‘A Wounded Deer—leaps highest’ by Emily Dickinson is a highly relatable poem that speaks about the difference between what someone or something looks like and the truth. She uses the examples of a fatally wounded deer and someone dying of tuberculosis.
‘Don’t Quit’ by Edgar Albert Guest is a simple poem about facing the difficulties in one’s life and persevering through them.
‘Freedom’ by Rabindranath Tagore is a powerful and effective poem about freedom. The speaker spends the seventeen lines of the poem describing the kind of freedom he hopes his country will find.
‘Rosa Parks’ by Nikki Giovanni is a poem about activism and the importance of remembering important moments in African American history. The poem pays tribute to the heroic actions of the Pullman Porters who spearheaded the civil rights movement and forever changed history for the African American community.
‘Tableau’ by Countee Cullen is a powerful poem about two men, one black and one white, who appear to be romantic partners.
‘i am water’ by Rupi Kaur is a thoughtful poem that uses water as a metaphor. The speaker sees their soft and tough qualities.
‘Boots’ by Rudyard Kipling is a memorable poem. In it, Kipling uses repetition to emphasize the struggle of soldiers on a forced march.
‘The Garden’ by H.D. is a thoughtful poem about oppression. The speaker uses natural imagery in order to depict oppression during her lifetime.
‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ is a well-known chant from the story of “Jack the Giant Killer.” Dating back to at least the early 1700s, the compelling and entertaining story tells of a young boy’s daring feats and his bravery.
‘Us Two’ is a classic A.A. Milne poem. It depicts the simple and lighthearted adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the speaker, who is likely Christopher Robin.
‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem that focuses on the power of Marie Curie and the impact she made on her field.
‘A Mark of Resistance’ by Adrienne Rich is a poem about individual resistance. The poet voices her solidarity with those who face discrimination from society.
‘To My Mistress Sitting by a River’s Side by Thomas Carew compares the relationship between two lovers to the actions of a stream, river, and eddy.
‘The Mountain and the Squirrel’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks on the strengths and weaknesses of two quarrelling characters who are very different.
‘Good Timber’ by Douglas Malloch describes the way that trees of good timber and strong men are formed through hardship and struggle.
‘To Earthward’ by Robert Frost contemplates the speaker’s connection to the earth. As he’s aged, he’s sought out more painful experiences in order to feel the same as he did in his youth.
‘Be Strong’ by Maltbie D. Babcock describes a certain way of living in the world in which one faces down all their troubles bravely.
‘Prayer at Sunrise’ by James Weldon Johnson describes the power of the sun and a speaker’s request to be granted strength from God.
‘Primer For Blacks’ by Gwendolyn Brooks speaks on the necessity of accepting one’s black heritage and a possible unified future for all black people.
‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ by Emily Brontë describes a speaker’s overwhelming passion for God and the strength she is able to draw from her faith.
‘Lineage’ by Margaret Walker describes the strength of a speaker’s enslaved female ancestors and how they suffered for that strength.
‘I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing’ by Walt Whitman describes a solitary oak tree that is thriving without companionship or support.
‘Archaic Torso of Apollo’ by Rainer Maria Rilke details the remaining beauty and power of a damage sculpture missing its head and legs.
‘The Witch’ poem tells a short story about the life of the speaker, the witch, and the destruction she wrought on one someone who tried to help her.
‘My Grandmother’s Laughter’ is a poem that utilizes the simple element of a “blanket” to showcase the strength of the human mind.
‘Growing Old’ is about the reality of aging and how ones youthful expectations will not be fulfilled as one’s body losing beauty and strength.
‘Buzzard’ by Gillian Clarke is a poem about lost hopes, dreams and opportunities revisited, using the metaphor of a buzzard and its skeleton.
‘Meeting Point’ by Louis MacNiece is an eight-stanza poem that uses structure, rhyme, and metaphor to reveal the life cycle of a relationship.