Edwin Arlington Robinson’s sonnet ‘Horace to Leuconoe’ is a passionate address of a lover to a girl, brooding over what God might have in store for her. He advises her to seize the moment and forget about the past and the future.
Published in 1922, Kipling’s ‘When Earth’s Last Picture Is Painted’ describes the “last” painting of mother earth and how it will be painted by the “good” people. No matter how this world ends, there will always be a new beginning, a new painting to admire.
Gary Snyder’s ‘Milton by Firelight’ is based on Satan’s comment in Paradise Lost and how it is relevant in the present time given the condition of the environment and humankind.
‘Air’ appears in W.S. Merwin’s 1963 collection of poetry, The Moving Target. This piece is about the personified air, introspecting on its role in nature.
Mark Strand’s poem ‘The Prediction’ is about the inevitability of death. It depicts a moonlit night where a lady anticipates her imminent death.
‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.
‘Letter to My Great, Great, Grandchild’ by J.P. Grasser is a powerful poem about the climate crisis. Throughout, the poet alludes to terrible planetary changes that occur in only a few generations.
‘Sonnet 125,’ also known as ‘Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy,’ is an expression of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He declares the type of love he’s prepared to give and what he wants in return.
Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 107, ‘Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul,’ with a summary and complete analysis of the poem.
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.
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.
‘Diving into the Wreck’ by Adrienne Rich is an unforgettable poem. It uses diving as a metaphor to describe the fight for equal rights.
‘Peeling Onions’ by Adrienne Rich is an introspective poem. In it, the poet uses the metaphor of peeling onions to define her complex thoughts.
‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem. The speaker critiques marriage and how it has systematically oppressed women for centuries.
‘To an Athlete Dying Young’ by A. E. Housman describes the death of a youthful man who is celebrated for his glorious passing and remembered for his loss, rather than his athletic achievements.
‘Now We Are Six’ by A. A. Milne is a funny poem. The young speaker talks about what life was like when they were younger than they are now.
In classic Philip Larkin style, ‘Next, Please’ is a bleak reflection on life. It explores death and asks the reader to focus on the present while they can.
‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph describes what the future has in store as one ages and throws off societal restraints and expectations.
‘Wind On The Hill’ by A. A. Milne is an upbeat children’s poem. It follows a thoughtful child who is playing with a toy kite.
‘Primer For Blacks’ by Gwendolyn Brooks speaks on the necessity of accepting one’s black heritage and a possible unified future for all black people.
‘Oh could I raise the darken’d veil’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes what it would be like to see into the future and then regret having looked.
‘Misgivings’ by Herman Melville describes the state of America right before the beginning of the Civil War and the fear that many felt for the future.
‘To Sappho I’ by Sara Teasdale speaks on the beauty of the past as seen from a tainted future that has lost it’s joy and magic.