For those of you, who'd like to get in some good reading over the next few weeks, I thought I'd slice a little section out of American Lit. to share with you! Enjoy.
Emily Dickinson - tons of poetry, very nature centered. One of her more famous pieces... and this one I like is: "I'm nobody! Who are you?" also look at "there is another sky"
Robert Frost - As you know is more of a 20th century poet, but he did start writing in the 19th.
Edgar Allan Poe - the Alfred Hitchcock of poetry :) Is by far one of the most well known names of the 19th century. A little too dark for regular reading in my opinion but nevertheless worth checking out.
Ezra Pound - Another one who spans both centuries. I'm not a big fan, but some people are.
Oscar Wilde - Another huge name for that century, well known for his plays (e.g. importance of being Ernest) but also wrote some great poetry. I like "Sonnet to Liberty" for instance.
Walt Whitmann - One of my absolute favorites of the time and also one of the most well known! I love pieces like "O Captain! My Captain!" or " I hear American singing" or "To you" and of course "O Me! O Life!"
Henry David Thoreau - is another huge name and brilliant poet of the time (if not of all time). One of his best works is a small poetic narrative called "Walden"
T.S. Eliot - Also a century crosser, was big names of the time. His pieces are often long and his style is his own. Well known pieces are, for example "The Wasteland" which is quite long, or goofy pieces like "the naming of the cats".
Ralph Waldo Emerson - right along with the last 3 poets, one of the biggest names of the century. He was a philosopher and writer who wrote short stories and poetry. Famous pieces include the likes of "Brahma".
Oliver Wendell Holmes- Well known poet, has some good pieces like "The Chambered Nautilus"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - I like his poem "A psalm of life"
Herman Melville - also a really big name of the century. I know him better for his short stories, but he was also a good poet.
Mark Twain - considered the greatest humorist in american fiction, he did also do poetry. His poetry is fun and playful, I like pieces like "Those Annual Bills"
So basically although the 20th century produced it's fair share of good poets, I definitely prefer the 19th century which has in my opinion provided richest selection of american poems.