Poems about England

Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T. S. Eliot

‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ is about a fiendish feline character from T. S. Eliot’s light verse collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Macavity, the mastermind of criminal plots, knows how to cover his tracks.

Macavity The Mystery Cat by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

Old Man by Edward Thomas

‘Old Man’ by Edward Thomas is a thoughtful piece about the loss of memory and a disconnect to one’s past. 

Old Man by Edward Thomas Visual Representation

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Song of the Jellicles’ features the characteristics and nature of the Jellicle Cats, made famous by the musical adaptation, Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

Home by Warsan Shire

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.

Home by Warsan Shire Visual Representation

Expostulation and Reply by William Wordsworth

‘Expostulation and Reply’ a ballad, written by William Wordsworth, tells the story of Matthew, dissuading the speaker (William) from idling away his precious time in “wise passiveness” or simply daydreaming.

Expostulation and Reply by William Wordsworth Visual Representation

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W.H. Auden

‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’ by W.H. Auden is a thoughtful poem written at the beginning of WWII. The piece describes a tyrant’s beliefs and his power over everything around him. 

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W.H. Auden Visual Representation

Love is… by Adrian Henri

‘Love is…’ by Adrian Henri provides readers with various ways to consider love and how it tints even the smallest objects and experiences with more meaning.

Love is... by Adrian Henri Visual Representation

Our revels now are ended by William Shakespeare

‘Our revels now are ended’ is the name given to one of the best-known speeches from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It can be found in Act IV, Scene 1, and is spoken by Prospero. 

Our revels now are ended by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

Why Flowers Change Color by Robert Herrick

‘Why Flowers Change Color’ by Robert Herrick is a short poem that speaks about virginity, virgins, and the reason that flowers change colors. The poem is often interpreted in different ways due to the few details Herrick provides in the four lines. 

Why Flowers Change Colors by Robert Herrick Visual Representation

Ten Little Soldiers (And Then There Were None)

‘Ten Little Soldiers’ was included in Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel, ‘And Then There Were None.’ It iserves as an epigraph, appearing at the beginning of the book, and is connected with all ten deaths that occur on the island. It is unclear who wrote the first version of this nursery rhyme.

Ten Little Soldier Boys Visual Representation

One For Sorrow

‘One For Sorrow’ it’s an old English nursery rhyme that playfully interprets magpies (a type of bird) as signs of the future. 

One for Sorrow Visual Representation

The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘The Arrow and the Song’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an interesting poem that utilizes quatrains. Throughout the piece, the speaker alludes to the unknown impact of his poetry before finding it in the heart of his friend in the last stanza.

The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Visual Representation

Once More Unto The Breach (Henry V) by William Shakespeare

From Henry V, ‘Once More Unto The Breach,’ without doubt, one of Shakespeare’s most rousing and iconic speeches. It has inspired motivational speeches from everywhere from Independence Day and Star Trek and remains a masterclass in rhetoric language to this day.

Once More Unto The Breach by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

How Many Miles to Babylon?

‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’ is a children’s nursery rhyme and singing game that was first recorded in the 19th-century. 

How Many Miles to Babylon? Visual Representation

Gold! by Thomas Hood

‘Gold!’ by Thomas Hood is a piece about the corrupting nature of gold. It focuses on the duality of the substance. It can save but, it can also doom the person seeking it out. 

Gold! by Thomas Hood Visual Representation

Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon

‘Everyone Sang’ by Siegfried Sassoon is a moving poem about the joy experienced at the end of World War I. Knowing that the horrors of the war are over, the world sang out with the joy of a newly uncaged bird.

Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon Visual Representation

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Windy Nights’ by Robert Louis Stevenson is a children’s poem about a nighttime storm. It was first published in 1885 in A Child’s Garden of Verses. 

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

A Dirge by Christina Rossetti

‘A Dirge’ by Christina Rossetti is a thoughtful and moving poem about death. It speaks on the birth and death of an important person in the speaker’s life.

A Dirge by Christina Rossetti Visual Representation

Love on the Farm by D.H. Lawrence

‘Love on the Farm’ by D.H. Lawrence is a poem about the universality of love, passion, and death. Lawrence depicts these elements through the various lives observable on a farm.

Love on the Farm by D.H. Lawrence Visual Representation

The Vagabond by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘The Vagabond’ by Robert Louis Stevenson is a poem about one speaker’s desire to live a life close to nature and far from the rules of contemporary society. 

The Vagabond by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

The Wedding by Moniza Alvi

‘The Wedding’ by Moniza Alvi depicts a wedding ceremony and a bride’s apprehensive approach to her new home in England and her new English family. 

The Wedding by Moniza Alvi Visual Representation

Stafford Afternoons by Carol Ann Duffy

Duffy’s ‘Stafford Afternoons’ is all about a child losing her way in the adult world and coming across an offensive scene that would leave its dark imprints in her mind.

Stafford Afternoons by Carol Ann Duffy Visual Representation

Teacher by Carol Ann Duffy

Duffy’s ‘Teacher’ is about a teacher whose teaching has the power to infuse life into the mundane and dry figures of the book. This piece is written in admiration and love for her teaching.

Teacher by Carol Ann Duffy Visual Representation

I Shall Paint My Nails Red by Carole Satyamurti

‘I Shall Paint My Nails Red’ by Carole Satyamurti is a poem about why a female speaker painted her nails. The simple premise is made more complicated as she lists out the reasons why she painted her nails red. 

'I Shall Paint My Nails Red’ by Carole Satyamurti

Of Treason by John Harington

‘Of Treason’ by John Harington is a two-line poem that uses humor and wit to describes the nature of successful and unsuccessful treason.

Of Treason by John Harington Visual Representation

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