Future Poems

The Hill We Climb

by Amanda Gorman

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. 

Much of this poem alludes to the United States' complicated future. It will be hard for the country and its people to achieve everything they want, but the poet knows it's possible.

Anne Rutledge

by Edgar Lee Masters

‘Anne Rutledge’ by Edgar Lee Masters is an epitaph based on the life of someone who knew and loved Abraham Lincoln in her youth.

Ideas about the future are an important part of the poem.


by John Burroughs

‘Waiting’ by John Burroughs is an interesting, powerful poem written by a poet born in the mid-19th century. It asserts his, or a persona’s opinion about his fate. 

The speaker knows that there are good things in his future, and unlike how he used to be, he's ready to accept it as it plays out.

America For Me

by Henry van Dyke

‘America For Me’ by Henry Van Dyke is a passionate, patriotic poem about America. It celebrates how different the United States is from Europe. 

One of the main reasons that the speaker sees the United States as superior to the rest of the world is that the US is looking towards the future, he says, rather than trying to relive the past like much of the rest of the world is.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

by Emily Dickinson

‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about hope. It is depicted through the famous metaphor of a bird.

Dickinson sees hope for the better times in the future as something universally relatable.


by Hone Tuwhare

‘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's future, and the futures of those around him, are unknown in this poem. He worries about what he's going to do if/when he's fired and feels as though he should be looking for a new job now.

Carpe Diem

by William Shakespeare

‘Carpe Diem’ by William Shakespeare is a love song from Twelfth Night, sung by Feste the clown/fool. It’s about love and youth. 

In this poem, the speaker refers to a future where one's youth will have faded, along with one's beauty, and one will not have the same access to love that they have today.

Character of the Happy Warrior

by William Wordsworth

‘Character of the Happy Warrior’ by William Wordsworth is a poem about what it means to be a “happy warrior” and what the elements of this kind of person’s life would be. 

The poet suggests in this famous 19th-century poem that one's future is determined by the way they deal with conflict and everything negative it brings with it. A happy warrior will let themselves learn from the lessons conflict presents and prevent them in the future.


by Amanda Gorman

‘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 future is one of the most important parts of this poem. The poet knows that unless people change their everyday lives and encourage widespread change, the future is at risk.

Life in a Love

by Robert Browning

‘Life in a Love’ by Robert Browning is an obsessive love poem in which a speaker tells the person they’re in love with that no matter how many times they’re torn down; they’re always going to get back up. 

Despite being knocked down, the speaker can see his future quite clearly. He knows he will do anything he can to follow the person he loves forever.


by Gregory Corso

‘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. 

Throughout this poem, the speaker considers what the future holds and how that future might be negative or positive. The speaker knows that it is very likely that marriage turns out poorly, and he wants to be prepared for that.

The Flag Goes By

by Henry Holcomb Bennett

‘The Flag Goes By’ by Henry Holcomb Bennett is a patriotic American poem that focuses on the symbolism of the American flag. It encourages those reading to respect the flag as a symbol. 

While the American flag does symbolize the past and a great deal of struggle and loss, it also symbolizes the future and what the American experiment, the speaker believes, is going to come to.

Plant a Tree

by Lucy Larcom

‘Plant a Tree’ by Lucy Larcom is a nature and religion-themed poem that speaks about the benefits of planting trees. 

The future is part of this poem in the way that the poet alludes to the payoff planting trees will eventually bring. If it doesn't benefit the person planting the tree, then it will benefit someone in the future.


by William Carlos Williams

‘Tract’ by William Carlos Williams is a unique poem about funeral practices and how Williams’ speaker believed they should be altered to better serve the dead. 

The speaker imagines a future in which funerals are truly based around easy-to-accomplish and affordable tasks with the deceased in mind. Rather than flowers, for example, the speaker suggests having something on the coffin that truly mattered to the deceased.

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. 


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.

All the world’s a stage

by William Shakespeare

‘All the world’s a stage’ is a well-known monologue found in William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. This speech of Jaques explores the seven ages of man and their implications.


by Allen Ginsberg

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.

Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

by Adrienne Rich

‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem. The speaker critiques marriage and how it has systematically oppressed women for centuries.

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. 

Caged Bird

by Maya Angelou

‘Caged Bird’, or ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ as the poem is sometimes referred to, by Maya Angelou, is arguably one of the most moving and eye-opening poems ever written.


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. 


by Lord Byron

‘Darkness’ by Lord Byron serves as a warning against the growing inequality in Byron’s time and a prediction for what will happen to the planet if the human race does not change. 

Diving into the Wreck

by Adrienne Rich

‘Diving into the Wreck’ by Adrienne Rich is an unforgettable poem. It uses diving as a metaphor to describe the fight for equal rights.


by Terri Nicole Tharrington

‘Forever’ by Terri Nicole Tharrington is a quick-paced poem that presents the positive and negative elements that go along with the concept of “forever.”

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