free access to the best selection of free poetry and poems

If you enjoy reading poetry you will love this collection of free poetry books. Free Verse? Haiku? Epic? Ballad? whatever poetry form you favour, we have it here!

Share some Poetry ...


Free Poetry to download, read and keep.

Shall I compare thee to a summers day? You might think poetry is a more specialist genre or is old fashioned but you probably know more poetry than you think. The opening sentence was Shakespeare. It’s very likely you will have studied some poetry at school but that might be the last time that you picked up a poetry book. Well, now is a good opportunity to change that and download poetry online

Poetry can take many forms – long poems, short poems, rhyming or not rhyming. Different cultures have different formats, for examples the Japanese haiku. The common theme is the way the poem is structured with a rhythm. A poem does not have to rhyme.

Poems can cover a huge range of topics. The genre of poetry is about the structure and not the content so you will find everything covered here on obooko. Poetry is used for many reasons. The simple beauty of the format or as a way to invoke feelings and emotions in a way that is not possible with a straightforward piece of text. Sometimes a poem is used to tell a story.

Poetry can be traced back to ancient times in the second and third millennium BC and were often used to tell epic tales. In fact one of the oldest poems discovered on ancient tablets is the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia around 2000 BC. It tells the tale of gods and kings and great journeys and battles.

Other well known epics that have survived from the ancient world are Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greece.

We already mentioned Shakespeare but in the middle ages he and his contemporaries made the sonnet a popular format of poetry. The rise of the theatre and plays provided larger audiences for poetry. The plays themselves contained poems and it is likely that you will have studied them at school.

Another period of history when poems were used to great effect is the First World War. Poets like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen became famous for there use of poems to described the harrowing experiences of war on the front line. The format and use of metaphors to draw in the reader is exceptionally clever and will not fail to invoke emotion.

Download free poetry at obooko and enjoy the many themes we have available. An added advantage of poetry is that it’s usually short and can be enjoyed in a short space of time. But you should take the time to read poems over again to understand the meanings and the nuances of what the writer is trying to say to you. Poems can be complex and it takes some time to get the full understanding.

Poetry books are a great way to spend a summers day exploring new ideas or curling up in front of the fire in the middle of winter and indulging in wonderful verse. For the true romantics, seek out love poems and read them to your partner.