4 Iconic Poems to Inspire Your Writing

There is no shortage of poetry competitions today, and as a Victorian poet, Matthew Arnold aptly said, poetry is the crown of literature. This article will give you some content to read if you are looking for inspiration or ideas to spruce up your poetry writing and win competitions. Remember, the secret to excellent writing is great reading habits. Of course, there is the practicing and feedback bit that must also be included. However, reading other people’s work also helps significantly.

So, what to read? 

Sadly, poetry is not a mainstream form of literature anymore. This is not to say that you cannot find poems online. However, you may struggle to figure out what to read to give you inspiration for your poetry contests entry submissions. Here are the most iconic poems for your consideration:

  • Ulysses by Lord Tennyson

Lord Tennyson wrote a significant number of exceptional poems during the late half of the 19th century. One of his most anthologized works is “Ulysses,”. It is some form of continuation of Homer’s Odysseus. Tennyson paints the picture of a man who wants to set out to new adventures even as his life is almost coming to an end. Ulysses’ brilliant phrasing and lithe style will give you ideas for what to write for poetry competitions. 

  • “If” by Rudyard Kipling

Most literature works involve someone passing down information from one person to the next. This can be either generation-wise or even through apprenticeship. However, the results of Rudyard Kipling are words that encourage living that anyone can benefit. Politicians, strategists, and athletes have drawn inspiration from his words in this poem. This Victorian classic will drive you to meditate on the most important virtues and actions that create a life well-lived.

  • Sonnet 29 by Shakespeare 

It is the dream of everyone entering their works into poetry contests to follow in the greats’ footsteps like Shakespeare. No list of legendary poems would be complete without his name. Sonnet 29 is one of such. It is an astounding lament on the loss of fortune and fame that weaves in a witty meditation of a love story. This sonnet conjures up memories of Beethoven’s mournful yet fiery piano sonata no. 14.

  • Invictus by William Ernest Henley 

The most notable lesson to learn from William Ernest Henley is not to allow hardships keep you achieving your goals. At a tender age, he contracted tuberculosis of the bone, which led to the lower part of one of his legs being amputated. In his twenties, the disease once again came back, and this time, doctors wanted to amputate his other leg. He, however, fought to save his leg, and while he was in the hospital for three years, that was when he wrote Invictus. This poem is a harsh reminder that even if life deals a hard hand, there is no room to sit around and allow it to make you miserable.  Invictus intricately weaves in sleek literary devices with words of encouragement to bring out a theme of perseverance and persistence.

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