Writing

3 November 1984 by Sujata Bhatt

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.

3 November 1984 by Sujata Bhatt

I cautious, scanned my little life by Emily Dickinson

‘I cautious, scanned my little life’ by Emily Dickinson is a clever, metaphorical poem that addresses change and one’s legacy. The poet struggles to understand her changed attitude towards her literary accomplishments after a period of time has elapsed. 

I cautious, scanned my little life by Emily Dickinson

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.

A still— Volcano —Life by Emily Dickinson

A Picture of Otto by Ted Hughes

‘A Picture of Otto’ by Ted Hughes is addressed to Sylvia Plath’s father, Otto. It contains Hughes’ disagreements about how he and Otto were depicted in Plath’s work.

A Picture of Otto by Ted Hughes

Visits to St. Elizabeths by Elizabeth Bishop

‘Visits to St. Elizabeths’ by Elizabeth Bishop depicts the late Ezra Pound in a mental institution. The poet was inspired by the structure of children’s nursery rhymes in her composition of the text.

Visits to St. Elizabeths by Elizabeth Bishop

The Lyric in a Time of War by Eloise Klein Healy

‘The Lyric in a Time of War’ by Eloise Klein Healy is a poem about war, writing, and artistic cconnection throughout time. The poem is dedicated to how writing can create a connection between two people over time and space. 

The Lyric in a Time of War by Eloise Klein Healy

Pour l’amour de ma doulce amye

‘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. 

Pour l’amour de ma doulce amye

The Poet by Paul Laurence Dunbar

‘The Poet’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar depicts how the poet saw himself and the elements of his work that gained popularity during his lifetime.

The Poet by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Politics by William Butler Yeats

‘Politics’ by William Butler Yeats is the last lyric poem Yeats wrote. It alludes to wars around the world including World War II which was to begin the year after this poem was written. 

Politics by William Butler Yeats

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

‘The Writer’ by Richard Wilbur depicts a father watching his daughter create her first piece of writing. The poet uses clever and creative examples of figurative language in order to depict the struggle new and experienced writers go through. 

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

Ten Little Soldiers (And Then There Were None)

‘Ten Little Soldiers’ was included in Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel, ‘And Then There Were None.’ It iserves as an epigraph, appearing at the beginning of the book, and is connected with all ten deaths that occur on the island. It is unclear who wrote the first version of this nursery rhyme.

Ten Little Soldiers (And Then There Were None)

The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘The Arrow and the Song’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an interesting poem that utilizes quatrains. Throughout the piece, the speaker alludes to the unknown impact of his poetry before finding it in the heart of his friend in the last stanza.

The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To Ireland in the Coming Times by William Butler Yeats

‘To Ireland in the Coming Times’ by William Butler Yeats is dedicated to the poet’s impact on Ireland’s political, social, and cultural landscape. It contains the poet’s beliefs about the nature of his verse.

To Ireland in the Coming Times by William Butler Yeats

Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen

‘Yet Do I Marvel’ by Countee Cullen is a poem about faith. No matter the darkness the speaker sees in the world, he maintains his faith in his own role in God’s plan.

Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen

An Introduction to Some Poems by William Stafford

William Stafford’s ‘An Introduction to Some Poems’ is about the role of budding poets. The speaker says that every life is worth writing about, and a writer’s work is to share “authentic” human experiences.

An Introduction to Some Poems by William Stafford

Good-bye Fox by Mary Oliver

‘Good-bye Fox’ by Mary Oliver is a thoughtful poem that explores the meaning of life. It includes a conversation between a fox and a human being.

Good-bye Fox by Mary Oliver

The Window by Diane di Prima

‘The Window,’ an interesting poem is written by the Beat poet Diane di Prima, compares poetry to a “window” to a writer’s soul. It showcases how poetry captures the very essence of the poet and her thoughts.

The Window by Diane di Prima

Memorial by Amanda Gorman

‘Memorial’ by Amanda Gorman is a poem about the past and how poets are able to use their writing to help readers relive it.

Memorial by Amanda Gorman

The Poem Unwritten by Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov’s ‘The Poem Unwritten’ revolves around the extended metaphor for unconsummated love that is aptly portrayed in its very title. This piece fuses physicality with spiritual love.

The Poem Unwritten by Denise Levertov

American Poetry by Louis Simpson

‘American Poetry’ appears in Louis Simpson’s award-winning collection At the End of the Open Road (1963). This piece is about the nature and range of poems produced throughout America.

American Poetry by Louis Simpson

Let Me Tell You by Miller Williams

In ‘Let Me Tell You,’ Miller Williams suggests prospective poets aspiring to express their thoughts through imaginative works. His suggestion is to devour each detail from the commonplace.

Let Me Tell You by Miller Williams

The Language by Robert Creeley

‘The Language’ by Robert Creeley is an interesting poem that grows easier to understand with each reading. It discusses love and the way its conveyed and felt. 

The Language by Robert Creeley

What is Poetry? by John Ashbery

‘What is Poetry?’ by John Ashbery is a complex poem about poetry and what exactly it is. It uses Ashbery’s traditional obscure language and meaning. 

What is Poetry? by John Ashbery

The Famous Writer by Daniel Galef

‘The Famous Writer’ by Daniel Galef is a compelling poem about the effects of fame. The speaker is aware that fame is destructive but wants to experience it for himself. 

The Famous Writer by Daniel Galef

Reunion by Charles Wright

‘Reunion’ by Charles Wright is an emotionally charged poem that expresses the author’s personal relationship to his writing. The author views his poetry as a way to make peace with the past.

Reunion by Charles Wright

Under Stars by Tess Gallagher

‘Under Stars’ by Tess Gallagher is a thoughtful poem that traces a speaker’s walk outside at night. It includes her reminiscence about her past and childhood. 

Under Stars by Tess Gallagher

Language Lesson 1976 by Heather McHugh

‘Language Lesson 1976’ by Heather McHugh is a thoughtful poem. In it, the speaker uses language cleverly to make statements about America and love. 

Language Lesson 1976 by Heather McHugh

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