Society

Howl by Allen Ginsberg

‘Howl’ is Allen Ginsberg’s best-known poem and is commonly considered his greatest work. It is an indictment of modern society and a celebration of anyone living outside it.

Howl by Allen Ginsberg Visual Representation

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

Departmental by Robert Frost

‘Departmental’ by Robert Frost is a clever poem that presents a satire of ant society. It suggests that the control and compartmentalization in the ant world would not work, or should not work, in human society.

Departmental by Robert Frost Visual Representation

The Great Society by Robert Bly

Published in Robert Bly’s award-winning collection, The Light Around the Body (1967), ‘The Great Society’ satirizes the set of domestic programs launched by Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964-65 by presenting contrasting imagery from contemporary American society.

The Great Society by Robert Bly Visual Representation

Leap Before You Look by W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden’s instructive poem ‘Leap Before You Look’ (1940) counsels readers to take risks rather than being cautious in each step. This poem is written in a wise and caring tone.

Leap Before You Look by W. H. Auden Visual Representation

Advice to a Girl by Thomas Campion

Thomas Campion’s ‘Advice to a Girl’ is a piece of advice dedicated to 17th-century women regarding men’s nature and follies. It highlights some negative aspects in men that women should know before loving them.

Advice to a Girl by Thomas Campion Visual Representation

American Poetry by Louis Simpson

‘American Poetry’ appears in Louis Simpson’s award-winning collection At the End of the Open Road (1963). This piece is about the nature and range of poems produced throughout America.

American Poetry by Louis Simpson Visual Representation

Exposure by Seamus Heaney

‘Exposure’ by Seamus Heaney discusses the poet’s role in a society and how he might contribute helpfully to the discourse of the time. 

Feather or a Rock by Ellen Welcker

‘Feather or a Rock’ by Ellen Welcker is a deep but playful discussion between two friends about the problems associated with their position in society. 

Soliloquy For Compatriots by John Tripp

‘Soliloquy For Compatriots’ by John Tripp describes the opinion others hold in regard to Wales, as well as the emotional truth of what it means to be Welsh. 

Soliloquy For Compatriots by John Tripp Visual Representation

The Shebeen Queen by Mafika Gwala

‘The Shebeen Queen’ by Mafika Gwala depicts the life of a woman running a “shebeen” and the consumerist name of her society.

The Garden by Ezra Pound

‘The Garden’ by Ezra Pound describes the emotional conflict caused by changes in the upper and lower classes of England during the ending months of WWI. 

Ingrid Jonker by Sally Bryer

‘Ingrid Jonker’ by Sally Bryer is a sentiment of praise for Ingrid Jonker herself, a woman who used her words to push for change in South Africa.

Surveillance by Riyas Qurana

‘Surveillance’ by Riyas Qurana is a twenty four line free verse poem that discusses and highlights the claustrophobia that comes along with the concept of surveillance.

Skin by Philip Larkin

‘Skin’ by Philip Larkin speaks on the importance of a person’s identity. Specifically, he is concerned with the influence and biographical aspects of the skin.

A Sheep Fair by Thomas Hardy

‘A Sheep Fair’ is a solemn look at one day of country life, at the autumn fair, as sheep, the auctioneer, and the buyers contend with torrential rain.

The Tiger in the Menagerie by Emma Jones

‘The Tiger in the Menagerie’, by the poet Emma Jones is a poem about the introduction of violence and wildness into a civilized society and what that would physically look like.

In Westminster Abbey by John Betjeman

‘In Westminster Abbey’ is a satirical dramatic monologue in which Betjeman sends up the upper classes for their preoccupations with class and money.

The Patriot by Robert Browning

Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Patriot’ is a tragic tale of a man who fell from being a star citizen to becoming despised so intensely that he was put to death.

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox