Poems about America

In these poems, readers will find content written from an American perspective or specifically about American culture, politics, history, and more. These poems are quite different from one another but are united in their common origin and vaguely similar interest.

The Sugar-Plum Tree by Eugene Field

‘The Sugar-Plum Tree’ by Eugene Field is an image-rich poem that describes a colorful and entertaining dream world. It depicts a specific tree and how children can get sweets from its branches.

Daybreak in Alabama by Langston Hughes

Music is a powerful tool to bring harmony even in the cacophonic world, filled with inequality, injustice, and racial discrimination. In ‘Daybreak in Alabama,’ Langston Hughes tries to create a harmonious world by creating music of equality and brotherhood.

Dead Deer by David Groff

‘Dead Deer’ by David Groff is a memorable poem about death. It describes a car accident in which the speaker and a deer lose their lives.

Sonnet by Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Sonnet’ is not a conventional poem having fourteen lines or a specific structure. This piece is filled with images that collectively tap on the theme of suffering.

Fallen Apples by Tom Hansen

‘Fallen Apples’ appears in Tom Hansen’s poetry collection “Fallen to Earth”. This poem records the movement of wasps through the apples fallen the night before.

White Apples by Donald Hall

The poet of ‘White Apples’ Donald Hall uses plain language and a simple style to describe the effect of a loved one’s death in a speaker’s mind. The way he misses his father is described in this poem.

White Lies by Natasha Trethewey

‘White Lies’ by Natasha Trethewey is a poetic exploration of racial identity in the American South through three lies a girl tells about being white.

Don’t kill yourself today by Hannah Dains

‘Don’t kill yourself today’ by Hannah Dains is a thoughtful and powerful poem about suicide. The poet explores all the reasons someone has to stay alive and expresses her love for those struggling with depression.

Beware: Do Not Read This Poem by Ishmael Reed

‘Beware: Do Not Read This Poem’ by Ishmael Reed is a thoughtful poem about culture and how language is used to tell stories. The poem warns against becoming too consumed within one method of storytelling.

When You Come by Maya Angelou

‘When You Come’ by Maya Angelou is a powerful piece about a past love. The poet uses figurative language to emphasize the experience of reliving the past.

Money by Robert Frost

‘Money’ by Robert Frost warns readers not to stress over every expenditure. This poem’s concise and eloquent use of rhyme makes a long lasting impression on the reader.

Sonnet by George Henry Boker

‘Sonnet’ by George Henry Boker is a war-time sonnet. It was written in order to emphasize how brave soldiers are and what they sacrifice.

The Black Man’s Burden by H. T. Johnson

What happens when Kipling’s ideas in ‘The White Man’s Burden’ pierce the soul of the blacks? Then writers like H. T. Johnson pen down ‘The Black Man’s Burden’ in response to chauvinism, white supremacy, and racism.

The Harlem Dancer by Claude McKay

‘The Harlem Dancer’ by Claude McKay is a thoughtful poem about a dancer’s inner life. It speaks on the duality of what people see and what people experience.

Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay

‘Harlem Shadows’ by Claude McKay memorably addresses the lives of Black sex workers in Harlem. The poet describes their experience while also acknowledging their strength.

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

‘Afterglow’ by Helen Lowrie Marshall is a popular funeral poem. It describes a speaker’s hope that they’re remembered fondly and warmly.

Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

‘Epitaph’ by Merrit Malloy is a beautiful poem about the good that can come out of death. The speaker wants their memory used to make the world a better place.

Eagle Poem by Joy Harjo

Have you ever wondered how graciously an eagle floats in the sky by making circular movements? In ‘Eagle Poem,’ Joy Harjo depicts how it is similar to the cycle of life.

Coat by Jane Duran

‘Coat’ is written by the Spanish-American poet Jane Duran. This poem taps on the themes of motherhood, love, and memory.

Olives by A.E. Stallings

‘Olives’ is the title poem of A.E. Stallings’ third book of poetry by the same name. It explores the features of the fruit and its resemblance to her poems.

