The HyperTexts

About The HyperTexts

The HyperTexts is an on-line poetry journal with a simple goal: to showcase the best poetry, literary prose and art available to us. We are not a "formal" journal or a "free verse" journal; we simply publish the best poetry we can find. We ask our poets to provide us with their career-defining work (that is, career-defining in their opinion, not someone else's); thus, most of our poems have been published elsewhere. While other poetry journals seem to quail at the thought of their poems having been read elsewhere, we sincerely doubt that anyone has ever been harmed by reading good poems more than once!

Oxford University called The HyperTexts "dynamic and challenging" with a "different approach" to poetry, on its ARCH resource page for the Arts & Humanities. The full entry can be read here.

Are we making a difference? Well, not long ago we passed 11 million page views and just recently we noticed that two less-well-known poems that we've been touting for years—"Wulf and Eadwacer" and "The Highwayman"—are now in Google's top 25 for searches like "the most popular poems of all time." So it's quite possible that we've helped increase readership of two of our most-mentioned poems. "Tom o' Bedlam's Song," a third poem in Google's top 25, may also be a beneficiary of our labor. Around twenty years ago we noticed that there was not a single correct version of the poem online; all the versions we found contained serious errors. To our knowledge, we were the first website to publish this magnificent poem without glaring errors. We have also been touting the work of outstanding-but-obscure poets like The Archpoet, Thomas Chatterton, Digby Dolben, Anne Reeve Aldrich and Agnes Wathall. If they get more recognition in the future, our efforts may have helped. In any case, we're certainly trying! Furthermore, a number of poems that we've published have "gone viral" in big ways, getting republished hundreds of times or more. So we do think we're making a difference, by helping poets and readers connect.

Pages of Special Interest

The Best of The HyperTexts showcases some of the best poems we have published over the last three decades.
The Masters showcases outstanding poems by the immortal poets of the English language.
Current and Back Issues lets you see what we've been up to recently.

Editor in Arrears

Michael R. Burch had the audacity to call himself a "poet" as a preteen. Convinced he was destined to succeed Percy Bysshe Shelley, but not understanding the impediments, Burch once destroyed all his boyhood poems due to the recalcitrance of his Muse. But having marginal athletic ability and desperately needing some way to impress potential paramours, Burch was soon back at it again. Give him a gold star for perseverance, at least. Today his alleged "poetry" appears at the bottom of the Contemporary Poets section, befitting, Burch says, his station in life and the arts. But things have been looking up a bit more recently, since his poems have been set to music by twelve composers, taught in high schools and colleges, and translated into fourteen languages. Some of his poems have gone viral, being copied hundreds to thousands of times. One poem appears on a staggering 691,000 web pages, according to Google results. Miracles, apparently, remain possible.


for the children of the Holocaust and Gaza

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality has swept into a corner ... where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.

Poet in Residuum

Tom Merrill is THT's Poet in Residuum. This is a mysterious office.


Every now and then
when traversing Le Haut Richelieu

that endlessness of flat earth
no different from Ohio

except for the odd mysterious mound
far off on the horizon

he passes himself, his likeness anyway
which is always overtaken

always left behind
as it chugs along a paved path.

It too seems encumbered
with cement soles

although it is spared
awareness of the weight of its tread

the heaviness of movement known
when gravity grows palpable.

It mirrors his daily treks
down city sidewalks

everyone racing by
scurrying to get around

that laboriously lumbering obstacle
the tractor in the slow lane.

Contributing Editor

Martin Mc Carthy lives in Cork City, Ireland, and spent several years working for the Defence Forces, before studying English at UCC. He has published two collections: Lockdown Diary (2020) and Lockdown (2021). His most recent poems appear in the pandemic anthology, Poems from My 5k, and in the journals: Drawn to the Light, Seventh Quarry Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, The Orchards, WestWard Quarterly, Better Than Starbucks, Blue Unicorn, Lighten Up Online, The Chained Muse, London & Newcastle, The Madrigal, Taj Mahal Review, New Lyre and Southword. He was shortlisted for the Red Line Poetry Prize and was a nominee for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. His latest book is a collection of love poems titled Book of Desire. He has a website at

Editor in Exile

Iqbal Tamimi is THT's Editor in Exile. She is a Palestinian refugee who now lives in England. Iqbal has been of invaluable assistance to THT in our search for work by Palestinian poets and artists.

