‘The Forced Recruit’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning tells the very real story of a brave Italian man who was forced to fight against his country.
‘The Underground Baby Case’ by Jackie Kay conveys the feelings and choices of a woman who lost her own child and stole someone else’s.
‘Void in Law’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning depicts the scuffle many Victorian women endured after getting married. The woman has been left alone with no real resources by a husband who prefers to spend time with his mistress.
‘The Bait’ by John Donne describes a speaker’s love and admiration for a woman. He emphasizes what her beauty and goodness are capable of.
‘The Stare’ by Sujata Bhatt describes an interaction between a human child and a monkey child at a zoo. It conveys the peaceful curiosity the two show towards one another.
‘The Stinking Rose’ by Sujata Bhatt describes the way that garlic is judged based on its name and how a changed name might influence that fact.
‘At the Parrot House, Taronga Park’ by Vivian Smith is an interesting poem that uses personification to describe birds and their interactions.
‘The Need to Recall the Journey’ by Sujata Bhatt is a poem about the past and a speaker’s desire to return to the moment her child was born. It was too fleeting, she feels, and she can’t help but wish she was there again.
‘The Same Note’ by Jackie Kay depicts Bessie Smith’s musical ability and how she could unite people from all walks of life.
‘Rubble’ by Jackie Kay is a dramatic monologue that was included in her collection, Darling: New & Selected Poems. It conveys an individual’s cluttered and chaotic mind.
‘Renouncement’ by Alice Meynell is a passionate poem in which the speaker fights to fend off thoughts of the person she loves. She refuses to allow herself to think about this person during the day.
‘My Grandmother’ by Jackie Kay depicts the poet’s understanding of her grandmother. The includes a juxtaposition between her positive and negative qualities.
‘In the Seventh Year’ by Jackie Kay is a short, beautiful lyric poem. It describes the timeless and changing nature of a speaker’s relationship.
‘How We Made a New Art on Old Ground’ by Eavan Boland depicts the way that poetry can remake a landscape with dark history, if only for a few moments as one reads it.
‘Floral Tribute’ by Simon Armitage uses symbolism to relate flowers and the British landscape to Queen Elizabeth’s reign and death in 2022.
‘Queenhood’ by Simon Armitage was written to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It celebrates the Queen’s lifetime of service and describes the unique features of her life.
‘The Railway Children’ by Seamus Heaney is a beautiful poem about the imagination of children. Specifically, Heaney conveys and experience from his youth.
‘Pork Pies’ by Jackie Kay is a unique poem about the kidnapping of a child by two other young children who may have also taken his life. It was likely inspired by real-life events.
‘Plague’ by Jackie Kay is a poem about death, specifically about the plague in London and how a mother is forced to contend with the knowledge that both her sons are going to die.
‘Muse’ by Meena Alexander is a poem about the poet’s muse or source of inspiration. The poet recalls meeting and being positively influenced by a girl in her youth.
‘The Storm-Wind’ by William Barnes contrasts peace and danger with images of home and a terrifying storm. The poem emphasizes how much easier it is to appreciate the safety of home when the conditions outside are so inhospitable.
‘Wodwo’ by Ted Hughes is a dramatic monologue that depicts a “Wodwo” or fictional human-like creature. The creature investigates his surroundings and repetitively questions his existence.
‘My Grandmother’s Houses’ by Jackie Kay is a thoughtful recollection of youth and a young speaker’s relationship with her eccentric grandmother, who is forced to move homes.
‘Love Nest’ by Jackie Kay depicts the difficulties that same-sex couples face and society’s cruel infiltrates their relationships and homes. The poet uses a skillful, multilayered extended metaphor in this piece.
‘The Summer of Lost Rachel’ by Seamus Heaney was written after the death of the poet’s young niece. The poem uses nine quatrains with a ballad rhyme scheme.
‘Got You’ by Jackie Kay is an interesting poem about sibling jealousy and the strength of sisterhood. The speaker is a discouraged child who believes her sister is superior to her in every way.
‘High Windows’ by Philip Larkin discusses the way that relationships, sex, and societal standards change from one generation to the next.
‘Going for Water’ by Robert Frost depicts a simple errand in joyful, uplifting language. The poem suggests that any task, no matter how annoying, can be enjoyed if one is outside.
‘What Happened to the Elephant?’ by Sujata Bhatt is inspired by Hindu beliefs. Specifically, she focuses on ideas of reincarnation and a child’s curiosity in it.
‘Missing My Daughter’ by Stephen Spender is a poem about a speaker’s desire to see his daughter and how he feel trapped in a prison of loneliness.