Power

Solar by Philip Larkin

‘Solar’ by Philip Larkin is an unlikely Larkin poem that depicts the sun. The poet uses lyrical language to describe the sun through a series of metaphors and similes. 

The Stinking Rose by Sujata Bhatt

‘The Stinking Rose’ by Sujata Bhatt describes the way that garlic is judged based on its name and how a changed name might influence that fact. 

Queenhood by Simon Armitage

‘Queenhood’ by Simon Armitage was written to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It celebrates the Queen’s lifetime of service and describes the unique features of her life. 

The Road by Nancy Fotheringham Cato

‘The Road’ is simultaneously a thrilling car journey at night and a deeply personal mediation on time, humanity and the natural world.

Amethyst Beads by Eavan Boland

‘Amethyst Beads’ by Eavan Boland alludes to Greek mythology and the suffering of a child, Persephone, after she was separated from her mother, Demeter.

Winter Song by Elizabeth Tollett

‘Winter Song’ by Elizabeth Tollett is a poem about steadfast love and devotion to one person. The speaker uses the twenty-four lines to banish any thought from their lover’s mind that they are thinking about being unfaithful.

The Sea and the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

‘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. 

Holy Thursday (Songs of Experience) by William Blake

‘Holy Thursday’ by William Blake depicts the poor children of London attending church on Holy Thursday. Specifically, Blake describes their songs, appearance, and how their existence challenges the message the church is trying to convey.

A still— Volcano —Life by Emily Dickinson

‘A still— Volcano —Life’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable poem that uses an extended metaphor to describe the life of the poet. She compares herself to a volcano that erupts under the cover of darkness.

Earth Voices by Bliss Carman

‘Earth Voices’ by Bliss Carman is a clever poem that utilizes personification in order to convey the perspective of the sun, the wind, and the rain.

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W.H. Auden

‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’ by W.H. Auden is a thoughtful poem written at the beginning of WWII. The piece describes a tyrant’s beliefs and his power over everything around him. 

Gale in April by Robinson Jeffers

‘Gale in April’ by Robinson Jeffers was inspired by a storm that Jeffers observed in April while living on the Pacific coast. 

Departmental by Robert Frost

‘Departmental’ by Robert Frost is a clever poem that presents a satire of ant society. It suggests that the control and compartmentalization in the ant world would not work, or should not work, in human society.

The Sun Has Burst in the Sky by Jenny Joseph

‘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.

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo

‘An American Sunrise’ by Joy Harjo is a powerful poem about Native American culture written by the current Poet Laureate of the United States. The poem explores the struggles of the poet’s community as well as the successes and celebrations. 

Of Treason by John Harington

‘Of Treason’ by John Harington is a two-line poem that uses humor and wit to describes the nature of successful and unsuccessful treason.

Song of the Powers by David Mason

Published in 1996, in David Mason’s award-winning collection, The Country I Remember, ‘Song of the Powers’ uses a children’s game, “stone, paper, scissors,” in order to comment on the futility of power.

Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni

‘Rosa Parks’ by Nikki Giovanni is a poem about activism and the importance of remembering important moments in African American history. The poem pays tribute to the heroic actions of the Pullman Porters who spearheaded the civil rights movement and forever changed history for the African American community.

A Stone is Nobody’s by Russell Edson

‘A Stone is Nobody’s’ by Russell Edson is a memorable poem. It uses a stone, and a man’s capture of it, to describe a troubling mother/son relationship.

Love Cycle by Chinua Achebe

‘Love Cycle’ by Chinua Achebe describes sunrise, sunset, and their effects on Earth using the metaphor of a barely happy couple.

Postfeminism by Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Postfeminism’ by Brenda Shaughnessy is a powerful poem that uses imagery to depict a woman’s experience in the world while alluding to the phases of feminism.

Your One Good Dress by Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Your One Good Dress’ by Brenda Shaughnessy is a compelling poem about choosing the right dress. The one dress “you” choose should represent you in a clear and powerful way.

On the Beach by Anne Ranasinghe

‘On the Beach’ by Anne Ranasinghe is a dark and disturbing poem in which the poet explores sadism through the narrative of a dog’s fate at the beach.

Power by Adrienne Rich

‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem that focuses on the power of Marie Curie and the impact she made on her field.

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