Satire

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Song of the Jellicles’ features the characteristics and nature of the Jellicle Cats, made famous by the musical adaptation, Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Song of the Jellicles by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

The Lesson by Roger McGough

‘The Lesson’ by Roger McGough is an interesting and unique poem that depicts the result of a teacher’s built-up rage.

The Lesson by Roger McGough Visual Representation

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

On a Certain Lady at Court by Alexander Pope

Written in 1717, Pope’s ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ is about Catharine Howard, one of the waiting-women of Queen Caroline and a mistress to George II. Pope satirizes the lady’s qualities as she rejects his genuine love.

On a Certain Lady at Court by Alexander Pope Visual Representation

Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn

‘Cartoon Physics, part 1’ appears in Nick Flynn’s Some Ether (2000). This poem mocks the humorous concepts of animation that defy real physics and biology.

Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn Visual Representation

As I Was Going by Charing Cross

‘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.

As i was going by charing cross

Not My Business by Niyi Osundare

‘Not My Business’ by Niyi Osundare is a powerful, satirical poem that explores the consequences of staying silent in the face of oppression.

Not My Business by Niyi Osundare Visual Representation

Lonely Hearts by Wendy Cope

Wendy Cope’s ‘Lonely Hearts’ appears in her poetry collection “Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis”. This ironic piece talks about a speaker’s desperation over finding a perfect match in a lonely heart’s column.

Lonely Hearts by Wendy Cope Visual Representation

Building the Nation by Henry Barlow

‘Building the Nation’ is one of the best-known poems of the Ugandan poet Henry Barlow. This humorous piece comments on how nation-builders contribute to their country.

Building the Nation by Henry Barlow Visual Representation

The Black Man’s Burden by H. T. Johnson

What happens when Kipling’s ideas in ‘The White Man’s Burden’ pierce the soul of the blacks? Then writers like H. T. Johnson pen down ‘The Black Man’s Burden’ in response to chauvinism, white supremacy, and racism.

The Black Man’s Burden by H. T. Johnson Visual Representation

Decomposition by Zulfikar Ghose

‘Decomposition’ is written by the Pakistani-American poet Zulfikar Ghose. This poem centers on a photograph of an old beggar sleeping on the pavement and contrasts artistic composition with physical decomposition.

Decomposition by Zulfikar Ghose Visual Representation

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara

‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara Visual Representation

No More Boomerang by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

‘No More Boomerang,’ a poem by the Aboriginal Australian political activist and poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (also known as Kath Walker) features how the aboriginal culture is in crisis for the growing materialism and colonial hegemony.

No More Boomerang by Oodgeroo Noonuccal Visual Representation

London by Samuel Johnson

To look back at a nation’s history from a poet’s perspective is an enriching exercise that enlightens modern readers regarding the follies and foibles of the age. Samuel Johnson’s ‘London’ is one such piece that throws light on the condition of 18th century England, especially London.

London by Samuel Johnson Visual Representation

Sweeney among the Nightingales by T.S. Eliot

‘Sweeney among the Nightingales’ (1918), one of Eliot’s modernist poems, first featured the morally degraded, spiritually hollow, and libidinous character of Sweeney, who, in this poem, is seduced by prostitutes in a pub.

Sweeney among the Nightingales by T. S. Eliot Visual Representation

Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare

When contemporary poets chose to glorify their loved ones by using hyperbolic expressions, Shakespeare preferred an unflattering and realistic tone in his ‘Sonnet 130’. The speaker of this sonnet ignores all the elevating epithets and stays in solace with his beloved as she is.

Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

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