Famous Poetry Opening Lines
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..." What poem does this opening line belong to?
- Edgar Allan Poe's seminal poem holds an air of despair and creepiness right from the beginning.
"Half a league, half a league, half a league onward..."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson was a prolific writer who was named Poet Laureate during the reign of Queen Victoria, and his work remains popular today.
"Whose woods these are I think I know..."
- With his unique blend of Romanticism and natural observation, Robert Frost is a fascinating poet with a penchant for making a masterpiece of the mundane.
"Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger..."
- Written by the epic poet Homer during the Dark Ages of ancient Greece, this oral poem would have been performed from memory at the banquet of a nobleman and his family, along with Homer's other iconic poem, "The Odyssey".
"On either side the river lie long fields of barley and of rye..."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson's stunning poem details the tragedy of a noblewoman who cannot be united with her lover, with tones similar to ballads of Queen Guinevere of Camelot and Sir Lancelot.
"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees..."
- Alfred Noyes was a popular English poet whose work was noticeably influenced by the writers of the Romantic movement that came before.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
- William Shakespeare not only wrote plays that are still popular but a variety of poems as well!
"April is the cruelest month..."
- T.S. Eliot was a well-known writer, lauded particularly for his modernist poem "The Waste Land".
"Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate, and haughty Juno's unrelenting hate..."
- Virgil's epic poem details the journey of Aeneas, one of the lone survivors of Troy, as he establishes the Roman empire in Italy.
"It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea..."
- Edgar Allan Poe's poem yearns for the narrator's young love who was taken too soon by a storm-borne chill.