From the Dark Tower by Countee Cullen

‘From the Dark Tower’ by Countee Cullen is a thoughtful poem about the Black experience. It suggests that there is a brighter future on the horizon.

Enlightenment by Natasha Trethewey

‘Enlightenment’ by Natasha Trethewey is a powerful poem about race and racism. The poet depicts the ways in which history can be interpreted.

Wine Tasting by Kim Addonizio

‘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

‘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.

Chorus of the Captains by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman’s ‘Chorus of the Captains’ is an occasional poem written for and performed at the 52nd Super Bowl. It describes the work of three American heroes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

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. 

The Butterfly by Alice Freeman Palmer

‘The Butterfly’ by Alice Freeman Palmer is one of the best poems concerning the beauty of a butterfly. This poem is a poetic longing for being like a butterfly, beautiful, and heavenly.

America by Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg’s ‘America’ deals with the turbulent times in America. It was written during and focused on the period after the Second World War.

Cinderella by Anne Sexton

‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton tells the story of Cinderella while also engaging with the theme of feminism and focusing on a very different ending.

Her Kind by Anne Sexton

‘Her Kind’ by Anne Sexton is a thought-provoking poem in which a woman discusses and celebrates her individuality and all the things that set her apart from others.

Wife by Ada Limón

‘Wife’ by Ada Limón investigates how women are portrayed within their marriages and challenges the patriarchal mindset that women have to be submissive to their husbands.

Gymnopédies No. 1 by Adrian Matejka

‘Gymnopédies No. 1’ by Adrian Matejka is a comforting poem that depicts a snowy landscape and explores the peace one can find in it alongside loved ones.

From the Garden by Anne Sexton

‘From the Garden’ by Anne Sexton is a peaceful poem in which the speaker describes how beneficial it is to spend time in nature.

Friends by Abbie Farwell Brown

‘Friends’ by Abbie Farwell Brown is a joyful poem in which the speaker focuses on the love and peace that can come from interacting with the earth’s natural elements.

A Crowned Poet by Anne Reeve Aldrich

‘A Crowned Poet’ by Anne Reeve Aldrich describes the various types of happiness that exist in the world and how different they can be from one another.

Sea Fevers by Agnes Wathall

‘Sea Fevers’ by Agnes Wathall is a thoughtful poem that uses sea-related imagery. With it, the poet depicts her speaker’s seclusion and emotions.

To My Mother by Edgar Allan Poe

‘To My Mother’ by Edgar Allan Poe is a thoughtful poem that addresses the poet’s personal losses, such as the death of his biological mother, and what high esteem he now holds mothers in.

Poem at Thirty-Nine by Alice Walker

‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ by Alice Walker describes the speaker’s father’s life. She admits how much she misses him and how she wishes he hadn’t had such a hard life.

After Auschwitz by Anne Sexton

‘After Auschwitz’ by Anne Sexton explores the poet’s emotional reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust and her plea to God to hear her.

Amaze by Adelaide Crapsey

‘Amaze’ by Adelaide Crapsey explores the poet’s hands and the emotions she experiences when she looks at them she sees her mother’s.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

‘The Raven’ is commonly considered to be Edgar Allan Poe’s poetic masterpiece. It details a harrowing night in the speaker’s life that includes incessant knocking and a talking raven that only says one word–“Nevermore.”

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol

‘Strange Fruit’ is a heart-wrenching song penned by Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiiday. It reveals the tragic nature of some of the darkest times in American history.

Courage by Anne Sexton

‘Courage’ by Anne Sexton conveys the different ways in which a person can show courage, ranging from the seemingly insignificant to the much more heroic.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman

It’s much more than the dry figures to study or embracing the moist air of nature. In ‘When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,’ Walt Whitman emphasizes the importance of studying nature that can tap into deeper thoughts and knowledge.

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou defies the stereotypes women are often faced with today. It is a poem filled with strength and determination.

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