CommonLit The Library
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.
To An Athlete Dying Young
A. E. Housman
The speaker addresses an elegy to a champion runner who died at the height of his physical prime.
Learning to Read
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
An African American child in 1872 describes what it was like to be discouraged from learning how to read.
At A Window
A desperate speaker begs the gods to deliver someone to love.
Death Be Not Proud
In this famous poem, Donne uses a defiant tone to confront Death.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Written in stream-of-consciousness, the poem follows the lamentations of Prufrock, thwarted by love and his own indecisiveness.
Sassoon, who was himself a soldier in WWI, describes a soldier's perspective on the battlefield.
This sonnet, written during WWI, describes an English soldier's dying wish.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
In this playful poem, Silverstein uses an extended metaphor to capture the beauty of a child's imagination.
A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General
Swift uses humor to show that even decorated generals cannot fight off death.
William Butler Yeats
Yeats reveals his torn emotions about the Easter Rising, an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland.
Because I could not stop for death
The speaker takes a leisurely carriage drive with the figure of Death.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Nature is indifferent to the conflicts and suffering of mankind.
A Description of A City Shower
In this humorous poem, Swift exposes the shortcomings of city life, particularly the lack of adequate plumbing, which becomes a problem for everyone when it rains.
The Song of The Shirt
This poem depicts the inhuman working conditions for England's poor.
Sandburg laments the fleeting nature of language in the context of human history.
We Wear the Mask
Paul Laurence Dunbar
This famous poem is about the tendency of oppressed black Americans to conceal their pain and suffering in post-Civil War America.
Using a paternal tone, the speaker makes a list of rules to live by.
A Poison Tree
In this poem, a speaker allows their hatred and anger to grow, like a poisonous tree.