08/23/2012 02:53 pm ET

Abraham Lincoln's 9 Favorite Poems

Originally posted on

If Abraham Lincoln's leadership is any indication of his ability to navigate America's complex cultural landscape, then you might want to take heed of Lincoln's recommended reading list. Compiled from the president's biographers' list of works he read, many of these poems were included in his intimate correspondence, memorized in private, or even recited on cue. Lincoln states that:

Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye—is the great invention of the world. Great in the astonishing range of analysis and combination . . . great in enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.

Browse these selections from Lincoln's personal library, and start a conversation with the past president—through the poetry he loved.

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Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Poems