Poems about Nostalgia

The Gift by Li-Young Lee

‘The Gift’ by Li-Young Lee is an effective contemporary poem about the way a father’s voice and attitude influenced his son. 

The Gift by Li-Young Lee Visual Representation

Forties Flick by John Ashbery

Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.

Forties Flick by John Ashbery Visual Representation

Love Songs In Age by Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin explores the immense power in ‘Love Songs In Age,’ and how reality can never fulfill the potential they promise us.

Love Songs in Age by Philip Larkin Visual Representation

Weather Eye by Isobel Dixon

‘Weather Eye’ by Isobel Dixon is a beautiful poem about childhood. It describes the routines that controlled a speaker’s life during their youth and how they miss the order and family time.

Weather Eye by Isobel Dixon Visual Representation

Origin of the Marble Forest by Gregory Orr

‘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. 

Origin of the Marble Forest by Gregory Orr 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.

Another Reluctance by Annie Finch

‘Another Reluctance’ by Annie Finch is a beautiful short poem about a childhood experience. The speaker describes waiting for and watching chestnuts fall.

another reluctance by annie finch

Everywhere Is Out of Town by Kevin Young

‘Everywhere Is Out of Town’ is a poetic tribute to The James Brown band, popularly knows as the J.B.’s. The poem was first published in a poetry journal in 1993.

Everywhere Is Out of Town by Kevin Young Visual Representation

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.

The Apple-Raid by Vernon Scannell Visual Representation

XIV by Derek Walcott

‘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.

XIV by Derek Walcott Visual Representation

The Good Life by Tracy K. Smith

‘The Good Life’ by Tracy K. Smith is an incredibly relatable poem. In it, the poet asks the reader to consider their relationship with money and what the ‘good life’ really is.

Coming Home by Owen Sheers

‘Coming Home’ by Owen Sheers is a thoughtful poem that describes the transitory nature of life. The poet explores aging, family, and the impact of change.

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney

In ‘Blackberry-Picking’ the speaker is recalling a recurring scene from his youth: each August, he would pick blackberries and relish in their sweet taste.

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney Visual Representation

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