Murdered by my own ink

The ports of my papers,
are fields of uncertainties.
I plant my anchor
to secure my old face
while it ages toward oblivion.
My dream is stretching
between a place
under the umbrella of the wind,
an illusion under the rain.
The distance
is . . . too far
to arrest the dead man,
who crucified me
in a hideous, unthinkable moment.
I am just a number within an army
of unlucky ones,
killed by the poison of their own ink,
and the stupidity of their own fingers,
slaughtered by despair.
Our traps
race us in our sleep,
to attend a wedding
between the rain and the desert.
Our pains . . . twitter
While we assassinate ourselves,
hoping some one;
not one of us
will rise
to write a better dirge
while watching the skittering feet of the poor
following their own footprints,
forgetting the phantoms behind,
to the side,
on some other route,
swarming with the dust of honor,
as we abandon our bevy
to increase our number
by . . . one.

Book Publisher

Joe Ruggier published a number of books by THT poets. Remarkably, he sold more than 20,000 books by peddling them door-to-door! Unfortunately Joe is no longer with us, but his poetry and the books he published live on.


Jeffrey Woodward has written a number of essays for THT's "Blasts from the Past" series.

Contributors of Special Note

We would like to especially thank the following poets for their contributions to THT over the years: Peter Austin, Bill Carlson, Jared Carter, Rhina Espaillat, R. S. "Sam" Gwynn, Zyskandar Jaimot, Janet Kenny, Yala Korwin, Nick Marco, Richard Moore, Mary Rae, Kevin N. Roberts, Luis Omar Salinas, Harvey Stanbrough and V. Ulea (Vera Zubarev).

Other contemporary poets whose work has appeared high in our page view rankings over the years include: Nadia Anjuman, Greg Alan Brownderville, Jack Butler, Mahmoud Darwish, Alfred Dorn, Anita Dorn, Ann Drysdale, George Held, Annie Finch, Judy "Joy" Jones, Sophie Hannah Jones, A. M. "Mike" Juster, Julie Kane, X. J. Kennedy, Quincy R. Lehr, J. Patrick Lewis, Michael McClintock, Robert Mezey, Leonard Nimoy, Gordon Ramel, Jennifer Reeser, Norman R. Shapiro, Sunil Sharma, A. E. "Alicia" Stallings, Takashi "Thomas" Tanemori, F. F. Teague, Fadwa Tuqan, Anais Vionet, Richard Wakefield, Bruce Weigl, Gail White and John Whitworth.

Our most popular poets of the past include: Robert Burns (our most popular poet with over 128,000 page views), William Blake (a close second with over 100,000 page views), Urdu translations by Michael R. Burch (50,000), Mary Elizabeth Frye (38,000), "Wife's Lament" translation by Michael R. Burch (31,000), Ronald Reagan (26,000 page views; Reagan was an unexpectedly good poet, and from a young age to boot), Thomas Wyatt "Whoso List to Hunt" translation by Michael R. Burch (21,000), Abraham Lincoln (18,000 page views; Lincoln was an accomplished poet who wrote a poem that was "more popular than the Bible" in Illinois, about a gay marriage!), Oscar Wilde (18,000), Sappho translations by Michael R. Burch and other poets (18,000), "Wulf and Eadwacer" translations by Michael R. Burch (15,000), "Caedmon's Hymn" translation by Michael R. Burch (11,000), A. E. Housman (9,000), William Dunbar translations by Michael R. Burch (9,000), Haiku translations by Michael R. Burch (9,000), Wallace Stevens (7,000), The Archpoet (7,000), John Dowland (7,000), Ezra Pound (6,000), Robert Frost (6,000), Mark Twain (6,000), Ahmad Faraz translations by Michael R. Burch (6,000), "Bede's Death Song" translation by Michael R. Burch (6,000), Conrad Aiken (5,000), Robert Bridges (5,000), Dorothy Parker (4,000), Hart Crane (4,000), W. H. Davies (4,000), Rainer Maria Rilke translations by Michael R. Burch (4,000), Paul Celan translations by Michael R. Burch (4,000), Basho translations by Michael R. Burch (4,000), Louise Bogan (3,000), Thomas Campion (2,000).


Poets are welcome to query Mike Burch through Facebook (he's the only Mike Burch wearing glasses with round lenses, so he's easy to spot). You can also find him easily on Quora, where he has over 20 million page views and publishes as Mike Burch. Just comment on any of his articles about poetry if you'd like to make contact. Or if you know poets published by THT, you can ask them to introduce you to Mike Burch, via email or snail mail.


"This [The HyperTexts] is Michael Burch's site, a fine uncluttered place to visit and contemplate mostly New Formalist poets of the first order. Poets and poems are added about once a month, so the site is worth putting on your regular circuit." — Edge City Review, edited by Terry Ponick

Here's an interesting, unusual and sometimes-blush-inducing review by Public Static Void Man.

