Allegory

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. 

Out to Tender by Jean Bleakney

‘Out to Tender’ explores the uneasiness felt by many during the 1994 ceasefire in Northern Ireland and expresses their fear and doubt.

The Hour is Come by Louisa Lawson

‘The Hour is Come’ offers a heroic view of womanhood and celebrates those who are willing to fight for their rights and beliefs.

The Peninsula by Seamus Heaney

‘The Peninsula’ is a beautiful and affirming poem that uses the imagery of the coast to represent the difficulties of artistic creation.

The Road by Nancy Fotheringham Cato

‘The Road’ is simultaneously a thrilling car journey at night and a deeply personal mediation on time, humanity and the natural world.

Crow Sickened by Ted Hughes

‘Crow Sickened’ is a brilliant example of Hughes’ playful style, in which Crow attempts to work out the cause of his misery.

Witness by Eavan Boland

‘Witness’ is a thoughtful contemplation on the nature of memory, identity and guilt in the context of Boland’s Dublin.

Peter Quince at the Clavier by Wallace Stevens

‘Peter Quince at the Clavier’ by Wallace Stevens is a musical depiction of the story of Susanna and the Elders from the Book of Daniel. It describes the “feeling” of “music” and the nature of beauty.

Old Timers by Carl Sandburg

‘Old Timers’ by Carl Sandburg speaks on the nature of war. Sandburg alludes to the ways in which history repeats itself no matter which country or time period one is in. 

Docker by Seamus Heaney

‘Docker’ is a 1966 poem by Seamus Heaney which depicts the life of a dockworker in Belfast and explores his personal and religious sense of discord.

Song of the Powers by David Mason

Published in 1996, in David Mason’s award-winning collection, The Country I Remember, ‘Song of the Powers’ uses a children’s game, “stone, paper, scissors,” in order to comment on the futility of power.

Down, Wanton, Down! by Robert Graves

‘Down, Wanton, Down!’ is a direct address to “wanton” or the urge to have unrestrained sexual relationships. The speaker rebukes the desire/person by describing the value of “Love” and “Beauty.”

The Beach by Robert Graves

‘The Beach’ by Robert Graves is a poem about the contrast between childhood innocence and an adult mindset. The poem depicts this dichotomy by demonstrating the difference between how a boatman and a group of children interact with the ocean.

My Garden — like the Beach

‘My Garden — like the Beach’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful, short poem. It compares the speaker’s garden to the beach and the summer to the sea. Read the full poem, with a complete analysis.

Fool’s Money Bags by Amy Lowell

‘Fool’s Money Bags’ is an interesting poem that touches on love and devotion towards the wrong people and things. Read Amy Lowell’s poem, along with a deep dive analysis.

My River runs to thee

In Emily Dickinson’s ‘My River runs to thee,’ readers explore an extended metaphor that may have sexual or religious undertones. 

Fame is a bee

‘Fame is a bee’ by Emily Dickinson uses a bee to describe the fleeting nature of fame. She uses clever images and original poetic writing throughout.

From Blank to Blank

‘From Blank to Blank’ by Emily Dickinson is a dark poem that ends in a more uplifting manner. She spends the lines discussing how complex life is and how hard it can be to navigate.

A little Dog that wags his tail

In ‘A little Dog that wags his tail’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of human nature, the purpose of life, and freedom. She compares animals, cats and dogs, to adults and children.

Simplicity (How happy is the little Stone)

In ‘How happy is the little Stone, ’ Dickinson personifies a stone. She describes its rambling adventures, evoking joy and whimsy in the reader. The poem speaks on the crucial concept of happiness, where the speaker emphasizes how heavy the world can seem at times.

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.

The Past is such a Curious Creature

‘The past is such a Curious creature’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on the past, and personifies it as a female character. The poet’s speaker puts the feeling of one’s past into a few simple, relatable words.

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