‘Lady Lazarus’ is one of the best poems of Sylvia Plath and an ideal example of Plath’s diction. This poem contains Plath’s poetic expression of her suicidal thoughts.
'Lady Lazarus' is a powerful example of how art can emerge from adversity. Plath's struggles with mental illness and personal demons are reflected in her work, which offers a stark and unflinching portrayal of the human condition.
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it——
‘Marriage’ by Gregory Corso is a humorous and interesting poem about the pros and cons of getting married and everything that comes with it, like having children.
The speaker knows that marriage is not easy; there is a great deal of adversity that one might have to plan for along the way. This only increases if one decides to have children.
Should I get married? Should I be good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets
‘Monologue’ by Hone Tuwhare is a contemporary poem about the difficulties workers face when looking for a job and how temporary those jobs can be.
The speaker faces adversity on a day-to-day basis as he struggles to find work, keep a job, and deal with the less-than-ideal working conditions of the factory he's in.
I like working near a door. I like to have my work-bench
close by, with a locker handy.
‘Sunlight on the Garden’ by Louis MacNeice is a poem about change, death, and accepting that life eventually ends.
The poet's divorce and mortality are examples of adversity in his life.
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
‘The Simple Truth’ by Philip Levine is a thoughtful narrative poem that explores life’s “simple truths” and how fundamental they are to our understanding of the world.
While the poem is not explicitly about adversity, the speaker's memories of his friend Henri suggest that there is a darker side to life that he has had to confront. Life's simple pleasures, like eating boiled potatoes, are contrasted with the harsher realities of loss and betrayal.
I bought a dollar and a half's worth of small red potatoes,
took them home, boiled them in their jackets
and ate them for dinner with a little butter and salt.
Then I walked through the dried fields
‘Earthrise’ by Amanda Gorman is a powerful contemporary poem about climate change, the Apollo 8 mission to the moon, and the future of the Earth.
The fight to defeat climate change is rife with adversity. The poet knows that convincing everyone to get on board with certain important changes is one of the biggest issues.
We’ve known (Stanza 4)
That we’re caught in the throes
Of climactic changes some say
Will just go away,
‘Please Mrs. Butler’ by Allan Ahlberg is a children’s poem that conveys a frustrating and purposeless conversation between a student and their teacher.
The student experiences some minor examples of adversity on a day to day basis.
Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?
‘The Ballad of Aunt Geneva’ by Marilyn Nelson is about a Black woman’s life, relationships, and work. It is based on local rumors and assumptions about her character.
It's clear that Geneva has faced a great deal of adversity in her life. The poem alludes to her financial struggles, relationship struggles, and the negative opinion the public seems to have of her.
Geneva was a wild one
Geneva was a tart.
Geneva met a blue-eyed boy
And gave away her heart.
‘School’s Out’ by Amanda Gorman is a powerful poem that explores the experiences of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The young people the poet mentions in this poem were faced with a great deal of adversity that made their lives far more difficult than they needed to be.
Swung blunt as an axe-blow:
All students were to leave
Campus as soon as possible.