This is the story of poetry in English-chronological arrangement of the 500 greatest poems in our language, the poems most frequently, needed and sought. The Top 500 poems presents the poems that have appealed most often to 400 contemporary editors, critics,and poets for inclusion in their own widely disparate anthologies, which were indexed in the Ninth edition of the classic refernce, The Columbian Granger's Index to Poetry. These are the poems that have risen to the top in the multiple selection process-the creme de la creme. The poems speak to us across the centuries including the best from Chaucer's tales and Shakespere's masterpieces, the best of Donne's spiritual verses and Pope's satires,the best of Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Ginsberg, and Plath. These are the 500 poems that ask to be read again and again. William Harmon introduces each poet with a succinct biographical sketch,and with pithy,insightful comments situates each poem in its proper context. From Harmnon's general introduction to the last words of the last poem. This is the best gathering of the best of our poetry.