In ‘A Hymn to God the Father,’ Donne’s introspective and confessional tone explores sin, forgiveness, and the speaker’s personal relationship with God.
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
‘A Far Cry from Africa’ encapsulates the turbulent struggle between ancestral African roots and colonial influence, invoking introspection and cultural complexities within a powerful poetic narrative.
A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’ is a light poem about a homesick traveler sentimentally remembering his former home in the English town of Grantchester. The poem takes a gently satirical tone to its subject matter.
Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
‘Their Pleas’ talks about the longing of departed souls for guidance, connection, and empathy in their journey through the afterlife.
They pluck my sleeve, tug my hand, pull
my hair. They do not kneel to kiss my hem.
No, it’s not like that but they want tokens.
Again, not souvenirs but something small
‘The Sea and the Hills’ by Rudyard Kipling depicts the ocean, its heaving waves, incredible winds, and ever-present danger. It has evoked longing in men throughout time and will continue to do so, just as one longs to return home.
Who hath desired the Sea? - the sight of salt water unbounded -
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber wind-hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm, grey, foamless, enormous, and growing
Stark calm on the lap of the Line or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing -
Once considered as a preface to the major poem ‘The Waste Land’ by T.S. Eliot, ‘Gerontion’ effectively deals with the huge psychological, spiritual, and physical destruction caused by the great war.
Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
I was neither at the hot gates
Nor fought in the warm rain
Explore more poems about Longing
‘The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance’ (translated by Ezra Pound) by Li Bai captures the lovelorn yearning of a woman waiting for her lover late at night in a picturesque scene of melancholic beauty.
The jewelled steps are already quite white with dew,
It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze stockings,
And I let down the crystal curtain
And watch the moon through the clear autumn.
Amidst scarlet flames and camaraderie, ‘Around the Campfire’ captures transformative connections. Vivid imagery illuminates rekindled friendships, binding souls in tranquility.
Rising from the fire like a phoenix,
ash morphs into flights of flaming darts.
And shadows mark the fringes of light,
extinguishing all unwary sparks.
Edgar Albert Guest’s ‘Thanksgiving’ radiates familial warmth, intertwining laughter, gratitude, and time-honored traditions in shared gatherings.
Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
‘Ex-Basketball Player’ by John Updike explores the faded glory of Flick Webb, a former basketball star, as he navigates a life of unfulfilled potential and routine.
Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage