Future

The Pylons by Stephen Spender

‘The Pylons’ is a foreboding poem that explores the collision between two worlds and the devastating consequences for the innocent.

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. 

Void in Law by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Void in Law’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning depicts the scuffle many Victorian women endured after getting married. The woman has been left alone with no real resources by a husband who prefers to spend time with his mistress.

In the Seventh Year by Jackie Kay

‘In the Seventh Year’ by Jackie Kay is a short, beautiful lyric poem. It describes the timeless and changing nature of a speaker’s relationship.

Wodwo by Ted Hughes

‘Wodwo’ by Ted Hughes is a dramatic monologue that depicts a “Wodwo” or fictional human-like creature. The creature investigates his surroundings and repetitively questions his existence.

My Grandmother’s Houses by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’s Houses’ by Jackie Kay is a thoughtful recollection of youth and a young speaker’s relationship with her eccentric grandmother, who is forced to move homes.

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.

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.

Holy Sonnet II by John Donne

‘Holy Sonnet II’ by John Donne is the second in a series of religious sonnets that Donne is well-known for. This poem is directed to God and explores a speaker’s concerns about their fate. 

Winter Song by Elizabeth Tollett

‘Winter Song’ by Elizabeth Tollett is a poem about steadfast love and devotion to one person. The speaker uses the twenty-four lines to banish any thought from their lover’s mind that they are thinking about being unfaithful.

A Jet Ring Sent by John Donne

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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. 

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.

Horace to Leuconoe by Edwin Arlington Robinson

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.

When Earth’s Last Picture Is Painted by Rudyard Kipling

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.

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.

I Years had been from Home

‘I Years had been from Home’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem that speaks to one’s perceptions and fears of change. 

Air by W.S. Merwin

‘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.

The Prediction by Mark Strand

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

‘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.

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox