The Heart by Jill Alexander Essbaum

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.

The Heart by Jill Alexander Essbaum Visual Representation

Riprap by Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder’s ‘Riprap’ describes how the oddly beautiful order of nature is “a riprap of things,” set in order from time immemorial. This piece taps on the themes of metaphysics, nature, and language.

Riprap by Gary Snyder Visual Representation

Waking from Sleep by Robert Bly

Robert Bly’s ‘Waking from Sleep’ is a symbolic poem about the awakening from the deep slumber of ignorance and thralldom. It evokes the imagery of a “harbor at dawn” in order to present this theme.

Waking from Sleep by Robert Bly Visual Representation

Two or Three Wishes by Carl Dennis

‘Two or Three Wishes’ belongs to Carl Dennis’s poetry collection Ranking the Wishes (1997). This piece is about the veracity of imagination and the role of truth.

Two or Three Wishes by Carl Dennis Visual Representation

Allegory of the Cave by Stephen Dunn

In this poem, Stephen Dunn alludes to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave or Plato’s Cave by the same title. This piece raises a number of philosophical questions with respect to the political history of the 20th century.

Allegory of the Cave Stephen Dunn Visual Representation

The Pornographer by Robert Hass

‘The Pornographer’ appears in Robert Hass’s Yale Series of Younger Poets Award-winning collection Field Guide (1973). This poem is all about an artist who finds it difficult to get rid of his thoughts.

The Pornographer by Robert Hass Visual Representation

The Kid by Ai

Ai’s poem ‘The Kid’ presents a haunting tale of a fourteen-year-old boy who kills his mother, sister, and grandfather, and then runs away. It appears in her award-winning poetry collection Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999).

The Kid by Ai Visual Representation

Wild Swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Wild Swans’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay tells of a speaker’s desperation to get out of her current physical and emotional space and find a bird-like freedom. 

Of Mere Being by Wallace Stevens

‘Of Mere Being’ by Wallace Stevens describes the world beyond one’s last thought and speaks to the elemental purity of existence. 

The Sign-Post by Edward Thomas

‘The Sign-Post’ by Edward Thomas contains a discussion within a speaker’s mind about the progression of time and the nature of Heaven. 

Journey by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Journey’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay describes a speaker’s desire to live a life experienced on an open path, and filled with natural wonder. 

September Midnight by Sara Teasdale

‘September Midnight’ by Sara Teasdale tells of a speaker’s affection for the last days of summer and all the sights and sounds that go with it.

Quai de la Tournelle by John Dos Passos

‘Quai de la Tournelle’ by John Dos Passos is a poem about a lost love and how the sights and sounds of the Seine River in Paris bring that love to mind.

The Arrival of the Bee Box by Sylvia Plath

‘The Arrival of the Bee Box’ by Sylvia Plath depicts a speaker’s chaotic mind. The poet uses the bee box to represent how confined the speaker feels and the bees as a demonstration of her thought patterns.

Heart and Mind by Edith Sitwell

‘Heart and Mind’ is a poem that was written in 1944. Edith Sitwell’s best known work is the one produced during the Second World War.

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