Here is my list of undisputed, bona fide thoroughly English classical poets and no riff-raff.  Under each name you will find the titles of suitable poems for primary schools. They will be old hat for you, but remember it’s the first time for them.

You can tackle the following poets in KS1: Belloc, Blake, Carroll, Causley, Lear, Taylor.

Sorry there are so few women.  You could try Emily Dickinson, remembering that she’s American. Also consider Elizabeth Barrett Browning for the more able.


Hilaire Belloc

Any of the poems in Cautionary Tales


William Blake

Tyger, Tyger

The Lamb

A Poison Tree


Robert Browning

How they Brought the Good News from Aix to Ghent

The Pied Piper of Hamelin


Lewis Carroll


The Walrus and the Carpenter

He Thought he Saw


Charles Causley

Timothy Winters

I Saw a Jolly Hunter

What has happened to Lulu?



The Donkey





Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember

The Song of the Shirt


John Keats

Meg Merrilees


Rudyard Kipling


A Dead Statesman


Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Pelican Chorus

The Jumblies

The Table and the Chair


Walter de la Mare

The Listeners

As Lucy went a-walking

The Scarecrow


John Masefield



Sea Fever


Alfred Noyes

The Highwayman


Christina Rossetti



When I am Dead

A Diamond or a Coal?

A Linnet in a Gilded Cage

Goblin Market


Sir Walter Scott

Young Lochinvar


William Shakespeare

The Seven Ages of Man from As You Like it

When that I was from Twelfth Night

All the World’s a Stage


Robert Southey

The Inchcape Rock

Bishop Hatto


Robert Louis Stevenson

The Land of Counterpane

The Lamplighter

My Bed is like a Boat


Ann Taylor

My Mother

Meddlesome Matty


Lord Tennyson

The Lady of Shallot

The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Eagle

Crossing the Bar


William Wordsworth

The Daffodils

She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

My Heart Leaps Up