‘Earth Voices’ by Bliss Carman is a clever poem that utilizes personification in order to convey the perspective of the sun, the wind, and the rain.
‘Life’s Tragedy’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar considers the elements of life that create tragedy and suffering. The speaker asserts that missing out on perfect love and the perfect song leads to an “accursed” life.
‘To a Dark Girl’ by Gwendolyn Bennett is a moving and inspiring poem that seeks to uplift Black girls and women and remind them of their beauty and strength.
‘More Light! More Light!’ by Anthony Hecht what inspired by the poet’s experiences during World War II. It describes several horrific deaths, one and 16th-century England and three in Buchenwald during World War II.
‘Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter’ by John Crowe Ransom is an elegy for Whiteside’s daughter, a young girl who passed away suddenly. It’s unclear why she died, but, the speaker spends the bass majority of this poem depicting her lively and playful life.
‘With rue my heart is laden’ by A.E. Housman is a short and simple poem in which a speaker looks back on what they’ve lost from their youth.
‘Why Flowers Change Color’ by Robert Herrick is a short poem that speaks about virginity, virgins, and the reason that flowers change colors. The poem is often interpreted in different ways due to the few details Herrick provides in the four lines.
‘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.
‘Docker’ is a 1966 poem by Seamus Heaney which depicts the life of a dockworker in Belfast and explores his personal and religious sense of discord.
‘The Arrow and the Song’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an interesting poem that utilizes quatrains. Throughout the piece, the speaker alludes to the unknown impact of his poetry before finding it in the heart of his friend in the last stanza.
‘The Lesson’ by Roger McGough is an interesting and unique poem that depicts the result of a teacher’s built-up rage.
‘Friends and Flatterers’ by William Shakespeare is a powerful poem about friendship and how to spot those who are true and false.
‘The Hippopotamus’ by Hilaire Belloc is an amusing short poem that describes shooting a hippopotamus with platinum bullets.
‘Money, O!’ by W.H Davies is a poem that argues that having a lot of money is not all that it’s cracked up to be. While being well off financially comes with its benefits, it comes at the expense of genuine relationships.
‘Reapers’ by Jean Toomer is a thoughtful poem about oppression. It is depicted through a very poetic and memorable metaphor depicting field workers and a mower.
‘The Soul has Bandaged Moments’ by Emily Dickinson is a powerful poem that explores the human soul. It uses personification skillfully to describe the “Soul” and “Fear.”
‘Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry’ by Howard Nemerov is a beautiful poem that uses birds and in climate to describe the difference between prose and poetry.
‘I Want to Die While You Love Me’ by Georgia Douglas Johnson is a moving love poem. In it, the speaker addresses her desire to die before a love affair ends.
‘Lizzie Borden Took an Ax’ is a well-known children’s rhyme that alludes to the accusations against Lizzie Borden in regard to the murder of her father and step-mother.
‘The Kiss’ by Sara Teasdale is a passionate love poem. The piece describes how devoted a speaker is to her lover and how she’d never choose anyone or anything over him.
‘Here dead lie we because we did not choose’ by A.E. Housman is a powerful, short poem about World War I. It utilizes a speaker, or group of speakers, who have passed away.
‘The Pasture’ by Robert Frost is a thoughtful and image-rich poem that depicts the chores a farmer has to complete.
‘Earth’ by John Hall Wheelock is a short poem that addresses humanity’s intelligence. It features a Martian astronomer who is considering what happened to planet Earth.
‘The Purple Cow’ by Gelett Burgess is a funny short poem. In it, the speaker declares his opinion about seeing and/or being a purple cow.
‘Show It At the Beach’ by Shel Silverstein addresses taboos in contemporary society. Specifically, the poem considers when nudity is appropriate and when it isn’t (on the beach).
‘The Sky is low — the Clouds are mean’ by Emily Dickinson is a creative poem about nature’s attitudes. The poet uses personification to depict the ups and downs of a particular storm.
‘As I Was Going by Charing Cross’ was first recorded in the 1840s. But, it likely dates to an early decade. It’s thought that this nursery rhyme was likely shared through street cries or chants.
‘Longing’ by Matthew Arnold is a poem directed at someone’s lover. They ask this person to visit them in their dreams since they can’t be together during the day.
‘Suicide in the Trenches’ is an incredibly tragic poem. Siegfried Sassoon explores the mental deterioration of a young soldier in the trenches of WW1 and his suicide.
‘The River’ by Sara Teasdale is a short and effective poem. It uses a river as a narrator and describes its journey towards the ocean.