Abandonment

In the desolate sphere of abandonment and betrayal, some poets wrote verses of exquisite sweetness and some explored the dark side of this theme. “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” The poet has rightly said that those who have not shed a tear cannot even know the value of happiness.

Like tragedy purges the soul of excess emotions, these poems will take the excess of emotions out of readers’ hearts and make their minds more balanced.

A Jet Ring Sent

by John Donne

‘A Jet Ring Sent’ by John Donne describes how a speaker’s beloved returned his promise ring. The speaker meditates on the nature of their relationship and how it is symbolized by the black ring. 

Amethyst Beads

by Eavan Boland

‘Amethyst Beads’ by Eavan Boland alludes to Greek mythology and the suffering of a child, Persephone, after she was separated from her mother, Demeter.

Answer

by Chinua Achebe

‘Answer’ by Chinua Achebe portrays a persona shedding off insecurities about his homeland. He stops comparing it to that of his colonizers, seeing it as the vibrant place it always was.

Cousin Kate

by Christina Rossetti

‘Cousin Kate’ speaks to the circumstance of women during the Victorian era. The period in which Rossetti wrote this poem makes the message all the more meaningful.

Going to See King Lear

by Jackie Kay

‘Going to See King Lear’ by Jackie Kay describes what happens when a young girl is taken to see a traumatizing play by her mother.

Holy Thursday (Songs of Experience)

by William Blake

‘Holy Thursday’ by William Blake depicts the poor children of London attending church on Holy Thursday. Specifically, Blake describes their songs, appearance, and how their existence challenges the message the church is trying to convey.

Renouncement

by Alice Meynell

‘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.

Sonnet 143

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 143,’ also known as ‘Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch,’ uses a simile to depict the speaker’s feelings for the Dark Lady. He is described as a crying infant desperate for his mother’s return.

The Forsaken Merman

by Matthew Arnold

‘The Forsaken Merman’ by Matthew Arnold is a melancholy poem in which the speaker, a merman, grieves the loss of his human wife. He’s left alone with their children without the woman he loves.

The Little Boy Lost

by William Blake

‘The Little Boy Lost’ by William Blake is the story of a young child who while out searching for his father gets lost in the woods. 

The Lost Leader

by Robert Browning

In ‘The Lost Leader’, Browning criticises those who have abandoned liberal political ideologies and embraced the conservative lifestyle.

Void in Law

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘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.

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