Several famous poets including Gwendolyn Brooks, Thomas Hardy and Frances Cornford have written eight-line poems. Examples include Brooks' “We Real Cool,” Hardy's “How Great My Grief” and Cornford's “To a Fat Lady Seen from the Train.”
Gwendolyn Brooks was an American 20th century poet and the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize. Her poem "We Real Cool" was inspired by a drive past a pool hall where boys were playing pool instead of being in school. The poem, in its entirety, reads: “We real cool. We left school. We lurk late. We strike straight. We sing sin. We thin gin. We jazz June. We die soon.” Gwendolyn Brooks also wrote "A Sunset of the City" and "Primer for Blacks."
Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy was one of the most famous English poets and novelists. His long writing career spanned both the Victorian and more modern era. One famous eight-line poem by Hardy is “How Great My Grief,” a repetitive poem about sadness. Much of Thomas Hardy's poetry showcases bleakness; prime examples include "In Tenebris," "Rain on A Grave" and "The Pity of It." Hardy is also known for writing "Tess of the D'Urbervilles."
Frances Cornford was a 19th and 20th century poet best known for her short, comic poem “To a Fat Lady Seen from a Train.” Many of her short poems express love for the place of her birth and its traditions. Famous poems include "Childhood," "The Watch" and "Feri's Dream."