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Famous Poets Throughout History

Edgar Allen Poe once said, "Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words." One might not expect such an eloquent and albeit positive insight from a man notoriously dark and morbidly-minded, yet Poe is one of history's most renowned poets. Although Emily Dickinson is one of America's most famous authors, by the time she died, only 12 of the more than 1,800 poems she penned throughout her life had been published. Langston Hughes fought against racism and political oppression during his lifetime though the poetry-fueled Harlem Renaissance movement—which also included revolutionary poet Countee Cullen. Allen Ginsberg captured the spirit of the 1960s and '70s through his socially inspired beatnik prose which often included themes such as free speech and opposition to the Vietnam War. Despite the small niceties greeting card poems may convey, poetry has in fact been used as a powerful tool of social and political upheaval, storytelling through generations and expressing the complexities of life and its struggles for centuries.

From the classical prose of William Shakespeare to the modern spoken word stanzas of Maya Angelou, this playlist takes you through some of the literary world's most influential and powerful poetry line-by-line. If poet Carl Sandberg's definition of poetry is true—"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment"—then these videos are sure to put the mind to work.

Playlist by
Linze Rice

14 and Shakespeare the Numbers Man - Numberphile

04:37

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Emily Dickinson Archive

4 of 11

01:54

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SCARY! Edgar Allan Poe's "THE RAVEN" read by Edgar Oliver

5 of 11

16:22

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Langston Hughes & the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215

6 of 11

11:32

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Jabberwocky by Lewis Caroll - Poetry Reading

7 of 11

01:26

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The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Poetry Reading

8 of 11

01:26

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She Walks In Beauty by George Gordon (Lord) Byron - Poetry Reading

9 of 11

01:12

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An Immorality by Ezra Pound - Poetry Reading

10 of 11

00:44

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Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Poetry Reading

11 of 11

01:44

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Since Feeling Is First by E.E. Cummings - Poetry Reading

12 of 11

00:43

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Maya Angelou's Poem "On the Pulse of Morning"

13 of 11

06:27

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