Last updated: August 27, 2021

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Reading poetry may seem daunting. But the fact is that, over the centuries, poetry has diversified and is increasingly accessible. To prove this, in today's article we will indicate the best poetry books.

Below, you will discover why it is important to read poetry and how to identify the right book for you to venture into this rich universe of literature.


  • Reading poetry doesn't have to be a difficult and dull experience, as some of us may feel when remembering our school days.
  • Even though the best poetry books are the classics, today there is a good diversity of authors and styles, from traditional to contemporary.
  • To invest in the best poetry book, check out the author, the writing style and, of course, the theme of the verses and rhymes.

The Best Poetry Book: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Those who wish to venture into the world of poetry may find it difficult to choose the best books. That is why we have created a Buying Guide.

From here, you will better understand how this vast lyrical universe works, how much an average poetry book costs and where to buy the best editions.

Mulher, sentada em um pedra, lendo um livro.

Reading poems entertains, transforms and excites. (Source: Pexels/

Why should you read poetry books?

There are thousands of styles of books to study specific subjects, learn or simply to be entertained. But poetry books are, in fact, a category apart.

So much so that some readers prefer to steer clear as it is not always an easy task to read poetry. This is because poetry is precisely one of the freest literary styles in terms of aesthetics and composition.

Part of the literary genre lyric, poetry is a text usually written in verses that, grouped together, form the stanzas. The fact is that in poetry, the aesthetics of the language often prevails over the content.

The concern with aesthetics, metrics and rhyme goes back to the origin of poetry, which was born to be sung. In terms of content, this type of text usually expresses feelings and visions of the author or notes on an era.

Over the centuries, poetry has also changed. Today, this literary genre speaks about social, political and environmental problems and, of course, about love, longing and hope.

Therefore, with poetry, the reader is led to feel, think, rethink and, finally, has the opportunity to transform himself. And all this through word games, metaphors and meanings that expand the world view, the vocabulary and the way of expressing oneself.

What are the main types of poetry you will find in the books?

Poetry also has subcategories that help direct each reader to their preferred theme or style. Check out the table below, the main types of poetry

Type of poetry Description
Lyric Poetry Expresses the author's feelings
Dramatic Poetry Subjective, deals with the poet's critical opinion
Epic Poetry Marked by objectivity, narrates facts considered important to the poet

Who are the most famous poets in Brazil and in the world?

Whether you are a poetry fan or a beginner, you have probably heard of names like Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Paulo Leminski and Fernando Pessoa.

These are just some of the great poets who have influenced generations and have been enshrined in the history of world literature.

Besides them, there are many others, both Brazilian and foreign, classic and contemporary, who still inspire and influence a legion of readers.

Below is a short and brief list of Brazilian poets who have written the best books of poetry:

  • Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987): A modernist poet from Minas Gerais, Drummond is considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of the 20th century;
  • Cora Coralina (1889-1985): Cora is known as the "writer of simple things". In addition to poems, she wrote short stories and works of children's literature;
  • Hilda Hilst (1930-2004): Hilda is considered one of Brazil's greatest 20th century writers and the great transgressor poet. In addition to poetry, she wrote chronicles and works of dramaturgy;
  • Ferreira Gullar (1930-2016): A contemporary poet, Gullar's work is marked by social and engaged themes;
  • Cecília Meireles (1901-1964): Cecília Meireles' poems are intimate in character and have a strong influence of psychoanalysis and social themes;
  • Maria Firmina: She wrote the country's first abolitionist novel and was the first black woman to publish a book, "Ursula" (1859). She published poems and musical compositions;
  • Clarice Lispector (1920-1977): A modernist poet, she also wrote novels, short stories and works of children's literature;
  • Mario Quintana (1906-1994): The "poet of simple things", his work explores themes of love, time and nature;
  • Ariano Suassuna (1927-2014): A poet who valued popular arts, Suassuna was prominent in cordel literature, novels, essays and dramaturgy.

In addition to Brazilian poets, we have cited below some of the most famous authors of international poetry books:

  • Florbela Espanca;
  • Pablo Neruda;
  • Sylvia Plath;
  • Fernando Pessoa;
  • Rupi Kaur;

Purchase Criteria: How to choose the best poetry books

Some aspects that define the best poetry books can help an assiduous reader or even a beginner to buy the ideal one according to their literary preferences.

To help you invest in the best poetry book, we have listed below the main criteria that should be taken into account. Take a look:

From here on, we will explain in as much detail as possible how you can, in practice, analyse each of these factors.


The first aspect that you should take into consideration when choosing which is the best poetry book for you is, in fact, the author.

Knowing the history, era and style of who writes the poems is essential to get it right and avoid frustration when reading.

As we have seen, there are at least three styles of poetry and each one defines the way poetry is written.

Some poets are defined by romanticism, while others use their poems to protest.

For example, some poets are defined by romanticism, while others use their poems to protest and address controversial social and political issues.

Moreover, it is important to remember that the poet ends up creating verses according to his time.

Thus, the poems of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, for example, will have a completely different lingo and vocabularies from a contemporary writer such as, for example, the poet Rupi Kaur and the poet Bráulio Bessa.


The next topic that deserves your attention when choosing the best poetry book is the theme. As we have seen, this is usually defined by the author and his experiences. But the fact is that there are poets who deal with the most diverse themes.

Because of this, we recommend that you always read the book or the back cover that, in general, summarize the theme of the poems covered in the books.

Do you know the difference between poems and poetry?

A poem is a literary text composed of verses, stanzas and, sometimes, rhyme.

Poetry is an artistic manifestation, which may or may not be done with words, as in the case of the poem.

In other words, every poem is a poem. But not all poetry is a poem. Poetry can involve paintings, sculptures, literature, etc

Paper or online

Be sure to thoroughly evaluate which is the best option for your reading: digital or paper poetry books.

The tradition of the physical book still endures as, for some readers, the experience of touching and leafing through paper is incomparable. However, as we have seen, in this format poetry books will be more expensive because of their manufacturing process.

With the ebook, the book in digital format, the cost is reduced and you can read poetry whenever and wherever you want.

For children

Be sure to also evaluate whether the poetry book will be aimed at adults or children. There are specific works for the children's audience and it is worth investing in them.

After all, reading poetry to children helps them learn to read, express themselves and understand their feelings. So much so that rhymes are usually one of the first learning experiences in childhood.

In this respect, the variety of authors is also great. So much so that some, such as Cecilia Meireles, have books dedicated only to children.

(Featured image source: Siana_1 /