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Locating Criticism of Individual Poems


William Cullen Bryant Putnam's monthly portraits; the author of the Conqueror's Grave [William Cullen Bryant].
Photographic print.
[between 1850 and 1900]

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Library of Congress.


Few websites provide access to criticism of individual poems. The Modern American Poetry website, listed below, is one of few sites of which we are aware that offer poetry explications for works produced by a large number of poets. Some sites, such as the Walt Whitman Archive, provide online explications of poems written by a single poet. We do not attempt to list these sites.


Modern American Poetry: An Online Journal and Multimedia Companion to Anthology of Modern American Poetry. Oxford University Press, 2000. Ed. Cary Nelson. 2002. 4 Nov. 2005. <>.

Includes scholarly commentary on the works of approximately 160 modern poets, including explications of individual poems. See, for example, criticism of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

ipl2 Literary Criticism Collection. 4 Apr. 2013. <>.

Links to critical and biographical websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period.

Poet's Corner - Poems.Thomson Gale. 4 Nov. 2005. <>.

A free resource from Thompson Gale that provides brief explications of selected poems, including Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death," and William Blake's "The Tyger."

Representative Poetry Online: Prose and Verse Criticism of Poetry. University of Toronto. Ed. Ian Lancashire. 4 Nov. 2005. <>.

Founded by the University of Toronto, Representative Poetry Online provides acess to nearly 3,200 English poems by 500 poets. Its page on Prose and Verse Criticism of Poetry links to commentary of several well- known poems, such as John Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale," Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," and Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach."


Criticism of poems can often be found through by conducting keyword searches of search engines such as Google and Yahoo! Using keywords such as a poem's title along with criticism, analysis, or introduction frequently will return sites that provide explications of the poem. There also exist Web portals such as the Internet Public Library's Literary Criticism collection that may lead you to criticism of individual poems.


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  March 16, 2022
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