Comprising only two syllables, Ali’s ‘Me We’ is one of the shortest poems ever written. This poem evokes a wide array of meanings with just two simple pronouns.
‘The Chambered Nautilus’ by Oliver Wendell Holmes is an interesting and beautiful poem. In it, the poet describes the nautilus and the life of struggle and improvement it engages in.
‘Departmental’ by Robert Frost is a clever poem that presents a satire of ant society. It suggests that the control and compartmentalization in the ant world would not work, or should not work, in human society.
‘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.
‘Don’t Quit’ by Edgar Albert Guest is a simple poem about facing the difficulties in one’s life and persevering through them.
‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ by W. H. Auden is a poem about the unconquerable nature of death and the imperfect nature of love. This piece was first published in 1940 in the poet’s collection Another Time.
‘When I Die’ is an incredible Rumi poem about eternal life after death. The poet proposes not to grieve his death as it’s just a means to a new beginning, not an end.
Published in Shadow Train (1981), John Ashbery’s ‘Hard Times’ is about the poet’s take on the modern world and its future. It showcases people’s ignorance of the issues that troubles Ashbery the most.
‘Money, O!’ by W.H Davies is a poem that argues that having a lot of money is not all that it’s cracked up to be. While being well off financially comes with its benefits, it comes at the expense of genuine relationships.
A thought-provoking piece from Robert Lowell’s incredible array of poetry, ‘Notice’ harks for capturing each and every moment of our lives, be it repeated or unbearable. We have to draw inspiration from tiny details in our lives.
W. H. Auden’s instructive poem ‘Leap Before You Look’ (1940) counsels readers to take risks rather than being cautious in each step. This poem is written in a wise and caring tone.
Published in 1996, in David Mason’s award-winning collection, The Country I Remember, ‘Song of the Powers’ uses a children’s game, “stone, paper, scissors,” in order to comment on the futility of power.
Robinson Jeffers’s poem ‘Hands’ is about the distance between modern civilization and past civilizations. It voices Jeffers’s philosophy of “inhumanism.”
Masters’ ‘Fiddler Jones’ highlights how following one’s passion, no matter what it is, is always worthwhile and helps lead a life without any regrets. As the title says, this poem is about a wayward fiddler devoted to his passion.
Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Camel’s Hump’ is a fun poem on the repercussions of lethargy and inactivity. Humorously, we may grow a “Cameelious hump” if we feel like “we haven’t enough to do.”
‘The Sower’ by Victor-Marie Hugo reveals the musings of a poet persona as he observes an old sower working in his fields till night.
‘The Juggler’ by Richard Wilbur is about the way that change can temporarily relieve some of the complacency human beings experience in life.
Robert Pinsky’s ‘Samurai Song’ shows readers a daunting path to achieve fearlessness, mental peace, and most importantly, freedom from all kinds of suffering.
‘Morning Poem’ by Mary Oliver uses the dawn of a new day to speak of hope and new beginnings, offering an optimistic message.
‘Monologue for an Onion’ by Suji Kwock Kim is a memorable poem told from the perspective of an onion. It chastises the reader for living life the way they do.
‘broken bowl’ by Penny Harter is a short and memorable haiku about a broken bowl. The poem uses three very short lines to describe its rocking pieces.
‘Prayers of Steel’ by Carl Sandburg is an original poem. In it, the poet focuses on the imagined dreams of steel.
‘a song in the front yard’ by Gwendolyn Brooks is a well-known poem about a young speaker’s interest in the darker side of life.
‘Ask Me’ appears in William Stafford’s one of the best-known poetry collections, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford. This metaphorical poem is bout life and memories.
‘The Clown’s Wife’ by John Agard explores the theme of duality through a wife speaking about her clown husband and herself.
‘They Say My Verse is Sad’ by A.E. Housman is a direct, two stanza poem. In it, Housman describes why he writes poetry and who he writes for.
‘The Secret Sits’ by Robert Frost is a thoughtful, short poem about life and its secrets. Its only two lines long, but packs a punch in its use of imagery and allusion.
‘The Firebombers’ by Anne Sexton is an unforgettable poem. In it, the speaker addresses America and the murders the country commits. This includes the deaths of women and children.
‘What the Living Do’ by Marie Howe is a beautiful poem about contemporary life. Throughout, the speaker defines what it is the living do.
‘The Unfinished’ by Laurie Sheck is a complex and powerful poem about meaning, the purpose of life, and free will.