Change

Everyone experiences change in life. Witnesses to this natural event share their thoughts on the subject of change through poetry.

Ask Me

by William Stafford

‘Ask Me’ appears in William Stafford’s one of the best-known poetry collections, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford. This metaphorical poem is bout life and memories.

Australia 1970

by Judith Wright

‘Australia 1970’ by Judith Wright speaks on the changing landscape of Australia in the 1970s. It promotes a version of Australia that is fierce, wild, and dangerous just like the animals that have always lived within its boundaries.

Belle Isle, 1949

by Philip Levine

‘Belle Isle, 1949’ by Philip Levine is a poem about a series of moments from a speaker’s youth. He swims in the Detroit River and then returns to his life. 

Bereft

by Robert Frost

‘Bereft’ by Robert Frost is a beautiful poem that exemplifies a speaker’s loneliness. He uses natural imagery to depict the changes in his life and how he feels about the world. 

broken bowl

by Haiku Poems

‘broken bowl’ by Penny Harter is a short and memorable haiku about a broken bowl. The poem uses three very short lines to describe its rocking pieces. 

Cargoes

by John Masefield

‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield is a well-loved, short poem that explores cargo ships. The poet empathizes the way the ships have changed throughout history.

Cinderella

by Anne Sexton

‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton tells the story of Cinderella while also engaging with the theme of feminism and focusing on a very different ending.

Cityscape

by Eavan Boland

‘Cityscape’ by Eavan Boland is a complex, allusion-filled poem that describes Dublin and the Blackrock Baths, and presents contrasting images of past and present. 

Contusion

by Sylvia Plath

‘Contusion’ by Sylvia Plath is a memorable, short poem about death and a loss of passion or meaning in one’s life. It is a dramatic monologue written 12 days before the poet’s death. 

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. 

Eating Together

by Li-Young Lee

‘Eating Together’ by Li-Young Lee is a beautiful contemporary poem about death. It uses a thoughtful simile and direct language.

Exile

by Julia Alvarez

‘Exile’ by Julia Alvarez is a narrative depiction of the poet’s childhood memories of leaving the Dominican Republic for the United States.

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.

Frederick Douglass

by Robert Hayden

‘Frederick Douglass’ by Robert Hayden honors Douglass and speaks about a future in which all people, according to Douglass’ ideas of love and logic, will be treated equally without question.

Freedom

by Rabindranath Tagore

‘Freedom’ by Rabindranath Tagore is a powerful and effective poem about freedom. The speaker spends the seventeen lines of the poem describing the kind of freedom he hopes his country will find.

Gathering Leaves

by Robert Frost

‘Gathering Leaves’ is a profound poem that delves into the themes of man versus nature, productivity, and change.

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.

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. 

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