Sadness

an afternoon nap by Arthur Yap

‘an afternoon nap’ by Arthur Yap explores the lacunae in the modern education system and how it results in anxiety and stress in students.

Consolidation by Jean Bleakney

Jean Bleakney’s ‘Consolidation’ is a deeply personal poem about the act of rearranging the cowry shells that the speaker and her children gathered in the past.

The Double Shame by Stephen Spender

‘The Double Shame’ by Stephen Spender conveys a depiction of what the world feels like when one loses a very important person in their life. Everything is transformed in a way that makes a living from day to day difficult. 

Ebb by Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott’s poem ‘Ebb’ is about a car journey by the shore and comments on aging, industrialization, and the past.

Disappointed by Paul Laurence Dunbar

‘Disappointed’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar is an inspirational poem in which Dunbar depicts an old man working hard in the last years of his life and losing everything he strove for. 

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.

On Easter Day by Oscar Wilde

‘On Easter Day’ by Oscar Wilde asks readers to consider how Christian teachings align with the modern-day Pope. It’s about the importance of not putting man-made desires and institutions ahead of God. 

Sunday 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. 

White Roses by Gillian Clarke

‘White Roses’ by Gillian Clarke is a heart-wrenching poem and true story about a sick child who bravely contends with pain during his short life. 

The One Who Goes Away by Sujata Bhatt

‘The One Who Goes Away’ by Sujata Bhatt shares her emotional journey of leaving India and traveling to America. She entails the internal struggle to define what ‘home’ is during that period.

The Need to Recall the Journey by Sujata Bhatt

‘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.

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.

My Grandmother by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’ by Jackie Kay depicts the poet’s understanding of her grandmother. The includes a juxtaposition between her positive and negative qualities. 

Floral Tribute by Simon Armitage

‘Floral Tribute’ by Simon Armitage uses symbolism to relate flowers and the British landscape to Queen Elizabeth’s reign and death in 2022.

Plague by Jackie Kay

‘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.

Got You by Jackie Kay

‘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

‘High Windows’ by Philip Larkin discusses the way that relationships, sex, and societal standards change from one generation to the next. 

Missing My Daughter by Stephen Spender

‘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. 

The Old Fools by Philip Larkin

‘The Old Fools’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about what happens when one grows older and begins to forget about their life.

The Conway Stewart by Seamus Heaney

‘The Conway Stewart’ by Seamus Heaney describes a pen the speaker received in his youth and how it symbolized his family and his new life. 

A Long Journey by Musaemura Zimunya

‘A Long Journey’ by Musaemura Zimunya is based on the changes that came to Rhodesia, a small country in southern Africa, after British colonial rule. The speaker explores the positive changes and the negative.

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