Stress

Homecoming: Anse La Raye by Derek Walcott

‘Homecoming: Anse La Raye’ by Derek Walcott is a complex and interesting poem about when a homecoming doesn’t feel like coming home. It is rich with allusions and connections to Walcott’s real-life experience.

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. 

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.

Love Nest by Jackie Kay

‘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.

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.

Holy Sonnet IX by John Donne

‘Holy Sonnet IX’ by John Donne, also known by its first line ‘If poisonous minerals, and if that tree’ is one of several “Holy Sonnets” the poet composed during his lifetime. This particular poem focuses on a dispute between the speaker and God.

Holy Sonnet II by John Donne

‘Holy Sonnet II’ by John Donne is the second in a series of religious sonnets that Donne is well-known for. This poem is directed to God and explores a speaker’s concerns about their fate. 

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. 

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.

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.

Divorce by Jackie Kay

‘Divorce’ by Jackie Kay is about parent-child relationships and how children are impacted by adults’ issues. The speaker is a teenager who is struggling to contend with her parent’s relationship with one another. 

Sheep In Fog by Sylvia Plath

The poem ‘Sheep In Fog’ describes Sylvia Plath’s feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, helplessness, and depression.

She rose to His Requirement—dropt

‘She rose to His Requirement – dropt’ by Emily Dickinson speaks to the lack of freedom and respect women had in Dickinson’s time. It emphasizes the confining nature of marriage and society’s expectations for a married woman.

I cautious, scanned my little life

‘I cautious, scanned my little life’ by Emily Dickinson is a clever, metaphorical poem that addresses change and one’s legacy. The poet struggles to understand her changed attitude towards her literary accomplishments after a period of time has elapsed. 

There came a Wind like a Bugle

‘There came a Wind like a Bugle –’ by Emily Dickinson depicts the incredible power of the natural world. She describes a day when a storm nearly destroyed a series of homes. 

The Night After You Lose Your Job by Debora Kuan

‘The Night After You Lose Your Job’ by Debora Kuan is a highly relatable poem that takes place in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and features a mother struggling to make ends meet.

If those I loved were lost

‘If those I loved were lost’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem. It uses allusions to describe how the poet, or at least her speaker, would react to the loss of loved ones.

Rhyme of the Dead Self by A.R.D. Fairburn

‘Rhyme of the Dead Self’ by A.R.D. Fairburn is a captivating poem in which the poet speaks about youth and coming of age through images of violence and religion.

An awful Tempest mashed the air

‘An awful Tempest mashed the air’ by Emily Dickinson personifies a storm. The speaker follows it from its beginning to end and depicts how nature is influenced.

It was not Death, for I stood up

‘It was not Death, for I stood up’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem about understanding depression. Specifically, the speaker is interested in understanding herself.

One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted

‘One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted’ by Emily Dickinson explores the nature of the human mind. She presents the reader with images of mental and physical threats and how they can be confronted.

I dreaded that first Robin

’I dreaded that first Robin’ by Emily Dickinson is a surprising poem about nature. The speaker confesses to an unusual opinion about the season throughout the lines.

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox