‘A Different History’ by Sujata Bhatt is not a raging piece of protest, rather it teaches how to revisit one’s cultural past in a curious, sensible way.
In ‘3 November 1984,’ Indian-English poet Sujata Bhatt shows how history plays a vital role in the process of writing poetry, and their interconnectedness.
‘Cityscape’ by Eavan Boland is a complex, allusion-filled poem that describes Dublin and the Blackrock Baths, and presents contrasting images of past and present.
‘Witness’ is a thoughtful contemplation on the nature of memory, identity and guilt in the context of Boland’s Dublin.
‘Sonnet 35’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning expresses the speaker’s worries about the changes in her life. She embarks on a new life with her beloved and hopes he’s ready to accept her in the same way she’s accepting him.
‘Sonnet 20’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also known as ‘Beloved, my Beloved, when I think’ explores the ways that a new love changed a speaker’s life.
‘Frederick Douglass’ by Robert Hayden honors Douglass and speaks about a future in which all people, according to Douglass’ ideas of love and logic, will be treated equally without question.
Edwin Arlington Robinson’s sonnet ‘Horace to Leuconoe’ is a passionate address of a lover to a girl, brooding over what God might have in store for her. He advises her to seize the moment and forget about the past and the future.
Robinson Jeffers’s poem ‘Hands’ is about the distance between modern civilization and past civilizations. It voices Jeffers’s philosophy of “inhumanism.”
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.
Gary Snyder’s ‘Milton by Firelight’ is based on Satan’s comment in Paradise Lost and how it is relevant in the present time given the condition of the environment and humankind.
‘Air’ appears in W.S. Merwin’s 1963 collection of poetry, The Moving Target. This piece is about the personified air, introspecting on its role in nature.
‘Suburban Sonnet’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about a woman’s struggles with motherhood. It explores the mundane elements of her life and her lost dreams.
‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.
‘Letter to My Great, Great, Grandchild’ by J.P. Grasser is a powerful poem about the climate crisis. Throughout, the poet alludes to terrible planetary changes that occur in only a few generations.
‘Wine Tasting’ by Kim Addonizio skillfully delves into a speaker’s memories. The poet depicts the experience of drinking wine and all the connected thoughts and emotions it can evoke.
‘The Good Life’ by Tracy K. Smith is an incredibly relatable poem. In it, the poet asks the reader to consider their relationship with money and what the ‘good life’ really is.
Amanda Gorman’s poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ is a moving depiction of the United States as it was on the cusp of President Biden’s inauguration in 2021.
‘Diving into the Wreck’ by Adrienne Rich is an unforgettable poem. It uses diving as a metaphor to describe the fight for equal rights.
‘Duplex’ by Jericho Brown explores physical and mental abuse, looking at how memory can impact a person.
‘Peeling Onions’ by Adrienne Rich is an introspective poem. In it, the poet uses the metaphor of peeling onions to define her complex thoughts.
‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph describes what the future has in store as one ages and throws off societal restraints and expectations.
‘Rain’ by Don Paterson describes the way that rain acts as an equalizing force capable of washing away one’s concern for the past.
‘Lucifer in Starlight’ describes Lucifer’s power, past, attempted ascent from Hell back into Heaven, and the sights seen along the way.
‘Poppies on Ludlow Castle’ by Willa Cather describes the nature of Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, England and the spectres of the past it holds.