Allisa Corfman

Allisa graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and English and taught World Literature and Composition at the high school level. She has always enjoyed writing, reading, and analysing literature.

Fears in Solitude by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

‘Fears in Solitude’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a historically significant poem in which the speaker discusses the threats his country is facing. He has no desire to be the enemy of his country, but he does need to stand up for what he believes in.

When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou

‘When Great Trees Fall’ by Maya Angelou speaks about loss as a tragic yet inevitable part of the human experience. When it strikes, it leaves despair and misery in its path.

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol

‘Strange Fruit’ is a heart-wrenching song penned by Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiiday. It reveals the tragic nature of some of the darkest times in American history.

Her First Week by Sharon Olds

The poem, ‘Her First Week’, inparticularly reveals both sides of motherhood and the many facets of feeling and emotions that come along with having a baby.

Follower by Seamus Heaney

‘Follower’ has many of the aspects which characterize the poems of Seamus Heaney. Having grown up in an area of Northern Ireland that greatly valued family, hard work, and farming, Heaney’s poems often reflect all of these values at once.

A Coffin is a Small Domain by Emily Dickinson

‘A Coffin—is a small Domain’ by Emily Dickinson explores death. It is characteristic of much of the poet’s work in that it clearly addresses this topic and everything that goes along with it.

The Past is such a Curious Creature by Emily Dickinson

‘The past is such a Curious creature’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on the past, and personifies it as a female character. The poet’s speaker puts the feeling of one’s past into a few simple, relatable words.

I Cannot Live With You by Emily Dickinson

‘I cannot live with You’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about marriage. The speaker spends the lines declaring why she can’t “live with you” and her various related concerns.

I Gave Myself To Him by Emily Dickinson

‘I Gave Myself To Him’ by Emily Dickinson is a clever love poem. It gives the readers a glimpse of the intensity of a relationship between the speaker and her subject.

Born Yesterday by Philip Larkin

‘Born Yesterday’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about happiness. It explores what true happiness is and how one young woman should look for it.

London by William Blake

Imagine waking up in London in the 1800s. You might find yourself surrounded by prostitutes, the homeless, and many more suffering in dilapidated housing. These are only a few of the haunting sights William Blake documents in ‘London.’

Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley

‘Ode to the West Wind’ was written in Cascine Woods, outside of Florence, Italy, and published in 1820. It focuses on death’s necessary destruction and the possibilities of rebirth.

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning is a well-known dramatic monologue. It suggests that the speaker has killed his wife and will soon do the same to the next.

Lucy Gray by William Wordsworth

Any readers familiar with William Wordsworth’s poetry, such as ‘Lucy Gray,’ know that the death of a child is a common theme throughout his works. Wordsworth suffered the loss of his own son and daughter, and those deaths seem to forever haunt him.

The Lesson by Maya Angelou

‘The Lesson’ by Maya Angelou is about life and death. The speaker begins the poem by claiming that she has died already, more than once, and that she will keep on dying.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death by William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats wrote this particular poem, ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’, after he lost his dear friend in World War I. Robert Gregory, an Irish Airman accidentally shot down by an Italian Aviator, happened to be a dear friend of Yeats.

Prayer Before Birth by Louis MacNeice

‘Prayer Before Birth’ by Louis MacNeice was written during the terror struck days of World War II. It places the realities of an evil world into the mouth of an unborn baby.

Animal Tranquility and Decay by William Wordsworth

This fascinating poem, ‘Animal Tranquility and Decay,’ by William Wordsworth depicts an old man who walks in peace and tranquility. He seems to walk aloof from the cares and concerns of this world.

Any Human to Another by Countee Cullen

In Countee Cullen’s poem, ‘Any Human to Another,’ the speaker describes how essential human interaction is. He also reveals how one person suffering affects everyone.

In the Servants’ Quarters by Thomas Hardy

‘In the Servants’ Quarters’ by Thomas Hardy speaks into a biblical story and gives the reader insight as to what Peter may have been feeling, and the pressure he was under at the time when he denied knowing Jesus.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

‘Still I Rise’ is an inspiring and emotional poem that’s based around Maya Angelou’s experiences as a Black woman in America. It encourages readers to love themselves fully and persevere in the face of every hardship.

Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

‘Caged Bird’, or ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ as the poem is sometimes referred to, by Maya Angelou, is arguably one of the most moving and eye-opening poems ever written.

Harlem (A Dream Deferred) by Langston Hughes

‘Harlem (A Dream Deferred)’ by Langston Hughes is a powerful poem. The poet wrote it in response to what he felt as a black man navigating a career and personal life in a white-dominated world.

Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath

‘Lady Lazarus’ is one of the best poems of Sylvia Plath and an ideal example of Plath’s diction. This poem contains Plath’s poetic expression of her suicidal thoughts.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth’s literary classic, ‘Daffodils,’ also known as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,’ is one of the most popular poems in the English language. It is a quintessential poem of the Romantic movement.

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