Enjoyment Poems

The Tables Turned

by William Wordsworth

In ‘The Tables Turned,’ Wordsworth invites us to break free from the constraints of modern society and rediscover the natural world’s beauty and wisdom.

'The Tables Turned' puts down books and anything believed to be learned from them, which includes happiness and enjoyment. At the poem's beginning, the speaker asks the reader to wipe that sad look off their face, referring to the look the books made them have. The speaker also mentions that when you read, the weight of your struggles double, inferring that nothing good can come from the books. Yet, simultaneously, the speaker shows the happiness in nature. The poem shows examples of nature's fantastic events and the beauty it brings, even saying it breathes happiness.


by Gillian Clarke

 ‘Sunday’ by Gillian Clarke was inspired by the poet’s personal experience of attempting to enjoy a Sunday morning but then being reminded of all the suffering that’s going on in the world. 

The easy, enjoyable nature of the narrator's Sunday morning juxtaposes the grim reality of the world that they encounter in the news.

Peckham Rye Lane

by Amy Blakemore

‘Peckham Rye Lane’ by Amy Blakemore is a twenty-five line poem that is separated in stanzas of various lengths, many

The narrator clearly enjoys their environment and watching the lives that surround them.

A Watery City

by Jean Bleakney

‘A Watery City’ engages with themes of friendship and journeying, significantly how they are affected by the passage of time.

Much of the poem is concerned with joy and this is shown through its lighthearted and playful tone. There is however, an undeniable sense of loss because, like all joyful moments, the narrator's visit must end and become a memory.

Gathering Leaves

by Robert Frost

‘Gathering Leaves’ is a profound poem that delves into the themes of man versus nature, productivity, and change.

The early stanzas showcase the joy the narrator feels at the sight of the leaves, possibly reflecting a childish sense of awe and wonder.

A Bird, came down the Walk

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Bird, came down the Walk’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful nature poem. It focuses on the actions of a bird going about its everyday life.

The speaker is interested in and enjoying her observations of the bird.

Song of the Chattahoochee

by Sidney Lanier

‘Song of the Chattahoochee’ is a 19th century American poem that takes the perspective of the Chattahoochee river as it flows from northern Georgia to the sea.

The river and its many interactions with plants and stones are quite enjoyable to read about. This poem takes its audience on a journey downstream with it, much like a "hero's journey" quest to make it to the plains. Add the musical rhythm, and it feels like a party song.

The Quilting

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

‘The Quilting’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a very short love poem that reveals the speaker’s growing affection for a woman named Dolly.

While this poem is by no means complex or deeply meaningful, it is really enjoyable. It's light and plain, which makes it truly pleasant to read and analyze. The idea of poetry as an enjoyable format for reading is a characteristic of realism, in which poets displayed the world in interesting and pleasant poetic terms without overcomplicating the narrative.

In Cold Storm Light

by Leslie Marmon Silko

‘In Cold Storm Light’ by Leslie Marmon Silko is a beautifully written nature poem that focuses on a winter day. The poem uses multiple examples of imagery to describe the scene. 

While there is little to no real emotion reflected in this poem, it is very clear that the speaker is enjoying their view of the natural world and the feelings it's likely bringing up. They spend so much time describing the natural world that it seems unlikely that they're unhappy viewing it.

The Wind in the Dooryard

by Derek Walcott

‘The Wind in the Dooryard’ by Derek Walcott was written after the death of Eric Roach, a well-respected poet who died by suicide in 1974. This poem is dedicated to his life and work. 

There is a degree of enjoyment in this poem as the poet discusses the natural world and alludes to the work of fellow poet Eric Roach. Although there is sadness, there is also passion and appreciation.

At Pegasus

by Terrance Hayes

‘At Pegasus’ by Terrance Hayes is a powerful poem about identity that uses a youthful memory and a contemporary experience to speak about life.

It is clear from the speaker's use of language that he is experiencing a degree of enjoyment standing in the club and watching the other people dance. Although he does not participate himself, what he's seeing does make him emotional.

29 April 1989

by Sujata Bhatt

‘29 April 1989’ by Sujata Bhatt is a sweet, little piece about a mother’s sudden found pleasure in nature’s soggy musicality.

A Butterfly Talks

by Annette Wynne

‘A Butterfly Talks’ is a children’s poem written by the American poet Annette Wynne. In this short poem, the poet emphasizes the splendor of simple things in nature.

A drop fell on the apple tree

by Emily Dickinson

‘A drop fell on the apple tree’ by Emily Dickinson is filled with joy. It describes, with Dickinson’s classic skill, images of the summer season and how a storm can influence it.

A Light Exists in Spring

by Emily Dickinson

‘A light exists in spring’ is about the light in spring that illuminates its surroundings. Though this poem is about nature, it has a deep religious connotation that science cannot explain.

A Route of Evanescence

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Route of Evanescence’ by Emily Dickinson describes its subject through a series of metaphors, allusions, and images. But, never actually states that the subject is a hummingbird.


by Lewis Carroll

‘Acrostic’ by Lewis Carroll is an acrostic poem. The poet talks about three “little maidens” in the poem and how

Breaking the Surface

by Jean Bleakney

‘Breaking the Surface’ by Jean Bleakney is about the “art of skimming,” an extended metaphor for the art of writing poetry.

For Sidney Bechet

by Philip Larkin

‘For Sidney Bechet’ is a poetic tribute to Sidney Bechet, one of the early jazz maestros that poet Philip Larkin admired the most.

Full Moon and Little Frieda

by Ted Hughes

In ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda,’ Ted Hughes describes his daughter’s observations of the world around her, reflecting on nature and family.

Going for Water

by Robert Frost

‘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. 

How to Eat a Poem

by Eve Merriam

‘How to Eat a Poem’ by Eve Merriam uses eating fruit as a metaphor for reading poetry to encourage readers to enjoy poetry.

I dwell in Possibility

by Emily Dickinson

‘I dwell in Possibility’ by Emily Dickinson is a short, memorable poem. It explores themes of writing, specifically poetic writing, and the power it has.

In the Seventh Year

by Jackie Kay

‘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.

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