Ambushed by Poetry (update Mar 2016)

In May and June of 2012, Mike Nelson and I did a sort of tour of Portsmouth, recording 40 classic and patriotic English and American poems at various landmarks around the city. Mike then posted them on YouTube under John-Michael Albert, Ambushed by Poetry.

I selected these poems because they have, somehow, accumulated in my mind since childhood. Of course, I’m not surprised that the more popular poems have received as many hits as they have; but I’ll always puzzle over the relatively low status of those lower on the list. (I mean, only five hits for Longfellow’s Children’s Hour? It was featured in a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon, begads!)

Speaking of the grand total of hits: By March 2014, there had been 2,720 hits; by March 2015, 4164 hits; and this month, March 2016, the number is up to 5,388. I’ve sorted them below with the poems with the most hits at the top of the list. (There are now 18 of the 40 with 100 hits or more. Coleridge/Kubla Khan is posted twice, with 29 and 73 hits each.) I hope you will sample them.

439 Babcock, Maltbie Davenport, Be Strong (2:22)
426 Johnson, Ben, Song to Celia (2:14)
424 van Dyke, Henry, America for Me (3:38)
390 Herbert, George, Love (Love Bade Me Welcome) 2:30)
348 Thaxter, Celia, The Sandpiper (3:12)
339 Lovelace, Richard, To Lucasta, Going to the Wars (1:55)
273 Sucking, John, Encouragement to a Lover: Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover? (2:16)
268 Bennet, Henry Holcomb, The Flag Goes By (2:55)
210 Dowson, Ernest (Horace), I Will Always Love You, In My Fashion (Non Sum Qualis…) (3:58)
176 Waller, Edmund, Go Lovely Rose (2:28)
171 Raleigh, Sir Walter, The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd (3:02)
145 Yeats, William Butler, Leda and the Swan (2:02)
143 Marlowe, Christopher, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (2:53)
140 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, God Save the Flag (2:54)
128 Herrick, Robert, Upon Julia’s Clothes (1:44)
127 Donne, John, The Good Morrow (3:20)
113 Cook, Edmund Vance, How Did You Die? (3:14)
092 Poe, Edgar Allen, To Helen, (2:04)
090 Suckling, Sir John, Encouragement to a Lover: Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover? (2:01)
084 Browning, Robert, Home Thoughts, From Abroad (3:01)
074 Bunner, Henry Cuyler, The Heart of the Tree (3:22)
073 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Kubla Khan (5:15)
065 Shakespeare, William, Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? (2:58)
063 Thayer, Ernest Lawrence, Casey at the Bat (6:27)
063 Byron, George Gordon, Lord, So We’ll Go No More a-Roving (2:35)
061 Shakespeare, William, Twelfth Night: O Mistress Mine (2:00)
059 Riley, James Whitcomb Riley, Knee Deep in June (5:45)
059 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, The Village Blacksmith (4:03)
054 Marvell, Andrew, To His Coy Mistress (4:02)
041 Whittier, John Greenleaf, Maud Muller (8:20)
031 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, Paul Revere’s Ride (8:27)
030 Dickinson, Emily, A Narrow Fellow in the Grass (2:50)
029 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Kubla Khan (5:11)
028 Whittier, John Greenleaf, The Barefoot Boy (6:45)
027 Stanton, Frank L., Keep a-Goin’ (2:37)
027 McCrae, John, In Flanders Fields (2:52)
027 Bates, Katherine Lee Bates, America the Beautiful (3:49)
025 Whitman, Walt, O Captain! My Captain! (3:55)
021 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Concord Hymn (3:09)
005 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, The Children’s Hour (3:15)