‘Expostulation and Reply’ a ballad, written by William Wordsworth, tells the story of Matthew, dissuading the speaker (William) from idling away his precious time in “wise passiveness” or simply daydreaming.
‘Splendour in the Grass’ by William Wordsworth is an excerpt from the poet’s much longer, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.’ The excerpt describes aging and where, after their youth has ended, one should seek strength and happiness.
‘Live Your Life’ by Chief Tecumseh is an easy-to-read and powerful poem. It was written with the intention of sharing the poet’s beliefs about how to live life and embrace death without fear.
Written in 1717, Pope’s ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ is about Catharine Howard, one of the waiting-women of Queen Caroline and a mistress to George II. Pope satirizes the lady’s qualities as she rejects his genuine love.
‘A Dream’ by William Blake paints a compassionate and thoughtful picture of the natural world through the personified story of an ant.
‘On the one-ton temple bell’ by Taniguchi Buson is a beautiful haiku. It describes a moonmoth sleeping on a temple bell.
‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’ was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century by James Orchard Halliwell. It was noted, as a great deal of nursery rhymes were, as a children’s game.
‘A Poppy Blooms’ by Katsushika Hokusai is a thoughtful poem about writing. The poet uses a metaphor to depict how his process works.
‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ is a well-known chant from the story of “Jack the Giant Killer.” Dating back to at least the early 1700s, the compelling and entertaining story tells of a young boy’s daring feats and his bravery.
To look back at a nation’s history from a poet’s perspective is an enriching exercise that enlightens modern readers regarding the follies and foibles of the age. Samuel Johnson’s ‘London’ is one such piece that throws light on the condition of 18th century England, especially London.
‘Auld Lang Syne’ is a poem that addresses old acquaintances and the memories associated with them at the end of a year. It is a famous poem that is sung all across the world.
‘Ae Fond Kiss’ by Robert Burns tells of the unfortunate parting of two lovers, and a speaker’s depression over the many parts of his life he is losing.
‘A Description of the Morning’ by Jonathan Swift describes the various events happening one morning in London’s West End in the early 1700s.
‘Evening’ by Friedrich Schiller contains a speaker’s plea to Apollo that he allow the sun to set and rest, and love to descend.
‘To a Mouse’ by Robert Burns describes the unfortunate situation of a mouse whose home was destroyed by the winter winds.
‘A Hymn to the Evening’ by Phillis Wheatley describes a speaker’s desire to take on the glow of evening so that she may show her love for God.
‘Epitaph on a Hare’ by William Cowper describes the relationship between a pet hare and his owner who loved him unconditionally.
‘The Poplar Field’ describes the destruction of a field of poplar trees and how its loss allows a speaker to reflect on his death.
‘On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland…’, describes a wandering “Lunatic” and the freedom he has from niceties and the fear of death.
‘Winter’ by Anne Hunter cleverly personifies winter as a “tyrant” who has complete control over those most in need.
‘To My Daughter On Being Separated from Her on Her Marriage’ by Anne Hunter is a touching poem in which the speaker describes her hopes and dreams for her daughter as she marries.
‘Huge Vapours Brood above the Clifted Shore’ by Charlotte Smith describes a brooding storm the lighted paths of life one might choose to follow.
‘The Indian Serenade’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a dreamlike, lyrical love poem told from the perspective of a desperate lover.
‘Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed From a Skull’ was written in 1808 and expresses Byron’s disdainful thoughts surrounding death.
‘A Woman to Her Lover’ goes over the requirements a “wakened” woman will have for her lover. She must be his equal in all aspect of their lives together.
‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns is a poem that is in the ballad formation of four-line stanzas with ABBA rhyme schemes.
‘The Ecchoing Green’ by William Blake is poem that presents a theme that is as beautiful as it is melancholy.