‘Only a Dad’ by Edgar Albert Guest is dedicated to the poet’s father. The poem describes the man’s willingness to self-sacrifice and do whatever he can to make his children happy.
‘Pour l’amour de ma doulce amye’ or ‘For the love of my sweet lady,’ is a French lyric composed in the 15th century. It is dedicated to a woman the writer loved.
‘Howl’ is Allen Ginsberg’s best-known poem and is commonly considered his greatest work. It is an indictment of modern society and a celebration of anyone living outside it.
‘Dear John, Dear Coltrane’ by Michael S. Harper describes musician John Coltrane’s life and alludes to the ways in which it influenced the poet’s work.
‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay depicts the lengths mothers will go to in order to protect their children. The speaker recalls watching his mother sacrifice herself for him when he was a young boy, weaving an enormous pile of clothing with a harp.
Formerly known as ‘Poem of Procreation,’ Whitman’s ‘A Woman Waits for Me’ is all about the power of regeneration, procreation, and creativity.
Quatrain XII from Edward FitzGerald’s famous translation, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, describes how “Wilderness” transforms into “Paradise” with love, poetry, and wine.
‘Complaint’ is one of the early poems of James Wright with a conventional form and meter. This poem is about a rural folk’s dissatisfaction with her dead wife’s absence.
Delmore Schwartz’s ‘Baudelaire’ is an emotional depiction of a poet’s desperation caused by poverty and the vicious cycle of hopelessness.
‘Snowflake,’ a sonnet by William Baer, beautifully captures the journey of a flake of snow from being a vapor to landing on a girl’s “unkissed lips.”
‘Life’s Tragedy’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar considers the elements of life that create tragedy and suffering. The speaker asserts that missing out on perfect love and the perfect song leads to an “accursed” life.
‘The Sun Has Burst The Sky’ by Jenny Joseph uses hyperbolic images of nature to describe a speaker’s love for “you.” They suggest that incredible natural events occur because of the intensity of their love.
‘The Mechanic’ by Diane Wakoski discusses men’s intuitive powers and the complexity of women’s hearts. The poet uses an extended metaphor comparing men to mechanics and women to the complex engines of cars.
‘The Three Ravens’ is an English ballad. It contains a conversation between three hungry ravens who are seeking out a meal.
‘Night Journey’ by Theodore Roethke is a thoughtful, fairly simple poem about the American countryside. He spends the lines admiring the landscapes one can see by train at night.
Duffy’s ‘Teacher’ is about a teacher whose teaching has the power to infuse life into the mundane and dry figures of the book. This piece is written in admiration and love for her teaching.
William Stafford shows his unique style of writing, the use of imagery, and symbolism in his poem ‘Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party.’ He uses flashbacks to his school days when he first met his childhood love, Ruth, and felt “alive.”
‘Then I Saw What the Calling Was’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a beautiful and complicated poem that speaks about life and experience.
‘The Pride of Lions’ by Joanna Preston describes what happens after a speaker’s husband is transformed into a lion. It presents a message about what relationships require in order to be successful.
‘Bresson’s Movies’ by Robert Creeley was a poet of the Black Mountain School. He wrote this piece in his characteristic style, exploring his connection of the films of French director Robert Bresson.
‘Recital’ by John Updike is a poetic tribute to Roger Bobo, an American tuba virtuoso and brass pedagogue. This poem captures the popularity of Bobo’s tuba playing skills.
Jill Alexander Essbaum’s ‘The Heart’ is a short poem that dictates the intricacies of dealing with heartfelt emotions. It describes the human heart as a room with four chambers and thousands of doors.
‘Down, Wanton, Down!’ is a direct address to “wanton” or the urge to have unrestrained sexual relationships. The speaker rebukes the desire/person by describing the value of “Love” and “Beauty.”
Walter de la Mare’s poem ‘Good-bye’ illustrates the impact of the “last of last words” with the help of vivid, pessimistic imagery. It’s all about one’s emotional distress caused by a heart-wrenching “Goodbye.”
‘A Simile for Her Smile,’ written by the American poet Richard Wilbur, is a poem about finding the right simile for a loved one’s smile. It appears in Wilbur’s second collection of poetry, Ceremony, and Other Poems (1950).
Whitman’s ‘The Dalliance of the Eagles’ depicts a fierce yet amorous scene of the birds of prey, briefly consummating in the open sky and then parting in their own ways. This poem was not received favorably due to its explicit depiction of sexuality.
A golden poem out of Hall’s heart, ‘Gold’ is about the precious past and conjugal memories of a speaker. It appears in the collection Old and New Poems published in 1990.
Thomas Campion’s ‘Advice to a Girl’ is a piece of advice dedicated to 17th-century women regarding men’s nature and follies. It highlights some negative aspects in men that women should know before loving them.
Written in 1717, Pope’s ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ is about Catharine Howard, one of the waiting-women of Queen Caroline and a mistress to George II. Pope satirizes the lady’s qualities as she rejects his genuine love.
Amy Lowell’s ‘Chinoiseries’ is an ekphrastic poem depicting the engravings on chinoiserie pottery. Lowell’s speaker gets lost in the art as if it is the eyes of her loved one.