Poetry is something we all encounter at some point in our lives, but for some of us, verse speaks to the soul in a way that prose never could.
Many poetry fanatics have their very own poetry collections which fill their bookshelves, but with the rise of the internet, it has become easier than ever before to discover new poems and writers as well as share one’s own work with others.
As with many hobbies and interests, poetry has its own online community.
This community of writing poetry, and sharing and discussing poems can be found and joined on social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as blogs and websites dedicated to poetry.
Regardless of the genre of poetry you’re interested in, whether you write poetry or simply enjoy poetry reading and discussing the work of others, the World Wide Web really is your oyster!
The beauty of using the internet to explore the world of poetry is that you can find exactly what you’re looking for – no flicking through anthologies or buying a poetry book to find the perfect poem. If you’re looking for a poem for a certain occasion, or you just want to find some fitting words, there are lots of poetry websites which sort their poems into categories with tags, so you can spend more time reading and less time searching!
However, while the internet can make finding new poems about certain things a lot easier, the large amount of information available to poetry lovers can sometimes be overwhelming. This is why we’ve picked out a great selection of poem websites to make your life easier, so you can spend more time enjoying each carefully-written stanza you may come across.
Why Find Poetry Online?
As we have already seen, there are many things that make the internet a great place for discovering new poetry, but there is much more to online poetry than you may think.
So, what makes the internet such a great place for poem lovers? And how can participation in online poetry communities inspire poetry writers and readers alike?
The resources available to poetry nuts on the internet are wide and varied. For instance, if you’re looking for a specific poem you have in mind, you’ll be able to find and print it off. Likewise, if you want to find a poem of a certain genre or for a special occasion, poetry websites tend to organise works into categories using keywords, so you can find a poem that fits the brief perfectly.
In addition to the many websites which can help you find poetry, there are also plenty of platforms on which you can share the poetry you have written.
When it comes to using the World Wide Web for showcasing your work, there is a good range of outlets where you can simply post for your own pleasure or welcome feedback on your poems.
Whatever your poetic or literary interests, the online world has almost everything you need to satisfy your creative needs.
The Best Poetry Sites for Discovering New Poetry
The internet can be a treasure trove, but it can also become a bit of a black hole at the best of times. This is why knowing of a few good poetry websites to use can make your online experience far more pleasant and less overwhelming.
Not only can a good poetry website provide you with amazing poems, but it can also invite discussion among readers. Many poetry websites are also known to advertise poetry events around the world – who knows? You may end up on a poetry-inspired trip!
Here are just some of the most popular websites used by poem fanatics to engage in the online poetry community:
- Hello Poetry
Hello Poetry was built as a clean, clutter-free space for poetry lovers to share and enjoy poetry. The website, known as HePo, has significantly grown in popularity in recent years, meaning that readers are never short of new content.
Upon reaching the HePo homepage, users are met with the sleek, monochrome design of the site which puts poems at the centre.
Users can view poems ordered by date or even request a random poem. One of the site’s handiest features is the ‘Make me…’ tab, with which users can be given poems to make them smile, think, cry, or laugh – poems are added to each of these categories based on real feedback from readers.
You, too, can also provide a poetry review of the poems featured on Hello Poetry by making an account.
- Poetry by Heart
The Poetry by Heart website is a resource for the use of participants of the poetry recitation competition of the same name as well as those teaching poetry and learning about poetry in school.
Despite its purpose as a learning resource for students, the Poetry by Heart website is also useful for poetry lovers in general.
Check out different UK poetry competitions.
The site features a poetry timeline anthology which you can use to find poems from the year 1000 to the present day. In addition, each poem is accompanied by a short biography of its author and an overview of the background to the work itself.
The website also has a ‘lucky dip’ feature which chooses a random poem for you to read and enjoy.
With its many helpful materials and insights into the inspiration behind each poem, the Poetry by Heart website is great for delving deeper into the poetry world.
- Poem Hunter
On Poem Hunter, you can find selections of poems arranged by genre, author and popularity, as well as a hand-picked poem a day to inspire you.
In addition to the huge selection of poetry that Poem Hunter has to offer, the website also has a feature that helps user track down poetry quotes. In the same way that you can find poems from a particular author or certain genre, you can find quotations that fit your search criteria.
Like many other poetry websites, Poem Hunter also has a random poem generator for users who are feeling spontaneous.
- Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation is an organisation which works to make poetry a key feature of our everyday lives by seeking out new works and raising their profile in the world to reach as wide an audience as possible.
The Poetry Foundation website features pages dedicated to poems and prose as well as information on prevalent poets. The organisation has also compiled collections of poetry for various occasions and seasons. In addition to this, the website also has a 100-year archive of POETRY magazine run by the Poetry Foundation.
Users can browse the website according to the type of poem or poet. For instance, there is a collection of poems from Shakespeare, Edgar Allen-Poe, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, as well as collection based on the poets' provenance and school.
For those who are auditory learners, or simply enjoy listening to poetry rather than reading it, there is also a facility for doing so. Poetry lovers can listen to recitations of individual poems as well as catch up on the Poetry Magazine Podcast, which features poetry readings and discussions.
Where to Share Poetry Online
It’s very common for poetry lovers to be keen poets themselves. For some, their poetry creations are strictly private, but for others, sharing their work is a must.
Sharing a poem you’re proud of is a great way to seek feedback on your work, and with plenty of like-minded people on the internet to get advice from, the online poetry community is a great resource for exploring and improving your work.
So, what are your options when it comes to sharing your poems?
- Submit poems to poetry websites
Many of the most popular poetry websites do take submissions. All you have to do is register with the website and find the email address or page to send your work to. If a website accepts your submission, you’ll be able to view it online, just like other users, who may give you feedback and criticism on your poetry writing.
For those trying their hand at poetry, however, the selective nature of these sites when it comes to publishing submissions can be off-putting, which is why many new poets and writers share their work via other platforms instead.
One popular platform, which boasts the title of ‘the largest poetry community’ is perfect for new poets who are looking to share their work and receive feedback on their creative writing.
With no membership fees to pay, all poets have to do is submit their poem to the website. After this, poems are published for others to review.
The aim of this website is inclusivity and encouragement. It is open to everyone; from beginners to published authors, and it is designed in such a way that every poet receives several positive comments.
- Social media
Social media is not only at the centre of our personal lives, but it is becoming more and more present in the professional world, too, as its features are carefully constructed in order to help people expand their reach.
The rise of the ‘Instagram poet’ has seen poetry become part of the online mainstream, as poets share their short works by sharing them in the form of an image, as well as using the ‘stories’ feature to introduce a new style of delivery to their poetry.
Many budding poets create separate poetry accounts on various social media sites (such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to share their work and gain a following, as well as starting a blog for their work. The phenomenon of social media poetry has already produced best-selling poet Rupi Kaur, who started out by sharing her work on Instagram.