‘Penelope’ by Carol Ann Duffy depicts how Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, changes while she waits for him to come back from the Trojan War. She becomes a new, happier person.
‘The Black Walnut Tree’ by Mary Oliver is a thoughtful poem about familial history. The poet depicts a discussion between herself and her mother.
‘Salome’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dramatic monologue that is delivered by Salome. It occurs the morning after the death of John the Baptist.
‘Sonnet 136,’ also known as ‘If thy soul check thee that I come so near,’ is one of the “Will” sonnets. It describes the speaker’s lust for the Dark Lady.
‘Sonnet 133,’ also known as ‘Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan,’ is a poem about the speaker’s toxic relationship with the Dark Lady. He tries to find a way to improve his circumstances but admits he’s trapped.
‘Delilah’ by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on the story of Delilah. It illuminates her individuality and how she felt about Samson.
‘Sonnet 135,’ also known as ‘Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,’ is an unusual sonnet within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. It expresses the speaker’s desire to sleep with the Dark Lady and counted among her many lovers.
‘Gretel in Darkness’ by Louise Glück is an incredibly creative poem. Through the perspective of Gretel, the poet explores what it’s like to be ignored and controlled by men.
‘Demeter’ by Carol Ann Duffy is about a mother’s love for her daughter and how it transcends time. It focuses on the mythological story of Demeter and Persephone.
‘Sonnet 132,’ also known as ‘Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,’ describes the impact the Dark Lady’s eyes have on the speaker. She controls him and he has to accept that.
‘Sonnet 131,’ also known as ‘Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,’ is a poem about how the Dark Lady’s beauty moves the speaker. He knows she’s untraditionally beautiful but he doesn’t care.
Whether you celebrate Easter religiously or enjoy the season for its spring-time weather and uplifting traditions, there is a poem on this list for you.
‘Sonnet 127,’ also known as ‘In the old age black was not counted fair,’ explores changing opinions on beauty and the use of makeup in Shakespeare’s contemporary world.
On this list, readers will find a few of the best poems to celebrate Earth Day by authors likes Emerson, Wordsworth, Dickinson, and Thoreau.
‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ by James Weldon Johnson is commonly referred to as the African American national anthem. It explores themes of freedom, suffering, and joy.
‘Sonnet 126,’ also known as ‘O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy pow’r,’ is the final Fair Youth sonnet. It is a beautiful exploration of time and the inevitability of death.
‘Letter to My Great, Great, Grandchild’ by J.P. Grasser is a powerful poem about the climate crisis. Throughout, the poet alludes to terrible planetary changes that occur in only a few generations.
‘Sonnet 125,’ also known as ‘Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy,’ is an expression of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He declares the type of love he’s prepared to give and what he wants in return.
‘Sonnet 124,’ also known as ‘If my dear love were but the child of state,’ is a poem about the speaker’s superior love. It has withstood a great deal and will last the test of time.
‘Sonnet 120,’ also known as ‘That you were once unkind befriends me now,’ is one of several sonnets the speaker spends apologizing for his infidelity. He hopes their sins will cancel one another out.
‘Sonnet 121,’ also known as ‘‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,’ is a poem about corruption and honesty. The speaker declares his intolerance of hypocrites who try to judge him.