Balliol Men Still in Africa.”
Bishop, Elizabeth. “Sestina.”
Bishop, Elizabeth. “The Fish.”
Burns, Robert. “A Red, Red Rose.”
Byron, George Gordon. “We’ll Go No More A-Roving.”
D., H. “Stars Wheel in Purple.”
Donne, John. “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God.”
Donne, John. “Song.”
Eliot, T. S. “Marina.”
Eliot, T. S. “The Song of the Magi.”
Frost, Robert. “A Line-storm Song.”
Frost, Robert. “Hyla Brook.”
Frost, Robert. “Reluctance.”
Frost, Robert. “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken”
Frost, Robert. “The Way Through the Wood.”
Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.”
Heaney, Seamus. “A Kite for Michael and Christopher.”
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “Pied Beauty.”
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “God’s Grandeur.”
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “The Windhover.”
Houseman, A. E. “XIX: To An Athlete Dying Young.”
Jeffers, Robinson. “Autumn Evening.”
Masefield, John. “Sea-Fever.”
Merton, Thomas. “For My Brother Missing in Action, 1943.”
Millay, Edna St. Vincent. “Recuerdo.”
Milosz, Czeslaw. “Encounter.”
Milosz, Czeslaw. “The Sun.”
Noyes, Alfred. “The Highwayman.”
Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Raven.”
Sęp-szarzyņski, Mikołaj. “On the War We Wage Against Satan, the World, and the Flesh.”
Scott, Sir Walter. “Native Land.”
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet CXVI.”
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet CXXIX.”
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet LXXIII.”
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet XCIV.”
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet XL.”
Spenser, Edmund. “Sonnet XXVI.”
Tennyson, Alfred “Ulysses.”
Tennyson, Alfred. “The Lady of Shalott.”
Tennyson, Alfred. “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”
Thomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”
Thomas, Dylan. “Fern Hill.”
White, E. B. “Chairs in Snow.”
Whitman, Walt. “O Captain! My Captain!”
Wilbur, Richard. “The Beautiful Changes.”
Wilbur, Richard. “Two Voices in a Meadow.”
Wordsworth, William. "The World is too Much with us; late and soon.”
Yeats, William Butler. “The Second Coming.”

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