Jean Bleakney’s ‘Consolidation’ is a deeply personal poem about the act of rearranging the cowry shells that the speaker and her children gathered in the past.
This nostalgic Jean Bleakney poem is about a past act of collecting cowrie shells with one's children.
Some sunny, empty afternoon
I’ll pool our decade’s worth
and more of cowrie shells
gathered from that gravel patch
‘Ravenna’ by Oscar Wilde is the poet’s recollection of a trip to the culturally and historically important Italian city of Ravenna.
This poem is a good example of nostalgia as a topic in two senses. First, Wilde is looking back nostalgically to his trip of a year earlier to the Italian city of Ravenna. Secondly, Wilde is also very nostalgic about the glorious past of Ravenna, most especially the times when the great poets Byron and Dante lived in the city.
A year ago I breathed the Italian air,
And yet, methinks this northern Spring is fair,
These fields made golden with the flower of March,
The throstle singing on the feathered larch,
‘Sunlight on the Garden’ by Louis MacNeice is a poem about change, death, and accepting that life eventually ends.
This poem is filled with nostalgia, especially in the final stanza.
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
‘The Idea of Ancestry’ by Etheridge Knight is concerned with family relationships and how important being with those you’re related to is.
Much of this poem looks back on the past with fondness.
Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures: 47 black
faces: my father, mother, grandmothers (1 dead), grand-
fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,
cousins (1st and 2nd), nieces, and nephews. They stare
‘The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano’ by B.H. Fairchild is a free verse poem about how the creative process can connect a father and daughter.
‘The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano’ takes a camera-lens view of a father who is stuck in his life as a machinist because he must provide for his daughter. He looks back on the time he spent learning the piano admiringly, and the metaphors within the poem emphasize his feelings on imprisonment and the duty he feels about his labor.
The brown wrist and hand with its raw knuckles and blue nails
packed with dirt and oil, pause in mid-air,
the fingers arched delicately,
‘Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper’ contrasts two forms of labor and encourages the reader to consider the relationship between them.
Strange as it may appear, the narrator feels nostalgic for their time spent making paper, possibly regarding it as a simpler, more authentic period.
At sixteen, I worked after high school hours
at a printing plant
that manufactured legal pads:
‘I Saw From the Beach’ by Thomas Moore is a thoughtful poem. It considers the soul and passion and how the two things change over time as one ages.
The poem evokes a sense of nostalgia, with the speaker longing for the moment's return when passion first waked a new life through his frame. The poet spends parts of the poem alluding to the past and changes.
I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
A bark o’er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o’er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.