Inside: 11 of the greatest 20 Line Poems To Inspire You.
Ah, line poems. Classic, short, and sweet. They can pack a powerful punch, with each line typically no more than 20 syllables each.
While this constraint can be a challenge for writers, it can also produce some of the best poems out there.
Authors of line poems are often lauded for their ability to say a lot in a little. Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, and E.E. Cummings are all famous for their line poetry.
From love to loss, these poems can explore a range of emotions and topics. If you’re looking for a quick dose of poetry, check out some of the best 20 line poems below.
Adorable 20 Line Poems Inspired by Animals
If you’re an animal lover, you’ll find these poems adorable! The imagery in these poems is just perfect and vivid. Even if you do not have a particular liking to animals, maybe you’ll find yourself adoring them after reading these poems. These are excerpts from our favorites!
- A Bird Came Down
“A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.”
“Those who love cats which do not even purr
Or which are thin and tired and very old,
Bend down to them in the street and stroke their fur
And rub their ears, and smooth their breast, and hold
Them carefully, and gaze into their eyes of gold.
For how can they pass what does not ask for love
But draws it out of those who have too much,
Frustrated souls who cannot use it all, who have
Somewhere too tight and sad within them, such
A tenderness it flows through all they touch.”
- The Sheep
“The Sheep is gentle, meek and mild,
And led in herds by man or child?
Being less savage than the rabbit,
Sheep are gregarious by habit.
The Sheep grows wool and thus promotes
The making of vests, pants and coats?
Vests, pants and coats and woolen cloths
Provide good food for hungry moths.”
—Ellis Parker Butler
Stunning Line Poems Inspired by Seasons
Ah, the beauty of seasons! Each one reminds us of a memory – a summer vacation, a kiss in spring, a walk in autumn, or a cozy blanket in winter. Sit down in nostalgia with these poems about seasons.
- Autumn Tints
“Coral coloured yew-berries
Strew the garden ways,
Hollyhocks and sunflowers
Make a dazzling blaze
In these latter days.
Marigolds by cottage doors
Flaunt their golden pride,
Crimson-punctured bramble leaves
Dapple far and wide
The green mountain-side.”
- Summer Sun
“Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson
- Sweet Springtime
“It was in the prime
Of the sweet springtime
In the linnet’s throat
Trembled the love note,
And the love-stirred air
Thrilled the blossoms there.
Little shadows danced,
Each a tiny elf
Happy in large light
And the thinnest self.”
—George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)
- Winter Promises
“I lie on the couch under a blanket
of seed catalogs ordering far
too much. Sleet slides down
the windows, a wind edged
with ice knifes through every crack.
Lie to me, sweet garden-mongers:
I want to believe every promise,
to trust in five pound tomatoes
and dahlias brighter than the sun
that was eaten by frost last week.”
Notable Line Poems Inspired by Night
In most paintings, the night symbolizes mystery and secrets, but in poetry, it means so many things. When talking about the night, poets often allude to the stars, the moon, or the wind. Sometimes, even an eventful evening like how the poems below describe.
“Obedient to the Unknown Power,
From out the ruin of a world
A clustered galaxy is hurled
To glimmer through its steadfast hour:
The blazing sun of Shakespeare?s soul
Shattered to star-dust, fills again
With meteor-flights the immortal brain
That seeks a yet more splendid goal…”
“– Then do the clouds like silver flags
Stream out above the tattered crags,
And black and silver all the coast
Marshalls its hunched and rocky host,
And headlands striding sombrely
Buttress the land against the sea,
— The darkened land, the brightening wave —
And moonlight slants through Merlin’s cave.”
- Grey Evening
“Now underneath a blue-grey twilight, heaped
Beyond the withering snow of the shorn fields
Stands rubble of stunted houses; all is reaped
And garnered that the golden daylight yields.
Dim lamps like yellow poppies glimmer among
The shadowy stubble of the under-dusk,
As farther off the scythe of night is swung,
And little stars come rolling from their husk…”
—David Herbert Lawrence
Lovely 20 Line Poems Inspired By Love
Of course, a poetry list is not complete without a poem about love! Take a trip down memory lane and remember the first time you fell in love—the strong, consuming emotions that love evoked—with these words from Charles Harpur.
“My soul; is raying like a star,
My heart is happier than a bird,
And all because, through fortune’s jar,
I hear one little word.
I feel as if all life and might
Had started on a loftier course,
As if all passion and delight
Were deepened at the source.
I feel as if the very air
Was breathed from out the heart of love,
And in my heart, still rapture rare,
Sat brooding like a dove.
O beauty! Even through a word
What powers are thine to raise and bless!
O love! A seraph’s voice is heard
In thy confiding Yes!
Love is God’s messenger divine,
And nature, tending up to God,
Shall breathe His clear air pure and fine
Whatever love hath trod.”
More Poems You’ll Love
Looking for a poem that expresses how you’re feeling or a topic you’d want to read about? Here are more poems regarding various themes you might be interested in:
- 51 I Miss You Poems. Whether you’re dealing with a breakup, a friend that has moved away, the loss of a loved one, or just simply being miles away from someone you want to see dearly, poetry that says “I Miss You” can help you find solace in your own feelings.
- 23 Poems About Confidence. Reading poems about confidence that describes struggles and overcoming difficulties can be inspiring and encouraging. We often find strength in ourselves when we read about strength in others. If you need a little pick-me-upper, we highly recommend these poems!
- 23 Poems about Adventure. These poems about travel are filled with wonder and excitement to remind you of your own adventures. They are the thoughts of travelers like you who love to explore the world and venture out of their comfort zones. They talk about visiting foreign places and the personal discoveries that come with their journey.