Imagination

Eel Tail by Alice Oswald

‘Eel Tail,’ a poem by contemporary British poet Alice Oswald, is about the mysteriously beautiful eels and their swift movements in the water.

Ragged Island by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Ragged Island’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay is a personal poem about Millay’s days spent on Ragged Island off the coast of Maine. It explores the peace of mind the place was able to bring out in her. 

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. 

Iris by Sujata Bhatt

‘Iris’ by Sujata Bhatt is a narrative poem with lyric qualities. It depicts an artist’s wait for the sun to come out and bring out the colors in a single iris.

The Same Note by Jackie Kay

‘The Same Note’ by Jackie Kay depicts Bessie Smith’s musical ability and how she could unite people from all walks of life. 

The Railway Children by Seamus Heaney

‘The Railway Children’ by Seamus Heaney is a beautiful poem about the imagination of children. Specifically, Heaney conveys and experience from his youth.

Muse by Meena Alexander

‘Muse’ by Meena Alexander is a poem about the poet’s muse or source of inspiration. The poet recalls meeting and being positively influenced by a girl in her youth. 

Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath

‘Blackberrying’ by Sylvia Plath explores decaying and flourishing life and human mortality. It was published in 1971 in Crossing the Water, after the poet’s death.

A Murmur in the Trees— to note

‘A Murmur in the Trees— to note’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about nature’s magic. It includes mysterious images of fairy men, glowing lights in the woods, and the murmuring of trees. 

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants-

‘The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants-’ by Emily Dickinson depicts the mushroom, its fleeting life, and personifies it alongside Nature. 

The Map by Elizabeth Bishop

‘The Map,’ written in 1934, is the signature poem of Elizabeth Bishop that transcends the boundaries of the real and imaginatively inspects the topographical features within a map.

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

‘The Writer’ by Richard Wilbur depicts a father watching his daughter create her first piece of writing. The poet uses clever and creative examples of figurative language in order to depict the struggle new and experienced writers go through. 

Our revels now are ended by William Shakespeare

‘Our revels now are ended’ is the name given to one of the best-known speeches from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It can be found in Act IV, Scene 1, and is spoken by Prospero. 

Teaching English from an Old Composition Book by Gary Soto

Gary Soto’s ‘Teaching English from an Old Composition Book’ is about a teacher instructing some Mexican-American immigrant students in a night school. Soto portrays their harsh living conditions and the struggle to cope in a new culture.

Let Me Tell You by Miller Williams

In ‘Let Me Tell You,’ Miller Williams suggests prospective poets aspiring to express their thoughts through imaginative works. His suggestion is to devour each detail from the commonplace.

Wrong Train by Ted Berrigan

Ted Berrigan’s poem ‘Wrong Train’ connects a speaker’s experiences while waiting for a train to the afterlife. Berrigan presents this idea with vivid imagery.

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.

Two or Three Wishes by Carl Dennis

‘Two or Three Wishes’ belongs to Carl Dennis’s poetry collection Ranking the Wishes (1997). This piece is about the veracity of imagination and the role of truth.

What is Poetry? by John Ashbery

‘What is Poetry?’ by John Ashbery is a complex poem about poetry and what exactly it is. It uses Ashbery’s traditional obscure language and meaning. 

Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn

‘Cartoon Physics, part 1’ appears in Nick Flynn’s Some Ether (2000). This poem mocks the humorous concepts of animation that defy real physics and biology.

Stone by Charles Simic

‘Stone’ by Charles Simic is a short and impactful poem. In it, the speaker describes why he’d like to be a stone more than another living creature, like a dove or tiger.

Why I Am Not a Painter by Frank O’Hara

‘Why I Am Not a Painter’ by Frank O’Hara is a poem inspired by O’Hara’s experience with painters in New York. It details an interaction with Michael Goldberg.

Fork by Charles Simic

‘Fork’ by Charles Simic is a surprising and imaginative poem. In it, the speaker uses interesting examples of figurative language to depict a fork.

The Plain Sense of Things by Wallace Stevens

‘The Plain Sense of Things’ by Wallace Stevens is a thoughtful poem about creativity. The speaker notes the “plain” times when one is forced to contend with a weakened imagination. 

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