Poems for President Washington

A Collection of Classic Poems to Mark George Washington’s Birthday

George Washington was the first in a line of American presidents who wrote poetry—the Library of Congress has copies of the manuscripts of two love poems penned by the youthful Washington in its “Presidents as Poets” collection. But of course, as Revolutionary War general, president of the Constitutional Convention, and first president of the United States, George Washington is much more important as the subject of poems than as a poet himself.

For President’s Day reading, here is a sampling of the classic poems written about Washington:

  • Phillis Wheatley,
    “To His Excellency George Washington” (1775)
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron,
    Last stanza of “Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte” (1814)
  • James Russell Lowell,
    George Washington” (1875)
  • John Greenleaf Whittier,
    “The Vow of Washington” (1889)
  • Carl Sandburg,
    “Washington Monument by Night” (1922)