’90 North’ by Randall Jarrell is concerned with dreams, aging, and the truth of success. The poet’s speaker realizes that success means nothing and that after achieving everything he wanted, his life is worthless.
‘The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field’ by Richard Hugo describes how everyone is at risk from going along with a group’s actions and not thinking for themselves.
‘A Child is Something Else Again’ by Yehuda Amichai is a poem about parenthood and childhood. A child represents a great deal, the speaker says, and provides a parent with the will to live.
‘Persimmons’ by Li-Young Lee is a beautiful poem that describes the poet’s interest in language. It explores how a persimmon comes to symbolize both his family connections and his feelings of alienation from his peers.
‘To Her Father with Some Verses’ by Anne Bradstreet expresses the poet’s admiration for her father and desire to pay him back for his support.
‘Mr. Nobody’ by Anonymous is a clever children’s poem that shifts the blame for all mischief and messes over to an unknown entity– Mr. Nobody.
‘Incident’ by Countee Cullen describes a terrible incident from the poet’s youth that occurred when he was happily visiting Baltimore.
‘Parents’ by William Meredith is an interesting and relatable poem about childhood and parenthood. It is at times moving and comedic.
‘Babies’ by Alice Fulton describes the different ways that children and adults understand the world. The latter’s perspective is informed by years of conflict, lies that can’t be apologized for, and the realization that some parts of one’s life are so important that you only get one shot at them.
‘Fear’ by Gabriela Mistral is a passionate poem about a mother’s hopes for her daughter’s future. It includes three stanzas that contain the speaker’s worries about who her daughter may turn into.
‘School’s Out’ by Amanda Gorman is a powerful poem that explores the experiences of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Homecoming’ by Lenrie Peters is a poem about someone returning home after a long time away. This person is moved by the immense changes that their home has undergone during this period.
‘Adolescence’ by W.H. Auden is an interesting and complex poem. In it, the speaker analyzes and describes the life and experiences of a young man.
‘Love That Boy’ by Walter Dean Meyers is a short, sweet poem. In it, the speaker describes his love for his son.
‘Belle Isle, 1949’ by Philip Levine is a poem about a series of moments from a speaker’s youth. He swims in the Detroit River and then returns to his life.
‘Portrait of Girl with Comic Book’ by Phyllis McGinley is a thoughtful piece about growing up. The speaker addresses what its like for girls to be thirteen.
‘The One Girl at the Boys Party’ by Sharon Olds is about a young girl who attends a boy’s pool party. She stands apart from them in a powerful and beautiful way.
‘Harlem Hopscotch’ by Maya Angelou is a thoughtful poem. It explores what it’s like to grow up Black in Harlem, New York.
‘Barn Owl’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about losing one’s innocence. While using symbolism, the poet depicts a child sneaking off to shoot a barn owl.
‘First Day At School’ by Roger McGough is an interesting poem about a child’s experience on their first day. They are lost, confused, and feeling left out throughout the day.
‘To Any Reader’ by Robert Louis Stevenson explores the childhood experiences of a Victorian child through an adult’s perspective.
‘Sonnet 95,’ also known as ‘How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame,’ is number ninety-five of one hundred fifty-four sonnets that William Shakespeare wrote.
‘Halfway Down’ by A.A. Milne focuses on a moment in which a young speaker is stuck between the top of the stairs and the bottom. It is both entertaining and thoughtful.
‘When The Rain Started Drizzling Into His Story’ by Riyas Qurana is poem about growth and moving on, promoting self growth.