Paul Sonntag's "Uncle Flatboot" Review of The HyperTexts can be read by clicking here. Here's a quick excerpt: "The HyperTexts is, beyond anything else, a place for people who love poetry just for the sheer magic of the language and who have no interest in literary taxonomy restricting their reading to narrow genres or schools. The HyperTexts is a bit like a shelf of battered books in a cozy little coffee shop you've just discovered. You know the scene: it's raining buckets outside, you don't have anywhere to go or anything else to do for the rest of the day, and the place is deserted except for you and the heavy-lidded barista. You get your cuppa, stake out a fat, threadbare easy chair and start digging ..."

"The HyperTexts ... aims to make available the best poems of contemporary writers to more classic material from across the canon of English poetry ... the site also includes critical essays, articles and interviews. Classifying material under headings such as 'Esoterica', 'Rock Jukebox', Mysterious Ways', and 'Thanksgiving', the tone of the site is dynamic and challenging. The site is likely to be of interest to writers and literature students looking for an upbeat approach to poetry. There are also themed items offering philosophical insights through quotations, full poems and reflections. These are balanced by critical appreciations of featured poems and discussions on style and form. Online since November 2001, an archive is available, containing a comprehensive range of material. The site is user friendly, includes links and makes use of frames."—Intute "best of the web" article by Elaine and Dr. Bella Kogan, also published by Humbul Humanities Web

Laurel Johnson's review of The HyperTexts for Midwest Book Review can be read by clicking here. Here's an excerpt: "Visiting The HyperTexts turned out to be an exhilarating and enlightening adventure. The site is easy to navigate and positively loaded with memorable poetry and essays ... I found gems written by past poetic masters and new, compelling offerings from contemporary poets ..."

This review appeared on, author unknown: "One of the most fascinating – as well as ENORMOUS – repositories of poetry on the Internet is a vast, rambling, straggling site called The HyperTexts. The link here will take you to a listing of hundreds and hundreds of good poets, ancient and modern, well-known and obscure, formal and free, with and without expositions by the site's creator, poet Michael R. Burch. Want to read William Blake? Or Ronald Reagan's (surprisingly competent) verse? They’re both here. Want to read poems on the Holocaust next to poems on the Nakba, the Palestinian Catastrophe? There’s a whole section on it. Ancient Greek Epitaphs and Epigrams? Anglo-Saxon Riddles and Kennings? Walt Whitman? Wit and Fluff? Everything you could hope for, with more being added all the time. Truly one of the greatest resources in the world for lovers of poetry!

What people "in the know" are saying about The HyperTexts . . .

"Thanks for having my poems on The HyperTexts ... It is one of my proudest publications."Paul Stevens, poet and editor of The Chimaera, Shit Creek Review and The Flea.

"Dear Michael B, Your site is the only place I have ever been on the Internet. Looking through literary magazines listed, poets, and comments, not to mention the beautiful opening graphic, I'm just amazed ..." — Jean Mellichamp Milliken, editor of The Lyric

"Some of the best poetry on the web."―Vera Ignatowitsch, editor-in-chief of Better Than Starbucks

"As I told one of our members, The HyperTexts reads like a 'Who's Who' in contemporary poetry today!" — Michael Morton, Director of the Net Poetry & Arts Competition

"THT is getting to be one of the really grand old poetry sites. Congratulations on all the good work!" — Richard Moore, poet/philosopher/mathematician and Pulitzer Prize nominee

"You have a BEAUTIFUL website . . . And have given many a beautiful page to so many fine poets. Let me thank you wholeheartedly for all of us who know the value of literary magazines of all sorts." — Jim Barnes, poet and editor of The Chariton Review

"I have been reading the poems and commentary on your marvelous website. What you have done is most impressive. I was pleased to see so many fine writers featured in your pages." — Jared Carter, poet

"People have asked me how this invite [to read at the Library of Congress] happened to come my way, and I tell them it’s probably because a few years ago, when I was just venturing onto the web, I got a big helping hand from a gentleman named Michael Burch." — Jared Carter, poet

"Thanks to your efforts, The HyperTexts continues to be one of the most readable and reader-friendly poetry sites on the web. I certainly appreciate all the notice it has given my work over the years." — Jared Carter

[Jared Carter is generous and far too modest: obviously it's his talent and craftsmanship that got him invited to read at the Library of Congress. But THT is a good place to peddle one's wares, if one happens to be a poet, and we do show up number one in Google searchers for many of the poets we publish, making THT a good "launch point" for poets seeking ever-widening orbits. — MRB]

"What you run is hardly a 'small journal,' but one of the best literary resources on the internet. I tell everyone about it, and brag about being on it." — Rhina P. Espaillat, poet

