NPR logo

Top 15 American Poems of the Century

Only Available in Archive Formats.
Top 15 American Poems of the Century

Top 15 American Poems of the Century

Top 15 American Poems of the Century

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Commentator and historian Douglas Brinkley put together a panel of distinguished poets and professors to pick the top 15 American poems of the century. Brinkley is distinguished professor of history and director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans. Here is his list:

Number 1: T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland"

Number 2: Hart Crane, "The Bridge"

Number 3: Allen Ginsburg, "Howl"

Number 4: Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"

Number 5: Robert Frost, "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Number 6: Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes"

Number 7: Ezra Pound, "Pisan Cantos"

Number 8: Wallace Stevens, "The Snow Man"

Number 9: William Carlos Williams, "Patterson"

Number 10: Elizabeth Bishop, "In the Waiting Room"

Number 11: Robert Lowell, "For the Union Dead"

Number 12: e e cummings, "Somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond"

Number 13: Gertrude Stein, "Lifting Belly"

Number 14: Robinson Jeffers, "Shine, Perishing Republic"

Number 15: Charles Olson, "The Maximus Poems"