Poems about Hard Times

A Thank-Offering by Ella Higginson

‘A Thank-Offering’ by Ella Higginson is addressed to God. It outlines all the beautiful sights and sounds in a speaker’s everyday life and thanks to God for creating them. 

A Thank-Offering by Ella Higginson Visual Representation

Don’t Quit by Edgar Albert Guest

‘Don’t Quit’ by Edgar Albert Guest is a simple poem about facing the difficulties in one’s life and persevering through them.

Don't Quit by Edgar Albert Guest Visual Representation

Air Raid by Chinua Achebe

‘Air Raid’ by Chinua Achebe is a poem that provides a glimpse into the Nigerian/Biafran Civil War using symbolism and dark humor.

Air Raid by Chinua Achebe Visual Representation

To a Locomotive in Winter by Walt Whitman

‘To a Locomotive in Winter’ by Walt Whitman is a memorable poem written in Whitman’s skilled free verse. It addresses a train and celebrates its sounds, images, and strength.

To a Locomotive in Winter by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Winter-Time’ by Robert Louis Stevenson depicts the winter season from a child’s perspective. His imagination comes through clearly in his depictions of what all there is to see and experience, negative and positive. 

Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

I’m a Fool to Love You by Cornelius Eady

‘I’m a Fool to Love You’ by Cornelius Eady is a moving poem. It details the choices of a young black woman, the speaker’s mother, and why she did what she did.

i am a fool to love you by cornelius eady

September by Ted Hughes

‘September’ by Ted Hughes is a moving poem that touches on a troubled and important relationship.

Winter by Anne Hunter

‘Winter’ by Anne Hunter cleverly personifies winter as a “tyrant” who has complete control over those most in need.

The Old Year by Henry Kendall

‘The Old Year’ by Henry Kendall is an optimistic piece that deals with how time passes and the intangible impact it leaves on the present.

Laughing Song by William Blake

‘Laughing Song’ is about an imagined instance of what will happen “[w]hen” a time comes, but will only happen after a series of impossible obstacles.

London by William Blake

Imagine waking up in London in the 1800s. You might find yourself surrounded by prostitutes, the homeless, and many more suffering in dilapidated housing. These are only a few of the haunting sights William Blake documents in ‘London.’

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