"The HyperTexts [is a] beautiful internet poetry site." — Rhina P. Espaillat, in a letter to Norman Kraeft

"You have an unerring eye for what's best in my verse." T. S. Kerrigan

"Rhina Espaillat just told me about this site ... and it is wonderful! I am very grateful to you and everyone else who works on the site for putting together such a thorough representation of contemporary poetry and the work of the masters. It's like an online Formalist, and that is a very high compliment from me, as that was my favorite journal for many years. — Jeff Holt, poet

"I'm so impressed with all the talent you've added to the website! Truly, it's an oasis in the desert." — Jennifer Reeser, poet

"You are my first choice for on-line publication." — Carolyn Raphael, poet

" ... the finest contemporary poetry taproot in English today ..." — Anton N. Marco, aka Nick Marco and Tony Marco

"In awe of THT ..." — Robin Helweg-Larsen, poet and editor of Formal Verse and Potcake Chapbooks

"What an answer to a formalist poet's prayer!" — Norman Kraeft

"The Hypertexts has provided me with so much inspiration and beauty already that I also wanted to thank you for your admirable and far-reaching work." — Terese Coe

"Last night I visited the handsome HyperTexts once again. What an attractive publication!" — Deborah Warren, poet

"Dear Michael Burch—What a pleasure to make connection with you. Never read anything about the current situation with poetry which makes any more sense." — Jack Butler, poet

"I continue to turn to your anthology for the delight of reading other writers. Thanks for all the careful attention you have given it." — Jan Schreiber, poet

"Been reading The HyperTexts again the last few days, and I gotta say, you have an amazing site. I'm still combing the web for quality stuff for Carnelian and I don't see much of anything that tops your people. Not even Able Muse." — Allen Heinrich, poet and editor of Carnelian

"The HyperTexts is a terrific site, one which more than any other I've come across reflects my own tastes and sympathies."— James Bobrick, poet

"The HyperTexts ... is, in my humble opinion, the Internet's absolute best poetry-related website." Melanie Houle, poet

"I'm very impressed with the work and research you did on the [Nadia Anjuman] article. The picture of her is wonderfully defiant." T. S. Kerrigan, poet

"I continue to send people to your The HyperTexts web site and periodically check it out myself. Having my poems there has been a highlight of the past year for me." — George Held, poet

"... thanks for the great site, will visit it often ..." — Tom Ball, Global Country of World Peace

"A FANTASTIC SITE. I was very impressed with the layout and the content." — Miriam Stanley, editor of Rogue Scholars

"Just wanted to say I love your beautiful website, The HyperTexts, and wish I'd discovered it long ago. It gives me renewed hope for the world and brought me out of a depressed state. Huge thanks for your fine and much-valued efforts!" —Siham Karami

"Mutual friend Rhina Espaillat e-mailed me on Friday . . . I am going to explore the Internet to find The HyperTexts, a poetry site about which Rhina waxes ecstatic . . . and she doesn't 'ecstacize' easily!." — Norman Kraeft, in a letter to THT editor Michael R. Burch

"Last couple of days, have been glancing at poets I hadn't previously read on THT. Gotta say ... you've put together an extraordinarily high quality site! ... I've yet to find one with THT's consistency of excellence." — Tony Marco, poet

"On The HyperTexts you can read William Blake or Wilfred Owen alongside Richard Moore and Leo Yankevich, and build your own bridges from the past to the present. There is always something new on the site, and the visitor will always encounter thought-provoking, beautiful poetry. Well worth the visit. Mary Rae, poet and editor of Romantics Quarterly

"Like your choice for featured poet [Harvey Stanbrough]. How wonderful that you keep turning up and promoting such exquisite quality, month after month! — Tony Marco, poet

"Mike, looks great! Thrilling I'd even go so far as to say. Other than my two books this is the most satisfying transference from private to public page I've experienced to date. Thanks so much." — R. Nemo Hill, poet

"Wonderful site you have. I learned about it thru Eratosphere and I have to say I am much impressed with what I've been reading. Thank you for the obvious care you take in selecting your poets and poetry." — Laura Heidy, poet

"I've just visited the site—after a long time away from the internet altogether, because I've been up to the ears in projects, paperwork, translations and houseguests!—and I want to tell you how lovely it is, and how unfailingly interesting and instructive it remains. The addition of new work by Yala [Korwin], and the use of the photograph to accompany one of her poems, are great assets to the site and one more gift you've given the reading public." — Rhina Espaillat, poet

