10 Poems in 10 Lines or Less for National Poetry Month

Poetry can be a tough sell to kids and adults alike. But it doesn’t have to be! By exploring the power and emotion conveyed in just a few lines of poetry, you’ll get kids thinking critically about all sorts of topics. Short poems are the perfect way to warm up a class or to get a dinner conversation going. 

Poetry is also a great way to introduce literary concepts. As learners read poetry, they develop an understanding of voice and figurative language, as well as expand their vocabulary. Through IXL’s language arts curriculum, students have the opportunity to analyze different elements of poetry and answer reading comprehension questions to check for understanding. You can try it for yourself in these fun skills: 

Now, let’s get ready for National Poetry Month! Read on for 10 poems that pack a whole lot of meaning in 10 lines or less.

1. “Fog” by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes  on little cat feet.  It sits looking  over the harbor and city  on silent haunches  and then moves on.  “Fog” by Carl Sandberg

2. “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams

“The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams So much depends  upon  a red wheel  barrow  glazed with rain  water  beside the white  chickens.

3. “i shall imagine life” by e.e. cummings

i shall imagine life  is not worth dying if  (and when) roses complain  their beauties are in vain  but though mankind persuades  itself that every weed’s  a rose roses (you feel  certain) will only smile “i shall imagine life” by e.e. Cummings

4. “The Sun Sets in Molten Gold” by Li Ching Chao

“The Sun Sets in Molten Gold” by Li Ching Chao The sun sets in molten gold The evening clouds form a jade disk. Where is he? Dense white mist envelops the willows. A sad flute plays “Falling Plum Blossoms.” How many Spring days are left now? This Feast of Lanterns should be joyful. The weather is calm and lovely. But who can tell if it Will be followed by wind and rain?

5. “First Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

 “First Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — It gives a lovely light!

6. “A House of Cards” by Christina Rossetti

“A House of Cards” by Christina Rossetti A house of cards Is neat and small; Shake the table, It must fall. Find the Court cards One by one; Raise it, roof it — Now it’s done — Shake the table! That’s the fun.

7. “Parting” by Emily Dickinson

“Parting” by Emily Dickinson My life closed twice before its close; It yet remains to see If immortality unveil A third event to me, So huge, so hopeless to conceive, As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell.

8. “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost

“Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.

9. “XIV” from The Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda

And what did the rubies say standing before the juice of pomegranates? Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday? Who shouted with glee when the color blue was born? Why does the earth grieve when the violets appear?

10. “Risk” by Anaïs Nin

“Risk” by Anaïs Nin And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Want more tips and tricks? Follow IXL on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn!