First Lines of Favorite American Poems

To continue the January theme of beginnings and firsts, I thought I’d include the first lines of American poems that I remember from high school and have inserted, on occasion, into conversations.  It’s always amazing how many people either can add the next line or just stare at you with that “deer caught in headlights” look when you quote lines of poetry.   I was exposed to such amazing literature .  Of course, most of it was either British or American.  I had to wait until university to discover world literature.  Thank you teachers at Lyons Township High School for making me memorize so many poems.   These words have become old friends.

 in just spring when the world is mud-luscious
e.e. Cummings

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
Walt whitman

Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me
Emily Dickenson

I, too, sing America.
Langston Hughes

All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Lift ev’ry voice and sing
James Weldon Johnson

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
Robert Frost

We real cool.
Gwendolyn Brooks

Hog Butcher for the World
Carl Sandburg
I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox
William Carlos Williams


1 Response to “First Lines of Favorite American Poems”

  1. 1 Kathleen Murphy June 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Oh Captain, my Captain.
    Our fearful trip is done.

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