How Did You Die?
by Edmund Vance Cooke
‘How Did You Die?’ by Edmund Vance Cooke is a rhyming poem that tries to impart an idealized view of perseverance in life.
The House by the Side of the Road
by Sam Walter Foss
‘The House by the Side of the Road’ by Sam Walter Foss was a once-popular American poem about caring for and helping other people.
‘Twas the old — road — through pain—
by Emily Dickinson
‘Twas the old — road — through pain—’ by Emily Dickinson describes a woman’s path from life to death and her entrance into Heaven.
by Alice Cary
‘Nobility’ by Alice Cary is a straightforward, inspirational poem about where honor and nobility truly come from.
by Frank O’Hara
‘Steps’ by Frank O’Hara is one of the poet’s many pieces that explores life in New York City. It is written in his characteristic style and is filled with allusions that are sometimes hard to interpret.
The Fool’s Prayer
by Edward Rowland Sill
‘The Fool’s Prayer’ by Edward Rowland Sill is a religious poem that reminds readers, and all the characters in the poem, what it takes to live a good, morally righteous life.
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.
by Josiah Gilbert Holland
‘Gradatim’ by Josiah Gilbert Holland is a poem about the lifetime of work it takes to climb the ladder to Heaven. One needs to dedicate themselves to a life of good deeds to reach God.
“Let the world’s sharpness…” Sonnets from the Portuguese (XXIV)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
‘Let the world’s sharpness’ (Sonnet 24) is a poem that proposes a resolution to the world’s strife — all turn to, and accept, Love.
A Dream within a Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe
Published in 1849, ‘A Dream Within a Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe examines the subtleties of time. His speaker delves into our perception of it and its effects.
by Robert Frost
Frost’s ‘A Question’ is a powerfully emotional poem. In it, the poet paints a picture of suffering, pointing to the fact that life itself is filled with scars of the soul and body.
A Rolling Stone
by Robert Service
In ‘A Rolling Stone’, Robert Service reflects on the simple idea of getting away from the convoluted machinations of the modern world. The poem was published in Rhymes of a Rolling Stone in 1912.
a song in the front yard
by Gwendolyn Brooks
‘a song in the front yard’ by Gwendolyn Brooks is a well-known poem about a young speaker’s interest in the darker side of life.
by Elizabeth Jennings
‘Admonition’ by Elizabeth Jennings describes how one should maintain control over their own life rather than designate their responsibilities to others.
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 Philip Larkin
‘Ambulances’ by Philip Larkin presents readers with a thoughtful and concerning depiction of cities. He focuses on the presence of death and its inevitability.
by Elizabeth Jennings
‘Answers’ by Elizabeth Jennings describes how one speaker compartmentalizes the big questions and answers in life in the back of her mind.
Any Human to Another
by Countee Cullen
In Countee Cullen’s poem, ‘Any Human to Another,’ the speaker describes how essential human interaction is. He also reveals how one person suffering affects everyone.
As I Walked Out One Evening
by W.H. Auden
‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ by W. H. Auden is a poem about the unconquerable nature of death and the imperfect nature of love. This piece was first published in 1940 in the poet’s collection Another Time.
by William Stafford
‘Ask Me’ appears in William Stafford’s one of the best-known poetry collections, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford. This metaphorical poem is bout life and memories.
Auguries of Innocence
by William Blake
‘Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake is a poem from his notebook, known as the Pickering Manuscript. This poem by presenting a series of paradoxical ideas revolves around the theme of innocence vs experience.