Pretty Poetry For Everyday

11 Best 20 Line Poems

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.

Best poems with 20 lines

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!

  1. 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.”

—Emily Dickinson


  1. Cats

“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.”

—Francis Scarfe


  1. 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.


  1. 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.”

—Mathilde Blind


  1. 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


  1. 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)

20 line poems

  1. 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.”

—Marge Piercy

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.


  1. Stars

“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…”

—Dowell O’Reilly


  1. Moonlight

“– 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.”

—Victoria Sackville-West


  1. 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.

Poetry inspired by love

  1. Love

“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.”

—Charles Harpur

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. 

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