Culture

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.

Courage by Anna Akhmatova

‘Courage’ by Anna Akhmatova is a passionate poem about courage in the face of war. Specifically, Akhmatova was writing about World War II. 

One day is there of the series

‘One day is there of the series’ by Emily Dickinson explores the holiday Thanksgiving and how its celebrated in America.

On Easter Day by Oscar Wilde

‘On Easter Day’ by Oscar Wilde asks readers to consider how Christian teachings align with the modern-day Pope. It’s about the importance of not putting man-made desires and institutions ahead of God. 

For Sidney Bechet by Philip Larkin

‘For Sidney Bechet’ is a poetic tribute to Sidney Bechet, one of the early jazz maestros that poet Philip Larkin admired the most.

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. 

The One Who Goes Away by Sujata Bhatt

‘The One Who Goes Away’ by Sujata Bhatt shares her emotional journey of leaving India and traveling to America. She entails the internal struggle to define what ‘home’ is during that period.

The Stinking Rose by Sujata Bhatt

‘The Stinking Rose’ by Sujata Bhatt describes the way that garlic is judged based on its name and how a changed name might influence that fact. 

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. 

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. 

Women and Roses by Robert Browning

‘Women and Roses’ by Robert Browning conveys a man’s perspective on women throughout time. They are represented by three apples on his metaphorical apple tree.

A Long Journey by Musaemura Zimunya

‘A Long Journey’ by Musaemura Zimunya is based on the changes that came to Rhodesia, a small country in southern Africa, after British colonial rule. The speaker explores the positive changes and the negative.

A Different History by Sujata Bhatt

‘A Different History’ by Sujata Bhatt is not a raging piece of protest, rather it teaches how to revisit one’s cultural past in a curious, sensible way.

3 November 1984 by Sujata Bhatt

In ‘3 November 1984,’ Indian-English poet Sujata Bhatt shows how history plays a vital role in the process of writing poetry, and their interconnectedness.

Witness by Eavan Boland

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

Persimmons by Li-Young Lee

‘Persimmons’ by Li-Young Lee is a beautiful poem that describes the poet’s interest in language. It explores how a persimmon comes to symbolize both his family connections and his feelings of alienation from his peers. 

Immigrant Blues by Li-Young Lee

How does it feel when the body and the soul are not in conjunction? Read Li-Young Lee’s meditative piece ‘Immigrant Blues’ to understand what it really feels like.

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo

‘An American Sunrise’ by Joy Harjo is a powerful poem about Native American culture written by the current Poet Laureate of the United States. The poem explores the struggles of the poet’s community as well as the successes and celebrations. 

Milton by Firelight by Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder’s ‘Milton by Firelight’ is based on Satan’s comment in Paradise Lost and how it is relevant in the present time given the condition of the environment and humankind.

Looking for Judas by Adrian C. Louis

Adrian C. Louis’ ‘Looking for Judas’ is about how the Christian religion played a pivotal role in order to conquer the Native American people. This piece revolves around the central image of “blood.”

Arabic by Naomi Shihab Nye

‘Arabic’, a thoughtful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye appears in Red Suitcase: Poems (1994). This poem features a speaker’s forgetfulness concerning her mother tongue (Arabic) and culture.

Beware: Do Not Read This Poem by Ishmael Reed

‘Beware: Do Not Read This Poem’ by Ishmael Reed is a thoughtful poem about culture and how language is used to tell stories. The poem warns against becoming too consumed within one method of storytelling.

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara

‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.

No More Boomerang by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

‘No More Boomerang,’ a poem by the Aboriginal Australian political activist and poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (also known as Kath Walker) features how the aboriginal culture is in crisis for the growing materialism and colonial hegemony.

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