Six of the Best Matthew Arnold Poems

Posted: July 14, 2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

The best poems of Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold (1822-88) is largely remembered for one great Victorian poem: ‘Dover Beach’. But he wrote a number of other classic poems beside this. What are the best half-dozen of Matthew Arnold’s poems? We offer our recommendations below. ‘Dover Beach’ is there, as are a few other more famous titles, but we also include a couple which, although not as celebrated as the others, are, we believe, among Arnold’s best poetry.

Below the surface-stream, shallow and light’. This poem is almost like a fragment of blank verse, its five unrhymed iambic pentameter lines appearing to offer a brief insight into the speaker’s mind, though this thought isn’t taken anywhere or developed into some grand psychodrama or narrative. In a curious way, the poem reads like a Victorian precursor to the Imagist poetry of the early twentieth century. If you want a nice…

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