CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
Verses Written by a Young Lady, on Women Born to Be Controll'd!
A speaker laments the position of women as was then conceived natural: subservient to men.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
A narrator attempts to do a friend a favor - and gets swindled into hearing a rambling and ridiculous story.
To My Dear and Loving Husband
A woman professes her love to her husband.
To His Excellency, General Washington
An ode to the future first president, commending his achievements as general in the American Revolutionary War.
When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be
A speaker shares his desires for his future and his fears that he will not accomplish them.
I Am Offering This Poem
Jimmy Santiago Baca
With nothing else to offer, a speaker gives the gifts of poetry and love.
This short but profound poem deals with the idea of hiding one’s identity.
The War Works Hard
In this satirical poem, a speaker remarks on the impressive diligence of war and its effects, from "provid[ing] food for flies" to "invigorat[ing] the coffin makers."
Excerpts from 'Song of Myself': 1, 2, 6, 52
This epic poem celebrating American identity has been credited as "representing the core of Whitman’s poetic vision."
Heart to Heart
In this poem, Rita Dove reinvents a common symbol - the heart - and in doing so, shows us what it means to be human.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A man pauses for a thoughtful moment in the woods.
In this sonnet, McKay, a Harlem Renaissance poet, reveals his mixed feelings about living in "the land of the free."
Robert Louis Stevenson
In this whimsical poem, Stevenson describes the adventures he will have in his youth - adventures that will sustain him when he is old.
We Grow Accustomed to the Dark
In this poem, "the Dark" is something unknown and ever-present.
Death Be Not Proud
In this famous poem, Donne uses a defiant tone to confront Death.
This sonnet, written during WWI, describes an English soldier's dying wish.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
A Confederate sympathizer is hanged by Union soldiers.
Using a paternal tone, the speaker makes a list of rules to live by.