What is the Longest Poem?

Over the centuries, poets have been inspired by the Muses to write beautiful, flowing verses to tell intricate — and sometimes very lengthy — stories. Although some of the longest poems have survived the test of time, their authorship did not — several epic poems with more than 200,000 lines cannot be traced to a specific author or authors. Nevertheless these interminable poems provide a tantalizing challenge to those mortals who enjoy memorizing poems.

Paradise Lost by John Milton: 10,550 lines
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri: 14,233 lines
The Iliad by Homer: 15, 693 lines
Orlando Furiso by Ludovico Ariosto: 38,736 lines
The Ramayana by Valmiki: 50,000 lines
Shahnameh by Ferdowsi: 60,000 verses
The Epic of Jangar by unknown author: 200,000 lines
Epic of the Mana by unknown author: 500,000 lines
Mahabharata by Vyasa: 100,000 verses
The Epic of King Gesar by unknown author: 1 million verses

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For further reading: Listomania edited by Lucie Parker, Harper (2011)