Poems about Desire

Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz

‘Touch Me’ by Stanley Kunitz is a moving poem about aging, the loss of identity, and desire. It explores what keeps people, and creatures of all varieties, going as they enter the final “season” of their life. 

Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz Visual Representation

The Flower by Robert Creeley

In ‘The Flower,’ Robert Creeley meditates upon a full-blooded flower and tries to fill his soul with its spiritual energy. He creates a contrast between awakening and ignorance through the image of the “patient flower.”

The Flower by Robert Creeley Visual Representation

Blandeur by Kay Ryan

‘Blandeur’ by Kay Ryan is a thoughtful poem that shows a deep love for the natural world and depicts it as all a part of God’s creation.

Blandeur by Kay Ryan Visual Representation

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale

‘Moonlight’ is a short lyrical poem by Sara Teasdale that uses various literary devices to depict the sorrows of a troubled youth.

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale Visual Representation

Longing by Matthew Arnold

‘Longing’ by Matthew Arnold is a poem directed at someone’s lover. They ask this person to visit them in their dreams since they can’t be together during the day.

Longing by Matthew Arnold Visual Representation

Sonnet 149 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 149,’ also known as ‘Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,’ is about the speaker’s love and lust for the Dark Lady. His interest in her has evolved into an obsession that controls his life.

sonnet 149 by william shakespeare visual representation

Sonnet 151 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 151,’ also known as ‘Love is too young to know what conscience is,’ is a lustful poem. It explores the speaker’s uncontrollable longing for the Dark Lady. 

Sonnet 151 by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

Sonnet 148 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 148,’ also known as ‘O me! What eyes hath Love put in my head,’ uses figurative language to describe the speaker’s state of mind. He’s blinded to his mistress’s faults, just like the sun becomes blinded by rain and clouds.

Sonnet 146 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 146,’ also known as ‘Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,’ addresses the state of the speaker’s soul. He admonishes it for allowing him to worry about earthly pleasures.

Sonnet 147 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 147,’ also known as ‘My love is as a fever, longing still,’ is a dark poem. It expresses the speaker’s loss of control over his body and mind. The Dark Lady has consumed his life like an illness.

Sonnet 147 by william shakespeare

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.

The harlem dancer by claude mckay

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.

harlem shadows by claude mckay

Sonnet 143 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 143,’ also known as ‘Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch,’ uses a simile to depict the speaker’s feelings for the Dark Lady. He is described as a crying infant desperate for his mother’s return.

Sonnet 143 by William Shakespeare Visual Poem Representation

Sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 142,’ also known as ‘Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,’ is one of the sonnets Shakespeare wrote about the Dark Lady. It compares love and sin.

sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 137 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 137,’ also known as ‘Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,’ is about the speaker’s love for the Dark Lady. It condemns love for misleading the speaker about her.

Sonnet 137 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 135 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 135,’ also known as ‘Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,’ is an unusual sonnet within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. It expresses the speaker’s desire to sleep with the Dark Lady and counted among her many lovers.

Sonnet 114 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 114,’ also known as ‘Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,’ is a poem about how one speaker interprets the world. Everything he sees and experiences is filtered through images of the person he loves.

Dry-Point by Philip Larkin

‘Dry-Point’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about sexuality. It uses the image of a bubble to depict the pinnacle of one’s sexual longing

Television by Roald Dahl

‘Television’ by Roald Dahl describes in outrageous detail the dangers of television and what a parent can do to save their child.

Lament by Hermann Hesse

‘Lament’ by Hermann Hesse describes the mental and emotional state of a speaker who is unable to settle on one way of being. 

Go, Lovely Rose by Edmund Waller

‘Go, Lovely Rose’ by Edmund Waller is addressed to a sweet and wonderours rose being sent to a speaker’s object of affection.

A Night Thought by William Wordsworth

‘A Night Thought’ by William Wordsworth describes a speaker’s displeasure at those among the human race who do not appreciate what fortune has given them.  

Journey by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Journey’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay describes a speaker’s desire to live a life experienced on an open path, and filled with natural wonder. 

The Collar by George Herbert

‘The Collar’ by George Herbert describes a speaker’s desire to escape from his religious life and turn to one of greater freedom. 

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