Poems that are a Lyric

Quivira City Limits by Kevin Young

‘Quivira City Limits’ is a poem about the poet Kevin Young’s nostalgia concerning his childhood days in Topeka, Kansas. Though he was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, he had grown a deep attachment with the lush fields of the city precincts.

Spare by Joanna Klink

‘Spare’ appears in The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove. This poem describes an unfulfilled love affair of a speaker and her feelings concerning the relationship.

Question by May Swenson

‘Question’ is a poem written in the form of an interrogation. Throughout this piece, May Swenson asks how she could hide her soul after the body dies.

Friendship by Henry David Thoreau

‘Friendship’ is about the love Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson had for one another. This poem describes the nature of true devotion and how two souls are tied in a bond of love, goodness, and truthfulness.

Joy by Stuart Kestenbaum

‘Joy’ is written by the Poet Laureate of Maine: Stuart Kestenbaum. This simple poem explores the meaning of true joy in one’s life.

Daybreak in Alabama by Langston Hughes

Music is a powerful tool to bring harmony even in the cacophonic world, filled with inequality, injustice, and racial discrimination. In ‘Daybreak in Alabama,’ Langston Hughes tries to create a harmonious world by creating music of equality and brotherhood.

The Apple-Raid by Vernon Scannell

‘The Apple-Raid’ appears in Vernon Scannell’s poetry collection “The Apple-Raid and Other Poems” published in 1974. This piece explores how the poet and his friends went about collecting apples out of the town.

To Winter by Claude McKay

‘To Winter’ by Claude McKay is a love letter to the cold winter months. The narrator of the poem laments the arrival of spring, as it means the winter has ended.

Sonnet by Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Sonnet’ is not a conventional poem having fourteen lines or a specific structure. This piece is filled with images that collectively tap on the theme of suffering.

Fallen Apples by Tom Hansen

‘Fallen Apples’ appears in Tom Hansen’s poetry collection “Fallen to Earth”. This poem records the movement of wasps through the apples fallen the night before.

Syntax by Carol Ann Duffy

In Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Syntax,’ surprising language of love lands like a lover’s warm touch and scribbles on your skin, right off the page. The Rumpus, in praise of Duffy’s poetry collection “Rapture” (2005) remarked so, that aptly applies to this poem.

Name by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Name’ is a beautiful love poem from her poetry collection “Rapture”. It centers on a speaker’s adoration of her beloved and how she thinks of her name.

Decomposition by Zulfikar Ghose

‘Decomposition’ is written by the Pakistani-American poet Zulfikar Ghose. This poem centers on a photograph of an old beggar sleeping on the pavement and contrasts artistic composition with physical decomposition.

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

‘Unending Love’ is a beautiful love poem written by the maestro and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, popularly known as the “Gurudev” of Bengali poetry. This poem taps on the themes of spiritual love and immortality.

Coat by Jane Duran

‘Coat’ is written by the Spanish-American poet Jane Duran. This poem taps on the themes of motherhood, love, and memory.

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor’s ‘Sleep’ describes how an infant is born in the womb of a woman. This poem describes the journey of life from inanition to entity.

Wine Tasting by Kim Addonizio

‘Wine Tasting’ by Kim Addonizio skillfully delves into a speaker’s memories. The poet depicts the experience of drinking wine and all the connected thoughts and emotions it can evoke. 

I Am Offering this Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

‘I Am Offering this Poem’ by Jimmy Santiago Baca taps into what most lovers of poetry probably already know, that poetry supplies spiritual and emotional sustenance to humankind. It was published in 1979 in “Immigrants in Our Own Land.”

Bredon Hill by A. E. Housman

‘Bredon Hill’ by A.E. Housman depicts an initially heartwarming and later heartbreaking story of a couple torn apart when one of them dies suddenly on a cold Christmas night. 

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

‘Still I Rise’ is an inspiring and emotional poem that’s based around Maya Angelou’s experiences as a Black woman in America. It encourages readers to love themselves fully and persevere in the face of every hardship.

My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth

On the surface, William Wordsworth’s ‘My Heart Leaps Up’ is about the simple beauty of a rainbow. Looking at it more closely, the poet is saying people should maintain their sense of childlike wonder well into adulthood and old age.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth’s literary classic, ‘Daffodils,’ also known as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,’ is one of the most popular poems in the English language. It is a quintessential poem of the Romantic movement.

Metaphors by Sylvia Plath

‘Metaphors’ by Sylvia Plath is an autobiographical piece. It was written during Plath’s pregnancy and discusses the meaning of motherhood.

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou defies the stereotypes women are often faced with today. It is a poem filled with strength and determination.

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson’s poem ‘Belfast Confetti’ describes how external conflicts influence a speaker’s mind. It speaks on the aftermath of the Troubles in Belfast.

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