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.
‘The Visionary’ by Emily Brontë describes the imminent arrival of an undefined, spirit-like presence to a house in the middle of winter.
Larkin’s ‘Nothing To Be Said’ pessimistically explores the slow, steady and inevitable aproach of death. To Larkin, life is meerly a prolonged death.
‘One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted’ by Emily Dickinson explores the nature of the human mind. She presents the reader with images of mental and physical threats and how they can be confronted.
‘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 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 describes the importance and intensity of the relationship she holds with her close friend, Anne Owens.
‘I now had only to retrace’ by Charlotte Brontë describes a speaker’s harrowing journey through a rapidly darkening landscape.
‘The Widening Sky’ by Edward Hirsch describes a speaker’s emotionally revelatory journey into a darkening seaside landscape.
‘Sunday Morning’ by Wallace Stevens discusses the existence of an afterlife and the role God and nature play in the creation of paradise.
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’ 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.
‘Luke Havergal’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson is told from inside the mind of Luke Havergal, a man who is being tempted to suicide by the prospect of love.
‘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 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 describes an interaction between the speaker, a prison warden, and a captive held within a dungeon crypt.
‘Winter Landscape, with Rooks’ by Sylvia Plath depicts a dark landscape. It’s used to symbolize how the speaker, and perhaps the poet, was feeling.
‘The Mill’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson describes a dark night in the life of a miller’s wife as she waits for her husband to return.
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.
‘Spring and All…’ by William Carlos Williams describes a desolate and dying landscape which borders a road and leads to a “contagious hospital.”
’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.
‘They are all Gone into the World of Light’ by Henry Vaughan describes a speaker’s longing to understand what death is and where his loved ones have gone.
‘Filling Station’ by Elizabeth Bishop describes a speaker’s initial reaction, and later feelings, about the value of a dirty filling station.
‘The Poet’s Obligation’ by Pablo Neruda describes the need felt by a speaker to ease the internal suffering of others through his writing.
‘The Day is Done’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes a speaker’s desire to have his night improved with the work of a passionate poet.
‘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 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 describes a world in which ghosts are brought from the afterlife into the present during a storm.
‘The House of Ghosts’ by Margaret Widdemer describes a speaker’s nightmare in which she fears not being remembered by her family members.
‘A Winter’s Tale’ by D.H. Lawrence tells a tale of two parting lovers who meet in the woods on a dark and misty winter day.