Poems about the Night

How to Like it by Stephen Dobyns

‘How to Like It’ by Stephen Dobyns was written in order to explore a man’s struggle to accept change as he ages. The poem uses humor and very relatable emotions in order to appeal to readers. 

How to Like It by Stephen Dobyns Visual Representation

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

‘Dream Variations’ by Langston Hughes details two slightly different dreams a Black speaker has as he is confronted with the “white day.”

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes Visual Representation

Knocking Around by John Ashbery

‘Knocking Around’ by John Ashbery is a thoughtful and image-rich contemporary poem about life. The four stanzas use a variety of examples of figurative language to describe the lights and darks or the days and nights, or life. 

Knocking Around by John Ashbery Visual Representation

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Windy Nights’ by Robert Louis Stevenson is a children’s poem about a nighttime storm. It was first published in 1885 in A Child’s Garden of Verses. 

Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

Night Journey by Theodore Roethke

‘Night Journey’ by Theodore Roethke is a thoughtful, fairly simple poem about the American countryside. He spends the lines admiring the landscapes one can see by train at night. 

Night Journey by Theodore Roethke Visual Representation

Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly

Robert Bly’s ‘Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter’ is about a speaker who meditates upon snowy nature while driving to a town to mail his letter. It is filled with rich imagery and striking symbolism.

Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly Visual Representation

The Prediction by Mark Strand

Mark Strand’s poem ‘The Prediction’ is about the inevitability of death. It depicts a moonlit night where a lady anticipates her imminent death.

The Prediction by Mark Strand Visual Representation

Crescent by C. D. Wright

Carolyn D. Wright’s ‘Crescent’ is a thoughtful poem that describes a speaker’s intimate, incoherent feelings. She appreciates the nocturne with warmth and passion.

Crescent by C. D. Wright Visual Representation

Nocturne: Blue Waves by Laurie Sheck

‘Nocturne: Blue Waves’ was written by the modern American poet Laurie Sheck. This poem captures a speaker’s feelings in the nocturnal brokenness.

Nocturne Blue Waves by Laurie Sheck Visual Representation

Under Stars by Tess Gallagher

‘Under Stars’ by Tess Gallagher is a thoughtful poem that traces a speaker’s walk outside at night. It includes her reminiscence about her past and childhood. 

Under Stars by Tess Gallagher Visual Representation

The Starry Night by Anne Sexton

‘The Starry Night’ by Anne Sexton is an ekphrastic that explores Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. It delves into the emotions that a speaker interprets in the painted elements.

The Starry Night by Van Gogh Art

XII: An Epitaph by A.E. Housman

In Housman’s ‘XII: An Epitaph,’ readers will hear from a speaker who knows he’s about to die and is happy to accept his fate. 

Vespers by A.A. Milne

‘Vespers’ by A.A. Milne is a thoughtful religious poem. It depicts Christopher Robin’s bedtime routine and prayers.

The Visionary by Emily Brontë

‘The Visionary’ by Emily Brontë describes the imminent arrival of an undefined, spirit-like presence to a house in the middle of winter. 

Answers by Elizabeth Jennings

‘Answers’ by Elizabeth Jennings describes how one speaker compartmentalizes the big questions and answers in life in the back of her mind. 

The World by Henry Vaughan

‘The World’ by Henry Vaughan speaks on the ways men and women risk their place in eternity by valuing earthly pleasures over God. 

Grief by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Grief’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning tells of the necessary conditions for feeling true grief and the way it transforms one’s body and soul. 

Woman’s Constancy by John Donne

‘Woman’s Constancy’ by John Donne contains a speaker’s doubts that his lover of one night will remain true to him in the morning. 

Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Recuerdo’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay tells of a night the speaker spent sailing back and forth on a ferry, eating fruit and watching the sky.

Love and a Question by Robert Frost

‘Love and a Question’ by Robert Frost is a curious poem in which a couple encounters a stranger. It brings up questions of what’s right and wrong, what’s too selfish, and what’s simply common sense.

Cinderella by Roald Dahl

‘Cinderella’ by Roald Dahl retells the story of Cinderella and how rather than marrying the Prince, she ends up with a lovely man who makes jam. 

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