The lines “no one leaves home unless/ home is the mouth of a shark” that made us rethink the global refugee crisis, appear in Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home.’ This poem vividly depicts the lived experiences of the refugees both inside and outside of their countries.
‘Answer’ by Chinua Achebe portrays a persona shedding off insecurities about his homeland. He stops comparing it to that of his colonizers, seeing it as the vibrant place it always was.
‘Not My Business’ by Niyi Osundare is a powerful, satirical poem that explores the consequences of staying silent in the face of oppression.
‘Building the Nation’ is one of the best-known poems of the Ugandan poet Henry Barlow. This humorous piece comments on how nation-builders contribute to their country.
‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.
‘We Are At War’ by Gcina Mhlope is a rallying cry for women to stand up to their oppressors across the African continent.
Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753 in West Africa. She is known today as the first published female African-American poet.
‘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.
‘I Give You Thanks My God’ by Bernard Dadié describes the nature of blackness and the speaker’s gratitude for the strength to carry the world.
‘After Rain’ describes the impact of extreme heat on a townat the end of a rainstorm, and the different ways that people and animal react.
‘The Road Goes Ever On’ by J.R.R. Tolkien consists of only two verses, but the structure and approach within them are sufficient to highlight the epic journey before and after the song surfaces in the book.
‘Save Our Sons’ focuses on the struggle the African men of England have faced and continue to face against racism and violence.
‘A Far Cry from Africa’ is a poem based around the struggles in Africa. One would presume it is at least partially autobiographical.
‘The Death of Joy Gardner’ by Benjamin Zephaniah is a interesting narrative poem about an incident that took place in 1993.
‘A Person is a Person Because of Other People’ by Jeremy Cronin is a poem which examines the idea of communication, in its various forms.
The poem, ‘Nothing’s Changed’ by Tatmkhulu Afrika, talks about the rampant apartheid system in District Six near Cape Town in South Africa, and explores racism.
‘Vultures’ is one of the famous poems of the Nigerian poet Chinua Achebe. It is a dark and somber piece that focuses on the Belsen concentration camp and a commandant who works there.