The Best Poems about Oxford

Interesting Literature

Eight classic poems about the city of Oxford

Oxford has been home to a number of poets, and has educated far more. Some of them have seen fit to celebrate the city of Oxford in their poetry – below are eight of the finest Oxford poems in all of English literature.

Matthew Arnold, Thyrsis. This poem makes it onto this list because it is the origin of the famous epithet for the city of Oxford: ‘city of dreaming spires’. Arnold was educated at the University of Oxford along with his friend and fellow poet Arthur Hugh Clough, whose death in 1861 Thyrsis commemorates. This long pastoral elegy is closely related to the next Oxford poem on this list, which was also written by Arnold…

Matthew Arnold, ‘The Scholar-Gypsy’. The story for this long narrative poem, which Arnold wrote in 1852-3, was taken from Joseph Glanvill’s 1661 book

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