Narrative

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.

This poem utilizes the narrative form and is told from the perspective of a third-person, unemotional narrator.

Death of a Young Woman

by Gillian Clarke

Explore ‘Death of a Young Woman,’ where Clarke depicts how a loved one’s death lets a person free from their inward, endless suffering.

This piece narrates the story of a woman who, after battling with an underlying illness for a certain period, accepted death at a young age.

Opportunity

by Edward Rowland Sill

‘Opportunity’ by Edward Rowland Sill is a narrative poem that describes an imagined or real battle and a unique opportunity that presents itself.

This narrative poem tells the story of a battle and the prince who saved the say,

August, Los Angeles, Lullaby

by Carol Muske-Dukes

‘August, Los Angeles, Lullaby’ by Carol Muske-Dukes is a contemporary poem about bringing life into the world and the worries that plague a mother after giving birth. 

This is a narrative poem, meaning that it's told from one person's perspective and describes events over a span of time. In this case, the speaker is a new mother describing the days after the birth of her daughter.

A Dream within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

Published in 1849, ‘A Dream Within a Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe examines the subtleties of time. His speaker delves into our perception of it and its effects.

a man who had fallen among thieves

by E.E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings’ ‘a man who had fallen among thieves’ is a modern retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a robbed man lying unconscious on the road. In this poem, the speaker helps one such person who faced a similar accident.

Barn Owl

by Gwen Harwood

‘Barn Owl’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about losing one’s innocence. While using symbolism, the poet depicts a child sneaking off to shoot a barn owl.

Disabled

by Wilfred Owen

A harrowing poem that was written by a WW1 veteran, Wilfred Owen describing the haunting loneliness of life as an injured post-war soldier.

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.

Eel Tail

by Alice Oswald

‘Eel Tail,’ a poem by contemporary British poet Alice Oswald, is about the mysteriously beautiful eels and their swift movements in the water.

Epic Simile

by A. E. Stallings

‘Epic Smilie’ by A.E. Stallings uses a simile of an epic hero longing for a hero’s death to depict how as one seeks out happiness it may become more allusive and harder to enjoy than it was to begin with.

Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree

by A. E. Housman

‘Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree’ by A. E. Housman describes a traumatizing story of two brothers and how one of them accidentally met his end in a wheat field at the hand of the other.

For Nanabhai Bhatt

by Sujata Bhatt

‘For Nanabhai Bhatt’ is about the poet Sujata Bhatt’s grandfather, Nanabhai Bhatt, who was an educationist and activist active during the Indian independence movement.

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. 

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.

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.

Inspection

by Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Inspection’ was drafted at a military hospital Craiglockhart in August 1917, and completed in September, under the influence of wartime poet Siegfried Sassoon. In it, Owen writes about the loss and cheapness of life through war.

Iris

by Sujata Bhatt

‘Iris’ by Sujata Bhatt is a narrative poem with lyric qualities. It depicts an artist’s wait for the sun to come out and bring out the colors in a single iris.

Personal Helicon

by Seamus Heaney

Heaney’s ‘Personal Helicon’ draws inspiration from his rural carefree childhood and intimate connection with nature.

Pride

by Jackie Kay

‘Pride’ by Jackie Kay is a moving poem about identity and pride. The poet utilized her personal experience when writing this piece. 

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. 

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