How to Cite a Poem in the APA Format

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American Psychological Association style offers several ways to cite a poem, depending on whether the source is the Web, an anthology or a poet collection.

Citations on Reference Page

For a poem retrieved from an anthology, include poet's name, anthology publication year, poem title, editors' names, anthology name in italics, page numbers, publishing city and publisher name in the following format:

Cleveland, J. (1972). To the state of love, or the senses festival. In H. Gardner (Ed.), The metaphysical poets (pp. 218-220). Harmonsworth: Penguin.

For a poem retrieved from a poet collection, include poet's name, year of publication, name of collection, collection edition, publishing city and publisher in the following format:

Hardy, T. (1930). The collected poems of Thomas Hardy (4th ed.). London: Macmillan.

For a poem retrieved from the Web, include poet's name, year of publication, poem title, retrieval date and web address in the following format:

Poe, E., A. (1849). Annabel Lee. Retrieved, October 14, 2014, from

For all three types, indent all lines after the first in the citation.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations consist of the poet's last name and year of publication if it is from an online source. If it is from an anthology or collection, also include page numbers. This information is included in parentheses after the quote. For example, cite a poem from the Web as follows:

"With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me," (Poe, 1849).

Cite a poem retrieved from a collection or anthology as:

"All things did with his Love conspire," (Behn, 2001, p. 367).

If the name of the poet is stated in your sentence, include the year and page number, if necessary, in the parentheses.


About the Author

Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.

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