"Rhina P. Espaillat ... told me about The HyperTexts a little while back, but I did not have the opportunity to visit your website at any length until today. Let me say that I am astounded by the depth and quality of what I find there! It's an electronic poetry library second to none. I teach a poetry writing workshop at the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA in Manhattan, and I definitely will direct my students to your site in the future." — Lee Slonimsky, poet

"Ethna Carbery — what a wonderful lyric discovery! Never heard of her (maybe Yeats' presence as a contemporary has overshadowed her) ... what I've read is terrific." — Tony Marco, poet

"I have just read the poems of T. Merrill; this is an extraordinarily beautiful page. His poems make me cry, some are so full of the pain of one's own silent feelings. His photographs and art are stunning. I am so pleased to have read him here, so glad in the way of all things wonderful that he found your site and you found him. I cannot say enough, so instead I will say too little. As I have said before, this is truly a beautiful web site, you should be very proud of it." — Mist (a mysterious reader we're very pleased and blessed to have)

"... I like what you've been doing with Mysterious Ways and Grace Notes and the THT site altogether. (Fascinating Dickinson meditations a great addition.) Terrific poets being added all the time — I've certainly never come across a finer poetry e-zine/anthology. Keep up the fine work!" — Tony Marco, poet

"Read your Thanksgiving page on your site (which just keeps getting better and better) and was really touched by the integration of text and feeling and vision. Kudos to you for that magnificent presentation." — Michael Bennett, poet

"What a delightful and touching tribute to 'The Gipper.' It's a shame more people can't be less political and recognize the enormous gifts this man left us." — Moore (Mike) Moran, poet

"As usual, your piece on Thanksgiving inspired me and lifted my spirits ... I was also deeply touched by the story of Staff Sgt. Olson and his buddies. How I wish my dear cousin Tommy could have celebrated an Alive Day, but was gunned down by a sniper in Viet Nam in 1968. Thank you for your wonderful website." — Catherine Chandler, poet

"[Makoto] Fujimura was a great read, and I very much enjoyed your piece on [Ronald] Reagan. You yourself deserve kudos for keeping up such a great and detailed site — I always enjoy browsing and reading The HyperTexts." — Tara Elliott, poet and co-editor of Triplopia, on-line at

"So nice of you to drop me a line and pass on the information [about the addition of Alfred Noyes's 'The Highwayman' to THT's Masters page]. The world needs more with your generous and caring spirit. The fact that you take the time to put the poetry up for others to enjoy and your willingness to communicate on points such as this speaks volumes about your values and character. You are a gentleman sir!"— Noel Paton

"I paid a visit to The HyperTexts tonight and see that your excellent work continues, adding artists to the growing list of contemporary poets. Curious, I clicked on Ronald Reagan. Sure 'nuff, the man was a poet, more of a versifier — a graceful one, it turns out — and that counts too. I have mixed feelings about R.R. I did pay attention to his passing, which was also the passing of a certain optimism and genteel America in the 20th Century, the "American" Century, that is now history. You have undoubtedly written one of the finest tributes to the man and president. With luck, it will end up in his library! I have one personal recollection. I used to work at the tip of Manhattan near the helicopter pad where the President landed when he paid a visit to NYC. One day, I happened to catch a glimpse of President Reagan waving from the window of his limo as his motorcade headed uptown. Unaccountably, I waved back." — Hudson Owen, poet

"Thank you so much, Mike, I'm hono(u)red! I think The HyperTexts is a marvellous creation — I can only guess at the amount of energy you must have, to be able to put it together — and I'm delighted to be in it." — Robin Helweg-Larsen, poet and editor

"Truly one of the greatest resources in the world for lovers of poetry!" — Robin Helweg-Larsen

"I'm glad that you reject as well as accept my poems—your assemblage is prestigious; for the most part you pick my favorites and discard the so-so ones. I appreciate your discrimination." — Robin Helweg-Larsen

"Hi Mike, thank you for reaching out! I love your website and have used it to look up poems before." — Blake Campbell, poet

"Thank you! You are one of the most responsive editors I have ever had the pleasure to work with." — Peggy Landsman, poet

"Mike, I just want to communicate to you how much I admire and respect the course you have taken in promoting — especially to poetry readers and poets — the cause of peace and justice. Your credentials are impeccable, and your championship of the oppressed in the twin evil situations of the Holocaust and the Nakba is truly inspirational. You are a chivalrous person and a good man! Regards, and a salute." — Paul Stevens, poet and editor of The Chimaera, Shit Creek Review and The Flea.

"Your kind words have inestimable meaningfulness to me. As the Sistine and Michelangelo still stand, I appreciate your artistry and for establishing a venue that preserves the beauty of poetry." — Gaill Naegele, poet

The HyperTexts