I decided to compile a collection of public domain poems as a celebration of National Poetry Day here in the UK. In the EU, works enter the public domain 70 years after the creator’s death, if it was published during the author’s lifetime. This means that there is an incredible amount of poems (and many other pieces of literature) that can be freely read, translated, published, used, remixed, etc.
Below you’ll find a list of English-writing poets and some of their works with links to where you can fully enjoy (and/or download them freely). These works were made legally available on collaborative platforms such as Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive. This is obviously a small sample of all the public domain poems available on the web. There are literally thousands of works out there and in the most varied languages. For now, we celebrate National Poetry Day with these.
William Shakespeare – Sonnets
Brontë Family (Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell) – Bronte Poems, a selection by Arthur C. Benson
D. H. Lawrence – Amores
Robert Burns – The Complete Works
Lord Byron – Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5
William Blake – Poems
Lewis Carroll – The hunting of the snark, and other poems and verses
John Keats, Percy Shelley – The Complete Poetical Works