Poems about Mythology

On Getting Out of Vietnam by Howard Nemerov

‘On Getting Out of Vietnam’, written by American poet Howard Nemerov, is a symbolic poem based on the US’s involvement in Vietnam War (1955-1975). It alludes to the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur.

On Getting Out of Vietnam by Howard Nemerov Visual Representation

The Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser

‘The Poem as Mask’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a powerful, feminist poem that speaks to the poet’s experiences in life and with her poetry. 

The Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser Visual Representation

Sea Grapes by Derek Walcott

‘Sea Grapes’ by Derek Walcott is a deep and interesting poem. In it, Walcott uses numerous allusions to convey a message about choosing between lust and responsibility. 

Sea Grapes by Derek Walcott Visual Representation

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.

Icarus by Edward Field

‘Icarus’ by Edward Field places the Icarus of Greek mythology in a modern context to explore themes of alienation and displacement.

Icarus by Edward Field Visual Representation

Sonnet 153 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 153,’ also known as ‘Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep,’ describes the speaker’s attempts to cure his lovesickness. He eventually fails and returns to the Dark Lady.

Sonnet 153 by WIlliam Shakespeare visual representation

Circe by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Circe’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem about Circe’s reassertion of control over her life and how she now considers men. 

Delilah by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Delilah’ by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on the story of Delilah. It illuminates her individuality and how she felt about Samson. 

Medusa by Louise Bogan

‘Medusa’ by Louise Bogan describes an encounter the speaker has with the eyes of Medusa and the eternal results of that meeting.

The Garden of Eros by Oscar Wilde

‘The Garden of Eros’ describes a metaphorical garden that plays host to various flowers and the memories of some of the greatest English poets.

Actaeon by A. E. Stallings

‘Actaeon’ by A. E. Stallings is based on the captivating mythological story of Actaeon and is told from the perspective of a speaker who taunts the main character for how he lost his life.

Philomena by Matthew Arnold

‘Philomena’ by Matthew Arnold follows a narrator who after encountering a nightingale in the woods in England, interprets it’s calls for the sounds of mourning.

Leda and the Swan by William Butler Yeats

Published in Yeats’ collection of Later Poems in 1926, ‘Leda and the Swan’ is a sonnet based on a myth from Greek mythology. According to Greek myth, Leda was the mother of mankind.

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