‘A Jet Ring Sent’ by John Donne describes how a speaker’s beloved returned his promise ring. The speaker meditates on the nature of their relationship and how it is symbolized by the black ring.
‘Break of Day’ by John Donne is an aubade told from a female perspective. It conveys a woman’s understanding of her relationship with a busy lover.
‘I did not reach Thee’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem about a speaker’s journey through life. She expresses both optimism and hesitation in the face of her death and attempts to reach God.
‘There came a Day—at Summer’s full’ by Emily Dickinson depicts two lovers in a tricky situation that keeps them apart. But, they know they’ll be reunited in the next life.
‘Sonnet 35’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning expresses the speaker’s worries about the changes in her life. She embarks on a new life with her beloved and hopes he’s ready to accept her in the same way she’s accepting him.
‘Sonnet 16’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also known as ‘And yet, because thou overcomest so,’ speaks to the poet’s intention to live happily from now on.
‘Sonnet 8’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also known as ‘What can I give thee back, O liberal,’ is a Petrarchan sonnet. It explores the poet’s relationship with her new lover, Robert Browning.
‘I cautious, scanned my little life’ by Emily Dickinson is a clever, metaphorical poem that addresses change and one’s legacy. The poet struggles to understand her changed attitude towards her literary accomplishments after a period of time has elapsed.
‘Sonnet 20’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also known as ‘Beloved, my Beloved, when I think’ explores the ways that a new love changed a speaker’s life.
‘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.
Edwin Arlington Robinson’s sonnet ‘Horace to Leuconoe’ is a passionate address of a lover to a girl, brooding over what God might have in store for her. He advises her to seize the moment and forget about the past and the future.
Published in 1922, Kipling’s ‘When Earth’s Last Picture Is Painted’ describes the “last” painting of mother earth and how it will be painted by the “good” people. No matter how this world ends, there will always be a new beginning, a new painting to admire.
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.
‘Air’ appears in W.S. Merwin’s 1963 collection of poetry, The Moving Target. This piece is about the personified air, introspecting on its role in nature.
Mark Strand’s poem ‘The Prediction’ is about the inevitability of death. It depicts a moonlit night where a lady anticipates her imminent death.
‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.
‘Letter to My Great, Great, Grandchild’ by J.P. Grasser is a powerful poem about the climate crisis. Throughout, the poet alludes to terrible planetary changes that occur in only a few generations.
‘Sonnet 125,’ also known as ‘Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy,’ is an expression of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He declares the type of love he’s prepared to give and what he wants in return.
Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 107, ‘Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul,’ with a summary and complete analysis of the poem.
Amanda Gorman’s poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ is a moving depiction of the United States as it was on the cusp of President Biden’s inauguration in 2021.
Allen Ginsberg’s ‘America’ deals with the turbulent times in America. It was written during and focused on the period after the Second World War.
‘Diving into the Wreck’ by Adrienne Rich is an unforgettable poem. It uses diving as a metaphor to describe the fight for equal rights.
‘Peeling Onions’ by Adrienne Rich is an introspective poem. In it, the poet uses the metaphor of peeling onions to define her complex thoughts.
‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem. The speaker critiques marriage and how it has systematically oppressed women for centuries.
‘To an Athlete Dying Young’ by A. E. Housman describes the death of a youthful man who is celebrated for his glorious passing and remembered for his loss, rather than his athletic achievements.
‘Now We Are Six’ by A. A. Milne is a funny poem. The young speaker talks about what life was like when they were younger than they are now.
In classic Philip Larkin style, ‘Next, Please’ is a bleak reflection on life. It explores death and asks the reader to focus on the present while they can.