Life Lessons Poems

The Other Side

by Seamus Heaney

Within ‘The Other Side’ Heaney delves into themes of division and difference, religion, as well as reconciliation. The poem is

Thigh-deep in sedge and marigolds,

a neighbour laid his shadow

on the stream, vouching

The Sad Shepherd

by William Butler Yeats

‘The Sad Shepherd’ by William Butler Yeats describes one man’s deepest sorrow and his quest to share his emotions with whomever or whatever he can find.

The Secret Sits

by Robert Frost

‘The Secret Sits’ by Robert Frost is a thoughtful, short poem about life and its secrets. Its only two lines long, but packs a punch in its use of imagery and allusion. 

We dance round in a ring and suppose,

But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

The Sower

by Victor Hugo

‘The Sower’ by Victor-Marie Hugo reveals the musings of a poet persona as he observes an old sower working in his fields till night.

The Underground Baby Case

by Jackie Kay

‘The Underground Baby Case’ by Jackie Kay conveys the feelings and choices of a woman who lost her own child and stole someone else’s.

The Unfinished

by Laurie Sheck

‘The Unfinished’ by Laurie Sheck is a complex and powerful poem about meaning, the purpose of life, and free will.

The Witnesses

by W.H. Auden

The poet, in the poem, ‘The Witnesses,’ or ‘The Two,’ says that inside a man’s body, there are two vital

The World is Too Much With Us

by William Wordsworth

‘The World is Too Much With Us’ by William Wordsworth is a thoughtful poem. It encourages the reader to think about the spiritual world more than the earthly world.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

They Say My Verse is Sad

by A. E. Housman

‘They Say My Verse is Sad’ by A.E. Housman is a direct, two stanza poem. In it, Housman describes why he writes poetry and who he writes for. 


by Imtiaz Dharker

The poem ‘Tissue’ by Imtiaz Dharker reveals the power of a paper, and how one can use it for many

To Fight Aloud, is Very Brave

by Emily Dickinson

‘To fight aloud, is very brave’ by Emily Dickinson compares inner and outer struggles. She emphasizes the former, suggesting it is far more complex and difficult than it seems.

To fight aloud, is very brave -

But gallanter, I know

Who charge within the bosom

The Calvalry of Wo - 

To Night

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

This is a remarkable lyric by Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is full of the passion and the yearning so typical

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

by Adrienne Rich

‘Tonight No Poetry Will Serve’ by Adrienne Rich is a multilayered poem. The poet imbued it with many complex sexual and political innuendoes about power.

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.

We Are Seven

by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was certainly not without his share of tragedy, and this poem, “We Are Seven”, is one which evokes this tragic feeling.

———A simple Child,

That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death?

Weekend Glory

by Maya Angelou

‘Weekend Glory’ by Maya Angelou explores important themes of identity and happiness. She uses the weekend as a way to explore what’s truly “glorious” and what’s not.

Some clichty folks

don't know the facts,

posin' and preenin'

and puttin' on acts,

What the Living Do

by Marie Howe

‘What the Living Do’ by Marie Howe is a beautiful poem about contemporary life. Throughout, the speaker defines what it is the living do. 

When Death Comes

by Mary Oliver

Here is an analysis of the poem When Death Comes by American poet Mary Oliver. Oliver, a highly beloved and

When I Die

by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

‘When I Die’ is an incredible Rumi poem about eternal life after death. The poet proposes not to grieve his death as it’s just a means to a new beginning, not an end.


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.

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.

Yellow Wood

by Syma K.

‘Yellow Wood’ by Syma K. details the ongoing struggle to balance the various layers of a person’s existence, without showing

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