20 Classic Poems Every Man Should Read | The Art of Manliness

April is National Poetry month and we began this month with several Christian ones relating to the death of Jesus Christ. And, for an archive post this month, we featured a poem with PRC congregational clues.

Earlier this week the Art of Manliness had a fine post asserting “20 Classic Poems Every Man Should Read.” Today, as we stand at the end of the month, we consider it worth referring to that post here.

AOM introduces it by pointing out how poetry has fallen on hard times, perhaps especially among men. But they also inspire us to read and become familiar with some classics. I include their introduction here and then encourage you to visit the website for the links to the 20 poems they recommend. Keep in mind that this is a diverse collection and that some of them reflect the worldview of unbelievers. Nevertheless, as Christians we must also know and be able to evaluate biblically the poetry of the world.

“The Victorian poet Matthew Arnold once claimed that “The crown of literature is poetry,” and if our neglect of poetry is any indication, the crown is rusting. While book sales fluctuate from year to year, fewer and fewer publishing houses are printing volumes of poetry. The demand for poets and their poems has ebbed.

“However, we do ourselves a great disservice when we neglect the reading of poetry. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of the United States, commended poetry to his son John Quincy. Both Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt committed their favorite poems to memory. Ancient kings were expected to produce poetry while also being versed in warfare and statecraft. That poetry has fallen out of favor among men in the 21st century is a recent trend rather than the norm.

“To help remedy this, we have compiled a list of 20 classic poems that every man should read. Spanning the past two thousand years, the poems on this list represent some of the best works of poetry ever composed. But don’t worry — they were selected for both their brevity and ease of application. Some are about striving to overcome, others about romantic love, and still others about patriotism. Whether you’ve been reading poetry for years or haven’t read a single line since high school, these poems are sure to inspire and delight you.”

But, now, allow me to give you a “teaser” – a classic from the Bard, William Shakespeare.

4. Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 29, by William Shakespeare cover sitting on a chair.

No list of poems is complete without the Bard himself. Known primarily for his plays, universally accepted as some of the best works in world literature, Shakespeare was also a poet, composing over 150 sonnets in his lifetime. Sonnet 29 is a lamentation on the loss of fame and fortune but ends with a meditation on the love that he has for his beloved. Works such as It’s a Wonderful Life echo the themes in Shakespeare’s Sonnet, showing us that the company of loved ones far outweighs all the riches that the world offers.

Source: 20 Classic Poems Every Man Should Read | The Art of Manliness

Published in: on April 29, 2022 at 8:47 PM  Leave a Comment  

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