‘Here’ by R.S. Thomas is delivered from the perspective of a man who, while looking back on his life, finds himself self regretting acts of violence he committed.
‘Dream Boogie’ by Langston Hughes is a poem about jazz, creativity, and the oppression of Black Americans. It was written during the Harlem Renaissance.
Carl Sandburg’s ‘Flash Crimson’ is an emotionally charged, devotional poem where a speaker is eager to ask God for more hardships. It deals with the themes of devotion, morality, legacy, and the afterlife.
Sonia Sanchez’s ‘Poem at Thirty’ describes a speaker’s journey from being wounded to growing stronger. The pain reminds her of the metaphorical “midnight” of her life and her community.
‘Quinceañera’ appears in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1991). This coming-of-age poem is about a speaker’s physical and mental changes.
‘Arabic’, a thoughtful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye appears in Red Suitcase: Poems (1994). This poem features a speaker’s forgetfulness concerning her mother tongue (Arabic) and culture.
‘Triolet’ by Robert Bridges is a short love poem that takes a specific poetic form. It acknowledges that love is a painful experience and personifies the force as a “hard master.”
‘In the Desert’ by Stephen Crane is a popular short poem that presents readers with a strange scenario. The poem speaks on human nature through a disturbing image of self-destruction.
‘Moonlight’ is a short lyrical poem by Sara Teasdale that uses various literary devices to depict the sorrows of a troubled youth.
‘Origin of the Marble Forest’ by Gregory Orr is an interesting and moving poem about someone’s past relationships. The speaker declares them “stone,” solidifying them in their life forever.
‘There is a pain—so utter’ by Emily Dickinson is a complicated poem. It uses abstract language to describe pain.
‘Everything I touch’ by Kobayashi Issa is a beautiful Japanese haiku written by one of the four great haiku masters. This piece speaks on what one might receive in return when they reach out with tenderness.
Have you ever imagined what it felt like observing innocent lives being traded at the slave auction? It is vividly portrayed through the eyes of Frances Harper in her poem ‘The Slave Auction’.
‘Rhyme of the Dead Self’ by A.R.D. Fairburn is a captivating poem in which the poet speaks about youth and coming of age through images of violence and religion.
‘Duplex’ by Jericho Brown explores physical and mental abuse, looking at how memory can impact a person.
‘Myxomatosis’ by Philip Larkin is about a disease of the same name. It was introduced to the wild rabbit population in Britain in the mid-1900s.
‘No worst, there is none’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins describes the nature of a speaker’s depression and its highs and lows.
‘I look into my glass’ by Thomas Hardy describes the painful process of aging and how one’s mental age is not always in line with one’s physical.
‘Time does not bring relief; you all have lied’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay tells of an emotionally damaged woman, seeking relief from heartbreak.
‘What Would I Give?’ by Christina Rossetti is a first person narrative that describes a speaker’s emotionally damaged and depressed state of mind.
‘The Gun’ by Vicki Feaver tells of the changes that came over a relationship after a gun and hunting were introduced to a household.
‘The house was still—the room was still’ by Charlotte Brontë is a fragment of an unfinished work that speaks on freedom and captivity.
‘Wild Oats’ by Philip Larkin depicts the difficulties in a specific relationship he had with two women.
‘The Pig’ by Roald Dahl describes the thought process of an intelligent pig that realizes he is being raised to become a meal for humans.
‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer is a poem about relationships. In this piece, the speaker defines what it is she’s looking for and everything she doesn’t care about.