Dark

Forties Flick by John Ashbery

Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.

Forties Flick by John Ashbery Visual Representation

The Visionary by Emily Brontë

‘The Visionary’ by Emily Brontë describes the imminent arrival of an undefined, spirit-like presence to a house in the middle of winter. 

Nothing To Be Said by Philip Larkin

Larkin’s ‘Nothing To Be Said’ pessimistically explores the slow, steady and inevitable aproach of death. To Larkin, life is meerly a prolonged death.

Going by Philip Larkin

‘Going’ by Philip Larkin is a memorable poem about death. In it, he depicts death as a dark form that consumes everything.

The Gun by Vicki Feaver

‘The Gun’ by Vicki Feaver tells of the changes that came over a relationship after a gun and hunting were introduced to a household. 

Orinda to Lucasia by Katherine Philips

‘Orinda to Lucasia’ by Katherine Philips describes the importance and intensity of the relationship she holds with her close friend, Anne Owens. 

The Widening Sky by Edward Hirsch

‘The Widening Sky’ by Edward Hirsch describes a speaker’s emotionally revelatory journey into a darkening seaside landscape. 

Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens

‘Sunday Morning’ by Wallace Stevens discusses the existence of an afterlife and the role God and nature play in the creation of paradise.

The Three Little Pigs by Roald Dahl

This classic poem by Roald Dahl retells the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs with a surprisingly dark conclusion. 

The Laboratory by Robert Browning

‘The Laboratory’ is one of Browning’s most popular dramatic monologues in which we discover the evil schemings of a spurned wife, plotting the demise of her rival.

Mother Night by James Weldon Johnson

‘Mother Night’ by James Weldon Johnson describes a speaker’s optimistic and comforting beliefs in regards to what is waiting after death.

The Broken Tower by Hart Crane 

‘The Broken Tower’ by Hart Crane describes one speaker’s transcendent quest to attain some measure of success and the frustrations he faces along the way. 

The Prisoner by Emily Brontë

‘The Prisoner’ by Emily Brontë describes an interaction between the speaker, a prison warden, and a captive held within a dungeon crypt. 

Goliath and David by Robert Graves 

Goliath and David by Robert Graves retells the story of ‘David and Goliath’ in a darker, more realistic manner in which David loses the fight.

Fortuna by Thomas Carlyle

’Fortuna’ by Thomas Carlyle describes how no single person can change the world, and that one must not mourn that which is beyond their ability to control. 

Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

‘Filling Station’ by Elizabeth Bishop describes a speaker’s initial reaction, and later feelings, about the value of a dirty filling station. 

Bull Song by Margaret Atwood 

‘Bull Song’ by Margaret Atwood describes the short life of a bull who is forced to fight in a ring against human “gods” and is then cut up for the victors.

[London, my beautiful] by F.S. Flint

‘[London, my beautiful]’ by F.S. Flint describes one speaker’s love for the city of London and how he feels the city improves others and himself. 

Low Barometer by Robert Bridges

‘Low Barometer’ by Robert Bridges describes a world in which ghosts are brought from the afterlife into the present during a storm. 

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