‘Old Man’ by Edward Thomas is a thoughtful piece about the loss of memory and a disconnect to one’s past.
William DeWitt (W. D.) Snodgrass’s personal piece ‘Mementos, 1’ is about the discovery of an old photograph of the speaker’s divorced wife and the stream of memories that came with it.
‘The Gift’ by Li-Young Lee is an effective contemporary poem about the way a father’s voice and attitude influenced his son.
‘But Not Forgotten’ by Dorothy Parker speaks to the impact of one person’s memory on their past romantic partner.
‘Sally’s Hair’ by John Koethe is a short and effective poem in which the speaker looks back on someone he met thirty-seven years ago and wonders where she is now.
Jill Alexander Essbaum’s ‘The Heart’ is a short poem that dictates the intricacies of dealing with heartfelt emotions. It describes the human heart as a room with four chambers and thousands of doors.
A golden poem out of Hall’s heart, ‘Gold’ is about the precious past and conjugal memories of a speaker. It appears in the collection Old and New Poems published in 1990.
‘Memorial’ by Amanda Gorman is a poem about the past and how poets are able to use their writing to help readers relive it.
‘The Lost Pilot’ is dedicated to James Tate’s father, who died on a bombing mission in World War II in 1944. He was a co-pilot of a B-17.
‘Barbed Wire’ is a poem about the tragic death of a horse on a summer afternoon. This piece explores the quick, sudden death of the horse.
‘The Spanish Needle’ by Claude McKay is thoughtful and image-filled. The poet looks back on his speaker’s past and directs his words to a plant.
David Mason’s ‘Spooning’ appears in the 1991 winter issue of The Hudson Review. This poem is about a speaker recapturing his dead grandfather’s life.
‘Origin of the Marble Forest’ by Gregory Orr is an interesting and moving poem about someone’s past relationships. The speaker declares them “stone,” solidifying them in their life forever.
‘Taking Off My Clothes’ by Carolyn Forché is a short, effective poem about a relationship. The speaker spends the lines uses imagery to define the various aspects of her partner and herself.
‘Alzheimer’s: The Wife’ by C. K. Williams is a powerful and moving poem. In it, the poet depicts a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s and a few simple moments from her day.
‘There is a pain—so utter’ by Emily Dickinson is a complicated poem. It uses abstract language to describe pain.
‘Another Reluctance’ by Annie Finch is a beautiful short poem about a childhood experience. The speaker describes waiting for and watching chestnuts fall.
‘In pale moonlight’ by Yosa Buson is a Japanese haiku that depicts a night scene filled with the scent of wisteria.
‘XIV’ appears in Derek Walcott’s collection of poems “Midsummer”. This poem features the glorious days of Walcott’s childhood, especially how they gathered around his mother to hear stories at the stroke of eve.
‘Sonnet 121,’ also known as ‘‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,’ is a poem about corruption and honesty. The speaker declares his intolerance of hypocrites who try to judge him.
‘Sonnet 119,’ also known as ‘What potions have I drunk of siren tears,’ is a complicated poem in which the speaker describes a relationship he had with a woman. He admits it was a mistake.
‘Sonnet 122,’ also known as ‘Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain,’ explores the speaker’s rejection of a simple gift he received from the Youth. He explains it away through a return to his regular devoted attitude.
‘September’ by Ted Hughes is a moving poem that touches on a troubled and important relationship.
Frank O’Hara wrote ‘The Day Lady Died’ in memory of the jazz singer Billie Holiday. She passed away from complications due to liver diseases in July 1959.
‘Song at the Beginning of Autumn’ by Elizabeth Jennings tells of the power of sensorial memories in relation to the coming of autumn.
‘The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled’ by Leontia Flynn describes the way the travel can impact the traveller and all those they meet.